With an aesthetic that can only be described as 'Palm Beach Princess', founder Anne Lauren of Azalea Drive wants to make the world of nailcare luxurious again. A beauty veteran, her nail polish formula is free of 21 harmful toxins found in standard polishes. Her journey to clean up nailcare doesn't end there: read on to learn about Anne Lauren and the stories behind Azalea Drive. Check out her website and Instagram, above, to keep up with her journey, including the opening of her boutique nail salon in Avondale this August.Shop Azalea Drive
"My background is in holistic esthetics, and I’m also a makeup artist. I started my beauty career at Stella Nova on King Street when I was 19. That's where my love and affinity for high-end creams, potions, and lotions came from. Through that, I was trained by so many incredible brands on ingredients and product knowledge."
"I always knew I would have some kind of offering in the beauty realm. As a makeup artist, I love color, and my house is full of textures and colors and patterns, and so, it just kind of came out of the sky one day and fell into my head: let’s just do nail polish."
"As women, we’re exposed to so many chemicals–an abundance of chemicals–every single day. It’s like, you don’t even get an option, they’re just in everything. Once I started researching, there weren’t that many brands that had [non-toxic options] available. When I first launched Azalea Drive, it was 10-toxin free. I got through the pandemic, and now it’s evolved to become 21-toxin free. It just keeps getting better and better."
Azalea Drive was founded in 2021 with the idea of becoming a cleaner alternative to traditional nail polish. Named after the street founder Anne Lauren's grandmother lived on, each polish, basecoat, and treatment has a name tied to her experiences growing up and living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Read on to hear her tell the stories behind each name.
"It was my honor to name this color for my super graceful, fancy, and undercover bad girl grandmother, Patricia Ann. She grew up in Hartsville, SC, and was just an iconic beauty to the core and a kindred spirit. I was definitely her mini, and I adored our close relationship. She taught me so many things: how to make mousse au chocolate, bananas foster, puff paint and bedazzle sweatshirts, how to play bridge, plant a garden, how to swim...amongst so many other things."
"My grandmother, Bobbie Jean, was raised on a tobacco farm in a shotgun house during the 30’s and 40’s. As the eldest child of 6, her responsibilities were birth given. Bobbie was always a self driven individual with no time to rely on others. In early 1950, she enrolled in Nursing School to ensure that she would always be able to provide a comfortable life for herself. Her independence, Scorpionic intuition (born on Halloween), loyalty to family and dedication to her career left an indelible impression to all who shared life with her. Always the lady to put herself second, she assumed the role of Matriarch ensuring her children and grand-children never went without. She is forever my strong source that I call upon when my bravery levels wear thin. Always dressed in hospital scrubs and red lipstick, she took care of business."
AISLE OF PALMS
"Growing up in Charleston with two sisters and a single mom, it was pretty common for us to escape to the beach as often as we could. Mom would roll down all the car windows, turn on John Cougar Mellancamp through the cassette radio and we’d sing all the way there. This color is a wink and a nod to one of the most gorgeous beaches along our South Carolina coastline, Isle of Palms, or as the locals call it, “IOP”. This sheer, milky pink is soft and sweet, just like the memories made on the beach with my family. It’s a color that goes with all skin tones and occasions: the perfect shade for any bride or conservative color connoisseur."
"When driving from Charleston to Marion County down state highway 41, the densely populated neighborhoods and shopping centers slowly begin to fade with each passing mile. The landscape gives way to a slower pace of life. The Pee Dee region of South Carolina boasts ample acreage of nourished farmland. The drive during September to my grandparent’s home always offered fields of white cotton blossoms blooming alongside the road. It’s not uncommon to see someone stop their car for a quick picking of it. This shade is a full opaque white and only requires 2 coats."