Many makeup brands prioritize Gen Z these days, but as someone in her 40s who is considered an elder millennial, I don’t care much about anyone’s target audience. I like what I like, especially when it involves a showstopping eye. While I appreciate a playful aesthetic with my makeup, it still needs to feel and look right for a wise and refined lady such as myself.
Enter Neen. The brainchild of celebrity makeup artist and Stila founder Jeanine Lobell, Neen pairs Gen Z’s affinity for technology and tutorials with high-performance, consciously formulated products that makeup lovers of all ages can appreciate. Surprisingly, I first heard about Neen through a non-editor friend who is also in her 40s shortly after its launch in March 2022.
The appeal was instant. Over on TikTok, the hashtag for #neen has 13.5M views. It’s not surprising—an industry veteran like Lobell knows what she’s doing. Always the innovator, Lobell conceived the idea of a monthly subscription card containing makeup samples and a QR code leading to a set of video tutorials. Subscribers get the total subscription cost in store credit. The idea is that people can test the product (or “date before you get married,” as the website states) before committing to a full-sized purchase, resulting in less waste and less clutter.
Even though these forward-thinking concepts clearly speak to Gen Z, they weren’t Lobell’s primary focus. “When I launched Neen, it was really age-agnostic. We’ve never been for or not for certain ages. I strive to innovate and create products that speak to makeup lovers of all types,” Lobell tells Who What Wear. “I think it’s more about a mindset—a psychogeographic—than an age demographic. The way to do this? Just always create the best in the formulation.”
Neen’s lineup features gloriously pigmented single shadows and mini palette trios, hydrating lip glosses, and creamy eye pencils, among other products. The brand’s newest release is the Going Steady Longwear Lip Color, a dreamy matte liquid lipstick in four bold shades.