Meet Janine Lee

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Originally from Coronado, CA, Janine Lee is co-founder/CEO of Floss Gloss, an independent Brooklyn-based nail lacquer brand. She studied fashion design at California College of the Arts (2010) in San Francisco and co-founded Floss Gloss with Aretha Sack in 2011 out of pure necessity and bad (bad) recession job availability. After years in SF, she recently relocated from the Bay Area for Floss Gloss & life to Bushwick in 2014. At this time, currently thriving and always striving for success.
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on her morning routine

Normally I’m up around 8. I take Bodie out with Brett and grab an Americano at AP Cafe or Wyckoff Star. Then Brett and I both get ready for work and maybe make breakfast. I read some emails and do some light work, pack a lunch before I’m off at the Floss Gloss office.

on her path to floss gloss

I always was into coloring, arts & crafts and reading. I read a lot as a kid and worked at a library. I started really doing nail art and painting my nails in middle school and high school. I got Klutz Nail Art Book as a gift when I was a pre-teen and basically never looked back. Floss Gloss was born out of necessity. Aretha and I didn’t have a brand that we really felt was speaking to us and to who we were as consumers. We took about a year and wrote a full business prospectus, pitched investors, got money and found excellent manufacturing. We took a big leap and are still going!

on the production of floss gloss

Aretha mixes up a bottle of color we both love and we send it to our factory, they send back a matching sample, we approve or disapprove and either re sample or go into production. We have caps, bottles and brushes already at our factory and within 6-8 weeks with sampling we have a new baby! This process can be very challenging because everyone sees color a little differently.

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“Art class was my favorite and I was in a fine art program at my high school in Connecticut that challenged me to get into art school. I love to paint, sew and create.”
— on her education

on her inspiration

I paint on 10 tiny canvases these days. But my biggest art influences have always been Matisse, Guagain, Leroy Neiman - color! As for fashion I love fashion history, but in college and still to this day I’m inspired by eastern designers Isse Miyake, Rei Kowakabo and Junya Wantanabe with some American sportswear idols like Geoffrey Beene and Liz Claiborne.

on her beauty and skincare routine

My everyday routine is pretty basic! Lately I’ve been really into the Naked 3 pallet by Urban Decay and the Pro Paint Pots by Mac. Mascara and I’m out! But always moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! I always look at the ingredients in products. And of course sometimes I like to experiment with beauty, because I like art and painting and essentially it’s all the same vibe. I went through a very long glitter eyeliner phase in 2014. If I have a redder blemish on my face, I get a few drops of OpCon eyedrops onto a q-tip and apply it to the redness. It reduces redness of the eyes and basically does the same thing to the skin. Not sure how- but it does! I also run my eyelash curler under hot water before curling my lashes like a heat perm! I would also recommend: the MAC eyebrow pencil, Shea Moisture lotion, tea tree oil, coconut oil, Purlisse moisturizer, Batiste dry shampoo, and Davines nourishing conditioner.

on her favorite books

I’m obsessed with anything true crime right now. But specifically Ann Rule. I’ve read 3 of her books this year! She is an incredible story teller and nobody really has time for fiction. I need the truth! I also have a lot of art books. I Wonder is just stunning to look at. Mexican Art and anything ancient is super fascinating to me. If I wasn’t in the arts I’d probably be in sociology or anthropology. The Book of the Hand is about palm reading and your life thru your hands. Because its essentially my business I am really into anything related to hands and nails! I would also recommend : And Never Let Her Go by Ann Rule.

Top, DKNY ; Skirt, Express

Top, DKNY ; Skirt, Express

Janine's favorite makeup products

Janine's favorite makeup products

Nail polishes from Floss Gloss

Nail polishes from Floss Gloss

Top, Soffee ; Pants, Vintage ; Shoes,  Modern Vice  ; Bag,  Echo Club House  ; Sunglasses, Ray-Bans

Top, Soffee ; Pants, Vintage ; Shoes, Modern Vice ; Bag, Echo Club House ; Sunglasses, Ray-Bans

janine’s favorite places in nyc

The AP Cafe/Wyckoff Star for espresso

Northeast Kingdom for dinner or brunch

The Keep for a cocktail and a free* Tarot card reading (*with tip-- totally worth it!)

Urban Jungle for vintage. They have great prices and huge selection if you like to dig and independent boutiques on Knickerbocker!

janine’s favorite floss gloss colors

Right now I’m really feeling these babies: The Pink Nugget, Smoke on the Nail, Dinge (always), Lavish and Honey!