My name is Brendan Vartan, a cosmetologist (esthetician, makeup artist, hair stylist and nail technician) for more than 23 years. My passion for beauty began around the age of 12 when I began my battle with acne and later on, I was also diagnosed with psoriasis. I have struggled to balance my acne-prone and sensitive skin for most of my life but a few years ago, I began to get large, inflamed red patches that spread all over my face. Choosing to not use conventional options that included steroids, hydrocortisone, or drugs that could affect the immune system, I began to look deeper into many "clean" beauty lines for solutions. Surprisingly, it was difficult, even within lines marketed as gentle for very stressed or sensitive skin, to find alternatives that did not contain ingredients that are proven irritants and skin sensitizers.

Psoriasis & skin irritation photos - Why I started Lex & Jong

My skin got so bad, the scales and red patches couldn't even be hidden with full-coverage makeup, and the increasing stress that went along with it did not help. This was my motivation for me to start to make my own products with formulations stripped down to well-researched necessities. Day by day, my skin got better. These formulas helped to not only calm my flareups, but gave me comfort and clarity that I have not seen or felt in a long time. 

Up to this point, I had never seriously entertained the idea of starting a product line. Even though I knew it would involve many aspects that were far out of my comfort zone, I knew I had to put myself out there to help others. The idea for Lex and Jong was born. 

What started out long ago as personal skin struggles that affected my self-confidence and how I interacted with the world stayed with me and became a mission to help others from having to go through what I went through. To me, beauty is not frivolous. How one feels when looking in the mirror can truly affect one's confidence and how one expresses her/himself to the world. It is my hope that Lex and Jong will help to create this important balance of calmness and strength for you, both inside and out. 

Brendan Vartan esthetician makeup artist and founder of Lex and Jong

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

I grew up with a mom who loves to cook and found much joy from making people feel good through her food. It was from her that I developed my love for mixing ingredients, the knowledge of traditional remedies, and love for uplifting others. From my father, I got my love and skills for creative pursuits. I will always remember the time I first began my career. They sat with me and told me that no matter what I do, never to cut corners and to put the benefit of my clients first. When you help people achieve their goals and have genuine care for them, you will love what you do and everything else will fall into place. It's the people and values that are important. This has always stayed with me. I named this line after them as I wanted to be reminded of this every time I pick up a Lex & Jong product.

It's never too late to start on a path to healthier beauty. Beauty has no boundaries and our products can benefit and be enjoyed by beauties of all ages, ethnicities, and identities. I am fully committed to making a difference for you and labor on each decision to make sure Lex and Jong is worthy of your trust. Each of us has a story, and I am beyond excited to hear and read about your personal experiences and results. 

Mentor Paul Starr makeup artist for Rachel Weisz and Britney Spears