Archive for the ‘Top Women in Focus’ Category

Top Women in Focus: Jill Dunn

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Jill DunnJill Dunn is the Beauty Editor for Glow Magazine. This Canadian publication comes out eight times a year and shares realistic ideas, tips, tools, and shortcuts to help make taking care of yourself easier.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
I thought I was destined to be a lawyer.

Why did you become a journalist?
From a very early age, I was always interested in current events and I loved to write. I realized that being a journalist would combine both of these interests in a fun way. I guess I always had more questions than answers, so it’s the perfect gig for me.

What was the first story you ever reported on?
I will never forget it. In 2003, I was interning at a large women’s magazine. After a few weeks of earning my stripes around the office (fact-checking, stuffing envelopes, etc), my editor entrusted me to write a review for the entertainment section about a new female erotica series that was to debut on Showcase. She handed me the preview VHS tapes, and off I went for the weekend. I was so desperate to show that I was up to the task that I couldn’t bear to tell her that I didn’t even own a VCR at the time. So on my way home, I popped in to Future Shop, bought a VCR, and settled in for four hours of erotica viewing. All in all, the content wasn’t that stimulating, but the racy topic was definitely a fun one to write about. I called it “Pleasure Principle” and I was so excited when it was published. But, I never did send that clipping home to mom!


Top Women in Focus: April Jacob

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

April Jacob of Pink BeautyApril Jacob is the President and Founder of Pink Beauty Cosmetics. Motivated by the powerful beauty and alluring purity that the colour pink emanates, April Jacob developed the feminine, chic, and perfectly playful cosmetic line.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
When I was a little girl, I’ve been interested in makeup. I had a Makeup & Hair Styling Doll, and I would only ever do her makeup – I never wanted to do her hair! I think it was clear from that early age, that I was passionate about makeup and that I would end up working with it.

Where did the idea for Pink Beauty Cosmetics come from?
I was working as a professional makeup artist and found that doing makeup on people, they were overwhelmed by all the processes, steps and colour intensity of most makeup artist lines. I wanted to create a makeup line for the glamour girl on-the-go, requiring very little makeup know-how and steps; something that was very user-friendly and high quality that people would enjoy putting on. Mostly though, I wanted to create a beauty line which inspired beauty from the inside out which is why I called it Pink Beauty. The colour pink represents so many beautiful attributes: grace, femininity, love and compassion, to name a few.

What was the first product that Pink Beauty Cosmetics produced?
The first product that Pink Beauty produced was the Luscious Lip Sheer Lipstick – they are the perfect blend of a lipstick and lipgloss. In fact the Luscious Lip Sheer in Mable was the first product ever purchased from the line, and the five lip sheers in our collection still remain among our top-selling products.

When did you first realize that Pink Beauty Cosmetics was a success?

The day we launched the line I had so much positive feedback. We had a launch party before the product was available and I had some many people wanting to buy it right then and there!


Top Women in Focus – Maureen Kelly

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Today is the last day of Top Women in Focus and I hope that you have enjoyed learning more about these successful business women – I know I have. To close the series Maureen Kelly is our woman “in focus”.

Maureen Kelly is the CEO & creator of tarte. Maureen started her company in 1999 from a one bedroom apartment in New York and now it is one of the most well known cosmetics companies in North America.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
I’ve always had a love for makeup. When I was probably no older than 5 years old, I decided to “make up” my younger sister’s Holly Hobby doll. I snuck some of my mom’s makeup and turned Holly into a real tarte (haha). Years later when I was in junior high, I was still very much into makeup. I’d have makeovers with both of my sisters and my best friend.

Where did the idea for tarte cosmetics come from?
To be honest, I was really frustrated that makeup lines were so focused on makeup artists rather than real women like me. While I might be a beauty junkie, I’m no beauty expert. I was never able to recreate the look I received at the makeup counter because they used an excessive amount of brushes and all different products to achieve it. It’s hard to believe, but I literally spend 5 minutes doing my makeup in the morning and I wanted to create a line that would cater to women like me.

What was the first product that tarte produced?
When I started the line, I wanted to focus on one product and put everything behind it. That product was our cheek stain: a water-based push up gel stick that’s perfect for all skin types. In fact, our cheek stain still remains to be our best-selling product!

When did you first realize that tarte was a success?
It would definitely have to be the first time I saw tarte in Henri Bendel being sold! Just walking into the store and seeing people buying our cheek stain made me so proud! As far as success goes, I think reading about us in magazines, hearing celebrities use our products or reading the blogs our customers write about our brand brings a smile to my face.

What sets you apart from your competitors?
We really listen to our customers. We represent the real women, and steer clear of the trend to cater to the makeup artist. It’s really important that the everyday woman is able to re-create the look she gets at the makeup counter when she gets home. Our products are easy-to-use, but still chic and luxurious.

What is your favorite tarte product?
Do I have to pick just one?! I’d have to say tickled cheek stain—I wear it every day! Another favorite of mine is Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara (along with picture perfect our eyelash curler). I’m also addicted to our rise & shine plumping lip stain in pink! And my favorite eyeshadow palette of all time is little black dress…I could go on and on!

What beauty staples do you use daily?
I’m constantly experimenting with all beauty products—from makeup and skincare products to the latest haircare and teeth whitening products! Right now, I’m obsessed with L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, Aquaphor (for me and my little one, Sully), Mario Badescu Olive Eye Cream, Calypso Mimosa perfume, Prive daily shampoo and conditioner, GoSmile tooth whitening on-the-go and nail polishes from the lippmann collection.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
That’s a tough one! Right now, I have a newborn and in 10 years, I hope to have more children. Family will always be a major part of my life. As for the business, we’ll never stop creating the easy-to-use products women know us for, but moving forward I could see us experimenting more in the world of skincare and perfume.

Who are you influenced by?
I’d have to say that so many of the women in my life inspire me and have influenced the way I live. My mom raised 5 kids on a very small income and always managed to look stylish and focus on what’s important in life-family and friends. My older sister Veronica juggles a full time job and 3 kids and still manages to bake cookies and be a class mother. My grandmother who raised 4 kids alone after her husband passed away and always managed to volunteer. It never fails to amaze me how much one woman is capable of.

What makes you smile?
There are so many things—my baby boy Sully, my husband, my family and friends! I also love to watch women’s reactions to trying tarte—it doesn’t matter if it’s as simple as a new shade of lipgloss or a completely made up face-their whole attitude changes. To me makeup is like magic, and I love to help women feel good about themselves. That makes me smile. Oh yea, and the beach!

What keeps you going every day?
My family and friends—they’re all so supportive! Not to mention our customers!! I love hearing new ideas from them and how our new product was exactly what they needed. That’s a great feeling! Also, I love the challenge of owning my own business. That definitely keeps me going.

How do you juggle a career and a personal life?
As any working mom knows, it’s tough! It’s all about prioritizing and scheduling the time right. I love my job, but I do need time for myself sometimes, too. I always try to give myself time to exercise in the morning before I tackle the day’s work.

How do you keep up with beauty trends?
I’m constantly speaking with our makeup artists in the field—they are on the frontline with our customer and they see what’s literally out there all of the time. Not to mention, everyone in the office is always reading the latest in the media—whether it’s a blog or magazine article. It’s all about current events and gauging the next big thing.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
I think the best advice is to do what you love—life’s just too short! As far as the beauty industry goes, do your homework! Internships, apprenticeships, makeup counter positions… are definitely a good start. When you are ready to launch a company think about your customer—define who it is and then meet their needs! After that it’s all about research, research, research!!

What part do you think blogs play in the beauty industry?

I think blogs play a major role in the beauty industry. They are an un-biased medium that gives you the honest truth. Several show different looks, explain how to use a product and give reasons why they might’ve not liked a product but you could. That said we’ve created our own online community on our website, “tarte talk.” It allows our customers to blog and gives them a chance to interact with us. We link to other blogs that we feel give good reviews.

Thank you to Maureen for taking the time to answer my questions. I would also like to thank Sarah Bancroft, Trish Lucarino and Jennifer Massaro for taking part in this series.

I’d love to hear what you all thought about this series and if it is something you’d like to see more of. Who would you like to see interviewed? Email me your feedback.

Top Women in Focus – Jennifer Massaro

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

It’s day three of Top Women in Focus and I am happy to say that today Jennifer Massaro is our woman “in focus”.

Jennifer Massaro is an account executive with Janine Gordon Associates, an agency in NY that handles brand marketing and corporate public relations.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
When I was little I wanted to be an actress. I always had a flare for drama.

Why did you get into Public Relations?
I enjoy interacting with people and I get to do that on a daily basis, whether it is with my client or beauty editors. I could never see myself sitting behind a desk crunching numbers all day.

How long have you worked for Janine Gordon Associates, LLC
I’m one of the newest additions to this firm; I just came on about four months.

What education should you have if you are interested in becoming an account executive for a Public Relations firm?
A college education is a must, as well as an understanding of people. You may excel in college but if you lack people skills you will never succeed.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to enter into Public Relations?
Make sure to join a company where your passion and creativity are nurtured. Those are two important aspects of this field and it is essential to have a work environment where that can be fostered.

Why should companies use a PR firm rather than have in-house marketing staff?
Many companies hire an outside agency because it gives them a “fresh” pair of eyes to their company. I wouldn’t necessarily say that companies should always use an outside firm. It definitely just depends on the nature of the company.

What clients do you look after?
My primary client is mineral makeup industry leader, Bare Escentuals.

What makes you successful?
I think it’s extremely important to remember to have fun and keep everything in perspective. It is very easy to get caught up in this industry and take yourself too seriously.

What are your favorite beauty products?
Two products I can’t live without, mascara and blush. Even if I’m in a rush, I never leave the house without these two things on.

What beauty products do you use everyday?
Bare Escentuals SPF 15 Foundation in Medium Tan
i.d. Brushless Magic Wand Mascara (only one word for this mascara, AMAZING)
i.d. bareMinerals Blush in Dusk

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would like to be settled down, have a family and to still be leading a successful career.

Who are you influenced by?
Strong, independent women that make a name for themselves but can remain humble amidst all their success.

What makes you smile?
My nephew always makes me smile. Unfortunately, I don’t have the opportunity to see him as much as I would like, but whenever I receive pictures of him I can’t help but smile.

What keeps you going every day?
Knowing that I am fulfilling a dream – I am so lucky to be living in the best city (NYC) doing what I love.

How do you juggle a career and a personal life?
Fortunately, I don’t work long, crazy hours and I am at a firm that cares about my quality of life so I haven’t had to “juggle.”

How do you keep up with beauty trends?
My nose is always in a magazine or reading beauty Web sites to see what the consumers are raving about. It’s extremely important in my field to know what the trends are and where they are headed.

What magazines are currently sitting on your desk?
Oh, gosh… what magazines AREN’T sitting on my desk? If you can think of it, it’s probably here.

What part do you think blogs play in the beauty industry?
Blogs are extremely influential. It is where we can hear the voice of the consumers. It gives a forum for everyone to speak their mind, whether good or bad.

Thank you to Jennifer for taking part in this series. Join Lipstick, Powder ‘n Paint tomorrow as we are honored to have Maureen Kelly from Tarte Cosmetics as our Top Woman in Focus.
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