Sound Off Blog: Q+A with Beauty Brand Founders

For the third installment of our sound off blog series, we are asking three beauty brand founders to give us an update on COVID-19’s effect on their businesses and their predictions for its long-term impact on the beauty industry. Keep reading to find out some of their best-kept beauty secrets and why we might not be sampling eyeshadow at a Sephora anytime soon!

How have you seen the demand for your products and the beauty industry in general change throughout COVID-19?

Kaitlin Moss, founder of Wipeys: We launched at the beginning of March with a line of wet wipes that just so happened to be a product that everyone needed during this time. The demand for our product was definitely higher than we could have hoped for because of COVID-19. I think more people are focusing on purchasing products that will keep the areas around them as well as themselves clean.

Renée Rouleau, founder of Renée Rouleau Skin Care: The demand for my products has increased. I think a lot of people are at home and not wearing makeup, so they are focused more on what’s underneath their makeup, which is their skin, and how their skin behaves. I think that not wearing makeup shines the spotlight on people’s skin, and people have more time on their hands for self-care, and skincare is actually a form of self-care. Putting on moisturizer or doing a mask is a way to boost your spirit, which people are looking for. Also, I think people are also having skin problems as a result of wearing masks.

Valencia McClure, founder of The Artistry of Essential Oils: As a new beauty brand founder, it is hard to gauge the exact change in demand for my product pre and post COVID-19. What I will say is that the momentum for my brand continues to grow. Fortunately, there is a lot of interest in health and wellness at this time. With my brand being all clean and natural and the products infused with essential oils, I have been fortunate that interest for my products continues to grow.

What long-term effects do you think COVID-19 will have on the beauty industry?

KM: I think more people will be afraid to touch samples and such that others may have. We will see less in-store beauty sampling for sure.  However, hopefully, this will help the beauty industry get a little more creative on how they sample their products – individual samples to take home, keeping the stations much more sanitary, etc.

RR: The beauty industry is already thriving, but I think it will continue to thrive even more because of the reward that people felt when taking care of themselves during a time when they were feeling anxious and were looking for happiness. Beauty is about self-care, and feeling good, because when you look good, you feel good!  People are looking to age more gracefully and look and feel their best.

VM:  I have been on several Zoom calls, webinars etc. to try and gauge where the industry is going post-COVID-19. I do think in the short term, you will see a decrease in sales for makeup, as for skincare I believe we will continue to see an increase. It remains to be seen what the impact will be on the large department stores. We’re already seeing several announcements on closings. There will still be a need for brick and mortar, perhaps more boutique than department stores, as people still want to touch, feel and smell products. As for the larger organizations, I wouldn’t be surprised if you see condensing of these brands. For brick and mortar stores, I believe sampling products as we once knew will go away; however, I do think you will see more giveaways of products to incentivize people to purchase.  

What is your best-kept beauty secret?

KM: Always wash your face before bed and always put moisturizer + sunscreen! 

RR: My secret is putting in the work. Like anything in life, the more you invest in something, the bigger ROI you’ll get. Putting in the work to take care of yourself and your skin, particularly with using a skincare routine that’s geared exclusively for your unique skin type, is going to drive results. 

VM: Always, always, always wash your face at night, never go to bed with makeup on. Also, SPF is a woman’s best friend.

Kaitlin Moss
Renée Rouleau
Valencia McClure