Community//

Sébastien Tardif of Veil Cosmetics: “To succeed in the modern beauty industry”

To succeed in the modern beauty industry, keep the overhead low, do not go about and try to rent offices for your dream team, work from home, I think that the pandemic has taught us that. Learn from your challenges. You never learn so much from having succeeded at something. But when you’re faced with […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

To succeed in the modern beauty industry, keep the overhead low, do not go about and try to rent offices for your dream team, work from home, I think that the pandemic has taught us that. Learn from your challenges. You never learn so much from having succeeded at something. But when you’re faced with a challenge, look at what didn’t work and try to figure out a way to overcome that challenge. And that’s truly how you will succeed in the long run. I remember doing the trade show circuit to help us find new wholesalers and retailers. At some point we realized that we were not making any headway with those trade shows. We turned around, and we decided to invest that time, money and energy on ourselves and grow our presence online and on social media. That’s been very successful. Create your own path.


As a part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sebastien Tardif, a celebrity makeup artist and the creator of Veil Cosmetics, a makeup brand renowned for its textural superiority, and a cult favorite amongst beauty experts and professionals. For more than 25 years, he has led innovation for many global luxury brands, and has beautified celebrities including Naomi Campbell, Nelly Furtado, Jane Fonda, Olivia Palermo and Glen Close to name a few. His vast experience as a professional makeup artist has translated into a product line suitable for pros and novices alike, and gives a nod to the validation that brand recognition brings.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Since I was a teenager, I have always known that I was going to one day own a business. After about 15 years in the makeup industry working for several luxury global makeup brands and having done many beauty editorials for renowned fashion publications and worked on over 100 Fashion Week shows in New York and globally, the opportunity presented itself to become a partner in a new makeup venture. I knew exactly this was the perfect opportunity to launch my own brand and to realize my dream. Here we are now, Veil Cosmetics celebrating its 8th year anniversary.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Well, this is not exactly a story, more like a career path, always striving to move ahead and shoot for the stars. I always wanted to travel for a living and the moment I decided that I was going to get into makeup, I knew I wanted to work at New York Fashion Week, I wanted to work for fashion magazines doing makeup editorials and that’s exactly what I was able to accomplish. When I set my eyes on creating a makeup line, I did everything I could to make it happen when the moment felt right, I left an amazing job, gambled everything and never looked back. Careful what you wish for, ’cause it might happen one day and more…But yet, I always take my dreams for a reality.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

The Tipping Point, I think, is realizing that I couldn’t take no for an answer. I always worked towards many goals at the same times. I remember working in television while doing bridal makeup on the side. I also built my portfolio as a makeup artist while working retail in a high end department store in Toronto, until I got my big break working for a well known makeup brand as a global makeup artist. It’s always been work, work, work. Never give up.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I gotta really first thing first thank my parents, for always having believed in me, let me do what I wanted to do and pursue the career that I wanted to pursue as opposed to imposing upon me what they thought was going to be best for me. They gave me the key to the world, and said: “ Discover, go ahead, dream big and know that we believe in you”. That was the biggest influence that shaped up my career path because I felt supported. And that’s all I needed truly, my parents’ support. I remember being in high school and trying to figure out what I was going to do next. And I decided to pursue a career in the fine arts. And that wasn’t a popular choice that I know a lot of parents would have frowned upon. I remember an extended family member questioning my parents about where those studies were going to lead me to, seriously doubting the career outcome. My parents said: “Don’t you fret, he is going to find his way, we believe in him and he’s gotta do what he loves to do”. That’s extremely powerful, and I’m forever thankful.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?

Veil Cosmetics contribution and innovation to the beauty world is to offer the highest quality of multi-tasking and weightless beauty products so that women can wear makeup not having to think about it all day, not having to look transformed or feeling like they are wearing a mask. And I think that throughout my career, I’ve always tried to find the perfect techniques and ways to mix skincare and makeup together to create the perfect textures or finish so that my clients would feel amazing. There are a lot of great makeup artists out there creating amazing imageries with professional models all looking very glamorous. Social media is bombarded by all this ultra-glamour. None of it translates well to reality, no real busy woman spends 1 or 2 hours doing all these steps of makeup. Full coverage foundations look and feel so heavy. That so-called “baking your makeup” old technique uses so much powder, which only enhances fine lines and wrinkles. No-makeup makeup is so much harder to accomplish and that is what I create and facilitates with Veil Cosmetics. That’s why my motto is LOVE YOUR SKIN and Veil products will certainly help you accomplish that. Most women are busy, with kids, juggling a career, and especially now working from home conducting video calls with the kids in the background being home schooled. Women need to look great in seconds and Veil Cosmetics is exactly what they need: skin care infused makeup leaving your skin looking hydrated, smooth and your eyes instantly brightened up with our star product Complexion Fix.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?

What excites me most about the beauty industry nowadays is that it moves very fast. And as an indie brand with a small operation, we are extremely quick on our feet. So I love that aspect. Secondly, since the beginning I have been a big proponent of being based online. I remember being sort of dismissed by a lot of beauty editors when I did my PR desk sides at the time. We’re talking about 2012… “Where’s your makeup going to be sold?” I would answer at VeilCosmetics.com. Needless to say, I did not get press in any of the print publications. Fast forward to 2021, mid-pandemic, all the stores are pretty much closed and all the big brands have no other options but to turn to online and invade the indie brands’ space. There are now beauty editors solely focused on beauty on Amazon!

The other thing that excites me most about the beauty industry is that being online, there’s a way for all the indie brands to truly find their clients, especially now, people are more open minded than ever towards finding new brands and being curious to try new makeup that they have never heard of like Veil Cosmetics.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?

One thing I would love to improve about the beauty industry is that there is very little organic growth anymore. Everything is pay to play. And of course the big players, the big mega brands that have more money will always try to squash all of their competitors. Small indie brands like us have to be a lot more creative. I wish organic growth online, on social media or even Amazon for that matter would be preserved and celebrated.

I wish that the big makeup brands were a little more creative themselves, that they would stop relying on copying the indie brands. I used to be on the big corporate side, and how many times did I sit in meetings with the so-called directors and VPs of this and president of that talking about the other brands, talking about “best practices”. A true lack of imagination. True leaders create their own path.

I also wished that there was less discrimination within the makeup industry, whether racial, gender or sexuality based. We still have some work to do. Talent and creativity is blind.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?

First of all, make an effort in the morning to hydrate your skin properly and put a little concealer on. That will make a big difference. Every time you look at yourself in the mirror, you’ll feel good. Do it for yourself. If you feel good, then you will feel great when facing other people, you’ll have more confidence.

Also, always have great lighting: great lighting in your bathroom will boost your self esteem guaranteed! Great lighting when you’re on camera, while taking pictures or when you are on a video call is changes your energy. If your lighting is great you can then focus on the actual work as opposed to focusing on how” tired” you may perceive you are etc.

Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”. Please share a story or an example, for each.

First thing first, never take no for an answer. I remember when I was trying to get a job working as a makeup artist in a major television station in Toronto, they didn’t have any openings. But I kept going back and they kept saying come back in a few months. And I would always go back with updated pictures in my portfolio. One day out of the blue, they called me because they had a makeup artist that was sick and they needed somebody to fill in right away. I left my other job early to make this happen. That filling in turned out to act as my test for the job at the same time… I was hired!

Another thing that I find important is to be aware of what’s happening on social media, in the beauty industry at large. Use it to better understand what you are about as a makeup artist or what you’re wanting to accomplish within the beauty industry. Not to copy other people but to best understand what you need, what excites you, so that you can be successful doing something you love.

To succeed in the modern beauty industry you’ve got to have a passion for what you do. I have always worked long hours away on the road all my life. I would be gone two, three, even five weeks at a time and if you don’t have a passion for your job you will feel miserable.

Surround yourself with people that complement your talents. Do not go in business with people that do the exact same thing as you do. I am the makeup artist, the creative vision for my makeup brand so I have someone that works with me that’s great with sales. I have another one that’s great for operations and we all complement each other so we don’t step on each other’s toes. We hire consultants that are good at what they do with other aspects of the business.

To succeed in the modern beauty industry, keep the overhead low, do not go about and try to rent offices for your dream team, work from home, I think that the pandemic has taught us that. Learn from your challenges. You never learn so much from having succeeded at something. But when you’re faced with a challenge, look at what didn’t work and try to figure out a way to overcome that challenge. And that’s truly how you will succeed in the long run. I remember doing the trade show circuit to help us find new wholesalers and retailers. At some point we realized that we were not making any headway with those trade shows. We turned around, and we decided to invest that time, money and energy on ourselves and grow our presence online and on social media. That’s been very successful. Create your own path.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Try and really appreciate the present moment: appreciate your youth and who you are at the moment. I remember never being satisfied with the way I looked: not young enough, old enough, tall enough, beautiful enough and the list goes on. When I look back, especially at pictures of me at a younger age, it transports me back then and it makes me realize how I was not living in the moment and truly never appreciated who I was and what I had when in fact, I already had it all. Try to be in tune with the moment and be kind to yourself because time flies and you don’t want to live with regrets.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

You won’t attract bees with vinegar.

This has rung true in all aspects of my life I have to say. I have worked in toxic workplaces under a few tyrants and that in itself has turned me to the bright and sweet side. We all have our days when things seem to not go our way but I keep reminding myself of that motto and that always shifts everything my outlook and feeling.

How can our readers follow you online?

VeilCosmetics.com is the website

Instagram http://instagram.com/veilcosmetics

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/veilcosmetics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/veilcosmetics

Sebastien Tardif Website http://sebastientardif.com

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.


Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“Be authentic to yourself ” With Jilea Hemmings & Malin Singleton

by Jilea Hemmings
Community//

Ulli Haslacher of Pour Moi Skincare: “Natural beauty”

by Jilea Hemmings
Community//

“Make time for you” With Jilea Hemmings & Diana Hernandez

by Jilea Hemmings
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.