When you combine technology, high-performing ingredients and proprietary complexes, you get the Nannette de Gaspé antiaging skincare line. The brand’s distinctive, dry-to-the-touch face masks called Techstile Masques aren’t like typical serum-soaked sheet masks; they restore skin using a high concentration of encapsulated active ingredients through a waterless delivery system. The restorative Roller Noir face roller uses micro-needles that allow topical products to penetrate deeper into the skin–and it has benefits when used on its own, too. All of the Nannette de Gaspé products are fortified with natural ingredients rich in vitamins and minerals like Brazilian clay, kakadu plum, marine collagen and sustainably sourced shea butter, to name a few. Here, de Gaspé Beaubien shares what inspired her to create her own beauty line and her greatest takeaway after years of trial and error.
Beauty Store Business: Tell us about your professional background and how you first entered the beauty industry.
Nannette de Gaspé Beaubien: My background is in finance. Before entering the beauty industry I spent several years working in private equity. A few years ago, I was presented with a revolutionary technology in the delivery of active ingredients and a process to dry print the formulations onto textiles. I saw an incredible opportunity to launch my own brand of face and body restorative textile treatments incorporating this ground- breaking, wearable skincare technology.
When was Nannette de Gaspé founded and what inspired you to start your own company?
I launched Nannette de Gaspé in May 2016 at [London- based department store] Selfridges with my Youth Revealed Restorative Techstile Masques–an innovative, dry textile treatment that created a new category within skin care. My vision was, and is, to empower people with revolutionary cosmetic solutions that are easy to use, not intrusive and truly beneficial to the skin.
What is your hero product and what makes it unique?
My hero product is our new Art of Noir Baume Noir Face. It is a face cream that incorporates our micro-vector technology, which transports active ingredients to multiple layers of the epidermis, thus creating a reservoir under the skin that feeds and nourishes it from the inside out. Our Art of Noir Baume Noir Face mask also has over 80 percent active ingredients, 21 actives and is upwards of 95 percent natural. On average, even the highest-performing creams on the market have 5 to 7 percent active ingredients and are made up of 85 to 90 percent water and glycerin. I believe Baume Noir is a game changer and our clinical results support this.
How long did it take to develop your first product and what was the formulation process like?
It took one and a half years to develop our first formulation. Part of our brand DNA of Nannette de Gaspé is to involve everyone in our company in the process. We have a small, knowledgeable team with significant beauty experience and every team member is encouraged to bring forward their perspective. Fostering innovation, teamwork and continued learning from one another are all huge parts of our company culture and values.
Tell us about the effectiveness and special ingredients used in your antiaging skin care.
Our Art of Noir skincare collection contains Concentré Noir, a proprietary infusion of powerful black ingredients that provide continuous hydration, improved radiance and potent, redensifying and age-defying benefits for a renewed and revitalized appearance. Some of the ingredients in Concentré Noir include: Black Tahitian pearl, which contains naturally occurring crystals, proteins and amino acids that offer brightening, firming and antioxidant benefits; black tea ferment, also known as kombucha, the product of fermenting sweet black tea (rich in organic acids and B-group vitamins); black orchid extracts, which contain naturally produced flavonoids and phytochemicals that act as powerful antioxidants to protect, nourish and prevent premature skin aging; black raspberry seed oil, a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants; black currant seed oil, rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamin C and vitamin A, which offer heightened antioxidant support and are known to delay premature aging; and black cumin seed, most well-known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Concentré Noir acts as a shield, protecting the skin against harmful environmental threats while detoxifying the skin of impurities.
How do the micro-needles on your Roller Noir work to help reveal smoother skin?
Our Roller Noir micro-needling device features a small wheel of tiny needles that you roll over the face, creating tiny punctures which, in turn, trigger the skin’s reparative and rejuvenating functions. Roller Noir is immediately effective for the absorption of skincare products, helping them penetrate the skin. Long- term benefits from continued use include improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, reduced hyperpigmentation, brown spots and pore size, improved skin texture and reduced acne and other scarring.
Where do you see the company in 10 years?
I see Nannette de Gaspé continuing to be on the cutting edge of innovation, bringing new, high-performing skin care to the market. Even though we intend to grow in size, we will always retain that “indie beauty” vibe of being agile, being flexible and remaining open to change. We’re consumer-focused and will always quickly respond to meet the needs of our ever- evolving customers.
Tell us about any new products coming soon.
We just launched our Essence Noir Treating & Cleansing Facial Cloths. They are rinse- free cleansing cloths that gently remove impurities and traces of makeup, while providing superior treatment benefits. In late November, we introduced an exciting, innovative, limited-edition bath soak treatment for the holiday season, which incorporates Cannabis sativa. In the new year we will launch our Baume Noir Eyes, a global antiaging eye cream to help with the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles.
What have been some of the highlights and low points of your career? What did you learn?
Highlights include standing on the floor of Selfridges selling Nannette de Gaspé for the first two weeks of its launch, engaging with customers and learning from them. It was also an incredible honor to have won WWD Beauty Inc’s Product of the Year in Skin Care and the Cosmetic Design Award for “Best Indie Beauty Brand” globally and “Beauty Industry Woman of the Year”–all in 2017. Having said that, the most rewarding thing for me has been building a small team of young and passionate individuals who love what they do and truly believe in the brand.
The worst times in my career have been when I have allowed my fears and insecurities to hold me back–listening to others instead of myself, thinking that others always knew better than I did. I have learned that I must trust my instincts, not let my ego impact my decisions and be open to feedback. There is no such thing as failure and I’ve learned to view every experience as a learning [opportunity].
What advice can you offer entrepreneurs in the beauty industry?
This is an exciting industry to be a part of, as it focuses on helping people feel good and allowing them to express themselves. We all need to embrace and promote what this industry has to offer. It is important to be positive and persevere. Tap into your creative side and keep things simple; surround yourself with people that uplift you. And, most importantly, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Leading by example is a key to success.