Lesse Is More
Badlands Journal girl Neada Jane Deters launches a skincare line and we can’t get enough
When I first met Neada Jane Deters she wasn’t a Deters yet. She was just Neada Jane, a girl in my American literature tutorial at university, the coolest girl in school.
The years have changed us: Neada Jane added a Deters – and a husband, and a dog, and a house in Venice Beach, California – to her life and I got my dream job at a magazine, the one I used to fantasise to her about over coffee on campus, and then left that job and moved overseas to pursue a life of eating cake semi-professionally. But some things stay the same. Neada Jane is still the coolest girl in school.
And so is her new project: LESSE, a line of beauty essentials for the modern minimalist.
There’s only one product thus far, an elegant vial of blended face oil, which is just the way Neada Jane likes it. “I had a beauty closet that was overflowing with products, and I still didn’t know what really worked for my skin,” she explains of the lightbulb moment that inspired the brand. “I just didn’t understand why skincare couldn’t be simplified. Why can’t we formulate great, organic products that work effectively on all skin types?”
There’s nothing fussy about LESSE. Travel-sized, the serum fits into your handbag or carry-on with ease. Non-invasive and simple, it’s designed to be used on all skin types, by all genders, every season, every day. (“If you need a little extra moisture, just use slightly more serum – you don’t need to swap it out for a seasonal product,” she says. “That’s just marketing.”)
Seaweed, turmeric and rose are the key ingredients, natural, organic elements to help reduce dark spots and signs of aging, boost collagen and fight acne and blackheads. It’s lightweight, anti-inflammatory and it smells good, too, with a sort of Aesopian medicinal quality to it.
That comes from the high quality of the natural ingredients, all of which Neada Jane has spent years slowly and meticulously sourcing.
“When I moved to the States [from Australia] my skin completely changed,” she explains. “I started having issues with my skin that I’d never had before. It was clearly a reaction to the pollution and the diet over here… I got into a really bad cycle of trying to cover it up with makeup and desperately trying every single skincare product on the market.” It was only when she pared everything back, relying on a completely organic routine, that she saw an improvement in her skin. “LESSE was really inspired by my own struggles over several years to find a solution, and took me years to research and develop.”
Just as the genesis of the brand took its time, so too will its expansion. Joining the serum will be two new skincare products in spring, with a few more lifestyle items in the pipeline in the future, some not even beauty-centric.
The mantra is “slow skincare” and a “more thoughtful approach overall” and it shows. Carefully curated and considered, Neada Jane’s message via LESSE is one of ritual and routine rather than anything superfluous. “Your morning and evening skincare ritual should be a practice of self-care,” she adds. “We should be thoughtful about the products we use day after day, year after year.”
LESSE is more. It’s a mantra to live by. Or, at the very least, to design your top shelf around.