Stand in front of the mirror and acknowledge aspects of yourself you find most beautiful. Everyone can find something. Then learn styling, self-care or makeup techniques that play up these parts. Play up the positives! The more you focus on the positives, the less the negative will mean over time.
As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years, I had the pleasure of interviewingStacey Steinmetz.
Stacey Steinmetz is a cosmetic bio chemist and new product development expert with a resume that includes L’Oréal, Shiseido and niche cosmeceutical companies. She always struggled with nail issues and she was determined to find a healthy alternative to grow nails at home. Her research uncovered that LED light therapy technologies were a trend in at-home devices and backed by clinical studies. Steinmetz saw the effect red-light therapy had on cell health and created a device, StimuNail, to target the cuticle and matrix area of nails, making her the first to launch a consumer nail care device to improve nail health.
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?
As a young girl, I had two parallel passions. One was all things scientific. I wanted to know how things worked, how they functioned, why, when, how. On the other hand, I loved everything about beauty. I would concoct my own skin care products from ingredients found in my mother’s kitchen. I was the one doing my friends’ manicures and makeup for events. In college, I realized I could combine these two passions together into a career in beauty product development. I received my degree in biological sciences and did my internship in cosmetic chemistry. This set me on a path within the beauty industry where I was able to formulate and market products that would make people feel better in their own skin. I always try to remember that as I launch and bring new products to market.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I was lucky enough early on in my career to work for a small start-up beauty brand that was acquired by a venture capital firm. This firm brought in the heavy hitters of the beauty industry. I worked alongside a small group of beauty icons and thought leaders from some of the largest and most well respected brands. I began to think more like an executive, like an entrepreneur, like a visionary. The experience I gained there was invaluable. I took away from that experience a personal growth awakening that I would not have gained had I not been exposed to that amazing group of leaders. We developed a brand from ideation to become the leader in the US med spa and cosmeceutical industry.
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 was when I discovered and embraced the independence and courage within myself to acknowledge my self-worth. I had worked behind the scenes developing products for many years, but it was not until I began branching into marketing and brand development that my individual ideas and aspirations were heard. In those new roles, I was valued for the scientific background that I brought to the table. By expanding my career into different areas within the beauty industry, I brought a wealth of knowledge that other coworkers or job candidates lacked. This breadth of knowledge gave me a great perspective, and added valuable insights to the companies I was working for. I believe if you have found an industry that you are passionate about, expand your knowledge and work in all areas of the industry as your cross functional knowledge will be such an advantage to you and your company.
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?
Hands-down that person would be my father. Starting as a young child and throughout my life, my father instilled in me an entrepreneurial spirit. He too was an entrepreneur. He told me I would never get to spend my days doing what made me happiest and I could never make as much money working for someone else as I could for myself. Throughout my life I have dabbled with a few business ventures here and there, but my beauty technology company is the first venture completely designed and run by me. I launched my business about two years after my father’s passing. With each decision I make, I can feel and hear my father‘s guidance — this makes me secure in my decisions and gives me the courage to continue moving forward.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?
The cutting edge technology I am working with is actually one that was developed for NASA in the 1960s. What’s innovative is the way the beauty industry is using that technology to improve the health and wellness of consumers today. Red light therapy is a technology which uses red light at very specific wavelengths to penetrate the skin at varying depths to affect certain areas of the body. For example, it is highly beneficial for repairing damaged skin by regenerating collagen production. It’s benefits are also well-known for the body, to help with muscle recovery and repairing joint and arthritis damage. We are using it in a wellness capacity to support and stimulate the health of fingernails. Red light therapy is proven and FDA cleared to energize and boost cells so that they have the ability to perform all cellular functions at optimal levels.
After many decades of use, red light therapy has been proven safe and effective. I think consumers today, especially in the beauty sector, are looking for more natural solutions to their beauty needs. Therefore I feel that beauty innovations, especially high technology devices, are a great way for consumers to reap the benefits while no longer having to subject their bodies to toxic ingredients. In a way, the more advanced and less invasive the technology becomes, the less consumers should need to worry about its negative consequences.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?
1. One of the beauty-tech areas I am most excited about is the consumer at-home device category. The ability for a consumer to treat themselves in the privacy and convenience of their own home and see tangible results is amazing. There are now technologies previously only available in a clinical setting that today’s consumers can access.
2. As a woman in the beauty industry I had every door available to me. Women hold high-level executive positions with global leaders in this industry. Historically, technology and science has been led by men, but that is changing. The benefit of the beauty-tech industry is that it embraces women in STEM. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are leading career fields for women these days and my hope is that beauty-tech continues to open its doors for young women as it did for me.
3. The ever evolving technology is amazing. Not only the results we are achieving through non-invasive innovations, but the ability for a consumer to use Artificial Intelligence to help make self-beautification decisions. There are just as many computer apps as physical products being launched that are geared toward the beauty consumer.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?
1. With the beauty industry, more so than any other industry, we need to embrace all people as beautiful. Our society, while very beauty conscious, is also embracing differences now more so than ever before. There’s something beautiful to be found in everyone and all people are equally as beautiful. As brand leaders we need to keep that top of mind.
2. A blessing and a curse is augmented reality. Consumers now have the ability to see what they could look like before certain procedures. This is a wonderful way to be able to see the results before going under the knife. However the negative could be a person never truly being satisfied with their looks and always anticipating the next improvement they could make.
3. With any industry that focuses on self-improvement and beautification, like fitness and beauty, we need to be aware of our consumers impressions. There are countless, impressionable young women looking to us to help them feel better about themselves. We need to balance our portrayal of perfection with a positive message of self-acceptance.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Healthy is beautiful. Focus on keeping yourself healthy on the inside and it will be reflected in your complexion, your skin, hair and nails.
2. Whatever you do to your face as far as anti-aging treatments, do the same to your neck and the back of your hands.
3. Go outside, get some sunshine and fresh air and move. Not many things can make you feel more invigorated and positive than the great outdoors. Feeling refreshed will definitely translate into feeling more beautiful.
4. Take time for some pampering self-care. Treat yourself to a bath, a face mask, a conditioning hair treatment. Anything you can do to focus on yourself for a while will result in a more positive outlook of yourself.
5. Stand in front of the mirror and acknowledge aspects of yourself you find most beautiful. Everyone can find something. Then learn styling, self-care or makeup techniques that play up these parts. Play up the positives! The more you focus on the positives, the less the negative will mean over time.
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 believe one of the most important things that anyone in a leadership role can do is to inspire. Mentorship is one of the most meaningful and impactful ways to inspire others. Mentorship is often used within a corporate environment for upper management to influence and support younger colleagues. It is also a wonderful way to inspire young, or less privileged people in society by providing support and guidance from a figure they can look up to. Mentorship can be as simple as instilling in your children a belief in themselves and their abilities. I know mentorship itself is inspiring and supportive, and that is all a person needs to receive make a difference in their own lives. The amazing thing about mentorship is that it often gets paid forward, as the mentee comes into their own and becomes the mentor.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
More than just a beauty industry veteran, I am an entrepreneur. More than just an entrepreneur, I am a female entrepreneur. Despite all the challenges that come along with that title, there is a life lesson that stands true for anyone. “Everything you will ever need to be successful can be found within you.” I firmly believe that as long as you can reach inside yourself and find the willpower, the fortitude, the energy, the courage and the knowledge, that anything is possible. You may not always succeed, there will always be roadblocks and lessons to be learned, but keep trying, there’s something very beautiful and self-fulfilling in the journey. Just keep moving forward and you will get where you are meant to be.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.