Indie LeeIndie Lee

A 2008 health crisis prompted Indie Lee to transition from CPA to clean-beauty entrepreneur; today, her line of cleansers, creams, serums and more are beloved for their eco-friendly production and packaging, their luxurious pure ingredients and—naturally—their results. What drove you to start your own brand? My “aha” moment came after I was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor. My doctors felt that it could be environmentally derived, and that it might even be attributed to something as simple as what I was putting on my skin. That was my awakening. I ate healthy, but I’d never given any thought to what I put on my largest organ.
In 2008, clean and conscious beauty was not the mainstream movement it is today. So when I started looking for products for myself, I simply couldn't find them. I started making them instead. After a successful surgery to remove the tumor (on Earth Day—the universe sends you signs!), I made it my mission to create a clean beauty collection, and to educate and empower others to be mindful about what they put on their skin, as well as into their body. I haven't stopped since.
“Life is not a dress rehearsal. If you know in your heart and soul that the side business or passion project is your purpose, do it.”

What’s your favorite product in the line? It is so hard to pick just one, so I’ll pick two. First, I can’t live without my Daily Vitamin Infusion. This is such a cool product: It’s an oil-based serum packed with my favorite ingredient, squalane. I have a long history with squalane, having used it originally as a solution to my over-dry skin, which at the time was so sensitized. In our Squalane Facial Oil, we use squalene from olives; in this formula, the squalane is derived from sugar cane. Daily Vitamin Infusion was made with sensitive (or sensitized) skin in mind, harnessing two plant-based ceramides, rosehip seed, avocado oil, antioxidants from rosemary leaf extract and vitamins A, C and E.
Second, I push myself to live an active lifestyle, and I-Recover Mind + Body Gel is my favorite go-to for relief. The thermogenic properties make it perfect for days in which I’ve pushed my body too hard. I love it on my temples when I’m stressed, and on my lower back and neck when I’ve been sitting at my desk too long.

What are your morning and evening routines? In the mornings, my best friend and I text one another “GMS”—short for “Good Morning Sunshine”—as soon as we wake up. It’s our way to remind one another that the day is filled with endless possibilities and that we are always there for one another. After that, I meditate for 20 minutes; meditation is one of my biggest rituals. I’ve been practicing transcendental meditation for more than six years. It’s something that always brings me back to center and keeps me grounded. I really feel the effects if I don’t stick with it.
As for my skincare routine, my ritual right now includes cleansing with our Purifying Face Wash, toning with our CoQ-10 Toner and following with our Stem Cell Serum and Daily Vitamin Infusion. Then I moisturize with our Superfruit Facial Cream and finish with our I-Waken Eye Serum. I also love using my jade roller and gua sha tools with my serums and moisturizers. The process allows me to be mindful and present while I apply my skincare.
In the evenings, I do my second meditation with the Sleep Body Oil. The relaxing, soothing scent just puts my entire body at ease and gets me in the right frame of mind to slow down. My evening skincare routine is the same as my morning one, except I add our Restorative Eye Cream for that extra punch!

What would people be surprised to learn about you? I am an avid gardener. In fact, I have a 750-square-foot organic greenhouse in my backyard where I grow edible flowers, herbs and vegetables. Despite that, I never knew how to cook! During Covid, I decided to take cooking classes via Zoom. Not only have I now learned how to make my own pasta from chefs in Italy, I love to cook for my friends and family using fresh ingredients from the greenhouse. What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business? Life is not a dress rehearsal. If you know in your heart and soul that the side business or passion project is your purpose, do it. I’d also say that asking for help is not a weakness—it can be a superpower!
Indie Lee of Indie Lee
The Founders Series
Learn how some of the beauty industry’s most dynamic entrepreneurs find inspiration and develop must-have products as they share their advice for aspiring business moguls and much more