Isabel Madison’s all-nude beauty brand is about making you feel beautiful.
Women Leaders, 2020
“Why nude? Nude showcases a woman’s skin tone without overpowering her other defining features. It allows her to glow, not her lipstick. It’s subtle. It’s confident. It’s Nude Envie.”
The daughter of a biochemist and a cosmetics visionary, Isabel Madison realized her own talent to sense different colors and shades while she was helping her father in his lab. He asked her to bring a particular shade of lipstick from the shelf, and without even turning the lights on in the room, Isabel was able to get the exact shade of pink among the hundreds of other shades which truly shocked her father. This was the first time Isabel saw potential in herself to do something out of ordinary but she couldn’t fully realize her dream just yet. As a little girl in awe of her father at work, she was fascinated by the cosmetics, the colors, and the glamour. She didn’t understand until later that she had a connection to make-up from a more psychological perspective.
Moving on in life, Isabel became a mother of three beautiful children and she immersed herself in taking care of her children and focusing on their growth and development. Once her kids became of age where they could finally take most of their responsibilities on their own, Isabel started digging back into her hobbies and would often make lipsticks for her own use until her attraction to cosmetics finally became a calling. She shares, “I was never able to find the perfect nude to match my skin tone, so I created it myself. I am my father's daughter and I wanted to set an example to my daughter that make-up could be you, 'nude', natural-looking, beautiful and confident - with an enviable glow.” Her friends were mesmerized by the kind of unique yet subtle shades she would often wear and asked her to start selling them. However, Isabel was not yet ready to go that far so, she thought to herself that the least she can do at this point is to share this talent with her friends and loved ones. Soon, like a wildfire, the talk of Isabel’s fantastic creations made its way to every gathering which eventually led and motivated her to launch her brand and set up a full-on enterprise.
Uncover your authentic self As someone who believes being beautiful is feeling beautiful, Isabel had a very different ideology when it came to makeup and cosmetics. According to her, the most important factors that determine beauty are confidence, sophistication, and subtleness. These are the same principles that guided her to establish Nude Envie, a sophisticated line of luxury makeup that enhances features other makeups often undermine. Isabel asserts, “Born from my belief that feeling beautiful IS being beautiful I started Nude Envie 5 years ago with a refined, stylish, complimentary range for lips designed to enhance features and highlight natural beauty. It is looking at a woman people are drawn to for her energy exuberance, charm, and being her most comfortable and authentic self - wondering how to have what she is having.”
Another factor that gave direction to Isabel’s dream was her shopping experience with her sister who found herself overwhelmed with a huge variety of vibrant colors of lipsticks in every store’s cosmetic department. “Why did lipstick need to be so overly wild and bold?” asks Isabel. “It didn’t! Nude Envie is geared toward empowering women and accentuating their natural beauty. Life is too short to try and be something you’re not. Be CRAZY about your look.”
She continued, “Putting my best face forward was always important to me. I did not feel complete without my make-up but wanted to look natural and subtle like I was presenting the best version of myself, not creating a character. Finding that balance between going without any make-up and a natural signature style was highly transformative.”
Founded in 2016, Nude Envie is located in Beverly Hills. It is specifically built to blaze through the overcrowded market, highly focused on outrageous trends, seasonal looks, and more over the top artifice. Instead, it offers something unique to every woman without compromising their natural traits and making them shine irrespectively. Isabel asserts, “We want to make it as easy as possible to shop for makeup that enhances a women’s natural beauty rather than covering it up. We are most passionate about decreasing the stress one might feel when shopping for cosmetics and in turn make it a positive and enriching experience. Because Nude Envie is an inclusive makeup brand, every woman can easily find products that complement and enhance their individual features and skin tones.”
Building a Legacy One of the most defining moments in Nude Envie’s history was when Barney’s started forwarding their line. Not long after that Saks 5th Avenue and Neiman Marcus followed and started carrying their products. When asked what inspires her to keep going for more as an entrepreneur, Isabel shares, “I truly believe that there is strong, credible psychology behind make-up and even perhaps a type of physical-anthropology in terms of expectations of women and social development. Because I grew up in the cosmetic industry, going to the lab, helping my father with shades, formulas, and applications, it became part of my DNA. Whenever I see a woman, I instinctively envision the perfect colors to compliment her. I watched my father work endlessly and tireless nights to create a company from the ground up and develop it into one of the most popular brands in the 80s. He always made sure that everything was perfect and was always the last person to leave which greatly inspired my work ethic.”
Clearly, for her, it has always been important to present the best version of herself without compromising her true identity. With a palette as her toolkit, Isabel found a way to prove that a finishing touch, framing the face, and highlight the features with elegance, not artifice is the best self-care investment. However, running a company is a whole new game and it requires a whole new level of commitment and dedication. And being her father’s daughter, Isabel was never short of that. She shares, “...
“There isn’t a day that goes by where we aren’t reaching out to customers, making sure they are elated with the products, and asking them how we can improve. It’s important to me that my clients are more than satisfied with our services and developing personal relationships has helped us grow on so many levels. Another important factor that encourages me is my family, especially my daughter. Whenever I face a challenge inside or out of the company I work as hard as I can to overcome the challenge and be the role model my daughter deserves.”
Enabling success with self-care As an individual, Isabel says that it is important to check in with yourself and take good care to live a fulfilling and mindful life. Every night before she goes to bed, she spends some time on self-care to ensure she will be at her best on the following day. She shares, “I end the day with a ten-minute meditation to clear and reflect on anything that has happened that day. After my meditation, I always ask myself what I’m grateful for from that day and what I’m going to be grateful for going into the next day. Finally, I’ll set my goals and intentions for the following day.”
Many would argue why this little routine is so important especially when your prior focus should be taking your young business to its full potential. Fair enough, but does hard work alone guarantees one’s success as an entrepreneur? In the age where smart work is preferred, it is important to have your mind in equilibrium rather than a panic mode as without being at peace with yourself one may win a short race but to go for a longer run and a bigger win, they need to have a balance. Much of Isabel’s inspiration also comes from Diane von Furstenberg, a Belgian fashion designer who is known for her authenticity, grace, and strength. Isabel shares, “...
“I would love to have dinner with DVF. She’s elegant, smart, strong, and driven. She helps uplift and empower women on a daily basis, and does it so beautifully making her the prime example of how a woman can be in her worth and strength while also being graceful.”
Forging ahead with unbeatable poise As Covid-19 tightened its grip on the world, many businesses faced a sudden shrinkage of revenue forcing many to even shut down forever. However, Isabel was not someone to be easily intimidated and instead focused on making her clients feel safer and more confident about their purchases. She exclaims, “Because of Covid-19 we aren’t seeing as many clients go into department stores and shop for cosmetics like they usually would which restricts them from sampling our products before they buy, so in order to ensure our clients are happy and feel comfortable with their purchases we have allowed our clients to exchange their products if necessary.”
Apart from this, when the lockdown was imposed and some of the department stores were also closed down, Isabel’s belief and focus was steady. Within no time, Nude Envie opened up for virtual appointments with their clients to help them curate looks to be comfortable with the product they are buying and have a personal shopper kind of experience while sitting in their living rooms.
A majorly contributing factor to Isabel's strong personality apart from her resilience and perseverance is her perception- the way she sees other women as strong, caring, and independent individuals.
She asserts, “I don’t see women as weak or as people that need to be saved and I think a lot of that narrative comes from societal and familial programming. I think as women we just need to own our power and believe in ourselves and cancel the outside noise. If you know your purpose and know what you want in life, fight like hell for it and don’t let anyone tell you can’t achieve it.”
As someone who dreams and dares without any complexes or fears, Isabel has a clear set of aspirations moving forward. She simply says, “My current goals include expanding to all global markets in the hope to bring this inclusive brand to women all around the world. It’s important for women of all ethnicities to feel seen and represented.”