Meet the Founder of Beaute Nouveau, Lacey Haegen
Hello! I grew up in "Cosmetics" and I have been a Makeup Artist and Skin Care Specialist for 25 years. At 16, I began my career at a bath & body shop called Garden Botanika, and then moved on to Origins, Clinique, Estee Lauder, and Chanel for Nordstrom. After Graduate school, I went into management and worked with all of the lines as a Department Manager for Nordstrom, and then Neiman Marcus.
The beauty of this background (no pun intended) is that I have been highly trained and learned so much about ingredients, products, sales, marketing, and how the industry works at interpersonal, counter, store, and industry levels. And, I will be honest, for many years, I drank ALL the punch. I LOVED working for these stores and all of the brands. I was a model employee and I practiced EVERYTHING they preached.
But, in 2009, everything changed. My Husband Josh, who had always suffered (and just coped) with Psoriasis was beginning to experience other health issues and was diagnosed with....
....all kinds of other issues. One day when we were going through a list of symptoms at one of his Doctor's offices, I realized that I could check "yes" to almost every box myself. I was always tired, my skin was really dry no matter what I put on it, I had eruptive...I mean eruptive cystic acne around my chin that never stopped. They felt like bee stings under my skin. And, I couldn't leave the house without a bottle of Exederine Migraine pills.
Josh was on a super restricted diet and I had become obsessive about ingredients in food. It was only a matter of time before that obsession crossed over into cosmetics. While all of this was happening, I was a Manager at Neiman Marcus and had access to pretty much any fancy cream my heart desired - every Account Executive was giving me their latest "cream for sensitive skin" to try on Josh.
I would go home and make Josh slather that fancy cream all over his wounds hoping they would help. I finally realized I should look at the ingredients instead of relying on the sales buzz words I knew about the cream....and I was really struck by how many ingredients were like a foreign language. When I googled what they meant, google kept pulling up images of chemical formulas. I thought, "if I won't eat this - I don't know if I should be putting them on Josh's skin!"
And as I feel deep, deep, deep into the rabbit hole, I realized that I had been slathering myself in the same products for years. Not only while putting them on myself, but testing them on my hand and applying them to 1000's of customers at the counter. And, I had been standing inside a department store with no windows and closed doors - breathing in the fumes from the products, fragrances, clothes, and carpets since I could drive to the mall.
I fell hard OUT of love with the industry. Whenever I attended trainings for cosmetic lines, they always had a fabulous schpeil about the "botaaaanical ingredients" that made the product so powerful - but they never talked about the petroleum, or phenyloxyethanol, etc it was sitting in. They wove these magical stories about indigenous princesses using a flower oil for centuries to cure (fill in the blank) and when you paid $485 for a jar - you truly believed it was magic in there! And, when I sold it to my adoring customers - I believed it to!
Until I learned differently. I thought - if the "botanical ingredient" is the star of the show...WHY isn't it the main ingredient? So, I got into the kitchen one football Sunday and started making my own product. Originally, I only wanted to make one product just for Josh to use on psoriasis - something totally natural that would heal, protect, and also gently exfoliate (today it is called the Sugar Balm).
During my experiment, I ended up making so much product I had to give portions of it away in ziploc bags (so fancy!) to friends and co-workers. To my surprise, people asked to BUY more. Then, they wanted other products. That is how everything began.
With one product, a completely naive understanding of what it would take to get where I am now (and where I hope to get to), and a very supportive Husband, I quit my job and started Beaute Nouveau. I truly had NO idea what I was doing. But I just kept experimenting and feeling my way through the dark.
And, along the way, the cystic acne stopped. The migraines stopped. I was not longer exhausted, even though I was working so hard. I realized that the chemicals in the products and the store environments had made me very sick. The hormones in my skin (not just in my whole body) were all out of whack. My pores had been so congested with, what I now know is quite literally - plastic. After getting off ALL mainstream skin care and makeup products - none of the old problems existed anymore.
I am true believer and advocate in the power of botanical ingredients to heal, and the power of chemical ingredients to harm. I know that skin care products can be created without the harmful chemicals. I know, because I make them and they work.