Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Rodden.
Hi Ashley, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I started LOVER cosmetics in 2006, The line had several loose pieces meaning individual eyeshadows individual blushes individual powders, it also included lipsticks foundations, etc. After doing hundreds of makeovers women kept saying the same two things, I don’t know how to do my makeup and I don’t have time. So, I started making prototypes of magnetic pallets and developed a five-step five-minute plan for doing makeup. A few years ago, I took all of that hard work to heart and re-launch the line using magnetic pallets and refining the five-step regime. Each magnetic pallet has a 5-step guide that fits inside the pallet for easy reference and the pallets make it easy to travel with your makeup or go to and from work. They’re perfect for teenagers in high school and college. They’re perfect for young adults traveling to the gym and getting ready quickly on the go. And they’re great for retirees age 65+ who want to travel easily but look good on the road.
My main goal with lover cosmetics is simplifying women’s morning makeup routine and travel. I also love teaching women how to do their makeup. And most importantly our aesthetic is very natural clean beauty. We like to enhance your best self; not make you look like you just got your makeup done! Also, when we relaunch the line a few years ago we moved towards manufacturers who comply with the European Union standards in chemical makeup. So, most of our products are EU compliant. That means that the EU bands more than 1500 chemicals in their makeup in the US band less than 50. Customers are getting a complete, luxurious cosmetic line!
In June of this year, I opened The Makeup Lab by LOVER in East Brookside. It is a private makeup suite where customers can come in for an hour+; they can bring their makeup bag and learn how to use their existing products and add to those products with makeup from our line. I think women have responded so amazingly well to the studio setting because it is a comfortable place to learn how to apply makeup! We are taking women out of a busy shopping mall area or perhaps an intimidating makeup store setting and giving them a private, exclusive makeup experience like no other. They walk out looking beautiful, feeling beautiful, and knowing how to do their make-up with amazing, clean products.
Additionally, a little background about my training. I am a self-taught makeup artist but I also quit my job as a legal marketing manager and moved to Paris in 2009. There I attended the renowned Christian Chauveau makeup artistry school, it’s the same school that Gucci Westman attended along with several other incredible founders. The founder of Blackup, the founder of Makeup Forever, and many more attended the school. We are bringing a luxurious European makeup experience right here to the Midwest!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
This is been nothing but a smooth road. But all the bumps along the way have taught me how to refine the process and learn what women want, also what works in the market. I opened a studio in 2009 when I returned from makeup artistry school in Paris and quickly closed it when the recession hit. There was just no funding out there for freelance artistry work that was keeping my studio afloat. I also learned that I had a horrible location. Through the last 15 years of trial and error, I have been able to refine my process and learn what women want. I have learned that women still continue to want to learn how to apply their makeup in a natural way. And we are doing just that in a wonderful setting with wonderful products and the response has been incredible since opening the makeup lab in June.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I think the one thing that separates me from the crowd is my training in Paris. I also think I take a totally different approach to makeup than most makeup artists. I am of the less is more camp. I think you can look beautiful and enhance women’s natural features without caking on makeup.
I also think opening the small studio setting has been an incredible experience for women who want to learn how to put on makeup but are intimidated at Sephora, Ulta, or department stores.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Growing up I did love beauty. I was constantly doing my friends’ hair, my neighbors’ hair, and makeup. I wanted to go to aesthetician or cosmetology school but ended up getting degrees in French in journalism from KU. However, that beauty never left my brain and I started toying with a business plan and the idea of opening up a makeup store after I graduated from college. I ended up meeting some people who encouraged me to start my own makeup line which was the perfect place for me to start.
- Email: Makeuphelp@lover-cosmetics.com
- Website: Www.lover-cosmetics.com
- Instagram: @shoplovercosmetics
- Facebook: @lovercosmeticskc
- Twitter: @LOVERcosmetics