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COOL FACES OF BASTET NOIR: Meet Carrie Barber, owner and Creative Director of MAKE Beauty

COOL FACES OF BASTET NOIR: Meet Carrie Barber, owner and Creative Director of MAKE Beauty

Striving for success by a certain age is like searching for a needle in a haystack, a task that’s not impossible to do, but will most probably end up being a waste of time. This mindset is encouraged by conventional rules of living that preach achieving certain milestones by a certain age. That age being more predominantly 30. Many call the 20s the defining decade — the decade that marks the rest of your life. And if by that certain point, you have not found your place in the world — having a successful job, settling down to start a family, owning a home, then you’re behind. Only when you’re in that defining decade do you realize that things cannot be planned. This mindset shift can be scary and plagued by discouragement, but once accepted, it can be the most liberating thing one can experience in this lifetime.  

Carrie Barber is the owner and Creative Director of MAKE Beauty, and has learned the importance of playing the long game, no matter how much time it takes. She has contributed to the company’s revival since 2021 by being the brains behind the gorgeous brand redesign and continuous improvement of ground-breaking, sustainable ingredient technology. Through her extensive experience working closely with beauty brands and placing an emphasis on building a relationship that goes just beyond the product, Carrie has managed to build an impressive career worthy of its praise, only to firmly believe this is only the start for her - and we agree. To find out more about our latest Cool Face of Bastet Noir, keep on reading. 

Carrie Barber is wearing The Amoruso 3 Piece Set, custom-made for herCarrie Barber is wearing The Amoruso 3 Piece Set, custom-made for her

Who is Carrie Barber?

Hi, to those of you who don’t know me, I’m Carrie, the owner and Creative Director of MAKE Beauty. I’ve worked in beauty for the last decade at places like Sephora, Violet Grey, and Glossier to name a few. I’m a creative at heart, but love being a business owner. I’m an Aries, a dog Mom to a sweet gray pitbull name Gio, and I love watching TV :)

What’s your morning routine like?

Early morning is my favorite time of day. I wake up before 7am, make a coffee and finish an episode of whatever I was watching the night before while I check emails and social media. Then I will listen to an episode of The Daily Podcast while I make breakfast, walk my dog and then jump into work.

You are the owner and creative director of cult brand MAKE Beauty, which you took under your wing in 2021, and revived thanks to the new and innovative additions to the brand — with skincare taking front and center stage. Why did you decide to introduce skincare to the MAKE brand, and were there ever moments of doubt when it came to making this decision?

I didn’t have any doubt and I think it was unexpected from MAKE which made it interesting and new for those who were fans of the brand from its start in 2013. When I started working on MAKE, I told myself that I would let go of any idea of what I thought it was going to be, trust the team I was working with and trust the process. We started looking at what we loved about the brand from its beginning and always came back to the idea of ‘ahead of its time’, ‘future looking’ and ‘innovation’. We also knew that sustainability needed to be an important pillar of the brand, and for me that meant sustainability and innovation in ingredient sourcing and manufacturing.

Skincare felt like the best way to tell this story and so we developed what we call L.E.N.I. or Lab Engineered Natural Ingredients which is a bio-tech approach to formulating or sourcing ingredients. Examples of this are taking plant stem-cells from one plant and cloning a biologically identical version of those stem cells. This particular method is less disruptive to the environment, uses less energy long-term and allows us to create the ingredient only when we need it. Plus, the ingredient itself is more stable and can be less irritating to skin.

I also love skincare and believe it goes hand in hand with supporting beautiful and radiant makeup application. All the MAKE skincare products support makeup in some way whether it be cleansers for clean and easy removal, acids and serums for gentle exfoliation, and moisturizers that provide long-lasting hydration that don’t peal under complexion products and that even work well as primers.

Carrie Barber is wearing The Amoruso 3 Piece Set, custom-made for herCarrie Barber is wearing The Amoruso 3 Piece Set, custom-made for her

Before there was MAKE, you were a digital art director for brands and retailers such as Glossier, Sephora and Violet Gray. What made you interested in pursuing a career in this industry?

Beauty was never part of the plan when I was growing up. When I was in college I didn’t know that being an Art Director was a job. After I graduated, the plan was to move to London and try to work for Show Studio but I needed to save up some money to move so a friend recommended me for a production designer job at Sephora and the rest is history. I loved working in Beauty because it also incorporated fashion and was honestly so fun. I’ve stayed in beauty because of the emotional connection you can find with someone over a beauty product. I’ve met strangers, who then become friends over a shared love of a product and I find that the most powerful thing in the industry alone.

Three things you wish you knew before starting out?

Oh this is a good question. First, I think when you’re young there is this pressure or expectation you set for yourself that success will come young. For some it does, but for a lot of us it happens at different times. I will consider myself successful when I grow MAKE into the brand I believe it will become…and that’s going to be when I am closer to 40 than 30.

Second, I wish that I knew authority and respect does not come from being mean. I always felt like I had to be a certain way in order for people to respect and listen to me, but that does not come from asserting power in an aggressive way.

And third, there is no way to know this until you’re actually doing it but I wish I knew how much consistent stamina it takes to run a business. It took me a while to get there and I now have a completely different way of working but a round of applause for all the business owners out there!

Biggest setback in life and what you’ve learned from it?

I wouldn’t call this a setback, but when my Dad passed away suddenly 8 years ago, I felt like my life started over. It really helped me realize what was important and gave more purpose to the work I do, especially now that I have my own business.

Carrie Barber is wearing The Amoruso 3 Piece Set, custom-made for herCarrie Barber is wearing The Amoruso 3 Piece Set, custom-made for her

Books that changed your life

Joan Didion’s The Year Of Magical Thinking and Women, Food And God by Geneen Roth.

Favorite female empowerment speech

Not sure if this counts as a speech but I LOVE this ‘Be A Lady They Said’ video from Girls Girls Girls Magazine. It is. Everything.

What’s in your Bastet Noir cart?

Definitely The Barbara Jumpsuit, The Christiana Dress for a summer romance moment, a timeless trench like this one is always a staple, and for my next vacation The Dola Dress

If you liked Carrie’s story, there’s plenty more to come. Just hit that sign up button to get in our inner circle of coolness and shop ethical and eco-friendly dresses!

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