Arielle Vandenberg Strips Down With Clean Essentials Brand Rel Beauty (Exclusive)

While so many of us were baking bread or binge-watching just about everything in the Netflix catalog during the pandemic last year, actress and Love Island host Arielle Vandenberg worked hard on the foundations for her new clean beauty brand, Rel Beauty. "It is one of the hardest things I've ever done," she told PopCulture.com in an exclusive interview. "I faced so many challenges, but you just have to get through them and it will end up being okay."

Keeping it fresh with clean, natural and organic ingredients, the CEO and founder of Rel Beauty has always had a knack for creativity and imagination, as seen with her comedic offerings. But her latest ambitious venture is nothing to laugh at as it's fast becoming a sensation among shoppers and her more than 1.4 million fans on Instagram. With a brand most perfectly aligned to her own modest values of beauty and self-love, Vandenberg reveals Rel Beauty is all about simplicity and the "most stripped-down you" possible. "[That's] the most beautiful you — that's how you were made, that's how you were created," she said. "You are so, beauty, like you, are beautiful and I want people to know how beautiful they are [with these products]."

Introducing No Duh, six new lip balms formulated with botanical, natural and vegan ingredients, the cruelty-free products are the perfect stocking stuffers this season, arriving in PCR and FSC packaging as Vandenberg's way to do her environmental part. Including a vegan beeswax blend with regeneratively-sourced shea butter and other naturally derived oils to keep lips cushiony, conditioned and soft as silk without any stickiness, the proactive Vandenberg reveals her reason for making Rel Beauty was all about honing in on an opportunity. "I could not find the product that I made, so I made it," she said of the California-made products, adding how she's a "simple makeup person" despite being constantly glammed up in front of the camera. "Right now, obviously, I have mascara on and foundation and the things. But normally, and even right now — I don't wear that much makeup. Most of the time, I'm wearing some kind of chapstick with lipstick and that feels weird."

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(Photo: Arielle Vandenberg / Rel Beauty)

Adding how products used off the store shelves aren't often organic, she expresses her additions to the beauty realm with Rel Beauty was all about a need for something that initially fit into her own natural regime. "All I wanted was a lip balm that had great color payoff and beautiful shades that were natural and organic ingredients," Vandenberg said of the six products made with plant-based fatty acids to protect and repair for all-day wear. "It just feels good, looks good and it's all the things and I really could not find."

Sharing how her everyday life is often filled with a sweater, jeans or a T-shirt and no makeup, Vandenberg keeps her "vibe" with makeup very "simple," primarily through the addition of Rel Beauty now. "I love essentials. I love a good cream blush, and I want to make all of those things — I want to create the organic essentials basically," she said. "It's just unfussy and effortless and you just put it in your back pocket. If you're on a hike, the last thing you want to do is pull out your compact mirror and your lipstick. No. If you're on a date or something, you don't want to pull that stuff out, you just want to sit at dinner and be present and put your chapstick on and it looks so effortless. It's the best."

Sharing how it took an "embarrassing amount of time" to release the products due to COVID, Vandenberg most humbly wouldn't trade that time for the world as she knows it helped her nail the "very important" formula she wanted for Rel Beauty. "I truly spent so much time on this formula," she said while showing off the six different No Duh shades: Obviously (it's clear), Totally (sheer pop of pink), Frick Yes (sheer blush nude), For Sure (sheer cherry), Most Definitely (sheer coral) and Absolutely (sheer mocha).

Most inventively, Vandenberg reveals the shades are all the "different ways to say yes," an aspect she is "obsessed" with as she shares her favorite go-to shade is Frick Yes, a blushy nude balm she touts is "so freaking pretty" and the reason she called it that particular name. "[But] all the shades look so beautiful on every different skin tone, any different look you're going for, they're super buildable," she adds, further admitting the clear balm Obviously is also "good for guys and kids" and reveals her fiance and comedian, Matt Cutshall is a big fan. "[But] just honestly, [it's] your lip color, but elevated. Whichever way you want it to elevate — if you want to bring out the reds, get For Sure. If you want to bring out the pink, get Totally. It really just elevates your true, natural beauty, which is what I really wanted to accomplish and I feel like I really nailed it."

While the No Duh lip balms are Vandenberg's first foray into the beauty world, she shares something else is brewing behind the scenes, but she won't share just yet. "The formula is done and I am so excited," she said, adding how once it's all completed, it should launch sometime during the first part of 2022. "You're always going to get something from me that is truly the best. I would not put it out if I was not standing behind it." 

Adding how companies in the past approached her to collaborate on makeup, Vandenberg discloses she was not a fan of having no control over what the product really was like in the building process. "I needed to have that control because if I'm putting my name on something, it's going to be the best version of that — mark my words, I promise you'll be so addicted to this," she said of Rel Beauty's No Duh lip balms. "It just feels so good, it smells so good, it looks so good. It's all the things that you want in such a Rel-istic tube."

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Admitting how beauty has come "very far" in the industry amid narratives over how women should look and feel, Vandenberg, says when it comes to the changing tides of such depictions embracing more natural beauty, it's all about being honest with yourself through the most sincere you and hopes Rel Beauty helps fans and consumers feel that way. "I truly think that your natural colors, and whatever you have yourself, is so beautiful and I feel like just showcasing that is super important to me," she said. "And that's why I love what I created because it just kind of enhances what you already have."

The perfect stocking stuffers this holiday season, Rel Beauty is now available exclusively at RelBeauty.com. For more on Arielle Vandenberg, keep it locked to PopCulture.com for the latest in entertainment news and more.