Name: Lauren Trahan
Title: Senior Chemist, Product Development
Latest project: Our Timeless Pre-Shampoo Treatment. It has an incredible shampoo-activated color shield technology to lock in your color.
Hometown: Westchester, PA
CV: I have a BS in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. When I graduated I started working for Proctor & Gamble for Covergirl doing formulations of liquid makeup (like concealer and foundation, etc) for a little over a year. I worked for Crabtree New England for about 5 years running their research and development lab working on bath and body products. I’ve been with Living Proof for a little over 3 years.
Why work in beauty? When I was in college, I landed an internship at P&G and was placed in color cosmetics. They ended up offering me a full-time job. There are so few people who formulate cosmetics that you’re constantly in demand.
What’s the best part of your job? Living Proof puts so much emphasis on science and technology. For a small company, I feel like that’s really rare. I’m empowered to create products that work differently and spend my time and energy to make sure our products are superior to our competitors.
The most challenging part of your job? [Laughs] The emphasis on science and technology. It’s hard to come up with products that don’t already exist, but that’s what makes us stand out. So that same thing that’s a love is also a challenge.
Favorite product to work on? I’ve formulated our Curl Defining Styling Cream, Night Cap, and the Timeless Pre-Shampoo Treatment. I think my favorite is probably Night Cap because it was very different than anything else on the market. It’s a cream that you apply to your hair, but I formulated it so that it absorbs really quickly. At first my team thought I was a little crazy, but it worked.
Strangest project you’ve worked on: The weirdest was a lidocaine cream for a company called J Sisters. They were really big back in the day for Brazilian bikini waxes in New York City.
What Living Proof products do you use on your own hair? Oh my gosh, I change depending on the day of the week. Timeless Shampoo and Conditioner are in the current rotation, but I also like Full Shampoo and Restore Conditioner. My hair is naturally curly, so the products I use depend on whether or not I am going to straighten it. Today is day 2 hair. I have PhD 5-in-1 Styling Treatment and Instant Texture Mist in my hair from yesterday, and Dry Shampoo today.
What product are you most proud of? The one I’m working on right now which I can’t disclose, but we’ve been working on it for 3 years and we’re finally releasing it! We’ve put a lot of work into something that’s going to really be a revolution.
Little known fact? I like to randomly wear tiaras. It started in college. Chemical Engineering is a really hard major. So my two lab partners and I were sitting around doing homework one day and decided that everything was better wearing a tiara. We’d get the cheapest, tackiest dollar store tiaras, and to this day we still send each other tiaras. Think about it, vacuuming is better when wearing a tiara, laundry is better with a tiara. It’s like the Friends episode when Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe are all wearing wedding dresses just lying around their apartment. That’s kind of my tiara rational.
Outside of work, what’s your passion? My kids. I have an 11 year old and a 6 year old and their activities are kind of my entire life. When they sleep I like to read, and I’m really into quilting. It’s a fun relaxing thing to do.
Do you wear a tiara when you quilt? On occasion.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received? Always be true to yourself. It sounds so simple, but that’s helped me a lot in my career. There will be people in your career who don’t want to take advice from a young woman. Be confident in what you know, and stay true to yourself instead of allowing yourself to be swayed by what’s easy. Oh and of course, everything is better with a tiara. Seriousness is overrated!