If Jane’s last name rings a bell, well that’s because you would have probably spotted it in the pages of glossy magazines or seen it as you walked by major beauty stores and cosmetic counters. Yes, Jane Lauder is the granddaughter of the late Estée Lauder, a renowned beauty brand that we’re all familiar with.
Hence, imagine the excitement I felt when I got a call from Clinique Malaysia for an exclusive and intimate session with Jane Lauder, the Global Brand President of Clinique during her recent visit to Malaysia. It was a no brainer. I immediately said YES for I knew that this was a rare oppportunity for me to pick the brain of a successful businesswoman.
I have to admit that the excitement was also mixed with nerves the day I was going to meet her over breakfast. Dressed casually in a white tee and printed skirt with a statement necklace to accessorise, her hair pulled back in a poney tail, Jane Lauder was really approachable at first sight. As she approached us, standing in a fit petite frame with light makeup over that gorgeous skin (of course) and her hand extended to greet us, Jane exuded a sense of warmth and confidence.
The nerves slowly but surely faded away as we engaged in conversation and that one-hour flew by so quickly. Though it may have been a brief encounter, Jane was most certainly a woman of inspiration. She was brilliant, insightful and what pleaseantly surprised me as well was her humility and genuine interest in what we had to say.
Read on and you’ll truly understand what I mean. I’ve documented some of the good parts of the conversation for you, especially those of you who aspire to achieve great success, discover more about beauty or are simply curious about the idea of beauty in the world that we live in today.
M: What is the secret to beautiful skin and what is your beauty must have?
J: Removing makeup, washing your face and exfoliation is key for me. I’ve been using Clarifying Lotion twice a day, every day since I was 11 years old. I might have changed my facial soap to liquid facial soap and dabbled in some of our other brand moisturizers, but I’ve never let my Clinique Clarifying Lotion go.
M: How do you think the perception of beauty has changed over the years?
J: Not only has the perception of beauty changed, but even the landscape surrounding beauty has changed. It is no longer just mothers bringing their daughters to buy makeup- it is now also daughters who are influencing their mothers’ makeup. Millennials use twice as much makeup today as ever before. When it comes to beauty products, millennials are more promiscuous than ever before. They are no longer loyal to one brand and are instead purchasing their favorite products from many different brands. We need to continually find ways to cut through the clutter even more with hero SKUs that make Clinique the love mark brand it is.
M: What does it take to create and sustain a successful business/brand?
J: Quality, authenticity and listening to the consumer are the most important aspects of developing and sustaining a brand. Clinique has one of the highest retention rates in the industry. This is because we spend our time and money developing products that stand up to our rigorous quality and testing standards. We are proud of our Allergy Tested. Fragrance Free positioning because it means that we formulate our products to have maximum results and we test for zero irritation. We need to make sure that we are delivering an experience that allows our customers to get great skin whatever their age, ethnicity, or skin type and concern. Lastly, we make sure that we listen to our customers and develop products and experiences that are relevant to their lives and needs.
M: What are the challenges that you face as a woman in the business world and how do you keep yourself motivated and inspired?
J: For women especially, trying to do it all and have it all is a huge challenge. I do believe it is possible to have a healthy work-life balance while being happy and successful, and it all begins with surrounding yourself with people that are passionate, driven and hardworking. I surround myself with great talent and with a team that I trust allowing me to empower and encourage women around the world.
M: What are the traits or qualities you wish to see more of in young women today?
J: I hope that women continue to feel empowered, confident, dare to be different, and take on new challenges.
M: What is ONE important thing young women should know about skincare?
J: We believe great skin never goes out style. A great makeup application starts with great skin. We encompass the dermatologist results with a luxury formula. Everything we know about skincare is translated into makeup as well. For Clinique, the most important characteristic is creating efficacious products and delivering the highest quality to our consumers. Janet Pardo, the Senior Vice President of Product Development at Clinique, and her team are constantly researching new innovations and delivering for our customers.