photography by EMILY ASHCROFT. feature photo by DANNY LANE.
Sometimes you see something and you just think—this is the next big thing. That's what happened to me when I came across CLE Cosmetics on Instagram. It has that "Glossier" appeal—yet it's not a copy-cat. It has it's own kind of aura—from packaging design to product design to language. There's something a little mysterious about it, there's something that makes you want to try it out—it's the white and gold foil packaging, the innovative formulas, the beautiful ingredients and it's definitely the price-range. It's accessible. It's new. It's the next thing you'll want to fit into your beauty regimen.
What is a lass?
A lass is slang for girl. Essentially it represents the modern woman we idealize at CLE. The
concept behind CLE is of what I consider a modern woman; an ethereal being who embraces
the purity of the body and believes that the essence of beauty lies in the celebration of our
skin, our curves, our angles, and our unique flaws.
Did you create CLE because you believed something was missing in the beauty industry?
I created CLE because I felt there was a gap in the beauty industry for something innovative,
yet simple. Products that have multifunctional aspects that help give the face a natural finish.
I found that most mainstream make up was all about altering the face, whereas, I feel there is
no need. All women are beautiful and highlighting those unique aspects are what defines
What was the first product you created and how did you perfect it?
The first product was the Melting Lip Powder. The Melting Lip Powder was about balancing
the technology and the colors. We started off with key shades that could be used as a lip
product, but also for the cheek and eyes as well. Also, the balance between matte and
moisturizing was a bit of a challenge. Nothing is perfect and we are constantly taking in
feedback, good and bad to better our products.
We’ve never seen anything like the “Melting Lip Powder” How’d you come up with this
idea? Do you have an idea of how long wearing it is?
When we first started, our factory showed me a sample and I knew this was something worth
developing. We worked closely to fine tune the balance of the ingredients and also different
shades. Each shade has to be reworked due to the delicate nature of the technology. The wear
varies between every user, personally, I apply once in the morning and again after lunch. So,
on average a good 4-5 hours.
What’s your favorite fall lip powder color?
Currently, it is ‘Desert Rose’. It’s great as a lip color, but also a tiny dab of it on the cheeks
and it gives you this great natural flush. You know, that post-hussle flush look.
Do you suggest applying products with your fingers or do you like tools/applicators?
Personally, I use my fingers. Especially because I’m always quickly applying make-up while
I’m rushing back and forth from my mirror or on my way to work/meetings. Our CCC
Cream oxygenates faster from the heat of my fingers and I massage it into my face and our
Melting Lip Powder blends smoothly on the eye lids and cheeks, even when I’m walking.
Your new highlighter “Moonlighter” lists camomile as an ingredient. What was the reason for
Camomile is a calming agent. We integrated both chamomile and pearl powder into the
Essence Moonlighter Cushions to give it a function beyond giving the user a fantastic glow. I
always apply a bit of the Moonlighter onto red irritated patches on my skin, rather than
covering it up with concealer. We are always thinking of different ways to incorporate
different aspects into each product. Even if you are wearing makeup, it’s still benefiting the
skin to a certain degree.
One word to describe each Moonlighter color:
Glinting Buff: Summery
Copper Rose: Emphatic
Apricot Tinge: Dulcet
Which highlighter do you recommend for everyday use?
I think it really depends on what kind of everyday look you go for. Personally, I am using
‘Glinting Buff’ around my face because it gives me a nice healthy glow, while still giving this
Can you tell us about your daily skincare and makeup routine?
I start off using the Oxygen Foam Cleanser, nearly half asleep. It’s great because I don’t need
any water. After I let it bubble and foam up for 30 seconds, I splash cold water, pat dry. Then
I use our latest product the Lifting Mist and pat the product in. My go to facial oil is the Buly
1803 Mongongo Oil, a few drops of it onto my fingertips and I massage that in. In between, I
figure out what to wear, once the oil has seeped into my skin a bit. I apply our CCC Cream,
it’s great because there’s SPF in it, so I don’t need to apply sunblock. Then put my clothes on,
because I’m waiting for the CCC Cream to oxygenate. Then I use ‘Milk Choco’ as an eye
shadow base and blush base. Then use ‘Hot Choco’ on the corner of my eyes to give it some
depth. Depending on if I have time, I put on some eyeliner on my lash line. Then I use either
‘Blushing Peach’ or ‘Desert Rose’ on my cheeks. Then I apply the sample color I use on my
cheeks on my lips. Or if I’m feeling more festive, I put ‘Red Cherry’ on.
If there a cleanser you’d suggest for someone that is prone to acne?
Hmm...this is a hard question, “acne prone” skin is usually caused by different variants,
resulting in the acne. Personally, from all the traveling and stress, I break out all the time. I
used to think abrasive cleansers and masks were the answer, but now I just double cleanse. I
use our Melting Cleanser to clean off all my makeup and gunk I’ve accumulated from being
outside and then use the Oxygen Foam Cleanser on the face. Then use it again on the
troubled areas. I think the key is to not use a cleanser that is going to strip your skin’s surface
Someone that has sensitive skin?
Hand down, our Oxygen Foam Cleanser. It’s a self-foaming cleanser that doesn’t strip the
skin, but still deeply cleans the skin. Also, it’s a great alternative for people with sensitive skin
that still wants that foaming action—it leaves the skin soft and supple.
If there’s one reason we should love and buy CLE what would it be?
Definitely for someone who wants their skin to breathe. CLE is a brand that embraces that
idea—that every woman is beautiful because she is uniquely herself. We simply provide tools
to finesse your beauty in the way you desire.
What’s next? Can we get a hint at a new product that might be coming out?
More focus on skincare. Get ready for fun skincare products that still echoes our brand ethos.