We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaleigh Vaughn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaleigh, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My time in the beauty industry taught me that I was built for more. I love everything about what I do, but I was noticing a lack of self service in my clients and even myself. Welcome to the Lifelong Romance with Yourself started in the midst of COVID. I was going through one of the most challenging times of my life as a woman (I also didn’t know if I would be able to do hair again with the state the world was in). My mother is who actually introduced the idea of creating a product and from there I started researching, experimenting, testing. Finally ‘The Mask’ stuck and I just ran with it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career started in the beauty industry as a hair color specialist at the age of 18. I always knew I was passionate about beauty, but had not necessarily decided which aspect I was most intrigued by. I quickly learned that people are my passion and teaching them how to truly care for a very important part of their physical appearance is incredibly fulfilling. I wouldn’t say my path has been easy. The beauty industry can be a grueling space to grow. There’s lots of competition and lots of egos. I became burnt out working in the corporate salon sector and became very unsure about whether or not this was something I wanted to continue pursuing. I always dreamed of doing something more impactful or becoming someone well known in the industry…I just couldn’t put my finger on what that was exactly. Fast forward to where I am now, I moved to Austin 2 years ago and WOW my life has had some very interesting twists and turns. Most of my time here has been impacted by COVID, but had it not been for the rollercoaster ride of madness I don’t think I would have discovered the excitement that comes along with discovering an uncovered passion. Welcome to the Lifelong Romance with Yourself is about falling in love with the little things like the way you look at yourself in the mirror. The Mask is a symbolism of that self-devotion. Being present and putting the powder in the bowl, analyzing your skin’s needs and mixing water, oil, or yogurt, and applying it. The simple act of making a face-mask transforms into a lifestyle of self-care. We’re practicing self-love like never before and creating something that lasts- a habit. Romancing yourself is fun and The Mask invites you to indulge just a little. Ten to fifteen minutes out of your day to cultivate a sacred space within, unwind, and open up to yourself is all it takes. The practice of small rituals is powerful. I believe in beauty-driven confidence with a holistic approach. When we take all aspects of who we are, what we consume, how we move around in the world—that’s when the real magic happens. I believe that when you look and feel your best, anything is possible! When we show up for ourselves first, we can then be our best selves for everyone around us.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Austin has been fun and I’m really missing the music scene here. I won’t give away all of my favorite hot spots, but when friends or family come to town, one of the first places I take them is Lichas Cantina on E 6th Street. It’s one of my favorite spots for delicious Mexican food. When it comes to nightlife, a bar that never steers me wrong is Devil May Care, I’m obsessed with this Spanish olive oil gin martini there and the small plates are fantastic. When dancing is back in action, Barbarella’s is my go-to!Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Where do I even begin? The people in my life mean the world to me, they are an extension of the light I share with the world. Thank You: Tanya Vaughn & Klint Vaughn, Maya & Taylor Vaughn, Mimi & Pawpaw, Paul Guzik, Kali Carrington, Stephanie Bernard, Diamond Viella, Val Mirza.
Stephanie Bernard and Myself