We sat down with Kristen Noel Crawley to chat about what inspired her to create KNC Beauty, the challenges of creating an all-natural product, and why she loves living in LA.
When the sheet mask rage took over the beauty world, KNC Beauty Founder Kristen Noel Crawley jumped into the skincare market at the perfect time by launching an all-natural lip mask. With a jewelry line, KDIA, already under her belt, it only seemed to make sense that she’d embark on another business adventure. Inspired by a trip to Tokyo a couple of years ago, she fell in love with the lip mask concept, but struggled to find a product that wasn’t full of chemicals. Two years later, the birth of her latest project, an all-natural collagen-infused lip mask was born.
Here, she speaks about her favorite natural skincare product, why her brand is so unique, and where she goes for the ultimate spa experience.
You’re a multifaceted entrepreneur. What made you decide to delve into the beauty industry? Kristen Noel Crawley: I've always been interested in beauty. About 10 years ago, I discovered this brand called Kanebo and it really transformed my skin. From then on, I've been obsessed with products and treatments. I love to share them with other girls, too. I do mini tutorials and reviews on my Instagram stories. It's really a passion of mine and it's so much fun!
How did you come up with the idea for the lip mask? KNC: On a trip to Tokyo about two and a half years ago, I was there with Dior for their cruise show. I had some free time so I went to Don Quixote, which is like the Target of Japan. The beauty aisle was insane. Every type of product you never knew you needed was there. I saw a lip mask and instantly became intrigued. I always had really dry and chapped lips and nothing ever seemed to help. I loved the mask, but noticed that it was full of chemicals. When I couldn't find a natural alternative, I decided to make one myself. This was a big leap of faith for me. I'm not the type of girl to just go out and do something like that but I'm so happy that I did.
How difficult was it to come up with a natural product? KNC: It was very difficult for me. At the time, lip masks were still very new to the market and there weren’t any natural ones. I spoke with over ten different factories trying to customize the ingredients. They all said no. I finally found one that would let me customize the perfect ingredients, so I worked with their engineer and we came up with the best formula for the mask. It took almost two years to release the mask from the initial idea to product launch, but it was worth it. The natural aspect is a big selling point for us and it definitely sets KNC BEAUTY apart from the competition.
What other natural products do you use for your face and skin? KNC: Coconut oil. I love it. It literally works for everything. I even eat it!
How long have you lived in LA? KNC: On and off since I was 19. The last three years though we have been here steadily. I don't want to leave. When I'm older, my husband and I will retire in Hawaii, but until then, this is my happy place.
What do you love most about living here? KNC: The weather, of course. I grew up in the Midwest and we had some horrible winters. I also love that you can drive a few hours and see mountains or beaches or the desert. That's so cool!
Where do you go to indulge in the ultimate spa experience in LA? KNC:The La Prairie Spa at the Beverly Hills Hotel — it’s divine. I also really love the Ann Karen Day Spa in Arcadia. It's very authentic and is really a special experience. I like to go with my mom and sister or with a few friends.
Favorite place to shop? KNC: I just discovered this cute little store on La Brea called Shop Super Street. The owner has a really great eye. It definitely reminds me of a store you'd see in Soho 10 years ago.