The Power Of Beauty: Three Top Beauty Brand Founders Discuss How The Industry Is Pivoting During The Time Of Corona

Haute Living‘s Laura Schreffler sits down (virtually, via Zoom) with three of the beauty industry’s top female tour-de-forces—Jane Iredale, Maria Hatzistefanis of Rodial and Urban Decay’s Wende Zomnir—weigh in on the impact their industry is making during the time of corona and how we can all find beauty in a time of darkness.

Maria Hatzistefanis
Rodial’s Maria Hatzistefanis

Photo Credit: Rodial

Maria Hatzistefanis is the founder of Rodial, a luxury skincare and beauty brand focused on results-oriented products. Since launching in London in 1999, the brand is now sold in over 2000 luxury stores worldwide, including Harrods & Harvey Nichols. Maria, a former beauty editor, has appeared as a guest mentor on Project Runway: Fashion Start-up and Project Runway: All Stars. She has written two books, the most recent of which, How to Make It Happen, was released in January. And last but not least, she has a podcast, The Overnight Success, which is in its second season.

Jane Iredale
Jane Iredale

Photo Credit: Jane Iredale Cosmetics
Jane Iredale, the founder of Jane Iredale Cosmetics, is one of the frontrunners of the clean beauty movement. Before becoming the beauty icon she is today, Jane first worked as a casting director and then as a writer and producer in both New York and Los Angeles. With the launch of her mineral foundation, Amazing Base, in 1994, Jane introduced a makeup line that would nurture skin, not irritate it.

Wende Zomnir
Wende Zomnir

Photo Credit: Urban Decay
For Wende Zomnir, the Founding Partner of Urban Decay Cosmetics, the chief priority is to keep the brand a step ahead as one of the most current players on the beauty scene. She has definitely achieved this—most notably in 2012, when the brand was purchased by L’Oréal USA. Since then, Urban Decay has retained its spot as the #2 makeup brand sold in the United States and the #7 makeup brand sold worldwide.


Highlights include:

Do you think the beauty industry is going to change? How are you pivoting?

Wende: “I think people are going to get really serious about virtual try-on… It’s going to be the next thing at the store level so you can go in and try on your makeup. I think your shopping experience is going to be different… [I think the focus is going to be on the eyes]. We have a star product called Eyeshadow Primer Potion. We’re leaning into products like that that make your makeup last. I don’t want to forget about the rest of the face, because even though you’re going to be wearing a mask around, at some point, the mask comes off, so we’re going to lean in to our All-Nighter franchise, which is our long-lasting setting spray… [we want to use education] to show that your makeup doesn’t have to come off when your mask comes off. We are sold out of mascara and pencils, so that goes to show that people are focusing on eye.

Is there a need that you’ve found based on something you’ve personally needed during the quarantine?

Maria: “This lockdown has really brought our complexion makeup into the forefront and given it a lot of limelight that was unexpected. We had a product that’s been around for a year and was doing fine, the Banana Lowlighter. We have sold all our stock, tens of thousands of units within a few weeks, and it showed us that there is a need. People are looking for a quick fix to look good on Zoom. We are looking into developing an undereye concealer… the eye area seems to be an area people are focusing on.”

Are you developing a clean hand sanitizer? Have you found that clean beauty is even more important now than ever?

Jane: We have a [hand sanitizer] that’s been out for several weeks now. We formulated it to the FDA guidelines for COVID. All of these people on the frontlines had no sanitizers. We made a mini-version of it with a spray that they could carry in their pockets and gave out thousands. We now have a full-sized product that I know will be important with our professional accounts. It takes something like this to get you thinking out of the box. I think that [clean beauty] is going to be more important than ever. The people who weren’t concerned before… are coming into the fold. They’re looking for that sense of security.”

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