Lauren Napier, Owner of CLEANSE Makeup Wipes

My name is Lauren Napier and I’m the founder and owner of CLEANSE makeup removing wipes.

I think I was always obsessed with skincare because I’m from Las Vegas. I was born in Las Vegas, raised partially there and partially in Texas. In Las Vegas, you could smoke everywhere all the time. I was always obsessed with what was lingering on my skin. It’s also very, very dry there. But, in Vegas, I still had a glow. People were like, “Why is your skin still glowing and you keep saying it’s dry?” It was because I was constantly feeding it. That is when I became obsessed with skincare, hydration, and taking care of yourself. My obsession with skincare inspired CLEANSE.

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While in Vegas, I worked for MAC. They had opened their Pro Store and I was there the first few years. We had plenty of showgirls and dancers come in, and they would buy everything that MAC had to offer. I really was a great makeup artist and it was a fun place to work.

I somehow found a way to make a look unique to each woman. Once a mom from the Midwest wanted to wear MAC, but she couldn’t wear all of that to work. I was able to realize that while MAC is a fabulous product, and they had an incredible range of products, everything was not for everyone. But, I found a way to create a look for her.
That is what trained my eye. That’s what helped me become a really, I would say, successful makeup artist. I was able to recognize that each woman was an individual and I never wanted to lose the woman beneath the makeup.

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Lately, I’ve been working on the next phase of CLEANSE. I have a fabulous anti-aging makeup remover that’s coming out.

I think that there’s a market [in skincare] that doesn’t get catered to. Obviously women of color, but also women of color who are aging. Really, aging women in general. I also found that a lot of times with us, we have skin that is oily and needs a little bit more attention when it comes to reducing acne and reducing scarring. So I’ve developed a makeup removal wipe that’s going to help reduce acne, acne scarring, and help to smooth out the molecular structure of your skin. They’re focused and targeted for our brown-skinned women.

I’m really proud that CLEANSE is doing very well. I launched CLEANSE with my savings account and my American Express in 2014. I own that company completely and everything that I’ve done has been all mine. I worked tirelessly for the first year on set. You know, 14, 15 hours a day, and then would go home and do CLEANSE work all night.

It’s been two years since I launched it and it’s now available worldwide. It’s just getting bigger. In August, I have some launches that I’m very, very excited for that I can’t mention right now.

Next, I want to be in parts of Asia, like the Asian market. I also have an affinity for South America. I grew up watching beauty pageants [in Texas]. I would see all of those women from all of the South American countries and thought they were so glamorous and so beautiful and it seemed effortless. I absolutely want to bring CLEANSE to those women. Those are brown skinned women who are not catered to. Selena was one of my influences as a young girl. Gloria Estafan, too. Celia Cruz. I mean, so many people have influenced me and lead my inspiration growing up. I absolutely want to make my products and my brands available to those women.

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Here’s the truth about skincare: You can’t change your skin. Or let’s say, you can’t change what’s happening with your hormones without a little help. Lots of acne is just bacteria that’s living under your skin. You can take medication from a dermatologist and that’ll help to clear that. It’ll help to alleviate it. But, you can’t change your skin’s DNA. You can suppress it and give yourself some relief by taking care of it externally. Also, acne is hereditary for most people. Or hormonal. That’s not something that you can change. Your body has to grow out of it.

Whenever women have questions for me about curing the acne, I always tell them to have their dermatologist send them to a facialist and prescribe whatever necessary. They’re the professionals and they can really help guide you to the best products.

Also, there’s something to be said about sleep. They say “beauty sleep,” because your skin is replenishing itself. Think about your skin. It’s the largest organ that you have. It’s living and it’s breathing and it’s protecting everything else in your body, so it’s working incredibly hard, you know?

What you have to do is really take care of it. Feed it. Nourish it. You notice the skin on your body looks beautiful because you put lotion on it every day and you wash it every day and you scrub it with a towel every day so it always looks great, but your face is a little bit different. You have to nourish it the way you do so for your body.

This is why I’m so into skincare. I’m excited to create products for brown women and help us maintain healthy complexions. It’s funny because I didn’t really know what I was doing [when I began CLEANSE], but I had a good idea and initiative. And here I am.