The Rutgers Business School Master of Science In Business of Fashion is new program bridging the gap between creative passion and business acumen. I am honored to be teaching the special topics classes by bringing industry elites to help shaping our next generations of leaders.
If you are interested to sharing your industry experience, I’d love to talk to you for Spring 2017 (limited space), Fall 2017 and Spring 2018.
If you are interested in enrolling this master’s degree program, please reach out admissions directly at Rutgers Business School. Deadline for Spring 2017 is Jan 2, 2017.
There are two special days that you want to be pampered and ready from head to toe- namely New Year + Valentine’s day. Since today is the first day of lunar new year, you can try this head to toe beauty guide for a radiant new you and also ready for a romantic Valentine’s day ahead! In case you don’t know, I am a cosmetic chemist + skin care expert + makeup artist. Beauty is in my blood.
1) Hair– Use a hair mask (Neutrogena Triple Moisture) to keep hair ultra soft for your and his hands to run through. This is by far the most softening hair mask in mass market.
2) Brows– Groom it with Maybelline Brow drama for a natural yet intensified look. It’s so natural!
3) Eyes– Less on eyeshadow. Big on cat eyes with liquid eyeliner (Maybelline Stileto liquid). I love this liquid eyeliner. It stays put yet removable with a wet Q-tip for any mistakes.
4) lips– smooth with lipscrub and apply lip gloss (Clinique sweet pots). They are fun, functional and inexpensive!
5) Face– Multi-tasking mask for S.M.A.R.T. results (Grand Central Beauty Skin Perfecting Mask). Hands down the best mask! You do not need to buy 5 different masks to get 5 desired results!
6 )Neck– Clarins Firming Neck Cream. Addictive soft texture. You need to love the texture to use daily right?
7) Hands– Clarins Hand Cream. Non-greasy. Moisturizes hands and cuticles.
8) Body– Use fragrance layering of shower gel + perfume lotion + eau de parfum + powder. Prada Candy make you extra sweet. If you have dry skin, fragrance does not last on you. Always LAYER it.
9) Nails– Chanel Vamp is back in style. Sheswai Winesnob shade is also awesome!
Happy Year of Fire Monkey! Happy Valentine’s Day ahead!
As a cosmetic chemist, a skin expert and a makeup artist, I have been asked many questions by consumers and editors. Below is the Q&A for the commonly asked questions and my professional opinion.
Is red-lipstick the best hack for under eye dark circles? Heck NO! Red lipsticks contains certain dyes that can be irritating on the eye area. The pigments are regulated by FDA. Unless it’s an all-over color stick (tested to be safe around eye), do not use a red lipstick as a concealer. Your better option is to use a powder or cream blush. Additionally, lipstick usually contains high level of wax. You do not want to clog the pores on the thinnest area of your face- the under eyes.
Should I stick with one brand or can I mix brands? In general, it is preferred to stick with one brand because when companies do testing, they often will do testing with the companion products to make sure there is no adverse reaction or pilling on the skin. Exceptions are products which you do not use every day, such as facial polisher or mask, you can use whatever brands that please you. For hair products- in general, fragrance is key in hair care. You want to keep the consistency of scents. Additionally, almost all hair companies conduct their performance claims based on the use of their shampoo AND conditioner so they can entice you to buy more.
Do I really need to use a hair conditioner? If you are on a budget, please splurge on the hair conditioner and skimpy on the shampoo unless you are using a cleansing conditioner. The number one function of shampoo is to clean. As long as you are using a good conditioner, it is okay to use any value-priced shampoo for your hair.
Why should I use a day and a night cream? The day cream is designed to protect your skin. The night cream is formulated to nourish and repair you skin. The functions are very different. It is best to use a separate cream. If you absolutely has to pick one, get the day cream as it should have the SPF protection, granted you do not have much “damages” to repair.
Is department store brands better than drug store brands? A lot of times, you are not only paying for the product, you are paying for the packaging too. While every cosmetic brands have different practice, I found mass market color cosmetics work just as well as department stores. However, when it comes to skin care, I prefer brands with clinically proven claims and not just stories of green marketing.
Should I be buying only natural products? Everything is a chemical, including water as you can spell out H2O. The question is really- is what I am buying SAFE? When companies boasts of its naturalness, it does not equate to better or more effective. As long as Repeated Insult Patch Testing (RIPT) has been done and the toxicology profile has been reviewed, you can feel safe to use it. Nature does not equate better but only a piece of mind, in YOUR own mind.
If you have any beauty questions, please feel free to comment.
How many times have you heard the same story- I want to start a beauty brand because I can not find products on the market that will suit my needs? On the surface, yes, it is a solution to a problem but is the scope of problem large enough to start a business?
I am a beauty industry consultant who have been advising many businesses on product development and marketing on beauty brands. My vision is to invest and collect a portfolio of beauty brands one day- yes, be the beauty shark on shark tank!
For starters, there are three fundamental points to consider when venturing out:
What is the underlying motivation for you to start a brand? If it is to develop something for your own needs- you are creating products, not necessarily a brand unless your needs is an unmet needs for many, the chance of sustaining a brand is slim. Do your research before you dive in especially if you do not have the funds to educate why your products can meet “others” needs. If you can not make it relevant to majority of the consumer groups, rethink your strategy.
Where do you intend to sell? How many times have you heard that my business plan is going into Sephora and on QVC? While these are the beauty destinations for consumers, do you have local stores you can test market? When you start playing with big players too early in the game it could turn disastrous as once you are OUT, you are never back to the tank. There are also minimum quantity requirements for getting the packaging and products. Are you maximizing your sell-in powers to have PO’s in hand so you do not house excess inventories?
Why should I buy your products? For brands, especially new skin care brands, building credibility is critical. This partly explained why so many skin doctors ditched their white coat in the office and focus on developing beauty products. Retailers want buzz. Consumers want proof. A great product story may no longer suffice. People want to know who is behind the brand and why I should trust my face with your products. If your products are developed with celebrity make-up artist who know makeup artistry, dermatologists who know skin, cosmetic chemists who custom-design the product to suit your brand need, flaunt them. They are your trump cards. Better yet, if you have clinicals to prove, a picture is worth than a thousand words.
The above three points just scratch of surface on launching a beauty brand. Other factors to consider include what type of budget, how long to plan for launch, what retail windows should I hit, what kind of PR/Social Media campaign should I plan and where to find capitals to sustain the growth.
Hello beauties! There were a couple beauty shows I attended in June (HBA/Spa/IBS) and here is what’s happening in the world of beauty:
– Powder trend- Sprayable powders and powder in puff are innovative ways to deliver powder for hair, sun or make up applications. There are also powder to cream technologies to release fresh product on contacts.
– Acne relief- as it’s gets hot in summer, product developers are thinking about what’s next in acne. There are technologies in Asia that delivers Salicylic acid in clear gel form without irritation via a special delivery system.
– Oil trend continues but people are moving toward oil esters for a less greasy feel and move away from the word- oil so you get the benefits of an oil without the worry of clogging the pores.
– Nail trend- OPI put out a Minnie Mouse kit and a neon mini kit. Simply cute! The rise of thermal chromic colors (color changing via changes in temperature) and neon trend is hot as well.
– Novel product form- the cutest invention was spotted that a sugar scrub in a candy wrapper once applied with water, the result was simply amazing- super duper moisturizing that lasts and lasts.
– Skin trend- the focus is still on brightening. Everyone jumped on brightening due to the Asia craze as you know there’s an Asian saying- one white skin can covers nine skin flaws. White is beautiful. To be politically correct and globally acceptable, this has translated to “Brighter” “Glowing” skin.
If you are interested to learn more or wish me to develop any of the above for your brand, let me know as I can :-).