BOSS Series Interview: Dineh Mohajer, Creator of Smith & Cult

Interview with Smith & Cult creator Dineh Mohajer and Hard Candy

This weeks BOSS series features one of my all time beauty hero’s, Dineh Mohajer. She’s the original founder of Hard Candy, back when they had that chic rectangular packaging with a plastic ring on top (I used to wear them on my pinky) and introduced pastel nail polish into the industry. I used to shop them Urban Outfitters in high school and will never forget seeing Alicia Silverstone on the David Letterman show (scroll to 4min 28seconds) rocking her Sky Blue polish and being obsessed!!! Since selling the company she re-entered the nail polish industry starting another iconic nail polish brand Smith & Cult, which has legendary packaging and art direction and has grown it to a full makeup line featuring lips, eyes and face. She is wildly creative (follow her @dinehm and @smithandcultmy), my spirit animal, and can’t be more excited for her to be sharing her awesomeness and advice with us in this weeks BOSS series.

  • How do you describe yourself?

I think my friends would describe me as kind, passionate, cuckoo for cocoa puffs, loving, warm, guilt-ridden, ADHD, germaphobic, neurotic-ish, silly, funny, fun, having good skin, obsessive-compulsive…my husband would use seven words: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Dopey, Bashful, Sneezy.

  • After you sold Hard Candy, what made you want to jump back into nail polish? And then years later expand into a full makeup line?

I never returned because I never really left. After Hard Candy was acquired by LVMH, my partner from Hard Candy, Jeanne Chavez, and I created, developed and sold another baby, called Goldie, to the Limited Brands. Smith & Cult was just another step in a natural progression for me.

  • How has the industry changed since you launched Hard Candy vs Smith & Cult. What resources make your life easier/harder?

Some aspects have remained identical at the core. The underlying motivation to feel happier, healthier and prettier is still intact. The joy of discovery, experimentation and success regarding product, packaging, imaging, education and branding has also remained the same. Our technological advancement has changed the manner in which we do all this, in some ways for the better and in some ways for the worse. For me, technology has allowed me to better articulate my creative vision more quickly and fluidly.

My Holiday Makeup Tutorial on Avon.com

Use code: LARA25 for an extra 10% off, plus free shipping on orders over $25 on Avon.com
I’m on Avon.com!!!!!!!! I’m so excited to have partnered with Avon for their holiday preview party, where they unveiled some very exciting new products and the look I created for their website. I was going for a modern yet old Hollywood vibe for my custom holiday look. I paired a classic red lip with a bold eye lined in emerald green for some added festive fun.Avon discount
Before I jump into the look, can we take a second to appreciate their limited edition “Iconic Avon” lipsticks? I’d say the packaging is everything, except that the lipstick is equally epic in formula and you can’t beat the price (only $6.99)! They have such rich pigment and glide on my lips so easily and smoothly. I’m wearing the shade Holly Red as seen in my photos. Also, their True Color Glimmersticks (lip liners and eyeliners) are so creamy, pigmented, retractable and only $2.99 – stock up! They are such a score! You can also use code: LARA25 for an extra 10% off, plus free shipping on orders over $25. This is a one-time use offer, so make it count!
GET THE LOOK: All the products used can be found HERE.
FACE:
All good makeup starts with good skincare so I started by prepping my skin with Avon’s ANEW Hydra Fusion Replenishing Serum, followed by the ANEW Hydra Fusion Gel Cream, which I mix with a few drops of Avon’s True Color Dazzle Drops for an overall glow.
TIP: The moisturizer is like water (it’s not heavy) so it’s great to dab a small amount over makeup during the day for touchups if you start to feel dry or want your skin to have a more dewy glow.
Next, using Avon’s True Color Moonlit Highlighting Powder in Topaz as a bronzer. I applied it in the shape of a 3 starting at the temple going along the cheekbone and then down around the side of the face to the chin. Then, using the In the Blush of Dawn palette from the Iconic Avon Beauty Classics Collection 3-Piece Palette set, I used the upper left bronze blush over the cheek bone portion of the True Color Moonlit Highlighting Powder for some extra emphasis. Then, I went back in with the True Color Dazzle Drops above my cheekbone up to my brow bone in the shape of a “C” and blended fully. I also applied about a drop of the product on my finger and dabbed it down the bridge of my nose and blended for a slight highlight.

Our Favorite Honey Skincare Products in Honor of Christopher Robin

I grew up on Winnie the Pooh, so in honor of Disney’s Christopher Robin coming to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on November 6th and our Hundred Acre Wood friends, I’m sharing my favorite honey infused beauty products and benefits. I even dressed Charlie as Pooh for our screening and have been saying “Silly Old Bear”, to him ever since.

This movie made me me so happy and nostalgic for my childhood. It was the perfect blend of fantasy and reality and watching my much loved childhood friends, Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Roo, Kanga, Owl, and Eeyore come to life was so special. You’ll probably enjoy it more than your kids… and relate to Christopher Robin; who as an over worked adult misplaces his priorities until he gets some help from some childhood friends. And what’s better than honey, Pooh? Not much when you think about the benefits of both eating it and putting it on our skin. So much more than a delicious treat, it’s used in many beauty products because of it’s anti-bacterial, antioxidant and moisture boosting properties.

Honey also plays well with other ingredients and is a great formula enhancer! Origins took their best-selling Clear Improvement Charcoal mask earlier this year and added Golden Wildflower & Fermented Honey to create Clear Improvement Charcoal Honey Mask. Historically, charcoal masks can be very drying and for more oily skin, however with the addition of honey it’s enabled more normal to dry skin to draw out impurities that charcoal is famous for without the tight, drying feel.

BOSS Series Interview: Jillian Wright, Aesthetician, Creator of Jillian Wright Skincare and Co-Founder of Indie Beauty Expo

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For this weeks BOSS series we have one of the most literal beauty bosses in the industry, Jillian Wright. I really admire woman that create, innovate and evolve. And for me Jillian Wright is the ultimate example of this. She took her skincare background as an aesthetician and spa owner and didn’t just stop after creating her skincare line, she saw a void in the marketplace and had the foresight think bigger and co-founded the Indie Beauty Expo. I went to the first Indie Beauty Expo in New York and from what it started as and to what it is today just shows the growth in this category and the outstanding need for a tradeshow like this! Plus they are taking over the world and have since expanded into LA, Berlin, Dallas and London. It’s no secret that indie beauty is one of, if not the fastest growing category in beauty and she’s a big part of making that happen and giving these small brands a chance to meet buyers, press and beauty lovers to take their business to the next level. The expo has also connected me to so many incredible brands ahem Dope Naturally, Bawdy Beauty, Raw Spirit, Love Sun Body, and so many others… Plus I always look forward to hitting on their videographer. Let’s learn from the master, here’s our interview with Jillian Wright:

1. Tell us about yourself and how you got started.

I was a spa owner and skincare expert for 18 years and relied on the unique and hard to find beauty to fill up the white space in my retail environment, which made the assortment interesting and exciting for my clients.  About 10 years into my career, I decided to launch my own luxury indie skincare line. The word “trade show“ wasn’t even in my universe. I realized very quickly that in order to attract buyers and press, I needed to get out there and meet people, but didn’t know where to begin. I started doing research and wasn’t satisfied with my options.  Out of frustration, I approached my then facial client Nader Naeymi-Rad and asked him if he would help me produce a show specific to independent beauty. Without any hesitation, he said yes. Six months later, we launched the Indie Beauty Expo at the Altman Building with 80 brands, all who were in the same boat as me.

First, we extended IBE to two days so there was more time for attendees to interact with exhibitors.  Then we branched out to Los Angeles and Dallas, and now London in October and Berlin, March 2019, enabling more local brands, buyers, press and shoppers to participate at IBE. We then launched Beauty Independent, our digital publication, to provide a voice to all the great entrepreneurial stories out there. We then launched BeautyX, our educational and networking summits, because we saw so many brand founders stumble because they didn’t have reliable sources to help them navigate key business questions and issues.  Finally, with our Retail + Buyer Relation function, we now actively help buyers find the right brands and then help those brands onboard with the retailer.

2. What inspired you/How did you become involved in the Indie Beauty community?

When we started IBE, we had a simple mission: showcase great independent brands in a way that honored the hard work and innovative spirit their founders brought to the table. That was it. After our first show, and all the feedback we received, it became clear that independent brands were going to play a big role in the future of beauty and wellness, but that there were many obstacles and unmet needs that had to be addressed.  So we started to systematically go about building platform to help independent innovators succeed. I teach, lead, write and prevail, all because I didn’t have a platform to do serious business with press and retailers.

3. What is your best time management tip?

I write everything down and make sure my commitments are in my google calendar.  I work hard to not overschedule myself and maintain a disciplined day to day pace.  Since I live in NYC, I try very hard not to spend a lot of time in the car or public transportation, preferring to walk. The stress of traffic and commuting can be bad for productivity and creativity. Not only do I manage my schedule, but I also have manage my kids, so, getting enough sleep and preparing for tomorrow’s tasks the night before are important ways to ensure I make the best use of my time. I approach our lives as a team effort.  We are in it together and this also helps my kids and husband cope with my crazy schedule. I allow myself time to process things and this is important for health and longevity.

4. What is the deal with CBD? I’ve seen incredible reports about the benefits for everything for autism to epilepsy, anxiety and muscle relief but the Internet seems conflicted on if it actually does anything dramatic for your skin or is it just a fad?

It has been proven that CDB is an effective treatment for anxiety and epilepsy, now early studies are even showing it may be used to fight cancer and slow the progression Alzheimer’s disease. Depending on the strength of the CBD product—researchers say CBD creates anti-inflammatory and pain killing effects-—using it for small aches and pains on the forearms, knees, neck or elbows, one can feel a difference racially overnight with the right blend!  In beauty, it’s being used alone and coupled with other ingredients such as frankincense, Korean herbs or Vitamin C. We went from