On Friday, a group of fellow NYC bloggers and I got the chance to check out LAQA & Co.’s holiday collection at Birchbox SoHo. If you remember correctly, last year, I begged Birchbox to open a brick & mortar because their pop-up shop in Chelsea was so great.
Looks like my wish was granted (ha!).
Have You Heard of LAQA & Co.?
Founded in September 2011, LAQA & Co. started when a couple of thirty-somethings realized that much of the beauty industry was fueled by celebrity entrepreneurs and professional makeup artists. Though not a bad thing, co-founder Nicole Lee assured me, she and her business partner simply noticed that there was a need for artist-driven products.
An admiral incorporation of social responsibility, a percentage of the proceeds go to young artists. Existing art becomes part of the product packaging, and is then exposed all over the world. The artist for the products I was so generously given is Elena Kulikova.
When choosing artists for their packaging, Lee and her team need to make sure that it “pops and looks good on a box,” says Lee. Any packaging design aficionado can tell you that artwork isn’t necessarily always “translatable.”
As for what works for LAQA & Co.? “Really ‘graphic-y’ designs that are fun and playful,” Lee reveals. Each of the products has a different work of art, but the key is balancing the elements. In order to look good together, they have to balance each other out, not unlike a smokey eye and a nude lip.
For an upcoming collection, LAQA & Co. co-founder Nicole Lee divulged to me that she’s in talks with a Greenpoint artist who will create different looks for each product.
Checking Out Their Products
Makeup from LAQA & Co. is great for the girl on-the-go: a no fuss, no muss collection curated by customers. Using feedback on social media, the brand releases products in colors they’re sure their consumers will love.
The products are made with convenience in mind. The Fat Lip Pencil Fiver is no exception.
The product is easy to apply, highly pigmented, and leaves a glossy finish. In their usual set, the colors include Toots, Doppelganger, Jammy Bastard, Shambolic, and Palate Cleanser. They have the convenience of a pencil, but the pigmentation of a full bodied lipstick. Their Fat Lip Pencils also include shea butter – perfect for moisturizing in the cold winter months.
As an added bonus, I was able to nab Siren Song (in place of the shade “Palate Cleanser”), a rust/burnt red-orange with red undertones made exclusively for Birchbox.
“The 90’s trends are back,” says Birchbox’s Senior Manager of Brand Development Deepica Mutyala, and Siren Song is the perfect shade to not only be on trend, but also match the changing leaves.
Coming up this spring, as per my Twitter prediction, are LAQA & Co.’s Cheeky Lip Pencils. The dual-purpose product produces a matte finish, almost Benetint-like. I had a chance to test it out and I’m eagerly anticipating its debut in spring!
Their nail polish dries glossy. Check out those gorgeous colors:
LAQA & Co.’s Tuxedo Nail Pen is the perfect stocking stuffer. One side holds glossy black nail polish, whereas the other holds a matte black formulation.
Searching for that holiday party lip? Try that classic red lip that you won’t have to fuss with. LAQA & Co.’s Palate Cleanser is super pigmented, and it stays on while you mingle.
Above, my friend and makeup artist Meagan McGraw is wearing Palate Cleanser. Funnily enough, Meagan and I used to work at Sephora together. I was SO thrilled to see her. She’s an amazingly talented makeup artist, and a wonderful teacher.
Overall, I truly have high hopes for the growing makeup line. I look forward to seeing LAQA & Co. add more to their range over the years. Keep an eye on these guys.