With her fledgling company, Vênsette, Lauren Remington Platt brings beauty back home
Lauren Remington Platt is impeccably turned out. When we meet for coffee in late September, she wears skinny black leather leggings and carries a small, structured handbag, just big enough for the essentials. She is tall and slim and conducts herself with the ease and self-assurance of an equestrian, one who grew up in the country away from the cutthroat hustle of New York City. But what I notice before anything else is her eye makeup. Grey and smoky, it barely looks like makeup at all. It’s applied so flawlessly that I could swear she’d had a professional application before running uptown. But that’s sort of the point. Platt is making waves as one of the latest batch of beauty entrepreneurs who earn exposure and cult followings with their digital platforms and social stature. In years past, businesses would spend millions of dollars to buy that sort of advertising. With her year-old company, Vênsette, Platt seeks to completely redefine the way women approach beauty treatments. Her goal doesn’t seem far off.
Vênsette’s artists use an eclectic mix of drugstore, high-end-boutique and professional-grade tools and products to bring their artistry into your home
“When I was working in finance, it was very frustrating to schedule beauty appointments, because I didn’t have a lot of time and salons were not on my schedule,” she explains. “I researched the industry and came up with a business plan in about 10 months. There was an immediate need in the market that women have every day: making beauty more accessible.”
What that meant was the creation of an online community for women just like Platt—fashionable, hardworking and busy—who “need to look pulled together and professional,” says Platt. “She has her handbag, her accessories. She likes experiences, and the next experience is how she interacts with beauty and beauty products. What we really promote is changing your hair and makeup instead of getting a new cocktail dress for every event. Hair and makeup are accessories, and it’s a great indulgence to let an artist do the work.”
In order to experience Vênsette myself, I requested a membership online and, once granted access, explored a concise menu of hair and makeup options. And herein lies the brilliance of Platt’s plan: Rather than approach each feature—eyes, lips, skin—as a separate entity, Vênsette’s army of freelance artists are trained to deliver full looks upon request. Thus, if a client desires a smoky eye and red lip for a black-tie gala, she can request the Grace face and the Jackie hairstyle—a modern chignon—to match. I then confirmed a date and time for the appointment, and at 5 o’clock one September afternoon, a Vênsette artist showed up at my front door, gear in hand and ready to work.
“Women come to us with images from fashion shows and request the whole look,” Platt tells me. “And because we’re about hair and makeup that you can do every day, we build trust with our clients. We have so many customers come back to us after events and want to take lessons. They want to learn how to create a smoky eye or apply foundation. Nobody ever shows you how to wear makeup! But as women, we’re expected to know how to blow-dry our hair. So we’ve become a trusted resource where women can learn about products and how to apply them.”
Platt admits that she has never been a beauty junkie; her goal in creating Vênsette was market-oriented. But in the process, she has logged hundreds of hours training artists and experimenting with products and techniques. When she tells me this, her face lights up. It may not have been her passion, but she has an eye for art in addition to great ideas.
Platt says that “what it really gets down to” is that great designers make women feel beautiful in their clothing and accessories, but no other company has done the same for hair and makeup wholesale. “When you go to an event and feel insecure in your skin, it can ruin an experience. We’ve all been there. But when you walk into a room and you know you look great in your makeup and your hair is blown out, that’s a feeling. To give that feeling to my customers is amazing. It’s why I eat and breathe Vênsette.”
Ralph Lauren Magazine’s Women’s Fashion EditorCary Randolph Fuller receives the Vênsette treatment