How Nina Liu's Kite Beauty Changes the Makeup Game for Busy Lives (and Tiny Purses)

If you've ever been caught with your makeup half-finished because you forgot to pack an important product in your bag, you're far from alone.

In fact, that's precisely what inspired Nina Liu to create the clean and convenient makeup brand, Kite Beauty. The brand was developed specifically to fit into any busy lifestyle—no matter how tiny your purse may be—and their first product, Kite's on the Glow Concealer, comes in six mini pods per pack in five luscious shades, to come with you literally anytime and anywhere. They take the hassle out of looking gorgeous by allowing for touchups without the makeup bag, and we can't wait to see what they come up with next. We even got the chance to chat with Nina herself about what inspires her as an entrepreneur. Keep reading to discover what she shared with us.

Name: Nina Liu

IG handle: @ninaliuser

Hometown: Lexington, Massachusetts

Zodiac sign: Sagittarius

1. Makeup has been a personal passion for all of Nina's life.

"As long as I can remember, I was sitting in my bedroom, watching YouTube makeup videos on repeat. As I grew up, moved to NYC, and took on high-pressure jobs in consulting and finance, my busy lifestyle made putting on makeup more and more difficult. I found myself constantly on the move, carrying my entire life in my one-shoulder work tote, from the gym to the office to dinner to going out, all without stopping home. Carrying that five-pound makeup bag everywhere eventually gave me back issues (which the chiropractor is still trying to sort out), not to mention some serious stress from those panic moments when I really needed a touch-up but forgot to bring my makeup bag. Kite sprung from my own acute need for a more convenient solution and the firm belief that we should all be able to look and feel our best 100% of the time, with 0% of the hassle."

-Nina Liu

Nina Liu Kite Beauty founder headshot

(Image courtesy of Nina Liu)

 

Also read about: How Sammy Gorin Art Combines Pop Culture and Self-Expression to Help People Connect

 

2. Her must-have beauty product is definitely Kite Beauty's On the Glow Concealer.

"It really is the most convenient, versatile and hydrating solution for moments on the go, and I personally use it every single day. It is so important to me because it started as just an idea, and has since evolved over three years of development, involving hundreds of prototypes, manufacturers, formulas, tests and decisions to finally culminate into my first baby, Kite On The Glow Concealer. I love it because it's universally convenient—I literally have a pod in every single one of my pockets, tiny purses, and bras—and constantly saves me from makeup emergencies on the go. On top of that, I am so proud of the quality of the formula—it's so versatile and blendable that I use it to cover pretty much anything on my body, and it's chockful of skin-happy, good-for-you ingredients like squalene and jojoba that give you that instant, no-stress, 'I woke up like this' skin."

-Nina Liu

Kite Beauty On the Go Concealer in Handbag

(via Kite Beauty)

3. Nina went through dozens of names before landing on Kite Beauty.

"I am so happy with my decision—I think the name is really evocative of how we want our customers to feel when they use our products. We want to bring you back to the carefree childhood delight of the toy through products that help you travel light, be playful and put a smile on your face each time you use them."

-Nina Liu

4. Kite Beauty truly is all about luxe convenience for busy people everywhere.

"75% of us bring makeup on the go, but 100% of us are frustrated with the clunkiness, messiness and inconvenience of the experience. While our lifestyles have accelerated drastically over the past century, makeup products today are still designed to live in the bathroom cabinet, creating a huge hassle when we need to apply makeup on the go. Kite is here to fix that problem, and our mission statement is makeup designed for busy lifestyles and tiny purses. We are all about convenient beauty delivered at the highest quality. While minis and travel sizes are growing in popularity, these brands only address the size issue but don't solve the No. 1 issue people cited about bringing makeup on the go, which is that they only have one concealer and hate having to transfer and track makeup from bag to bag. Kite is highly split-able, versatile and multi-functional, so you can put one in every single one of your bags, bras and pockets, and don't have to worry about being caught without makeup again. Kite addresses an untapped white space in the beauty market, with no current direct competitors in form factor. Kite supplements rather than competes with established beauty routines, and most importantly, it fills an emotional need in its customers that puts them more at ease knowing they'll always have a touch-up should they need it."

-Nina Liu

Kite Beauty On the Go Concealer in back pocket

(via Kite Beauty)

 

Also read about: Anne Johnson Shares The Inspiration Behind Her Skyline Accessories Brand, Anne Cate

 

5. The best advice she ever received came from her long-time mentor, Dawn French, who was the head of R&D for Procter & Gamble's global beauty sector.

"Very early in starting Kite, she cautioned that everything was going to cost more and take longer than I thought. Three long years, a global pandemic and a global supply chain crisis later, Dawn was totally right, and receiving that advice early on helped me prepare myself mentally for all the unforeseen curveballs that were thrown at me as I was struggling to get Kite off the ground, as well as make sure I always was thinking of the contingency plan to the contingency plan. Dawn remains one of my most trustworthy mentors today—she's a total boss!"

-Nina Liu

6. She was a competitive swimmer for 13 years, and considers exercise an important habit to this day.

"As a beauty founder, my days are always hectic and unpredictable, so I find that having a consistent time to exercise gives me a little consistency and serves as a great stress reliever. I also credit exercise for giving me the idea for Kite—exercise was always a huge hassle in the middle of my day, when I would sweat, then have to shower and reapply all my makeup at the gym before work. There were so many times when I would forget a crucial makeup product and have to walk around with a half-done face for the rest of the day. Now, a Kite pod always lives in my gym bag, so I never need to stress. My dream is for Kite to be the next big amenity in locker rooms, just like tampons, combs and deodorant, so that every fitness fanatic has the convenience of a post-sweat glow-up!"

-Nina Liu

7. Her biggest makeup tip is to not be afraid to use your fingers to apply makeup.

"I used to have a huge collection of different size and shape brushes, but ultimately realized that nothing beats a finger for concealer, foundation, contour, blush, highlight, lip, powder or even eyeshadow! Fingers warm up the formula so that it applies and blends better, reduces wasted product as fingers don't absorb and gives you much better precision and control."

-Nina Liu

Kite Beauty on the Glow Concealer

(via Kite Beauty)

 

Also read about: How Ashlee Elle Turned Her Passion for Crochet Into The Dream Crochet Shoppe and a Brand New Book

 

8. Nina says that the most rewarding thing about her work is hearing feedback that Kite Beauty has gotten people out of tough situations and helped them remove a common stress from their lives.

"One of my favorite customer testimonials is from a person who always needs to touch up her makeup before a big presentation at work, a fancy event or a first date, but always forgets to bring makeup on the go. Whenever she forgets her makeup, she gets anxious and has to make a stressful last-minute run to a drugstore or Sephora to buy an ill-fitting replacement. Now, a Kite pod lives in each of her bags, so she never has to worry about bringing a makeup bag. She says that even if she doesn't end up using the pod daily, she feels a weight lifted off her shoulders knowing that she's always covered. Knowing that Kite is helping take stress out of peoples' days makes this entire journey worth it!"

-Nina Liu

9. Kite Beauty has been an entirely self-funded endeavor, stemming from Nina's passion for beauty as well as convenience.

"The one thing I want everyone to know about me is that I put my full heart and soul into this brand, and fully stand behind it, which is why I share my own personal email (nina@kitebeauty.co) with all of our customers, for a direct line to any feedback, questions or comments! Kite exists for those unglamorous moments in the day, so I very much wanted the brand to be reflective of that, and not to take itself too seriously. Kite's ethos and brand are truly a reflection of my own playful and accessible personality, and I really hope that resonates with you!"

-Nina Liu

 

For more from some of our favorite entrepreneurs in makeup, click HERE to read our interview with Valdé Beauty founder Margarita Arriagada.