I want teens to get out of their comfort zone, learn real world skills they can apply for the rest of their life, and more importantly, help each other be healthy and have clear confident skin. We are the entrepreneurs and game changers of the future!
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 Fiona Frills.
Fiona Frills is a 16-year-old beauty, makeup, fashion, lifestyle influencer and entrepreneur. Since launching her YouTube channel at the age of 10, she has amassed a fan base of over 1 Million followers.
At the age of 13, Fiona decided to turn her obsession of makeup into a beauty brand and began developing her own makeup line, Frilliance. Fiona set out to make the products she wants as a teen battling acne and someone who cares about health and natural beauty. She personally formulated and designed all the products in the line, which are available on Frilliance.com.
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?
Makeup has always mesmerized me. As a preschooler, every time I saw my Aunt, I would dig through her purse looking for her makeup bag. I would look through all of it. I would examine every lipstick and lip gloss in her bag, saying in my hopeful, little girl voice, “lip stuff?” I was obsessed with lip gloss (I still am!) and was happy to wear any shade she shared with me. At the time, I didn’t even know what makeup was. I liked it, I liked how it felt, and it was just fun art for my face. My obsession with makeup grew and it became another form of art for me.
Obviously, I love and have always loved all things makeup and am obsessed with trying new products. I also know what it’s like to have teen skin. When I started breaking out with pimples, I decided to research makeup ingredients to see if that could be the problem. I found that so many products use ingredients that can actually cause acne and pimples or make them worse! Yikes! No teen wants that! I was frustrated by brands not understanding teen skin. Inspired, I started from scratch and formulated my makeup line, Frilliance, for what I call “teen-prone” skin, a kinder way to say “acne or pimple-prone skin.”
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The experience of having celebrity influencers talk about my Frilliance beauty brand after having been a fan of them since I was 10 years old is so unbelievable to me. Tati Westbrook is one. She talked about my Refreshing Facial Mist in her video. I have watched Tati since I was 10 and she is a YouTube makeup mega star, so I couldn’t believe that she included Frilliance in one of her videos.
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?
I have a few paths that I am on. I started as a YouTuber and then later launched my beauty brand, Frilliance. When I started YouTube, the views and subscribers were growing very slowly. I did one video on Musical.ly (now Tik Tok) where I was reacting to a very famous Musical.ly star. I gave my honest opinion in the video and it blew up. What I learned is voicing my opinion and being myself is what people really want to hear. Not everyone will agree with you but that is ok. Always be the real you and let that shine through.
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?
My mom. She is my backbone. I know she spent countless hours homeschooling me and helping me with my dyslexia and learning challenges. She created ways for me to learn hands on and out of these organically came my YouTube channel. Since I had trouble reading, I turned to watching YouTube videos instead of books and magazines. I started to film my own DIY projects using the web cam on my MacBook, and my mom noticed my interest and asked if I wanted to start a YouTube channel as part of my homeschooling. Of course I said, yes!
She also encouraged me to pursue solving my frustration with makeup ingredients for sensitive teen skin, which is how I developed and formulated Frilliance. My mom is my teacher, mentor and business partner all in one.
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?
Frilliance is authentically doing what I set out to do — be more than just makeup. I successfully created a brand targeting, teen-focused skincare-makeup. Frilliance is fresh, clean, teen cosmetics that fight acne and nurture healthy skin. Few brands offer one-stop-shopping of acne treatments seamlessly delivered in clean, teen-conscious makeup.
I believe teens want a simple, easy, healthy-skin solution at a great price point, powered and created by an authentic teen voice. Frilliance is making teens happier with their skin and beautiful faces!
I always get questions, DMs, and comments asking how I run a business as a teen entrepreneur. My answer to those questions is the Frilliance Direct Retail Program that I just launched. Who knows teens better than teens? Who knows the acne battle better than those fighting it? Frilliance Direct Retail gives teens the power to build their confidence, put their best face forward, and get hone in on their inner entrepreneur on the road to success.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
Inclusiveness — I have from the beginning used models and developed all my formulas to work on all skin tones and types. Today, makeup brands must join the inclusiveness party and celebrate teens of all tone, types, shapes, sizes.
Clean beauty — Today there is more awareness of the clean ingredients — making products that are safer and healthier.
Affordable — There are more brands that work direct to consumer, which means they pass more savings on to customers. Today especially, beauty brands need to think affordable.
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?
Finding affordable sustainable packaging. In the grand scheme of the beauty industry, Frilliance is a start-up, and finding affordable sources for sustainable packaging is extremely limited. I think taking small steps to improve the sustainability of the packaging and to reduce the amount of packaging is very important.
How products are sold in retail is forever changed since COVID. This is partly why I created the Frilliance Direct Detail program — so teens can help other teens directly with their own network and experience. I think we all want hands on recommendations and experiences with the brand.
Ingredients are getting safer but there is a long way to go. I am learning everyday about different ingredients — the good, bad and ugly of cosmetic ingredients. I think there needs to be more thought into banning very unhealthy ingredients in all beauty products today.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
Get good sleep. Beauty sleep is a real thing. Being tired shows in your face and in your mind. The more sleep you get, the brighter your mind thinks.
Eyebrows. Eyebrows frame your face so get them styled or threaded. This is a very simple no makeup trick to really open your face and make your eyes look bigger.
Find your best go-to hairstyle so when having a bad hair day you have a quick go-to without much effort.
Use a natural tinted cream blush as a 3-in-1 makeup product — cream blush is super easy to apply on lips, cheeks, and nose to give you rosy sun kissed glow. Frilliance Cream Blush comes in a beautiful natural rosy glow tint.
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.
- Have a unique story/product — for me, it is targeting to teens and teen skin. My frustration with makeup brands not understanding teen skin.
- Clean beauty and claims — non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, dermatologist tested. From the beginning, I’ve made sure that my brand really helps teens and blocks break outs. I’m diligent about ingredient selection and have third-party testing of all our claims.
- Be on top of your social media platforms and the social media your target market uses — I mainly use YouTube, Instagram, and Tik Tok. I built my YouTube channel to about 500,000 subscribers when I launched Frilliance. Now with Tik Tok taking off for my generation, I am posting and growing a new social medial channel.
- This might be obvious but you need a good chunk of change to launch a beauty line — producing products, packaging, photoshoots, website, it all has a cost! Everything added up quickly as we launched Frilliance. Really working with each vendor on pricing and quantity was (and still is) critical for each of our production runs and new product launches.
- Motivation and being driven/passionate — there are always obstacles along the way — hard work pays off. When we launched, we had several issues with sourcing packaging, mistakes that needed to be corrected in printing, and dealing with designers that didn’t listen to my feedback. Patience and persistence pays off, and we successfully launched Frilliance.
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. 🙂
Teens helping teens. Teens inspiring teens and showing the world what we can do. I know I’m in an incredibly unique position, so I strive to create opportunities for other teens, such as the Frilliance Rep Program (Direct Retail) — I want teens to get out of their comfort zone, learn real world skills they can apply for the rest of their life, and more importantly, help each other be healthy and have clear confident skin. We are the entrepreneurs and game changers of the future!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. — Oscar Wilde
Social media puts so much pressure on us to be and look like someone else, but be yourself! We are all beautiful!
How can our readers follow you online?
About the Interviewer: Jilea Hemmings is a staunch believer in the power of entrepreneurship. A successful career revamping Fortune 500 companies was not enough for her entrepreneurial spirit, so Jilea began focusing her passion in startups. She has successfully built 6 startups to date. Her passion for entrepreneurship continues to ﬂourish with the development of Stretchy Hair Care, focusing on relieving the pain associated with detangling and styling natural black hair. For far too long, people with tender heads have suffered in pain. Until now.