LM Woman #33 / Jasmi Bonnen
Jasmi Bonnen is the strategic mind behind Nouri skincare. Early on in her career, Jasmi discovered that big beauty brands overlook the importance of short shelf life. Her entrepreneurial 'fight for fresh' has since brought us Nuori, a line of skincare challenging the beauty industry by releasing smaller, regulated batches of product made from potent botanical ingredients. We at LM are thrilled to be able to now stock Nouri and to have had the chance to talk to Jasmin.
Where are you based?
I’m currently based in New York, but I also spend a lot of time in Copenhagen where NUORI is headquartered and where I also have a home.
What aspect of skincare are you most excited by?
I am excited about the growing trend of customization in skincare - whether it is custom-blends or the adaptability of formula strengths and textures. We at NUORI have always believed that there is no one cookie-cutter solution to
skincare, and therefore we are also bringing some really amazing customized solutions to the market in the near future.
What are you currently working on?
I am always looking for new innovative natural skincare ingredients and trying to find ways to integrate them into our formulas. We’re also working on a new, design-driven project, which I hope to be able to share with you very soon!
How did you get where you are? Why did you chose 'freshness' as the ethos of NUORI?
I started my career as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company working for consumer goods and pharmaceutical companies. Then I joined L’Oréal and this is where the idea for my own range of fresh skincare was born. At the time we were implementing the new European rules for labeling of cosmetics. One of the new requirements was that all cosmetics should have a visible expiry date. But there was an exception to this rule, which stated that if a product had a minimum durability of more than 30 months (i.e., 2.5 years or more), it did not need to have an expiry date. Not surprisingly, these 30 months quickly became the industry standard for shelf life.
As I started reading more about the shelf lives of cosmetic products, I was surprised to find numerous studies documenting that commonly used active ingredients, such as vitamins, are unstable in cosmetic formulations. In fact, many active ingredients start losing their beneficial properties in just a matter of few months due to oxidization. I became convinced that there was a need for a fresh skincare alternative on the market. Five years ago, I finally gathered up the courage to quit my comfortable corporate job and take the frightening leap into entrepreneurship.
Do you have any daily rituals?
Preparing and enjoying my morning cup of Earl Grey tea with a splash of milk is sacred to me. Without it, the day will not go well. I grew up in a home where a newspaper was an integral part of the breakfast table, and this is something I also still savor. Reading the news on my mobile just doesn’t feel right.
Could you tell us a little bit about your approach to style?
For the past 15 years, my style has not changed very much. I prefer simple styles in mainly black and navy, but I love to find small design details that show the thought that went into the piece. And one rule – never visible logos. In the winter months, I get by with a pair of black jeans, a well-cut black blazer and a stack of black and grey cashmere sweaters. In the summer months, I love shirt dresses in navy and white and cut-off shorts paired with loose-cut shirts.
What is the most well-loved item in your wardrobe?
A black shearling fur coat with fitted sleeves and a high collar from Danish designer Anne Vest that my husband gave me many years ago. I still wear it every winter.
How much does design drive your brand?
Design is an integral part of NUORI. Our brand colors were carefully chosen to represent the two main benefits of freshly-blended formulas: formula efficacy (yellow) and purity (white). Our inner product packaging is kept simple and clean, with the focus on functionality and the preservation of our all-natural formulas. This is why we use airless bottles and tubes, our oils are in opaque glass bottles, and we have no jars with large openings.
Is there an important lesson you have learnt about running your business?
For an ex-consultant this was hard to admit, but success is only 20% about the strategy, and 80% about the execution.
What product would you recommend a skincare newbie start with?
A good cleanser. NUORI’s Vital Foaming Cleanser is easy to use twice-daily and you really feel and see the difference on your skin. The fruit enzymes gently remove dead skin cells and impurities, while the natural glycerin and oat kernel extract leave skin feeling soft and hydrated.
What skincare product should everyone eventually introduce?
A Vitamin C serum. NUORI’s Supreme-C Serum Treatment is a great addition to any existing skincare regime. It’s an intensive 20-day skin brightening and revitalizing treatment, which can be used under any day and/or night cream. It helps fight visible signs of sun-damage including hyperpigmentation and collagen breakdown. The fact that you activate the formula by mixing it at home, will give you a first-hand experience of what a difference a freshly blended formula can do.
Minimalism or maximalism?
Where is your favourite place to travel?
I have travelled extensively in Europe, US and Asia for my work, so when I have time off, my favorite place to escape to is our lakeside house in Southern Sweden. There is no internet or TV, just the sound of the waves and birds. I also love discovering new places and try to visit at least one or two new countries every year. Last year I travelled to New Zealand and Australia for the first time and absolutely fell in love with Sydney.
What's a question you are still looking for an answer to?
What will I be when I grow up?
Photos by Jen Steele