Why We Started This Brand

Why We Started This Brand

By Co-Founder Jenn Kapahi

I have loved makeup for as long as I can remember. In fact, the first present I remember really getting excited over was a caboodle case that held all the drugstore makeup I would collect any chance I got. This was especially funny to my brothers (I am the oldest of three) because we grew up on an organic farm in a small town and in theory, I never really needed to wear makeup. But my mom appreciated my love right away and one of my fondest memories is when she took me to the Clinique makeup counter. It was my first experience at a real makeup counter and I loved playing around and testing everything out.


My love for the makeup business only grew as I got older. After college I started working at Bloomingdales in their Executive Training Program and then I went over to Intercos to learn about product development. Intercos is actually where I met my co-founder Jack! After Intercos I took on marketing and product development roles at Revlon—it was so interesting to see not only how a product was thought up and conceived but also how it was marketed to our customer.


Even though I fell more and more in love with makeup as I worked in beauty, I noticed I still struggled with the same problems: I often found myself getting overwhelmed by my makeup bag, by how much makeup was in there, and how messy my routine was. I was super busy and simply needed something that worked, which inspired me to want to create a solution that combined my love for the business with my need to simplify.


Needless to say, I was really happy to find out that Jack had the same idea. Jack has an amazing background in product development and loves to create super high performance innovative products. We bumped into each other at a Christmas party right after I had left Revlon (I took the plunge and left my job so I could really focus on building this company) and I remember him telling me he wanted to find a way to keep makeup high performance but “simplify it all.”


So it was from that random Christmas party that tréStiQue was born. We brainstormed for months and agreed that the best way to simplify someone’s makeup was to have it be completely customized to them. But we didn’t want to just stop there. We wanted our products to be so easy to use that literally anyone could use them (from a novice user to professional makeup artist). We kept coming back to the idea of the swiss army knife: we wanted our customer to have everything they could possibly think of at their fingertips but in a compact and travel-friendly package. We wanted to do away with the heavy and cluttered makeup bag. And on top of all of that we wanted our products to be so easy to use that our customer could do their entire makeup routine in 5 minutes.


So we would meet in coffee shops everyday to brainstorm, draw and come up with a plan. We really thought about who we were making our makeup for. And we decided that it was a woman on a real life mission (career, family, traveler) that was looking for makeup that worked with their lifestyle. And it was there that we settled on our concept:


We were going to create the first ever custom designed line of makeup sticks that combined magnetic sealing caps (to keep products secure), with built-in application tools (no need to buy extra brushes) that twist on and off so you can clean them. We decided that our formulas and shades were going to be high performance, long lasting, have superior glide-on and color payoff, and all with a “clean” philosophy (all products are cruelty-free, synthetic fragrance free, paraben free and many are vegan and Gluten Free). And lastly, we wanted all of the makeup to fit in a small makeup bag (with a built-in mirror) so doing your makeup on-the-go would be super easy.


Once we dreamt up our “baby” (as we like to call it) we needed to figure out how to let our customers to shop for it. We knew we wanted to offer the makeup directly to you through our website, and that we were selling a full makeup routine, so we wanted to make sure our customer got a customized experience that was personalized to her. So we launched a simple “selfie shade match tool” that allows you to get personalized shade/product recommendations directly from a tréStiQue team member. And in addition to allowing returns and exchanges, we launched a Try Then Buy option so you could try out our full Essential 8 Routine before officially committing to it.


At the end of the day Jack and I want our makeup routines to be a solution for you. Whether you love makeup, are just getting into it, or are just looking for the basics, we have makeup (and a routine) that will work for you. We want to take the stress out of shopping and wearing makeup and are excited about all of the new things we are dreaming up for you.


Have you tried our makeup our routine? What do you think? I would love to know!

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