Founder Spotlight - Gabriela Navejas of Madame Gabriela Beauty
A pioneer in clean high performing lipstick, Gabriela Navejas couldn't find 100% clean luxury lip care that exceeded her standards of quality, efficacy, and sustainability.
A 2017 visit to Herboristerie de la Place Clichy in Paris would unfold into a two year worldwide search for the right combination of ingredients sourced from the best suppliers in the world. Ever since she was a young girl, lipstick was like bread and milk to Gabriela– an everyday essential.
By 2019 Gabriela’s promise had become reality. The team’s female chemist had achieved a clean beauty coup d'etat: Mānuka honey rich goodness synthesized with a tsunami of clean ingredients. Three essential colors and one sensational lip balm able to be mixed into hundreds of color combinations, now the envy of large beauty brands for sheer simplicity. And that sleek packaging? Crafted from recycled aluminum.
To say that this Mexico City native is having a moment would be putting it far too mildly. Everyone who meets Gabriela agrees there is something special about her and Madame Gabriela. However, if you ask Gabriela, it is the reverse: lipstick is the magic tonic with a powerful and profound capacity to make us feel good.
"Latin heritage to me is all about a passion — and from your Abuela's birthday to a first date to Sunday mornings in bed, moments of life that are worth remembering never start with a handshake, but always with a kiss. Lipstick is the ingredient of life."
Beautyologie had a chance to chat with Gabriela her calls herself a Mother, business leader, first-generation American and wanderlust juggernaut.
What does ethical beauty mean to you?
It means to have a responsibility to bring not only ethical sourced ingredients but also transparency into what those ingredients are and how the brand conducts business, its values and brand ethos.
What inspired you to start your brand?
The need of having transparency on what goes on a formula that we can be applying daily or sometimes even several times a day. I want to give safe choices to women when it comes to their lipstick purchases.
What is your favorite product from your brand?
Paris at 7PM not only embodies the love I have for a city that I had the opportunity to live in some years ago, but also because the red shade for me embodies empowered feminity.
Has transparency and sustainability always been a priority for you as a brand founder?
From day one and will always be.
How has your background influenced your work as a founder?
I have 15+ experience in the corporate world so the discipline, teamwork, and structure that I learned there has given me the foundation for how I build my brand.
What is it about the beauty industry that inspires you?
The empowerment that it gives to women and men out there, we like to look good as human nature so being able to use nature as an ingredient to do that - it is so inspirational.
What is your personal beauty credo?
One swipe of lipstick and you can conquer the world!
What are your hobbies?
Walking my dog, movies, travel and cooking.
Who or what influenced your thoughts on beauty growing up?
My grandmother, she always told me, do not leave the house without lipstick and nice necklace!
How do you practice self-care?
Time is a luxury so having time for a facial, for a long bath and for a good book - is priceless!
What has been the biggest challenge in creating your brand so far?
Covid was difficult because of mask wearing but aside from that working on my patience, I want everything done asap and things, especially building a brand, takes a long time!
What has been your biggest win as a brand founder so far?
Meeting amazing women, women that support each other, cheerleaders, and amazing customers!
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to ingredient sourcing?
Transparency, transparency, and transparency. There is so much hidden information out there when it comes to formulations.
How do you think the beauty industry could take better care of the ingredient producers and farmers responsible for the many of the ingredients used in beauty products?
By understanding how we are all part of an ecosystem, especially if ingredients come from nature! Nature is our most advanced technology out there.