BeautyView: Matana C. LePlae, Co-Founder and CEO, Lashfully

One of the key trends in beauty this past year has been eyelashes. We have graduated from a mere obsession with mascara to a fascination with eyelash treatments, eyelash extensions, and more.

Matana C. LePlae, Co-founder and CEO of Lashfully, Inc, has capitalized on this consumer trend. Her chic beauty lounges offer services and products that specialize in the care and treatment of eyelashes.

A citizen of the world, Matana has lived in Los Angeles, Tokyo, New York and currently resides in San Francisco with her two daughters. I recently caught up with her, and loved how much we had in common (in particular skipping dessert but keeping the wine, not believing in work-life balance, and disliking cheap tippers!).

AP: What city were you born in?

ML: Seattle, WA.

AP: What city to do you live in?

ML: San Francisco, CA.

AP: What is your middle name?

ML: I am Thai and we don’t really have middle names so mine is my maiden name: Churanakoses.

AP: What is your astrological sign?

ML: Taurus.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know?

ML: I am neat, organized and keep an orderly home, but my desktop on my computer is a complete mess! There are icons on top of icons.

AP: What is your most prized possession?

ML: A teapot from my grandmother.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be?

ML: My grandmother. She passed away about 12 years ago; she was so sick at the end but made she sure she had her Chanel red lipstick on until the very end. I miss her laugh.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum.

ML: Classic, modern, feminine.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model?

ML: Nope.

AP: Diamonds or pearls?

ML: Both.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret?

ML: I know it seems like self promotion but really lash extensions (and if you’ll indulge me in a #2: absolutely no sun on the face.)

AP: What fragrance do you wear?

ML: I switch it up but primarily stick within the Chanel family: No. 5, Mademoiselle, Chance, Allure.

AP: Botox or not?

ML: Not yet, but I am keeping a watchful eye on when I should start…

AP: Hair color: natural or not?

ML: Semi-permanent to cover a few greys.

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any?

ML: Forgo dessert but keep the wine.

AP: What do you do for exercise?

ML: All kinds of cardio, boxing with my trainer, and those awful burpees!

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge?

ML: Real butter, greek yogurt, apples.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice?

ML: Bees Knees.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance?

ML: I don’t believe in balance, I just like working really hard and also having lots of fun and fully participating in everything.

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average?

ML: 50,000.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? 

ML: 1. Never check a bag; 2. wear your heaviest, bulkiest item on the plane (coat, boots, bulky sweater) 3. Take cash.  I am kind of a dooms-day traveler and paranoid that all ATMS and credit card processing will be shut down and I will have to revert to cash only.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now.

ML: John Coltrane, Anything by The KillersFrank Sinatra (yes, I am an old soul).

AP: What book are you reading right now?

ML: The Receptionist – An Education at the New Yorker by Janet Groth.

AP: Quote to live by.

ML: I recently was listening to Stephen King being interviewed on NPR about his new book. He captured something that I think nails my philosophy — I am going to quit and be dead for a long time. The only time I have is now.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve?

ML: Cheap tippers.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get?

ML: I am an early riser, 5:30/6 a.m. I usually get about 7  – 71/2 hours/night.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry?

ML: How woman’s faces can be instantly transformed and when they see it, they smile and stand a little taller.

AP: Least favorite thing.

ML: Unfortunately I think there are a few people in this business that think beauty is only skin deep.

AP: Who is your mentor?

ML: Hillary Clinton.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today.

ML: Always live with class and style. Remember that your peers or even those who are many levels “your junior” at the office, can one day be an important client, boss, investor, connection.

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