An Interview with Lauren and Ann, founders of 42 Dubonnet

Hello folks!

If you are a big history nerd, vintage art and decor lover, and you love makeup, I am sure you will be as excited as I was to discover 42 Dubonnet. A makeup brand that brings you the mystery and allure of the 1920s, 42 Dubonnet does not disappoint with their beautiful 1920’s inspired packaging and petite sized products you can slip into your purse. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ann and Lauren, the mother daughter duo who founded the brand and today I’d like to share with you their entrepreneurial  journey and the story of the brand!

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Lauren and Ann , founders of 42 Dubonnet

I love the aesthetics of 42 Dubonnet which is inspired by the 1920’s! What about this era appealed to you, that you went about creating an entire line inspired by this period.

Ann: I was visiting Lauren in Miami Beach for the first time. We were sipping on cocktails at Lauren’s favorite speakeasy-inspired bar and we started talking about the feelings of glamour and freedom of Miami Beach. We both loved the Art Deco colors and love the beautiful and distinctive Art Deco style. Lauren started reminiscing about her grandma’s Art Deco vintage compacts and lipsticks and the seed of 42 Dubonnet was planted.

Who would you describe as your fashion/ style role model from the 1920’s?

Lauren: There are so many role models for me from Greta Garbo, to Amelia Earhart, to the women who fought for women’s right to vote in 1920. The 1920’s symbolizes the rise of female empowerment. While I was a costume design major at the University of Texas, I used to spend hours flipping through Vogue magazines from the 1920’s and 1930’s. From the ultra-glam flapper girls to the first waves of cool androgyny, 1920’s fashion was all about liberation, trying new things and having a whole lot of fun in the process. In the 1920’s women’s style loosened up, corsets came off and skirts got shorter. We can thank Coco Chanel for this. She led the concept of casual chic in the 1920’s and is responsible for the little black dress, skirt suit, costume jewelry, and best of all, pants! Thanks to Coco Chanel, pants for women were in for the very first time! Greta Garbo was one of my favorite icons from the 1920’s. She projected a magnetism and mystique. I also love King Kong’s beautiful Fay Wray and designers like Paul Poiret.

If I were to step back into the 1920’s for a Great Gatsby style party, which of your products would you recommend I take with me 🙂

Ann: Definitely our Dubonnet lipstick for those show-stopping classic red lips which defined beauty in that era. And also our Smoky Eyes mini compact to create a decadent smoky eye which was another beauty favorite back then. Pair it with our Sultry Eyes Gel Liner and Fringe Mascara Noir. And of course, you’ll want to use your lipstick as blush for the apples of your cheeks.

Do you see any vintage beauty trends making a comeback in the near future?

Ann: Because of the dramatic flair and luxe living, I think the 1920’s will always find ways to inspire and a lot of the beauty trends from then are still here today although maybe modified a bit…like the smoky eye look and that classic red lipstick.

What is it like working as a mother daughter team?

Lauren: Growing up, I had no idea my mom would be my business partner. Although we were close, I’m very creative and she’s more analytical. While you might think these personality differences would cause conflict in our business relationship, what’s great is that our skill sets actually complement each other. We learned to trust in each other’s strengths and it gave us a whole new appreciation for each other. For example, when we’ve had a less desirable outcome from one of our campaigns we use our unique skills sets to bond over solving problems and changing this setback into a success. These experiences have only made our bond stronger.

Ann: Well said!

What are some of the highs and lows you’ve experienced as beauty entrepreneurs?

Ann: For the highs, working with so many talented MUAs on IG is a big one and of course winning 2 packaging awards is huge. But the biggest accomplishment is having our customers love our products.

For the lows, not having our initial hot stamping turn out like we expected was a setback, but we used our unique skills sets to bond over solving problems and changing this setback into a success so our packaging got even better after that. Even though it cost us more money, we were rewarded with a 2019 Package Design Award in the HOW International Design Awards & GD USA 2018 American Package Design Awards.

Any tips for someone looking to start a beauty brand of their own?

Lauren: Research your niche and see where you fit in, find good partners (good business partners, manufacturers, vendors, etc) start your social media campaigns with anticipation well before you launch, and most importantly, be patient.

What is next for 42 Dubonnet?

Ann: We’d like to continue expanding our lipstick selection. We have 7 colors now (we started with 3) and we’d like to expand that to 10 by the end of the year.

Lauren: We also would like to expand our brand reach and awareness.

Do check out their website https://www.42dubonnet.com/ to learn more about the brand and explore their lovely products. Stay tuned for a post showcasing some of 42 Dubonnet’s beautifully packaged products coming up next!

Until next time,ciao!

 

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An Interview with Saliah, Najiyyah and Kareemah, the founders of Sabreen Cosmetics

Hello everyone!

I had the opportunity to get to know the lovely sisters who founded the brand Sabreen Cosmetics in honor of their late aunt who lost her fight with breast cancer. The brand strives to offer products that are safe and fun.

Sabreen Cosmetics is Vegan, Cruelty free and PETA certified. Here is the interview with Saliah, Najiyyah and Kareemah,the women behind Sabreen Cosmetics!

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Saliah, Najiyyah and Kareemah, founders of Sabreen Cosmetics

Starting Sabreen Cosmetics to honor your aunt is very touching! Tell us more about your journey to starting Sabreen Cosmetics

We wanted to create a brand to honor our aunt’s legacy and her love for cosmetics and health. During our research we found that there was a need for clean beauty products for women of color, and that inspired us more to build our brand.

As a black owned brand, what are some of the challenges you have faced so far in your journey?

One of the challenges was finding a manufacturer who would accommodate our needs. We faced many no’s but we never gave up. Every step of the way literally was a NO! But, through persistence we made it happen!

When did you all get interested in makeup?

Honestly, growing up we were always into beauty. We all love hair, make-up, and skin care as collectively, so it was natural for us to want to create a brand for ourselves. Our biggest inspirations come from our parents and my aunt Nabeehah Sabreen, whom our brand is named after.

Sabreen Cosmetics has some unique liquid lipstick shades. How did you go about finalizing the 12 colors currently sold on your website?

We wanted to create shades that would fit the many skin tones of women of color. We wanted to have shades that ranged from light to dark, and could accommodate the many looks that our Sabreen Queens might want to create during their day to day lives. Whether it’s for the workplace, date night or at the beach, we have a shade for you!

All the shades look like they are named after women. Are there real women behind these shade names?

Yes ALL of the names are real women. 3 of them are named after us the owners, and others family members and friends.

What do you all enjoy doing the most as founders of Sabreen?

We enjoy watching the brand grow, empowering women and educating them on importance of clean beauty. We also enjoy seeing our Sabreen Queens slaying in our Sabreen Liquid Matte Enhancers! They always look AMAZING!

Which are your personal favorite shades?

Taj and Kareemah are our favorites. But honestly they are all our favorites!

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start their own beauty brand?

Our advice would be to create plan and stick to it, never take NO for answer, and never be afraid to go outside the box.

What is next for Sabreen Cosmetics?

Sabreen Cosmetics will be releasing more clean beauty products in the summer and fall of 2019 for our Sabreen Queens. Please be sure to sign up for our newsletter at sabreencosmetics.com for our latest updates!

Stay tuned for a post reviewing products from Sabreen Cosmetics coming next!

Until next time,ciao!!

An interview with Lucy Baldock- Sacchi, CEO of Lucy B’s Beauty

Hello everyone!

I recently started interviewing the founders of Indie beauty brands, which has been a lot of fun! Each brand has a unique story and it is fun to get to know the creative minds behind unique products. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Lucy Baldock – Sacchi, the CEO and co founder of Lucy B’s Beauty. She is a celebrity make up artist who has worked extensively with celebrities like Claudia Schiffer, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kylie Minogue, Johnny Depp to name a few.

Lucy B’s Beauty is a natural, cruelty free beauty brand based out of California but they bring to you products infused with botanical ingredients used by the Aborigines in Australia. Read on to find out more about Lucy B’s Beauty and Lucy’s journey as co founder so far!

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Lucy Baldock- Sacchi, CEO of Lucy B’s Beauty

Being a successful makeup artist who worked with top models and some of Hollywood’s big names, I thought I would start the interview by asking how did you get into the field of makeup artistry?

My parents were in show business (music side in London) so I was always surrounded by Art and Film and the people that produced Art and Music during the 1970’s.. it was a great inspiration to me. I loved all things beauty, fashion and Art so was always doing photo shoots. I partnered with a friend who was breaking into photography… then was approached by a great make up artist agency in USA to work with them..

What inspired you to start Lucy B’s Beauty? 

After two decades of working on photo shoots, for top magazines such as Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire, traveling the globe with models, actors and many celebrities doing hair& makeup, I was always given gratis every brand to test on my clients and I foresaw a trend in natural and organic beauty. I then set about with my photographer and artist husband Marco Sacchi to design a range to launch initially with my celebrity clientele as gifts.. I was working in Australia for 3 weeks with super model Elle McPherson, we went on a day off to the Uluru Cultural center and learnt all about the powerful plants that the Aboriginal people have used for healing emotional and physical ailments for many thousands of years.. I started learning more about them and worked on a range to launch. The iconic Fred Segal store in LA heard about our range and the rest is (her-story!)~ history

The bath oils and shimmer oils are beautiful! I love the hydra bloom Rose bath and body oil you kindly sent me! It smells divine and is very calming and relaxing. I would love to hear the story behind these products.

HYDRA BLOOM Organics are the holy grail of high grade organic ingredients pared with recycled packaging..  the beautiful glass can be used as flower vases and refilled. I think a product should not only be the highest quality organic but also look stunning.. the addition of organic rose buds, lavender flowers and our signature flower essences raise the vibration of the product.

I personally love Australian natural skincare brands. Australia has some amazing indigenous plants and I was thrilled to see that you use a unique blend of 5 Australian flower essences (Southern Cross, Sturt Desert Rose, Five Corners, Boab and Dog Rose) in many of your products. What is the significance of these 5 flowers

As a combination essence it has a vibrational effect of boosting ones confidence! Each flower has amazingly powerful properties used for thousands of years to heal them on many levels. Southern Cross~ helps one take responsibility for their own joy; Sturt Desert Rose~ helps you access your courage; Five Corners~helps one celebrate their own beauty; Boab~ helps one to release negative ancestral patterns and Dog Rose~ helps one embrace life more fully.

Lucy B’s also has an impressive range of perfumes.Where do you seek inspiration for the perfumes you create?  

As a child in London I was always into my mothers perfumes, layering them and admiring their gorgeous bottles..  I truly created them from amazing memories of England and Australia.. two incredible places of magnificent beauty I was fortunate to live in. The scents range from Amber Honey Suckle, Peony Rose and Mandarin Musk, Water Lotus and Vanilla, Green Fig & Vanilla, Gardenia, (all inspired by my home town London) and the plethora of gorgeous English gardens my family and Grandmother would take us to..such as Kew Gardens, The Chelsea flower show and while on a trip to Australia I fell in LOVE with Frangipani (aka Plumeria) a waxy fragrant beachy flower that is grows abundantly all over Australia. I lived there  for a while with a huge Frangipani tree in our garden. Other tropical scents were also growing wild over there.. Tiare Coconut & Jasmine.

Which of Lucy B’s Beauty products would you pick as your personal favorites?

I LOVE for Summer our Bronze Shimmer Body Glow (frangipani scent) and our roll-on and eau de parfum in Frangipani and Jasmine. Our HYDRA BLOOM Rose face, body bath oil and Rose LOVE face mist are magnificent to boost the skin’s pH balance and provide generous antioxidants to protect and hydrate.
For Autumn/ Winter or summer nights~ I LOVE our Amber Honeysuckle eau de parfum and roll-on oil along with our Lavender Face body bath oil to soothe the skin and relax the mind.. I love our Pearl shimmer oil to add a highlight to my skintone.

What are some of the challenges you have faced as a beauty brand entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?

This journey is not for the feint of heart! , one gets challenged often on many levels, having great ideas and staying truly focused on your brands core beliefs is key, I sort of compare it to having a hit song and singing it for a long time, refreshing the way to sing it and present it is key to staying fresh.
Listening to your intuition is so important. Growing slowly is key to see what works for your customer base. Listening to your stores and customers is always important. Stores are important but online selling and social has become equally important for sales.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start a beauty brand?

Its like building a house you’ll always need treble the funds what you think you’ll need! This can be over time though, always create a business plan and update every two years as you reach certain goals. Keep your day job to supplement income until it takes off and has a steady flow. Estimate 2-4 years. Get a mentor or 3 already in the business or with a business, ask questions as much as possible, attend seminars. Learn how to create spreadsheets then you know at a glance what everything actually costs, creating a COG (cost of goods) spreadsheet include shipping components to your company, the actual final items, its also great for making lists and having a focus on whats priority to do next. Use companies like legal zoom to help create your company & trademarks and for good inexpensive advice.

Lastly, could you give us a sneak peak of what products to expect from Lucy B’s this year 🙂

I’m working on a great kit for winter, can’t say what it is until we launch.. we’ll let you know.

 

Hope you enjoyed reading this interview and getting to know Lucy and her brand Lucy B’ s Beauty! Stay tuned for a review of some products from Lucy B’s beauty coming up this Friday!!

Until next time,ciao!!

An Interview with Barby Espiritu, founder of Skinzi Cosmetics

Hello folks!

I have been wanting to do a series of interviews with inspiring indie brand founders for a while now. I enjoy reading the stories behind brands and also about the people who are responsible for bringing a brand to life. Many a time, the unique stories behind a brand makes you appreciate the brand a bit more 🙂

I am happy to kick start this series with Skinzi Cosmetics! Have you been on the hunt for a liquid matte lipstick which does not flake or dry your lips out? Well you’re in luck because the founder of Skinzi Cosmetics, Barby Espiritu decided to solve that problem. A quest to find a solution to a problem most dry lip gals like myself face, resulted in a fun and cool brand! Read on to find out more about Skinzi cosmetics and Barby’s entrepreneurial journey.

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Barby Espiritu, Founder of Skinzi Cosmetics

Tell us a bit about your background and your entrepreneurial journey that resulted in the founding of Skinzi Cosmetics

I’ve always loved makeup since I was a child. I started using bullet matte lipsticks in high school and was introduced years ago to my first liquid matte. I loved that most formulas were long lasting, but I disliked the flaking and drying effect, as well as the bare, feathery patches on my lips after eating greasy food. I immediately had to reapply to cover the weird rim that formed on my lips. I wanted a long-lasting formula that evenly faded like a traditional lipstick instead of flaking.

This lingering frustration, combined with an announcement of possible layoffs in a career that I love (and have been doing for almost a decade) made me rethink the skills that I could offer others.I had worked as a Quality Engineer for years when my company announced a possible layoff. After soul searching to explore my passions, cosmetics was the obvious answer. I started looking for chemists here in the United States to help me formulate a better matte lipstick than what I was used to. That’s how Skinzi got started.

 Is there a story behind the name Skinzi?

I was thinking of calling the company ‘Reach Cosmetics’ but my partner said it sounded more like a grooming product for men. My partner then suggested ‘Skinzi.’ We felt it sounded hip and fun, and those two traits embody our brand.

What was the biggest obstacle you faced while bringing your brand to the market?

The biggest obstacle was finding the right team of chemists to formulate the product. I researched custom lipstick formulation. The easier path, called private labeling, would be to use an existing formula and attach my brand to it. However, I felt my customers deserved more from me, so I chose the more challenging path and decided to formulate my own matte liquid lipstick.

I cold-called and interviewed one lab after another until I found one that was FDA approved, ISO/GMP certified and licensed by the California Department of Public Health for cosmetic manufacturing. I met with them to discuss my long list of requirements for what I thought an ideal liquid matte lipstick should be. After obsessive testing and retesting, they were able to deliver on every single requirement on my list.

Favorite part of your current job as the founder of Skinzi

I enjoy engaging with our customers and hearing valuable feedback about our formula. We’ve heard a lot of positive feedback so far. I’m also a firm believer in continuous improvement. Even if we tested the heck out of our lipstick formula, if there would be any more suggestions to improve it, I would be all ears. I’m always looking for opportunities to make a better product.

What was the best and worst advice you received when you were working on bringing Skinzi Cosmetics to the market?

The best advice was to make sure we can clearly articulate the problem we’re trying to solve (flaking matte lipsticks) and communicate to our customers how our product solves that problem.
The worst advice was to look for an existing lipstick formula and just slap the Skinzi brand on it. I wanted my own custom made, proprietary formula and while it took some time to get there, it was totally worth it.

Tell us a bit more about the Beyond Beauty Project on your website

Women are multi-faceted. While our outward beauty is visible to the eye, we are not limited to physical aspects. Women in this day and age have a unique set of personal and cultural attributes.
The Beyond Beauty Project gives us a way to delve into these, as well as celebrating our strengths and understanding our challenges. We explore what it is to be modern day women. We celebrate our womanhood in ways to learn from and support each other.

Which is your favorite shade from Skinzi Cosmetics current range of lipsticks?

My favorites happen to be our best sellers. Just Jazzy is a neutral medium berry shade and Morning Love, a terracotta nude. Funny enough, our customers who purchase Just Jazzy are likely to buy Morning Love. It’s as if they were somehow meant to be paired up! 🙂

 How did you go about deciding which type of shades to release first? (I love the fact that they are all everyday wearable shades with a special red thrown in!)

I was looking for a versatile range of everyday colors that would complement any skin tone. I also put myself in the shoes of my customers, recognizing their diverse lifestyles and picking shades that would be suitable, based on their typical daily activities.
I then researched the various shades, utilizing the Pantone color guide, before deciding on our final four.

What beauty trends do you think will be big this year?

Most fashion and cosmetic trends are cyclical in nature. I’m definitely seeing a lot of corals early this year and I think they’ll continue to grow in popularity.
I’m continuing to see an increased focus on vegan and cruelty-free beauty products, products that are free of parabens, phthalates and sulfates. I think this trend will continue. Consumers don’t just want to look good; they also want to know that what they’re putting on their skin is safe, responsibly manufactured and a good value.

Will there be more product launches coming up this year from Skinzi? 

Absolutely. I have already hand-picked and swatched the next set of beautiful shades of our liquid matte formulas, so watch out for those!

I hope you guys enjoyed getting to know the story behind Skinzi cosmetics and the lovely founder Barby! Stay tuned for a review and swatches of the Skinzi Cosmetics matte liquid lipsticks coming soon! Meanwhile check out Skinzi on Instagram and on their website.