Jennifer Kapahi Perfects the Busy Mom’s Makeup Routine
by Rachel Warrick
As a modern on-the-go mom, professional, gym buff and traveler, Jennifer
Kapahi doesn’t have much room for error in her daily schedule. After years of living
in New York city and working in product development for beauty powerhouses like
Intercos and Revlon, Kapahi couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a line of easy-to-use
products out there for women who just don’t have the time for a full-blown
makeup routine—so she decided she’d create one herself.
Kapahi founded TrèStiQue with her partner, Jack Bensason, in late
May 2015 with a mission to simplify how women use, apply and carry their
makeup. TrèStiQue offers new generation makeup formulas that enhance (rather than
cover up) your real beauty and their product design streamlines your routine
with 2-in-1 products and refillable twist-on and twist-off tools.
TrèStiQue has taken off since their launch two years ago—the revolutionary beauty brand has
sampled over 6 million pieces with Ipsy and BirchBox, and was named The Next
Big Thing in Beauty by QVC and Indie Brand to Watch by Sephora.
Kapahi tells Mom.me how she balances building her brand and her family,
all while keeping a fresh face.
moment when you were inspired to create TrèStiQue.
I had the concept
of the brand in my mind for many years before I launched it. As a real, working woman,
I was baffled by the lack of simple makeup products. Living in New York City
inspired me to create the Essential 8 routine, which you can toss in your
purse and use to do makeup in five minutes flat. I was on a mission to create a
brand that helped to simplify my makeup routine while traveling, working out,
commuting to work and running around doing errands—things all women do
As a mother as
well as the co-founder of TrèStiQue, how do you make it all work?
It’s all about
insane organization. It is important to find moments to carve out for yourself,
your baby and your work. My secret lies in a meticulously crafted calendar and
also a strong foot in reality. It’s not possible to do everything, so you have
to prioritize and focus on what is achievable.
When did you first
I’m still waiting
for that feeling! The company is still pretty new, so I’ve been so focused on
building our brand that I haven’t really had much time to take a step back and
look at what we’ve accomplished. Plus, my father is Asian, so I wasn’t really raised
to feel success. I was raised to work hard and continue to strive for better,
which is exactly what I plan to do!
As a successful
female entrepreneur, what are some ways that you want to teach your kids about
Confidence is key
and passion is essential. You must believe in yourself, encourage yourself and
motivate yourself. On top of that you need to have a passion that is absolutely
unquenchable. As long as you stay focused on those things, gender doesn’t
Has there been
anything about creating TrèStiQuethat surprised you or inspired you in a way you didn't
I won’t say that
I’m surprised, but I am very humbled by the support my husband has given me
during these early entrepreneurship days. Of course I love and appreciate him,
but the level of understanding, support and flexibility he has shown over these
past three years has been tremendous.
What's your advice
for moms who are looking to start their own business?
Start with clear
goals and expectations. Make sure you have a strong support system at home.
It’s not possible to be a mom 100 percent of the time once you launch a company. Most
importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself, be flexible and set realistic goals
so that you can achieve them.
have you made as a mom and business owner?
I try not to look
at it as a sacrifice, but as a compromise. I realistically reorganized my work
day to make my son a priority in the morning and in the evening when he is
awake. When he goes to sleep, I go back to work. I also work from home on
Fridays so that I can take him to a swim lesson or to the park. Before I startedTrèStiQue I was in a pretty strict
corporate environment, so I feel very lucky to have the option to be flexible!
If you could have
lunch with any business person/entrepreneur/nonprofit founder, living or dead,
who would it be and why?
I would have to
say Chrissy Teigen. I admire her entrepreneurial spirit and love her passion
for life. I think we have a lot in common, as half Asian ladies passionate about
our babies and our food. Her cookbook, “Cravings,” is amazing!
Are there any new
initiatives or products on the horizon for TrèStiQue?
Yes! Our Essential
8 routine continues to be our best-selling set because it takes the guesswork
out of the everyday makeup routine. Real women have so many different
lifestyles that we wanted to create additional sets to fit each one. For all
the mamas out there strapped for time, we launched the Modern Mama Set, which
combines four of my must-have essential products and our amazing Le’Pak
makeup bag. The set includes your customized shade selection of these four
2-in-1 time-saving products: a concealer crayon to hide dark circles and brighten eyes,
a highlighter stick to add a fresh luminous glow, a brow pencil to lift the eye
area and frame the face, and an eye pencil to define eyes for a polished look.