Tag Archive | interview

#TBT @ItsMatin

I’ve interviewed movers and shakers in the beauty industry and by far, my absolute favorite interviewee was Matin.  He is my favorite because of his amazing life story and charitable activities (in fact, he was a 2007 finalist for CNN Heroes).

Here’s a video from Byrdie where Matin discusses his five must-have products:

My interview with Matin spanned three blog posts:

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3

I hope that you’ll read all three parts and come away impressed by his candor and exuberance .


The Style Page interview with Grace Fodor of STUDIO I 10

Grace Fodor is the founder of STUDIO | 10 Beauty, which recently had its official US launch. STUDIO | 10 offers age- and skin-perfecting ‘quick fix’ beauty solutions for women.  The Style Page interviewed Grace about Studio | 10 on the occasion of its official US launch.

Grace Fodor of Studio 10 | Beauty

Grace Fodor of Studio 10 | Beauty

1. According to your Linkedin profile, you served as Director, Jemma Kidd Make Up, where you “Developed [the] brand, proposition and IP as well as setting up company, funding, teams, infrastructure and operations.” Why and how did you strike out on your own?

Studio | 10 is my passion I’d reached a point in my life where I was looking for a makeup range designed for women as they age – to tackle the issues that older women face. I needed more than products with just added anti-ageing ingredients, but that specifically disguise, cover and correct the signs of ageing. I wanted to explore the ‘aesthetics’ of professional artistry, and develop a range that would give women the ability ‘to look younger’ as part of their daily routine. I wanted a range that did a ‘job of work’ for me!

I felt that there was a clear opportunity to launch Studio | 10 and even though the cosmetics market is crowded, the lack of ‘dedicated’ attention given to the needs of older women means that we can operate in a relatively ‘fresh’ space. We are a very small, dedicated team that has worked hard to make sure that formulations are 100% right; we’ve worked hard to source formulas, textures, pigments and colours that specifically suit more mature skintones.

What we’ve tried to develop is an innovative range of age correcting and skin perfecting makeup essentials. Problem solvers and professional fixes for 10 years younger results in an instant.

2. I’m always interested in the challenges that beauty entrepreneurs face. When I’ve asked other movers and shakers in the beauty industry about challenges they faced when starting out, I’ve received different answers: financing, finding suppliers, production schedules, and just simply eagerness and impatience to get the products to market. Your experience at Jemma Kidd Make Up must have given you a leg up when you started Studio | 10. What challenges did you face in starting Studio | 10?

Being such a unique brand did create some issues and challenges as everyone from investors through to retail had to be encouraged to see a new light. My other key challenge was ensuring the formulations were 100% right, the textures were suited for ageing-skin and had the finished result I was looking for. At the same time, we had tight timelines and needed to make sure that we launched on time.

3. What gap did you see in the beauty market and how does Studio | 10 fill that gap?

Beauty is my passion and I felt that something was missing in the market. Personally I was looking for a makeup range designed for women as they age! There are a lot of products with added anti-ageing ingredients, but I felt there wasn’t a brand specifically tailored to my needs that could do some hard work!

Studio | 10 Anti-aging collection

Studio | 10 Anti-aging collection

4. Studio  | 10 is sold in the UK by Marks & Spencer department store and Cult Beauty. How did you enter into partnership with M&S and Cult Beauty?

We wanted to work with retailers that have a good ‘brand’ and customer fit, in terms of demographics, age and interests. But almost more importantly to us, we are looking to build ‘close and personal’ relationships with our customers with real building relationships, understanding, trust and loyalty. Choosing retailers that do that really well is key for us.

cultbeauty.co.uk is a perfect fit for us in this sense. They house so many fantastic cult, niche brands with a loyal and trusted following, it seemed the ideal place for us to begin building a close relationship with our customers.

Marks & Spencer is also a great retailer for us as their customers are our customers. We’ve built a really good relationship with them and constantly do in-store events to entice new customers and get our brand out there! Their beauty department is expanding and we wanted to be a part of it!

5. What are your future plans for Studio | 10?

Studio | 10 have exciting and ambitious plans for the year ahead! We’re expanding our range and distribution over the coming months, which we’re really looking forward to. Creating innovative new products that really make a difference to women is at the very heart of what we do and nothing makes us more motivated.

We’re still young but we’ve been humbled by the amazing interest in the brand. We launched with Sephora Australia a couple of months ago and we’re in talks with a number of other international retailers…I couldn’t be more thrilled!

6. Studio | 10 is targeted for women in their mid-30s and older, although your website says “a number of the perfecting fixes have become ‘must have’ problem solvers for younger women.” What are the biggest makeup blunders that older women make and how do you correct them?

Prepping the skin is vital for applying makeup effectively. Always start with a moisturiser and it’s good to use a primer – it gives the perfect base for concealer and foundation to blend seamlessly. Use colour correctors to even the skin tone and correct dark circles, blemishes and discolouration. Always make sure that you blend or buff! It’s the way to make sure your makeup looks ultra-natural and it’s worked well into your skin. You want to avoid any visible or harsh lines.

As you age stay away from powder – it sits on the skin. I strongly suggest that you use creme or liquid makeup – they tend to be much more flattering and youthful, giving the skin a dewy ‘lit from within’ appearance. They also help to avoid the heavy and ‘cakey’ effect which is so ageing.

In terms of contouring my biggest tip is not to use a bronzer – so many women try contouring with a bronzer and it doesn’t look natural. Bronzing powders add warmth to the face whereas natural shadows are dull and ashy toned in comparison. Be careful with colour also – it’s about wearable colour; choosing the right colour and formula is important!

Studio | 10 Plumping Blush Glow-plexion

Studio | 10 Plumping Blush Glow-plexion

7. Would you like to share some beauty tips with our readers?

Makeup should never be about masking and covering but correcting and enhancing. Focus on priming the face and use colour correctors, rather than heavy concealers and foundations, to counteract any discolouration and even the skin tone. You’ll then find you only need a minimal amount of coverage to create a flawless finish. And make sure you always have the perfectly shaped brows, you look ‘put together’ even without any make makeup. Groomed brows shape the face, create balance and add definition to the eyes. They’re also a quick-fix eyelift – without any surgery!

8. When you’re not working on Studio | 10, what you enjoy doing?

Running your own company there is always something else to do, which means it is hard to totally switch off, but I take time to run regularly as well as doing yoga and meditation classes. I also love taking long walks with our dog and every weekend I arrange flowers for the house – I find it really therapeutic!

9. Are there any parting remarks you would like to make about beauty?

Never allow yourself to be defined by someone else’s definition or stereotype of beauty. It’s all about accepting and making the best of what you have and ‘looking like the best version of yourself’.

The Style Page interview with Nonie Creme of Nonie Creme Colour Prevails

Nonie Creme is the Founder & Creative Director, Nonie Creme Colour Prevails.  Nonie Creme Colour Prevails was launched only last week and has been rolled out in Walgreens stores nationwide.  Nonie was Former Founding Creative Director of  butterLONDON.

In this interview, Nonie discusses the challenges she faced in starting a new cosmetics line and her partnership with Walgreens.

Nonie Creme

Nonie Creme

1. You said that you felt like you were able to identify a blank space in masstige. What was that blank space, and how does Colour Prevails fill it?

Think about your local drugstore. You are in there 3-5 times a week, even if you don’t want to be! Now think about what’s on offer in the beauty dept. All the big mass brands are there, but what if there was this beautiful, exciting, luxurious brand that looked like it walked out of a dept store, sitting there too? What if the formulations rivaled brands that cost 5080% more? What if the packaging were worldclass, and patented to guarantee a better result? Well, it’s real!

2. I’m always interested in the challenges that entrepreneurs face. When I’ve asked other movers and shakers in the beauty industry about challenges they faced when starting out, I’ve received several different answers: financing, finding suppliers, production schedules, and even eagerness and impatience to get the products to market. What challenges did you face in starting Colour Prevails?

Well, all of those are true, but before you even get to the broke, stressed, impatient phase, there is a whole other mountain to climb. To be truly successful as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to take enormous risks. I have had to take risks and make decisions that have put my entire way of life into uncertainty. I’ve moved across the globe, I’ve starved, I’ve walked away from huge job offers, and all of those things had to happen in order for me to get where I am. I’d say the biggest challenge I faced in the beginning was fear. These days I take what’s coming – and it’s NOT always good. I move forward with purpose and utter belief in myself and my business, and if it all goes to s@#t, then I will dust myself off and try again. You have to fail to succeed, and if you are not willing to fail as completely as you succeed, then you won’t make it.

3. Why did you choose the butterfly wing as the symbol for Colour Prevails?

Conceiving and founding Colour Prevails has been a hugely transformative experience for me. I wanted to use brand iconography that appealed to me aesthetically, but also has some significance for me and my customers on a personal level. The wing is beautiful and mysterious in its own right, but it also points to metamorphosis and the idea that we are always growing, always changing, and always discovering ourselves.

4. You said that Walgreens was your first and only choice as a retailer. Why did you choose Walgreens? How did you partner with Walgreens?

I thought a LOT about who the right retail partner would be. I knew I wanted to work with a mass retailer, and I knew I wanted the broadest reach I could possibly get. Walgreens are 8,500 stores strong in the USA, and have recently acquired Boots Alliance in the UK. They are without question, the most important player in mass. They bring more depth of knowledge to my business than I could ever hope to have. Apart from that, Walgreens is just a fantastic fit for me. I’m about as far-out as you can get in the beauty biz, and that fact that they weren’t startled or put off by me, and were ready to celebrate me as I was, and for my expertise over my notoriety, meant that I had found the perfect home. Walgreens has treated me like family, I’m very lucky.

5. Your products may be purchased through walgreens.com, but I see that many are web exclusives. Could you tell us anything about the rollout of Colour Prevails in Walgreens stores? How many Walgreens stores will carry Colour Prevails?

Actually, the entire range is available in all 3,000 stores where you can find us. There are no web exclusives. (Probably just says that while we roll out the stores)

6. When you’re not working on Colour Prevails, what you enjoy doing?

I have a very rich social life. My friends are my family, and we gather at least 3 times a week with our kids and just hang out, drink (we are all drinkers!), and play music by the fire pit. I’m a workaholic, it’s just hard wired, but my little girl and my friends give me a sense of calm and support that keeps me grounded.

7. Any parting thoughts on beauty?

YES! Don’t ever listen to someone else’s opinion on how you should look. We all have our gripes about ourselves (my fat belly…), but try to focus on something that YOU like about yourself and make that your jumping off point. If you feel beautiful with green hair and winged liner, then you need to wear that! Truly beautiful women are the ones who are confident in their own skin. Be fearless in trying different looks until one resonates for you. Oh, and remember not to judge other people for their beauty experiments. Everyone is beautiful, and variety is the spice of life.

Thanks to Nonie Creme and her awesome PR

An interview with Jenny Patinkin of Lazy Perfection

Jenny Patinkin

Jenny Patinkin

Jenny Patinkin is a Chicago-based makeup artist who launched her Lazy Perfection line of makeup brushes last year. Unsatisfied with mass-produced brushes, she developed her own line of luxurious makeup brushes, which are handmade by Japanese artisans.

Lazy Perfection was picked up by high-end retailers Cos Bar and SpaceNK.  In addition, gloss48.com recently held a flash sale (now closed) of Lazy Perfection brushes.

In this interview, Jenny resolves the seeming contradiction in the name “Lazy Perfection,” discusses her hero products, and gives 2 makeup tips that are flattering to all women.

1. How did you get started in makeup? Do you have a background or interest in art? I’ve interviewed several makeup artists, and what they have in common is a background or interest in art.

I started in makeup kind of by accident. After being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, I wanted to go back to work and was looking around at beauty related business opportunities. Along the way I met a makeup artist who recognized some natural ability and she encouraged me to get some training. I’d always loved makeup, but my artistic abilities were previously unknown to me. Such a fun, exciting surprise to have discovered them at 40!

2. Your bio says that you were trained at the Jemma Kidd Makeup Academy in London, England. What motivated you to travel abroad and pursue training in England?

The focus of my time at JK was on makeup history. I didn’t see any other classes offered in the US quite like this one and I knew it would give me a foundation of knowledge that would support any style I chose to do.

3. How did you get signed by Timothy Priano only 3 weeks after graduating from the Jemma Kidd Makeup Academy? He has represented some of the most prominent MUAs in the industry.

The artist who trained me in Chicago recommended me to Priano and they brought me in to do 3 test shoots with some of their new models. It was an incredibly nerve wracking day, made all the more so because they expected me to do hair as well, something about which I know very little. But, as soon as the agency saw the test shots, they offered me a contract, which was very flattering.

4. Why the name “Lazy Perfection” for your collection of brushes? It sounds like a contradiction in terms!

The name is absolutely a nod to how easy it is to apply your makeup with these brushes! My collection is made from brush hairs so soft that they pick up less product from the pan and then bend and flex as soon as they touch your face, making the distribution of your product much more even. The easier it is to blend your makeup, the faster you can finish your look and get out the door. That’s Lazy Perfection.

5. Your makeup brushes are handcrafted in Japan. Are there any other aspects of Asian aesthetics that appeal to you?

I appreciate understated beauty and simplicity, so the minimalism in the Japanese aesthetic definitely speaks to me. There might be a lot of detail, but it never appears overworked or overdone. The traditional Japanese aesthetic has a purity and elegance that I very much admire.

6. Your top-selling brushes are the All Over Face, Domed Multi Blender, and Flat Fluffy Cheek brushes. Why do you think that these brushes are so popular?

Lazy Perfection by Jenny Patinkin

Lazy Perfection by Jenny Patinkin

The All Over Face Brush is my #1 best seller because it can do just so much – it’s a makeup brush Super Hero!  Any complexion product you need to apply, whether it’s liquid, cream or powder, applies quickly, every and beautifully. From foundation to blush, to bronzer, contour, highlighter, powder or mineral powder, this brush is a multi-tasking powerhouse that couldn’t make your makeup routine any simpler.

The Domed Multi Blender Brush has a soft but dense tip, which is absolutely fabulous for buffing under eye concealer seamlessly.   You can apply less concealer with a brush like this since it distributes the product so well, and that means less chance of creasing. The thinner the layer, the longer the wear!  It’s also terrific for spot concealing discoloration on the skin and for applying a diffused blend of cream or powder eyeshadow.

The Flat Fluffy Cheek Brush is 100% Blue Squirrel and the softest, most luxurious blush brush ever!  I was so tired of having scratchy dry brushes on my face that made me feel like I was exfoliating instead of applying makeup!  The short edge of this brush can be used for contouring or highlighting; the broad edge gives a 1-sweep application, and the uncut tapered tips of the hair practically blend product for you.

7. What are your views about natural bristles versus synthetic bristles?

At the end of the day, the way a brush blends your makeup is what matters most. Uncut, tapered, natural hairs practically float the product onto your skin, and the ones in my line are amazingly luxurious and soft. People don’t realize that the same way there are different grades of natural hair, there are different grades of synthetic hairs, too. It’s the inexpensive synthetics I don’t care for, because they loose their flexibility over time, start to stick together, and get weighed down with oils and pigments which makes the blending process slower and more difficult.

8. Your brushes are sold not only through your web site, but also through premium vendors such as Cos Bar and SpaceNK. How did your collection get picked up by Cos Bar and SpaceNK?

I cold called them! Lily Garfield from Cos Bar and Nicky Kinnaird from SpaceNK understood immediately what I was trying to do and that my line of brushes is several steps higher in quality than a mass produced line. They both remain wonderful mentors to me.

9. What are your plans to expand your brand?

I am currently working on a range of innovative products, including a new brush concept that is designed to enable Lazy Perfection and simplify and streamline the makeup process for women.

10. As you live in Chicago, have you done makeup for Michelle Obama and Oprah?

I have met them both, but have never been fortunate enough to do their makeup. Michelle Obama’s skin is magnificent – I’d love to have the opportunity to work with her.

11. What is the biggest mistake that women make in applying makeup?

Too often, women obsess about the little flaws only they can see on their faces and pile on product to either cover them up or change them. Once you start messing with nature by trying to fight it or alter it, it can take you into tricky territory. I think we all have to be a little kinder to ourselves and realize that the little flaws aren’t worth the anxiety. That’s part of Lazy Perfection – eliminating the stress.

12. What makeup tips can you share with us?

There are 2 things I think are flattering on all women, regardless of age, coloring, etc. 1) Tight lining the upper lash line gives definition to the eye and creates the appearance of fuller lashes, and 2) very subtly highlighting the outer tops of the cheeks makes your complexion look naturally radiant.

13. Do you have any parting thoughts about beauty that you would like to share with our readers?

Applying your makeup doesn’t have to take forever or be stressful. It’s all about blending. Blend, blend, blend … and then blend some more.

An interview with Jessica of VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind

Jessica Liebeskind loved shopping for cosmetics at her local drug store as a pre-teen. In college, she founded her first make-up line, which was sold exclusively by college students on campuses across the country. On a visit to Bergdorf Goodman, she saw Bobbi Brown and knew she had to introduce herself to Bobbi Brown. After 3 interviews, she was hired for global product development. She created Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick Compact and Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. More recently, she consulted on Estée Lauder’s re-launch of the Pure Color line.

Jessica Liebeskind

Jessica Liebeskind

Jessica debuted her own cosmetics line VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind on HSN on New Year’s Day.

Inspired by Jessica’s philosophy that women just want to look pretty – VINTAGE products create an updated classic beauty look gorgeously enhancing eyes, lips and cheeks. The highly curated collection is comprised of NEW neutrals that complement a woman’s skin tone – not just match it; NEW pigments that pop her features and catch the light as she moves; and NEW textures that deliver luxurious comfort and long-wear benefits.

It’s apparent that Jessica has inherited her mentor Bobbi Brown’s aesthetic.

The Style Page discussed beauty with Jessica Liebeskind:

TSP: Tell us about your debut on HSN on New Year’s Day.

JL: The debut was amazing! It was so full of energy and excitement. I really couldn’t have thought of a better day or a better way to kick off the new year.

TSP: What was the most challenging aspect of launching a new cosmetics line?  One beauty entrepreneur told me that it was financing; another told me it was production schedules.

JL: Being a consumer products company and manufacturing custom designed and developed goods can take a while, so for me I had to get comfortable with being patient.  I was so excited by what I was creating; the packaging, the textures, the magnificent colors  – I couldn’t wait to get women wearing and enjoying the make-up – so waiting for me was definitely a hard part.

TSP: Your beauty philosophy is “women just want to look pretty.”  What does pretty mean to you?

JL: Pretty is a feeling. It’s a confidence, a knowing. I love it when a woman tries a new technique and her eyes stand out or puts on a beautiful blush and she’s brightened up – there’s a happiness that comes over her in an instant. That’s pretty.

TSP: What is PrettyU?

JL: PrettyU! is a really fun project I’m working that I hold very close to my heart. That’s all I can leak out for now.

TSP: What’s next for Vintage Cosmetics?  How do you plan to expand your line and its distribution?

JL: When [you’re] new it can be very exciting because there are so many options and opportunities. But the secret is to hold tight to the vision and stay focused on who you are. For VINTAGE you’ll likely see a slightly broader (but still edited) shade offering, new product categories and growth in digital.

TSP: What do you enjoy doing when you are not working on your cosmetics line?

JL: I love spending time in flower shops and farmers markets. It’s my second passion. I also really enjoy a great spin class, visiting my family & friends back in California and laughing with my nephew.

TSP: Are there any beauty tips that you would like to share with our readers?

JL: I always say it isn’t about a lot of make-up, it’s about the right make-up.

TSP: Are there any parting remarks you would like to make about beauty?

JL: Beauty is fun. It should make you feel good — and wear blush!

StyleCraze Expert Interview Series with The Style Page

I am very happy to share that StyleCraze.com, “India’s largest beauty network,” has published its interview with me about The Style Page blog.

Expert Interview Series – Julie Maitra - stylecraze.com

Expert Interview Series – Julie Maitra – stylecraze.com

 As a confirmed Indophile, this is exciting news for me!