LOADING ...

Indelible Beauty: Makeup Maven Cashmere Nicole Talks Success, Survival and Building a Brand Built to Last

Maiysha Kai Dec 29, 2017. 2 comments

Beauty Bakerie founder and CEO Cashmere Nicole knows about staying power. She’s built a successful and evolving brand that started on the strength of one product: her best-selling “Lip Whip.” Famed for smudge-free saturation in no fewer than 45 shades (and counting), the day-to-night finish is vegan, nontoxic and 100 percent cruelty-free ... and so tough to budge that it requires its own remover.

According to Cashmere Nicole, it was a formula built out of necessity:

I think Beauty Bakerie introduced a lifestyle change; a complete makeover or face-lift to how the makeup-application process works, and how we should approach that overall. Putting on makeup is exhausting—I think we just need to be real. ...

And then, you want to pile on the layer of being a parent, or the layers of the 9-to-5, or all of the other different obligations that we have as individuals ... And I think that was a big component to me: How do I make this easier for myself? How can I make it through my day without having to be completely flatlined by the makeup-application process?

It was an instinct that paid off. In six short years, the CEO has guided the brand from a solo venture to a staff of 30, and from lips to full-face glamour. Her Flour setting powders offer the same all-day dependability as her lip colors, and a line of concealers are on deck for 2018. Meanwhile, her eye shadow palettes fly off the shelves of both her online and San Diego Beauty Bakerie boutiques—especially her “Coffee & Cocoa” palette, created for her teenage daughter and emblazoned with her personal and professional motto: “Better, not bitter.”

Though successful, the past six years have been bittersweet for Cashmere Nicole. Soon after launching Beauty Bakerie in 2011 at the age of 27, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, a recurring prognosis that would eventually require a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Now 33, she remains optimistic and forward-thinking:

You know, I often tell people that I’m living in my afterlife, after just going through maybe 10 years of feeling as though a lot of things weren’t working out the way that I would want them to; just setback after setback. So, I think in that process you become a bit conditioned to say, “I’ve got to expect the worst but hope for the best.” And in hindsight, I don’t particularly like that way of thinking. It worked for me at that time, but after going through a life-changing experience with cancer and looking back now, I would say that it’s just better to focus on the things that are working for you—the things that you know you can do for sure—and do away with things that you can’t change.

And she’s definitely changing the makeup game. In her own evolution from a teenage mother putting herself through nursing school to socking away every spare dollar to start Beauty Bakerie, and recently garnering a $3 million seed investment from Unilever Ventures, Cashmere Nicole is redefining what a beauty mogul looks like. And while she’s a self-confessed “serial entrepreneur from the age of 12,” she admits that she’s learning as she grows her business:

I think I am pretty tough, just based on feedback from some of the people around me, but sometimes I even question that. So, I think you have to have a delicate balance of knowing when to be sugar and when to be shit, a little. And I think I’m still learning how to balance both of them; and [that’s] the tough part about being a CEO.

With pending expansion into retailers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Beauty Bakerie’s growing international presence on home-shopping giant QVC, and a daughter heading off to college soon, it looks like Nicole’s balancing act is going to get quite a workout. But she’s more than up to the challenge:

You know, walking out of a doctor’s office and being told you have cancer; you can cry, but what do you do? Go dig a grave for yourself and lay in it? I mean, you have to keep going; and that applies to everything. ...

My best advice for staying power is that when the whole world and all of your friends might tell you that the easiest thing is to turn around and go back, you should do the exact opposite. You should keep going forward, because in that walk and in that journey of staying, you do become powerful, and you become stronger. And you will fall, and you will hurt yourself, and you will cry. But as long as you get back up and keep going, that is where you’ll be made.

2 Comments

Other Maiysha Kai's posts

‘You’ve Inspired Me to Be Fearless’: Zendaya Honors ‘Image Architect’ Law Roach With InStyle’s Stylist of the Year Award ‘You’ve Inspired Me to Be Fearless’: Zendaya Honors ‘Image Architect’ Law Roach With InStyle’s Stylist of the Year Award

“You are an absolute visionary,” Zendaya told close friend and longtime collaborator Law Roach on Monday night, as she presented his Stylist of the Year honors at the 2019 InStyle Awards. “You have taught me so much about myself, to not give an F about what people think, to be proud of who I am and when I look...

Is Louis Vuitton the Next Brand to Boycott? LVMH's Photo-Op With Trump Has the Fashion Industry Seeing Red Is Louis Vuitton the Next Brand to Boycott? LVMH's Photo-Op With Trump Has the Fashion Industry Seeing Red

The luxury fashion conglomerate that recently blessed the world with Rihanna’s Fenty Maison has become associated with a far less appealing personality. Many in the fashion industry are outraged at the seemingly unholy alliance between LVMH and Donald Trump, who, amid any number of crises in the world and within his administration, was on hand last week to help...

Are You Climbing a 'Broken Rung'? New Research Reveals the Glass Ceiling Isn't Women's 1st Barrier to Advancement Are You Climbing a 'Broken Rung'? New Research Reveals the Glass Ceiling Isn't Women's 1st Barrier to Advancement

Can you break a glass ceiling if you’re climbing a “broken rung”? LeanIn’s fifth annual Women in the Workplace report (WIW)—the largest study of the state of women in corporate America—finds that it’s not the proverbial glass ceiling, but the first step on the ladder that presents the biggest obstacle to our advancement. Specifically, we’re not getting the leverage...

Birchbox Gets Unbothered: A Popular Subscription Box Gets a 'For Us, By Us' Curation Birchbox Gets Unbothered: A Popular Subscription Box Gets a 'For Us, By Us' Curation

It’s not news that black women are the beauty and hair care market’s biggest spenders; as Nielsen research famously revealed in 2017, black women spend approximately nine times more on beauty and hair care than our white counterparts. And yet, until recently, we have been persistently ignored and marginalized by the same market we help keep afloat, with the...

Suggested posts

Are You Climbing a 'Broken Rung'? New Research Reveals the Glass Ceiling Isn't Women's 1st Barrier to Advancement Are You Climbing a 'Broken Rung'? New Research Reveals the Glass Ceiling Isn't Women's 1st Barrier to Advancement

Can you break a glass ceiling if you’re climbing a “broken rung”? LeanIn’s fifth annual Women in the Workplace report (WIW)—the largest study of the state of women in corporate America—finds that it’s not the proverbial glass ceiling, but the first step on the ladder that presents the biggest obstacle to our advancement. Specifically, we’re not getting the leverage...

A New Star Wars Trailer Dropped—Let's Talk About Victoria Mahoney and Her Historic Directing Role in the Film, Though A New Star Wars Trailer Dropped—Let's Talk About Victoria Mahoney and Her Historic Directing Role in the Film, Though

Cue the epic saga text scrolling, we have a new Star Wars trailer! That’s right, Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker has dropped its much-anticipated final trailer. Default fanboy giddiness aside, the trailer looks damn good. Plus, there’s the added bonus of a woman and people of color heading the charge—I spot Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar...

100 Percent That Thief? Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’ Slapped With Second Plagiarism Claim 100 Percent That Thief? Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’ Slapped With Second Plagiarism Claim

If the latest round of accusations is true, Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” is more than merely a chart-topping smash—it’s the byproduct of some carefully calculated theft. Pitchfork reports that producer Justin Raisen took to Instagram to air out his grievances with the Cuz I Love You singer and was kind enough to include receipts.“On April 11th, 2017, we wrote a...

Gabrielle Union Is Bringing Black Girl Magic to NBC Gabrielle Union Is Bringing Black Girl Magic to NBC

In a world full of turmoil, we can never have enough Black Girl Magic—and it appears Gabrielle Union will be bringing some over to NBC. Variety reports that the Being Mary Jane alum will serve as an executive producer on Black Girl Magic, a new comedy series that tells the story of three estranged sisters who learn a mysterious...

Never Forget: During Fashion’s Biggest Week, Pose’s Indya Moore and Angelica Ross Urge Us to Remember Trans Lives Never Forget: During Fashion’s Biggest Week, Pose’s Indya Moore and Angelica Ross Urge Us to Remember Trans Lives

Seventeen women accompanied Indya Moore to the stage of the Daily Front Row Fashion Media Awards last Thursday night. As reported by the Cut, the activist, model and co-star of FX’s Pose (who prefers they/them pronouns) was being honored with the evening’s Cover of the Year award for Elle magazine’s June 2019 cover —the first transgender cover star in...

Garcelle Beauvais Set to Make History as 1st Black Woman on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Garcelle Beauvais Set to Make History as 1st Black Woman on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Looks like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is getting Fancy—for real.With all the #BlackGirlMagic on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, many folks may not realize that such magic exists throughout the U.S. of A.—and would be perfectly suited for any number of the Housewives franchises.But now it seems that somebody has recognized real, with news that actress and...

Bish, I Be Running: A Training Diary of a Non-Running Runner Bish, I Be Running: A Training Diary of a Non-Running Runner

So, I’m running the New York City marathon. I’m not a runner—never have been, and don’t particularly desire to be—but I can run.Yeah, I know. A marathon is A LOT, especially for a non-running-ass-runner like myself. I like to lead a somewhat active lifestyle, which might include a weekly run as a part of a moderate workout routine, but...

22 Days of Eating Like Beyoncé, Day 9: Where's the Beef? (It's Probably With My Coin) 22 Days of Eating Like Beyoncé, Day 9: Where's the Beef? (It's Probably With My Coin)

I’m sure you’re wondering why, nine days into a 22-day series of blogs about attempting veganism (as Beyoncé and her trainer Marco Borges—among many others—have urged us to do), you’re looking at a perfectly seared, medium-rare steak. Did I break from the plan last night in a fit of bloodlust and stuff my face with the flesh of some...

Y'all Gon' Make Me Lose My Mind: The #DMXChallenge Is Trending...and It's Not What You Think Y'all Gon' Make Me Lose My Mind: The #DMXChallenge Is Trending...and It's Not What You Think

“There was Brenda, LaTisha, Linda, Felicia, Dawn, LeShaun, Ines and Alicia, Teresa, Monica, Sharron, Nicki, Lisa, Veronica, Karen, Vicky (damn), Cookie, well I met her in a ice cream parlor, Tonya, Diane, Lori and Carla, Marina, Selena, Katrina, Sabrina, about three Kims (WHAT?) LaToya and Tina, Shelley, Bridget, Cathy, Rasheeda, Kelly, Nicole, Angel, Juanita, Stacy, Tracie, Ronna and Ronda,...

From Jackie Aina to the CROWN Coalition, Black Women Lead Glamour’s List of Women Changing the Beauty Industry From Jackie Aina to the CROWN Coalition, Black Women Lead Glamour’s List of Women Changing the Beauty Industry

It’s our turn. That’s the message Glamour magazine is giving black women, with the release of its “Women of the Year All Year” list honoring the biggest influencers in beauty. Of the 12 women the magazine profiled for 2019, eight are black, indicating that our influence is finally moving beyond being fodder for appropriation to garnering its own long-overdue...

Language