Jane the savage

Jane the Savage is an up-and-coming lipstick line created by NYU film student, multimedia artist and entrepreneur Chanele Hemphill. We sat down with her for a brief interview to learn more about the line, her ambitions, and how it all happened.


What encouraged you to create the Jane the Savage lipstick line?

After going through a lipstick craze and being dissatisfied with my options at the drugstore or even with larger companies like Mac, I decided to look into indie brands for products that were made organically, in a wider variety of colors that suited my skin tone, and more affordable. Most of them were pretty cool, but I still wasn't satisfied. So I decided to start Jane the Savage.

Most mainstream lipsticks tend to have a lot of fillers and other junk that is terrible for you. I've carefully gone through each and every ingredient that goes into my lipsticks to ensure that nothing I add is unnecessary or unhealthy. Jane the Savage lipsticks are 100% vegan, and made with sweet almond oil, peppermint oil, lavender, coconut oil, and other ingredients that are easily identifiable. The lipsticks are paraben-free and are handmade in small batches to insure quality.

But the most important thing that distinguishes my line from the others is that it was made with People of Color in mind. Searching for makeup that suits me in the 50 Shades of Beige of most drug stores has definitely informed my decisions in terms of color palette, especially since I’m often my own test subject. Men and women of Color will definitely find that the palette I have created is compatible to a wider variety of skin tones, especially darker tones. But ultimately I think that what Jane the Savage offers is a brand that was built on a foundation of supporting and representing People of Color. Why beg a brand consider your existence when there is one that actively celebrates you?

Currently, I have six color options: Civil Disobedience (black), Fairy (periwinkle-blue), Scoundrel (dark green), Andro (white), Literally (plum with gold flecks), and Slay (rose gold).


Who is your ideal consumer? What type of person wears Jane the Savage lipsticks?

When I created Jane the Savage I wanted to create lipsticks that were for people like myself and who don’t fit into a single category. My personal aesthetic ranges from edgy and cool to classic sorority girl, and I have just as much love for my navy blazer as I do for my black leather snapback, which is something I hope to translate into the line. I also want Jane the Savage to be a lipstick line that is gender neutral, which in itself is something that is atypical of most beauty lines, but is a reflection of humanity. The type of person who wears Jane the Savage lipsticks is one who isn’t afraid to make a statement whether it’s a fashion statement or a political one, and who lives their life on their own terms.


Are these lipsticks currently available for purchase? Or are they exclusively for use by makeup artists?

As of now the Jane the Savage line will be released to the masses online on May 26th, but are currently available per request by email.


What is your long-term business plan for Jane the Savage? Where do you see this in five years?

If I had to pick a place for Jane the Savage to be in five years I would definitely say a full cosmetic line with not only makeup but also things like soaps (I’ve wanted to have a line of soaps since I was a child), candles, etc. that is being sold internationally. As of now I plan on keeping Jane the Savage a small indie brand that will be sold exclusively online or through pop-up shops, as I want to keep the products handmade artisan pieces. 


What challenges have you encountered as a the founder of a small business?

The biggest challenge so far has been with all the moving parts involved in the launch. All the decisions I make in terms of design, marketing, branding, everything now will determine the future of the line and it’s identity. I don’t want to create something that isn’t me or that I don’t want to continue so the hardest part has been kind of thinking forward. As a Black woman, I definitely think that racial identity is one of the biggest challenges. I’m afraid of Jane the Savage being a brand that is forced to fit into a certain box because of the labels that tend to be put on Black women, especially in the beauty industry. I think one thing that does work in my favor is that Jane the Savage is made to be sort of an “outsider” brand, so many of the challenges that a brand looking to be sold in stores or a household name don’t really apply.


Chanele Hemphill is the founder of Jane the Savage lipsticks, and a freelance multimedia artist based in NYC and ATL.


Reach her at:

@janethesavage on twitter and @janethesavage on instagram