Chatting with Laney Crowell
Laney Crowell redefines beauty through her website, The Moment. It focuses on the cleaner side of makeup and skin care trends. From her early start interning at Elle magazine, to building a super successful clean beauty company, we sat with Laney to find out more about her intriguing journey.
Melissa: Tell me what it was like when you did your initial move from California to New York.
Laney: My journey started out as an assistant at Lionsgate reading scripts all day. I was the only one who didn’t want to read scripts, and finally an assistant across from me said ‘you’re always reading magazines, so why don’t you work for a magazine?”. Taking that seriously, I moved to New York, not knowing anybody. The only lead I had was at Gucci and started interning there. My connections with working at Gucci got me an internship at Elle and I worked there 5 days a week with no pay. After my long days at the internship I would work shifts at Barbuto in the west village with often times working doubles on the weekends so that I could pay for my life. One day I ran into the editor and chief at Lucky Magazine and I somehow had the guts to introduce myself. She gave me my first paying job at Lucky in the Fashion News department and told me that the reason they hired me was because I came up and said hi. I learned that what you need is to be fearless. Elle ended up calling me back a year later for a senior level position in accessories. I worked at Elle in accessories until they folded. It was perfect timing, because everything was moving online. I transitioned into beauty, working at Estée
Lauder in-house for 5 years. I started their social media and magazine, ran all their content creation and started their influencer program. I never actually used their products and I wanted to believe in the product I’m selling. Eventually, I left and started The Moment and have been working in non-toxic beauty ever since.
Melissa: How do you determine what you write about?
Laney: A lot of it is fans wondering how they can transition into clean beauty, which I find fascinating because I think that clean beauty, as opposed to a subset of beauty, is a new market that’s developing. When you think about how Whole Foods started, and it was a niche market, but people started learning about it and it transitioned from people no longer shopping at traditional groceries, only buying organic and being more food conscious. You’d think that people would want to go to both traditional and organic groceries, but they don’t, and I think that’s the same with clean beauty.
Melissa: Are there top things that you should look for in clean beauty products?
Laney: The big ones to look out for are; no sulfates, no parabens, no fragrance, no SLS’s (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate). However, it’s really nuanced, like organic food. Organic food from Mexico is not the same thing as organic food from California. You have to be super informed.
Melissa: What have you noticed about certain beauty trends?
Laney: Clean beauty is eventually just going to be as big as traditional beauty. I was surprised to see that Sephora started carrying a clean makeup brand that is essentially for a Kardashian consumer. In terms of trends I think that hydration is the biggest trend right now, understanding hyaluronic acids, serums and oils. For a long time people weren’t using oils, and now the product I recommend with people who have acne is an oil – True Botanicals Clear.
Melissa: Why clean beauty specifically?
Laney: When I was working at Estée Lauder, I started feeling physically unwell. I took it into my own hands to change my life and started meditating twice a day, started juicing and eating a plant-based diet. Naturally when you start learning about this stuff, the next thing that comes up in everyone’s trajectory is the environment, from what you’re putting on your skin to what you put in your hair. When I launched The Moment, all my followers wanted to know what clean beauty was.
Melissa: What is your favorite beauty product you’re using right now?
Laney: I am really liking Gucci Westman’s blush. It’s not all natural, but that’s okay. I think that’s the future of clean beauty – being smart about the synthetics that you use.
Melissa: If we were to raid your closet right now, what would we find most of?
Melissa: What’s your favorite food recipe right now?
Laney: Recently, I’ve been going through a food transition. I went from a plant-based diet to a diet with more protein in it. Something I love cooking is fried eggs. I will fry them with ghee, olive oil and mix it with spinach.
Melissa: What is your beauty regime?
Laney: As a beauty junky, I can be a little extremist. I can use up to 25 different products a day. My go-to product has been Vintner’s Daughter for years. I use a lot of serums. I will layer 5-6 hydration products. I use Supergoop’s mineral sunscreen and I think it’s fantastic.
Melissa: How do you unwind?
Laney: Working out is my time to take care of myself.
Melissa: What is one thing you never leave your house without?
Laney: My LanoLip Balm.
Melissa: Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs starting out in the beauty and wellness sector?
Laney: I don’t think it’s particular to beauty and wellness, but I would say don’t take no for an answer. Anything good that’s ever come has been by not just accepting what someone says.