How To Make It Big In The Beauty Biz - Rules From The Top CEOs

The business of beauty is a tough nut to crack. Having an idea is one thing, but pulling it off is something else entirely. We’re always crossing paths with inspiring women who are, quite frankly, badass beauty business minds. They're owning the beauty space in all its facets and building their own empires. So, we asked some of the biggest in the biz to share their most valued career advice.


The Brand Builders


"Focus on your one great idea, and keep referring back to it" - Lindy Klim, Model and Co-founder of Milk and Co.  

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"It takes a lot of research, obviously. Everything starts with the initial idea and then you get a good business plan and a good business model to model yourself off. [I] didn’t go to university, but I had a great idea. We came up with the idea that it would be a men’s range and so wanted the packaging to be masculine and make it sort of resemble a whisky bottle. We stayed true to that aesthetic and idea."

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“When you’re in business together, you need to be able to say exactly what you think. It’s great, working as sisters, because we’re able to fully express ourselves. And we [Nic and I] do. Sometimes it will just be a case of ‘you’re really moody, why don’t you just go home’. It works quite well in that respect. You need to be honest or it will just cause problems in the future.”


“When I was shut out of my own company (Kit Willow) I brought in legal action, otherwise I would have got nothing. I would not settle for less. My lawyers told me to let it go, but I wouldn’t. Sometimes you just have to stand up for what you know is yours.”


"Stay true to your core mission" - Carla Oates, Author and Founder of The Beauty Chef

"[When I was a beauty editor] I couldn't bring myself to write about the products I was being sent I started researching the ingredients in the mass market cosmetics I as being sent. I found it difficult to write about them. So, I decided to make it my mission to only write about the natural skincare and help educate people on how to look after their skin more holistically. Then Penguin, Lantern commissioned me to write a natural beauty book full of recipes and Feeding Your Skin [came about]. [Then I] started formulating my own skincare products." 


The Product Promoters


"My goal was to make something of myself  like my parents did with themselves. They both came from working class backgrounds, as clothing manufacturers. And now my mum works with me! I guess I learned work ethic in a sense that they never just gave me anything. So, while I was at a private school and girls would get Mercedes for first cars, I got a fourteen-year-old Volvo that was worth $4000. It was always instilled in me that if you want something, you have to work. No one is going to give it to you. [With work] I’m obsessive compulsive; that’s my edge. I can confidently guarantee you that there is no other PR girl who will respond to your email within three minutes!" 


"I feel very fortunate to be able to ‘work’ doing what I truly love. I never thought it would be possible to call this a profession and fortunately, my two passions are now intertwined in two different outlets. They have allowed me to better understand a part of the digital media industry, from the other side of the table." 


The Artists


"Get as much experience as possible" - Jade Kisnorbo, Makeup Artist 

"I had such a range [of experience] that [helped to] decide what I wanted to do. I came from an anatomy health science degree, an academic background, so I wanted to master the theory side as well as the practical. So I got all that, I learned from amazing people that were in New York, London and Paris. When I was right in the middle of it I met the right person [to help my career] and they invited me to do London Fashion Week, which then meant I got to do all the others. I also did a few short movies, things with BBC and did lots for Britain’s Next Top Supermodel. 


"The best piece of advice I ever received was to not be threatened by your peers, but be inspired by them. [Hairstylist and salon owner] Serge Normant told me that. I truly believe there is enough work for all of us to go around and we should support and encourage each other. Be humble, work hard, and don’t try to compete with anyone else. My beauty philosophy is that no one has the time or money for a glam squad, but real women should be able to get the look in real life. That’s why I created OUAImulti-use products, for the girl on the go."

Story by Emily Algar