Be innovative — always look for ways to improve the process (any process — including your own service and/or product). This is a fast moving industry, highly dependent on social media and influencers. Innovation does not always mean making a better product, especially if your niche is a wholesome simple organic product that can’t be improved with better formulas or chemistry. Sometimes innovation is constantly finding new ways to deliver the message or fulfill demand.
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 Julia Dalton-Brush, Founder of B3 Balm.
She is a veteran makeup artist in NY and the owner of B3 Balm, an all-natural skincare line. She has worked with many top fashion brands in commercial print work, TV advertising and magazine work — she has also Department Headed three NBC Universal shows. Julia launched B3 Balm when she noticed a lack of all-natural skincare brands that worked well under and with makeup and decided to fill the much-needed niche.
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?
I always loved makeup and beauty, I used to sneak into my grandmother’s beauty cabinet and take the pieces she wouldn’t use. I had many careers prior to entering into the beauty world, I owned a construction management company, I worked in radio, but I still always wanted to work in makeup. So, after I had my daughter, I jumped in and decided to work in the industry that I always loved. While working as a makeup artist I realized that there are so many incredible all-natural skincare lines, however, I couldn’t find any that worked the way I wanted it to work under and with makeup. So, I decided to start one.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
There are too many “on set” stories to even begin. But I do have a story for B3 Balm. When I began handmaking all of our products, I would usually either listen to music or binge-watch a show while making. For the first few months I switched between watching The Good Wife and listening to one of my all time favorite singers, Mary J. Blige — and, of course, always thinking how amazing it would be to have our products on these actors and what a dream it would be for Mary J Blige to even know what B3 was. About 6 months later I come to find that two of the actors in The Good Wife were using our products and that Mary J. Blige’s makeup artist has been using our products on her. Kismet!
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 believe it would be when I went from knowing every customer name because they were friends or relatives supporting my business to knowing almost none of the names for orders that come through.
Tapping into different niches really helped me out with my business, instead of only doing the normal marketing and PR (which I also do), I started working with makeup artists and skinfluencers. Thinking outside of the box and realizing where the influencing starts is important. Any and everyone can go straight to influencers and celebrities pay them and have them advertise your brand (and we have done that as well), but going to the source, the group that the celebrities and influencers listen to — was definitely a game changer. Find celebrities and makeup artists that resonate with you and your brand and reach out.
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 would definitely have to say my husband and my daughter. B3 started as an idea at a time when we were already incredibly busy and I started in my basement hand making lip balms because I didn’t want to use lip products that had petroleum or any other horrible ingredients — my husband and daughter would help me make, label and ship and as we grew, they were my backbone and support. There were days that I would be on set for 12–14 hours, my husband would have worked all day and I would come home to him ready and waiting to help. There is really nothing more you can ask for.
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?
The innovation is a return to simplicity — the simplicity of naturally sourced ingredients and products that don’t require a PHD to read a label. It is important for B3 Balm customers to know and understand what they are putting on their skin and that those ingredients are natural and organic whenever possible without any additives, fragrances or chemicals.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
Globalization, access to new ingredients, people caring about what they are putting on — and therefore in their skin.
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?
- Misinformation and the fact that quite often consumers are simply lied to about what products do — and what is in them — using the terms green and organic when there may only be one all natural ingredient in them
Too often products are deemed natural when, in actuality, they only have 1–2 natural ingredients in them and the rest of the ingredients are fillers and chemicals that actually negate the original natural ingredient. The beauty and, in particular, the skincare industry needs harsher regulations to ensure there are no harmful ingredients being put in our cosmetics. At B3 we make it our top priority to only put the very best, all natural ingredients in our products. The ingredients are true to what they state, and the claims are backed by research. We don’t use fillers and other chemicals — our products are exactly what it states, all natural through and through.
2. Lack of education for the beauty consumer.
The other piece to this puzzle is education — there needs to be more globalized education for the beauty consumer. Too often we just look, see a great advertising campaign and incredible marketing and think “obviously this is the product for me” without really educating ourselves about we are using. As consumers, it helps to realize that the products that we are putting on our face are going into our bodies, so learning about these ingredients are important — especially with the lack of regulations. Brands need to educate their consumer more and allow them to decide once they have all the information. B3 is working on a full spectrum of education for their consumers so that they can truly understand what all of the ingredients are in our products — it is our responsibility to allow our customers to make the best decision for them and that starts with education
3. Unattainable beauty standards — though we have come a very long way in the last few decades, there is still an idea of having to look a certain way and being guided by the beauty world that if you are feeling any other way than happy that looking a certain way can change that. Yet they pick, usually women, that look a very specific way to show you “how to be happy” aka how to look.
There are a lot of issues here. First, we need to have more inclusivity in the beauty world. We need to show more people of color, more trans people, more plus size people, more men — people that look like the majority of the population. Showing women with perfectly smooth, no blemishes — quite often fully photoshopped — is adding to these standards that our young people are seeing and feeling like they must look like. It is making people who do not look like these women feel like an outcast and while we have come a long way, we have a long way to go. I believe there needs to be regulation on photoshop and how much we can change the way the initial advertising image looks. There needs to be a shift to realism in the advertising world and seeing people for who they are and as they are. Showing consumers people who look like them in advertising won’t turn them away from purchasing products, it will just make them feel more comfortable in their own skin while doing so.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
Honestly, to me it is about following your gut and knowing what makes you happy about how you look and feel. Walking out that door and feeling your absolute, most confident, best version of you is something that no one can give you but yourself. That may mean you spend two hours doing your hair and putting on a full face of makeup, or it may mean a cute ponytail, good skincare, mascara and a red lip — or absolutely nothing at all.
But, if you want a specific tip, I will say, take care of your skin. I have noticed when people take care of their skin, they tend to feel better and implement even more self-care. Even just giving yourself those 3–5 minutes on a hectic day — 3–5 minutes that is just for you and taking care of you is clutch. It not only helps you do something good for yourself, but it also makes you feel better which intrinsically makes you feel more beautiful.
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.
1. Hustle — send a hundred emails a day and know you may only get one answer but keep doing it. Write each and every idea down and then go back to them a week later and figure which ones are actually winners.
2. Be authentic — don’t pretend to be something you are not; people know the difference. Be true to yourself. Success will follow.
3. Be patient — success is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Always be hustling always be yourself but also be patient and know it will take more than a few swings to finally connect and feel like the momentum of success is self-sufficient.
4. Be persistent — success requires follow up and more follow up. It also requires the ability to continue to hustle and keep the foot on the gas and the eye in the prize even after things are picking up.
5.Be innovative — always look for ways to improve the process (any process — including your own service and/or product). This is a fast-moving industry, highly dependent on social media and influencers. Innovation does not always mean making a better product, especially if your niche is a wholesome simple organic product that can’t be improved with better formulas or chemistry. Sometimes innovation is constantly finding new ways to deliver the message or fulfill demand.
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. 🙂
I think I would start the five minute a day initiative. So many of us simply forget about ourselves during the day — we all have a million things on our plate — work, home life, if you are a parent — parent life. I honestly believe if we can give ourselves five minutes to sit, five minutes to give to just us, it would change around the whole day. That is a lot of what B3 is based on — giving yourself those few moments in a day to care about you — to breathe, to pamper and love yourself with skincare because it feels good and because it is doing something wonderful for you.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Loving yourself starts with liking yourself, which starts with respecting yourself, which starts with thinking of yourself in positive ways.”
I don’t think we can be successful — with whatever success means to you -without any of these things and I certainly do not believe you can have a successful business without deeply believing in who you are and what you do and why you do it and that all returns to this quote for me.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.