Megan Dugan of Lemonhead is the first installment in The Creators series, a column where we spotlight the badasses shaping the current beauty landscape.
There are few things in life that make people of all ages lose their shit quite like glitter. From the haughtiest of runways (like Fendi, Versace, and Chanel) to the shelves at Toys “R” Us, sparkles manage to capture society’s collective imagination. A famed face painter, however, once likened the shimmery substance to the herpes of the beauty world because it sticks around for better or worse—clinging to whatever it lands upon (makeup brushes, skin, and hair) long after its worn out its welcome. Funnily enough, Megan Dugan, the founder of Lemonhead—a beauty brand based almost entirely around glitter—doesn’t disagree. “It was a huge pain in the ass,” she said of employing the shiny stuff as a pro. “I loved the look of it, but I hated using it.” After working for established cosmetic and skincare giants like Trish McEvoy, Caudalíe, and Tata Harper, Dugan set out on her own as a makeup artist and cooked up a clear, non-sticky, moisturizing base (the "secret sauce" in the video below) made with jojoba, apricot seed, and almond oils that she could blend with glitter to make application mess-free. Even better: The eye-catching concoction smells like sweet, citrusy Lemonhead candy thanks to a brew of essential oils whipped up by a real Los Angeles witch. (Yes, you read that right.) “My best friend is into really weird stuff, but so am I,” laughed Dugan. “There is even a special sparkle blessing for the oil.”
What started out as a hobby, however, quickly skyrocketed into an Instagram sensation literally overnight. (While we can’t be entirely sure, we’re going to say that “sparkle blessing” had something to do with Dugan’s success.) “I started taking jars [of Spacejam, a glitter-laced pomade] to different salons in L.A. and Nine Zero One [owned by renowned hairstylist Riawna Capri and colorist Nikki Lee] loved it and called me back a few hours later the night before Coachella and asked me to bring more over,” explained Dugan. “I didn’t have any made so I had to scramble, but I dropped off more jars at 10 p.m. that night.” The next morning, Spacejam was en route to Palm Springs and a beauty success story was born. Everyone from Vanessa Hudgens to Kendall Jenner was spotted at the festival sporting the sparkly pomade streaked across roots and boho waves. With an over-the-top shimmery effect that was practically made for selfies and names like Birthday Bitch (a bestselling mix of “Barbie Corvette pink” and “prismatic silver”) and Seapunk (described on Dugan’s site as an “aquamarine orgy”), how could sparkle-obsessed millennials, 80s babies (Dugan has Glitter Hair Barbie from the era of excess displayed proudly in her workshop), and beauty fanatics not buzz about the brand on social media?
The range has since expanded to include Spacepaste (a “toothpaste-like” spackle designed for face and body) and Spacedust (a glitter laden powder that absorbs oil and leaves strands with a gentle sprinkling of silver and gold highlights). It’s been embraced by pros (like Violette, Vincent Oquendo, and Katie Jane Hughes), celebs (including Elsa Hosk, Bella Thorne, and Karreuche Tran), and Instagram stars (such as Laura Lee and Jeffree Star). The next launch from Lemonhead is getting its start in the exact same place where Dugan first struck gold from glitter: Coachella. This year, she’s toting jars of Electric Spacepaste, her newest addition to the lineup (follow Lemonhead’s Instagram stories for a chance to score a free sample at the festival). The glow-in-the-dark gel seen swirled into pots on Instagram is bound to be just as mesmerizing IRL as it is on an iPhone (after all, thanks to Britney Tokyo, Hailey Baldwin, and Justine Skye, glow-in-the-dark nails are already shaping up to be a music festival must-have). According to the brand’s website, a dab or two of the luminescent substance is akin to a “Space Mountain acid trip.” Beauty junkies, prepare to get hooked.