Hey! That Was My Cosmetic Product Idea!

*This is the second post in a 3 part series to help you flush out your cosmetic product ideas.*

So you thought you had the best idea in the world for a cosmetic product. An idea that nobody else has ever thought of and thus couldn’t possibly exist. Until you punched a few keywords in Google and found a product strikingly similar to what you had in mind. It’s cool. No sweat. Finding that your brilliant idea already has a step-sister is a good indicator that there are people out the ready and willing to buy the product you create. It also puts you in perfect position to be the best to ever do it. That’s what we really want, right? First is cool, but you only get one reward for that.

*Have you ever seen people post on Instagram “First comment!”? What is that about?* I digress.

Being the best also puts you in line for being the classic. The one that never goes out of style. The legend. The legacy. That’s who you really want to be. So how do you get there?

  • Pick that step-sister apart. What claims are they making about the product? What does the ingredients list look like? Can you find any reviews on the product? How much is it selling for?
  • Decide on how you should brand your product. I’ve had clients come to me with great ideas that I’ve found dupes for in the marketplace. More often than not, the branding on the product is sub-par. When you’re a customer you don’t consciously realize how important packaging colors are. Or how you really feel about the fonts used on the bottle. But as a brand owner you know those details matter to customers even if they can’t articulate that to you. You’d hate to be the brand with a grand idea and sucky packaging. Think about it, that’s probably the reason why you had no idea this product already existed in the first place.
  • Buy the product. How can you know if it works if you don’t try it for yourself? Get up close and personal with your product experience. Be a hater. What would you say about this product if you wanted to convince someone not to buy it? Write that down. You’re going to need it.
  • Do your research. Find out what it’s going to take to make this product successful.  Take note of the details you want to infuse in the product, the visual branding, the marketing story, the packaging.  Find the resources to help you make it happen.
  • Make a plan and hop to it!

Here’s to the Glam Life!

Funding Your Beauty Business

So, to state the obvious, it’s going to cost some money to launch and maintain your beauty brand. You should carefully consider all methods of funding your beauty business. I am often asked by aspiring brand owners if they NEED an investor. My response- How quickly do you want to grow?

When I launched my first business, I was fresh out of college with a kindergartener and a newborn. I had no job, no money and no financial connections. I made a plan for my company and used a fraction of my tax refund to finance my basic plan. My mindset was to start with what I had and develop a business model that would support my humble beginnings. If the growth was slow, then so be it. Thankfully, I had a decent growth curve and starting with a modest investment meant that I was profitable with my very first project.

But of course everyone’s story is different. Some of you will be better served seeking an investor. One thing is for sure; companies like Birchbox didn’t become the powerhouse they are without a significant amount of money. Birchbox raised millions in private funding to get started and they were a major success story in less than one year.

So how do you make an educated decision about funding?

Take an inventory of all that you will need to launch your cosmetic brand. Include: product formula(s), packaging, graphic design work (website, logo, labeling, marketing materials), inventory of the finished product, and public relations (samples for press, full size for giveaways, event sponsorship, etc).
Study successful brands similar to yours. Find out how much they invested and how long it took for them to be profitable. If you can’t find exact numbers, make an educated guess.

Now you’re ready to ask yourself- Can I self-fund? Or do I need an investor?

Here’s to the Glam Life!

Launch Budget: Marketing vs PR

Whether your beauty brand launch budget is small or large, you’ll still have to decide how to spend your money. In a tight race between marketing and PR, where would you focus your launch budget? I think the answer to this question lies in the chief aim of the brand. For the sake of this post, let’s explore the working definition of each.

Simply put, marketing is you telling your audience about you. Public relations is someone else telling your audience about you. Which do you think holds the most credibility from your audience’s perspective?
Today, some of the best, most effective marketing strategies can be implemented for little to no money. Social media has opened the door for your marketing material to be presented globally. The important thing here is to have great visuals and well-thought out campaigns. Working with a great graphic designer will go a long way in your marketing efforts. What brands have you come across that did this well? Two brands that come to mind for me are The Lip Bar and Mischo Nail Lacquer. Take a stroll through their Instagram pages and you’ll get an idea of what I mean.

Public Relations is a little more tricky because it involves properly drafted press releases and solid relationships. If you’ve been proactive about building relationships with beauty bloggers, vloggers and editors then you’re already a little more than halfway there. There’s plenty of info out there about how to write a press release, pitch to the media and how to follow up. You just have to find it, perfect it, and put it to good use. Just keep in mind, PR is a lot of hands on work and it takes time. You may be better served hiring a professional so you can focus on other administrative tasks of building a beauty business.

If you have the budget to pay for marketing AND publicity I highly suggest you hire a professional for both. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to research and try some things for yourself. You need to know a bit of everything to be a good leader for your glam biz anyway.

What beauty brands have you seen utilize low cost marketing the best? Which is more valuable to you marketing or public relations? Do tell.

Here’s to the Glam Life!

Dreaming on a Deadline

Dreaming on a Deadline

Goals are dreams with a deadline. They are so necessary for achieving success, especially if you want to get there sooner than later. Setting goals is the first step in your journey to accomplishment. There are many different methods and philosophies for setting and accomplishing goals. I’ll share my personal method in case you’re curious. But I encourage you to do what works for you. The most important thing to do is actually set them.
Before I set any goal, I dream. I dream BIG and in COLOR. I visualize myself doing the work, I see inventory coming in, I see the product on the shelves and I see myself pitching the product to buyers. And then I see myself enjoying the success. I daydream about reinvesting profits and buying myself “Congratulations, you did it!” gifts.
After I’ve seen it all, I write the goal down; very literally. I’ll have my main goal and supporting goals that will help me get to the main. Once the goal is on paper, I write a plan of action. I break the goal down to each and every step I need to take to get there and then I tag those steps with a date. I can’t stress how important dates are. They create discipline and give you something to look forward to. You won’t always make the mark. That’s ok. Just set a new date and pick up where you left off. If you prioritize your goals and work the action steps, you’re guaranteed to make progress. Just make sure you’re checking in with yourself from time to time to analyze your methods and your progress. It’s always ok to re-work the plans when they aren’t serving you well. Just get moving!
How do you set your goals? Share your method with us.

Here’s to the Glam Life!

Teach Yourself to Crawl

Its been quite awhile since I’ve done a self-esteem post. One of my main goals in life and business is to help women learn to love themselves completely. A big part of loving yourself is celebrating the things you are good at and the things you have accomplished. Just as significant is creating new reasons to be proud of yourself. Humans are the most intelligent life forms. We have the ability to constantly learn, grow and change; meaning we have infinite opportunities to strive toward being our best selves. That means we should always set goals, accomplish them and set more.

I was watching my son move around a couple days ago, fascinated by his development, when I had a very intriguing thought. We teach babies how to walk, but we never teach them to crawl. How relevant that is to everyday life! Crawling is the first step to a person’s independent mobility. After we master crawling, we are ready to walk so we look to someone to teach us. Here’s my point: Do all that you can to help yourself achieve great things BEFORE you reach out for help. When you have first learned to crawl, you have increased confidence and experience the feeling of accomplishment which gives you the drive to achieve even more. It is inevitable that we will need some help getting to where we want to be, but we should never rely on someone else to get us started.

Its ok to get your knees a little dusty before you slip on those stilettos.

Lip Plumpers

Lip Plumpers

Every woman wants luscious lips, but not all of us are so blessed. I’ve become an avid reader of beauty blogs and i can’t help but notice that lip plumpers are everywhere! There are plumping glosses, balms, lipsticks, stains– the list just goes on and on. So of course, my intrigue is how do they work? I’ve never used a plumper so I didn’t have the luxury of flipping it over and reading the ingredients list, but of course I found the active ingredient!

So I’ve read that these plumpers tingle when applied which leads you to believe they work. Good news, you’re right! The tingle sensation is attributed to menthoxypropanediol, a derivative of menthol. The way it works is by causing irritation of the skin resulting in swelling. So why doesn’t regular old menthol have the same affect? Well, it can slightly, but menthoxypropanediol is made synthetically in a lab and it is twice as strong as menthol which results in greater irritation.

Because of the way these plumpers work, it is recommended that they are not used daily to prevent damage to the delicate skin on the lips. My suggestion: use sparingly for nights out as a part of your glam look.