Ashley Tisdale is probably still best known for having been on the Disney Channel. She was catapulted to mega-fame (at least among the youth demographic, anyway) when "High School Musical" became a smash hit phenomenon in 2006. These are just facts.
Unlike so many former child and teen stars who shy away from reflecting on their roots, Tisdale is game to walk down nostalgia lane, as her (many) social media followers know and appreciate. But of course, she's also evolved and changed in the decades since bringing the iconic Sharpay Evans to life: Her career has seen forays into the influencer sphere, interior design, entrepreneurship, wellness and lifestyle blogging — and now, founding her own beauty and wellness brand.
On Monday, Tisdale launched Being Frenshe, a fragrance, body- and hair-care line rooted in wellness and self-care. She partnered with brand incubator Maesa to develop the line, which will retail exclusively at Target. Being Frenshe's aim, per Tisdale, is to make little moments of grounding ritual, self-soothing indulgence and mood-enhancing luxury accessible, and to "treat wellness from the inside out."
"In 2020, I launched Frenshe, my wellness platform. As our community was growing, I was — like everyone else — anxious about the pandemic. I found myself leaning into these small, everyday rituals that helped center me: taking a bath, lighting a candle, taking a few extra moments to do a hair mask. Those were little things, but they helped a lot," Tisdale tells Fashionista. "I started thinking about the power of these everyday rituals, and I was also noticing how powerfully certain scents shifted my mood. I started to read more about the science of fragrance, and I learned how scent is deeply connected to our emotions."
The 45-SKU line spans five scent categories, each with a different mood and intention: "Awaken & Uplift" is citrus and amber; "Unwind & Rest" is lavender; "Soothe & Comfort" is vanilla; "Joy & Bliss" is floral; "Balance & Harmony" is bergamot and cedar. (For those unsure which of those sounds most enticing, there's also a fragrance discovery set offering mini perfume spritzers of all five.)
"It's a collection of self-care and wellness essentials, in scents designed to make you feel good," says Tisdale. "I wanted to create a line that encourages people to take a moment for themselves, and to offer them gorgeous scents that help them feel the way they want to feel."
The products themselves are a mix of self-care standbys (scented bath bombs) and innovative new formats (soothing magnesium-spiked "body serum" sticks). There's a clear emphasis on multi-taskers: Being Frenshe's fragrance mists are designed for use on hair, body and linen; the scrubs are formulated for use on the body and the scalp; the body oil can doubles as a hair serum. The expansive range also includes sensorial perfume oils, body washes, body lotions, bath powders, hair masks and candles.
While its pastel-washed minimalist packaging and elevated scents channel pure luxury, accessibility remains a pillar of the brand: The products are all priced between $7.99 and $16.99, and will be sold online at target.com and in more than 1,900 Target brick-and-mortar stores across the country.
"I'm really proud to be able to offer high-quality, clean formulas with beautiful fragrances at an accessible price," says Tisdale, who notes that when she audited her own beauty routine, so many of the products she turned to for a sense of calmness or serenity were expensive or felt otherwise exclusionary.
Fashionista got an early preview of Being Frenshe from Tisdale herself at a press event in New York City, and so we took the opportunity to delve into the founder's personal beauty routine, the early 2000s beauty trends she thinks are poised for a comeback and the lens through which she reflects on her personal style from her "HSM" days. (Spoiler alert: She won't be embarrassed by it, and it's honestly inspiring to hear her explain why.) Read on for the highlights of our conversation.
The brand is really focused on wellness and self-care. Are those subjects important to you personally, and how do you incorporate them into your own life?
Absolutely, 100%. I think self-care is vital, and it doesn't always have to be a big, involved thing. Having everyday rituals keeps me grounded and in a good place, mentally and physically. For instance, I'm continually amazed by how just 10 minutes of meditation can make me feel balanced and centered.
Do you have a favorite Being Frenshe product or a product you're most excited for people to try?
It's hard to choose just one product, but one I'm very proud of is our Reset Candle. I love scented candles, but a while back, I learned that some of the ingredients in typical scented candles aren't great for your health. Certain fragrances, for instance, have ingredients that I personally don't want to have floating through my home, especially with a toddler.
I set out to create a candle that had nontoxic ingredients and boosted your mood — without costing a fortune. It took a lot of work, and I probably drove our developers a little crazy in wanting it to be perfect, but the end result is exactly what I dreamed it would be. I have these candles in every room of my house.
Tell me about your beauty philosophy and approach to your own beauty routine.
I love beauty, and I feel like I've found a nice balance at this point. I used to try every skin-care product I could get my hands on. I would load my skin up with a million different ingredients, but it wound up causing breakouts. My facialist and dermatologist helped me pare back to a more minimalist regimen, and that's really improved my skin health. Now that I'm a mom, my hair and makeup routines have to be quick and simple. I'm also a big fan of treatments that produce results that last a while, like brow lamination or hydrafacials.
What's your skin-care routine like?
I start by cleansing with Joanna Vargas Vitamin C Face Wash. It's thorough, but it doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped. Then, I don't dry my face — my facialist, Christie Kidd, taught me to pat my skin after washing instead of toweling off. I use her Fresh Pads for gentle exfoliation. I like a hyaluronic acid serum applied to damp skin, and then Joanna Vargas Eden moisturizer. It's lightweight and especially nice to use in hot, humid weather. I never skip eye cream; I think it's one of those things that's going to pay off in the long run. I always wear SPF, too — lately, it's Elta MD Clear, and I like it because it doesn't feel oily or heavy.
At night, I cleanse and moisturize again, and I'll wear Vaseline on my lips to keep them from drying out. Just before turning off the lights, I apply the Being Frenshe Hand Serum and drift off to sleep.
What about your everyday makeup routine? Any specific products you're loving right now?
I keep things pretty simple if I'm home or hanging out with friends. If I'm wearing makeup, a little concealer under my eyes, some mascara and bronzer pretty much does it for me. I like to dust the bronzer over my eyelids to tie the look together without too much effort. I finish it off with Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick.
Do you have any recent favorite beauty discoveries or obsessions?
Yes! I recently tried the Kosas Big Clean Mascara. It's so good, and it makes your lashes look fluffy. I picked up Saie's Slip Tint a few weeks ago and have liked that a lot, especially if I'm staying near the ocean — it has SPF and a little tint, so I can just toss it on and be protected from the sun. I also started using Rhode Glazing Fluid a couple of weeks ago, and it makes my skin look super dewy.
I love that you embrace nostalgia and reference your early career and Disney days on social media. Looking back at that time, are there any beauty looks you wore then that you still love now? Or any that you think are embarrassing or funny to look back at?
Thank you! I think some of those beauty looks hold up pretty well. You can't go wrong with something timeless like a sleek updo or a smoky eye, and I wore tons of those. Still, there are definitely some looks that made sense at the time, but I wouldn't choose today. Like at the 2007 MTV Music Awards, I was wearing a hot pink, lingerie-inspired dress and topped it off with dramatic false lashes and a million barrel curls. It was, as they say, a lot of look.
But I don't really get embarrassed by my old beauty or fashion choices, because the girl in those photos wasn't embarrassed. I can laugh at some of the outfits and looks, but I have a lot of fondness for that girl and her confidence.
Working in entertainment from such a young age, you had to have been exposed to so many beauty products and trends from so early on. What are some of the best beauty tips you've picked up on set?
On-camera makeup is different from the kind of makeup you'd wear in normal life — like maybe you'd wear tinted moisturizer to brunch with friends, but for film, you need a full-coverage foundation and a lot of other makeup. A makeup remover wipe isn't enough to take it all off. You really need to set aside the time to thoroughly cleanse your skin, give it a massage and turn that into a ritual to help you close the day. It's good for the health of your skin, but also, it doesn't feel good to wake up with yesterday's makeup on. I think there's something symbolic about washing the day away and starting fresh the next day.
Another thing I learned is to think of your skin beyond your face. Most of us focus on things like eye creams and face serums, which of course I love — but if you're on set or going to an event, a makeup artist is always going to address the other skin on your body to make sure it looks good on camera, too. Moisturized skin with a little gleam to it always looks healthy, so before I leave the house, I massage a few drops of our Being Frenshe Body & Hair Radiance Oil into my arms and legs. Even if I'm just going to the grocery store, it just makes me feel good to sneak in a little massage moment before I do.
Are there any early 2000s beauty trends you think are poised for a comeback?
Frosted pastel eye shadow, thin brows and lip gloss all feel very Y2K to me. Especially on TikTok, I love seeing how people are remixing those trends for today — though I don't think you'll catch me in body glitter anytime soon.
Are there any products from that era that you miss and wish would make their return? For me, it's the Urban Decay Edible Body Powders.
Product-wise, do you remember those tiny Prada lip balms? The formula was so good. I wish those could come back in sustainable, biodegradable packaging.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
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