It’s always a little thrilling to come across a very accomplished person ­­– they make you sit up a bit straighter and pay attention. And if that person happens to only be in her twenties, and is generous, friendly, and a smart businesswoman? Colour us intrigued. Jaimee Lupton is the founder of MONDAY, a socially responsible, eco-friendly, gorgeously packaged line of haircare aiming to disrupt the notion that the only effective products are those with an exorbitant price tag (very successfully so far – our team can confirm from personal experience that major stockist Coles can't keep it on the shelves). From her stylishly modern Auckland home, Jaimee told us about her down to earth childhood that helped to ignite her entrepreneurial spirit, the tight edit of makeup products she swears by to look put together after yet another work all-nighter, and why running her own business is so different to how she imagined it would be.

“After a tough breakup in my early twenties, I left my friends and family behind in Auckland and moved to Sydney to start a new chapter.

It was by far one of the most challenging seasons of my life. I remember feeling like a fish out of water without my support network, but it did allow me to use all of the tools and lessons my parents had passed on to me, and I eventually made life-long friends. In fact, one of them is now a part of our MONDAY team!

I had a wonderful rural childhood, and what we looked like was not a priority.

My mum has much fairer skin than I do, so it was always very obvious when I’d snuck into her bathroom to use her foundation in a bid to cover up my freckles. I had no idea what I was doing.

I feel so fortunate to have grown up the way I did. I have two sisters, and the three of us and our parents have always been very close. We lived on a farm just outside of Auckland, and both my parents worked extremely hard (my dad started working as soon as he left school at 14), which set the standard for us kids when it came to having a strong work ethic. There were no handouts in my family, and we were expected to earn the things we wanted in life. Let’s just say I was the best 14-year-old babysitter Kumeu had ever seen!

I’m 28 now and so far pretty immune to the supposed ‘pitfalls’ of getting older. Although, ask me again when I’m 38 and I might say something different!

To give my skin a treat, I love visiting Amelia at Room 9 in Auckland for an Osmosis Organic Medi Facial. I fall asleep every single time.

In terms of daily habits that help keep everything in good condition, adding Dose & Co. collagen creamer to my coffee or smoothie every morning is a non-negotiable. Collagen is a structural protein that acts as a building block for your skin, bones, teeth, joints, and tissue. Think of it as the glue that, quite literally, holds your body together, and it’s just an added bonus that this one tastes divine. I’ve got friends using it to help everything from eczema to psoriasis.

Taking decent care of myself is a work in progress!

 I’ve always been diligent with eating a healthy diet, and I don’t drink a lot, but stress is something that really takes its toll. I’m actually off to Queenstown this weekend for a stay at Aro Ha Wellness Retreat, and I’m hoping to come away with some holistic tools I can implement when I return to Auckland. I’m also looking forward to four days with no phone! I already feel less stressed just thinking about it.

JAIMEE WITH CHILDHOOD FRIEND AND THE FACE OF MONDAY, GEORGIA FOWLER

My style is pretty laid back most of the time – my uniform is jeans, a white singlet, and sneakers, then I’ll dress things up with trench coats and blazers.

Two special recent purchases are a Tibi belted trenchcoat and a creamy white vegan leather jacket from Nanushka, both which I purchased from Auckland boutique Muse. I do have a feminine side that I love to embrace, and Maggie Marilyn and Aje are my favourite designers for a beautiful dress or pop of (MONDAY!) pink. I’ve loved Aje ever since meeting its designer, Edwina Robinson, during my Sydney days.

I don’t always use moisturiser on my face – I prefer to layer serums instead.

I start by cleansing with Cosmedix Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser, then apply Aspect Dr Multi B Plus Serum every morning. If my skin is a little dry I use Re.Form Serum by Re.Skin, which I am obsessed with. When I do moisturise, I like something rich that really feels like it’s working, either from La Mer or Drunk Elephant. My favourite SPF is La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Ultra-Fluid Tinted SPF 50+, and I can’t go without Tatcha’s The Kissu Lip Mask, Lanolips 101 Ointment, or Glossier Balm Dotcom (Ed. note: not yet available in Australia).

I always double cleanse at night with the Aspect Dr Deep Clean Facial Cleanser. A few nights a week I use a retinoid, Aspect Dr Exfol A Plus Serum, which I swear by for fading scars, preventing breakouts, and generally keeping my skin looking good. For a mask, I like to use the Cosmedix Rescue Intense Hydrating Balm & Mask, particularly in the cooler months when my skin tends to get a bit drier.

I am completely obsessed with PRP facials, otherwise known as ‘those Vampire facials Kim Kardashian gets’.

PRP is a round of micro-needling followed by a platelet-rich plasma treatment using your own blood. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but the results speak for themselves. It’s all about getting the best from your skin without using external products like serums or oils.

My makeup routine is very simple. I almost always just use four products!

My go-tos are NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, MAC Cosmetics Cremesheen Glass in ‘Boy Bait’, and Too Faced Damn Girl! 24 Hour Mascara. That stuff is the best. I’m lucky to have naturally full brows, so I usually just run clear MAC Cosmetics Brow Set through them to keep them tidy (and visit Kristin Fisher Eyebrows for some maintenance whenever I’m in Sydney). I like to keep my look natural, having spent far too long sporting what I can only describe as panda eyes. It took me many years to learn that aggressively outlining my eyes in black liner and black eyeshadow does absolutely nothing for me.

I’ve been pretty entrepreneurial from a young age (I wasn’t kidding about being determined to be our area’s best babysitter!), but I always lacked the self-confidence to start something of my own.

I spent years working in luxury communications and PR, pushing other people’s products and all the while thinking, ‘one day I need to do this myself’. It wasn’t until I met my partner, Nick, who is a true business visionary, that I found I had the guts to really pursue my dream. Nick believed in my vision for MONDAY from day one, and every day since he has been my business partner, mentor, and greatest supporter.

JAIMEE WITH HER PARTNER IN WORK AND IN LIFE, NICK MOWBRAY

Our pursuit of salon-quality haircare stemmed from my own expensive beauty habit: I was spending exorbitant amounts on shampoo and conditioner and it just felt ridiculous. Beauty should work without breaking the bank.

I’ve never dyed my hair and I’m lucky that it’s relatively uncomplicated. I wash it every second day with MONDAY shampoo and conditioner, and try to let it air dry to avoid any unnecessary heat from hairdryers or irons. Occasionally, I’ll treat myself to a blow wave at Stephen Marr if I know my head is going to be under particular scrutiny. I’ve also been trialling a bunch of new products that we’ve got in the pipeline for MONDAY – one of which is a dry shampoo that I’m obsessed with. Stay tuned!

JAIMEE AND HER PUP, FRANKIE

I can’t get over how incredible my New Zealand and Australian MONDAY team members are. From photographers and stylists, to graphic designers and writers, each person is fearless.

It’s been such a privilege to work with some of the most talented creatives throughout Australasia (and beyond) during these formative years of our business. They’re determined to see it succeed. I love bouncing an idea around with them and then watching them produce a version that is even better.

As much joy as I get from running my own business, the downside is you never just switch off.

As naïve as it sounds, no one told me that when you run your own business there’s no such thing as a break. It never stops, especially when I’m liaising with our manufacturers in China, clients in the US, and teams in Australia and New Zealand, all in a single day. One of my girlfriends recently told me that every hour of sleep you get before midnight counts as much as two hours you get after midnight. I’ll try and remember that the next time my iPhone says that it’s 1am and I’m still blearily reading emails.

I’m a Gemini, so I’m never content when things stay stagnant and I hate to sit still. Working in the beauty industry is the best way for me to channel that energy into something productive!

I love the pace of growth and innovation in the beauty industry – it means we are all constantly reimagining how we think about skincare, makeup, and body care, and I’m so proud to have my business play a small part in it.

The beauty industry’s waste problem is undoubtedly what I hate the most. The numbers are staggering – an estimated 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the beauty industry, most of which are not recyclable. This was forefront of my mind when creating MONDAY, which is why we used recycled plastic for our bottles, opted for screen-printing our labels instead of using adhesive stickers, and are currently working on offering a re-fillable solution for customers who don’t want to have to buy new bottles every time they run out of their shampoo. It’s small, but it’s a start.

Story by Zoe Briggs, photography by Holly Burgess, florals by Wonder Florals, couch by Simon James, art by Vicki Lee.

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