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20 To Know

By: Karen A. Newman, Jeff Falk, Leslie Benson
Posted: January 7, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 7 of 7

Kelly’s original plan was to target China for product distribution, but that goal met with some resistance. “Most distributors and retailers wanted to know we were anchored and successful in our own home market before they listed us,” says Kelly, “so we have re-thought our strategy, concentrated upon building the brand in the U.K. and will look again at export in 2009.” Taxi London Ltd currently is available in 51 U.K. Superdrug outlets and online.

A men’s range launched this year has enjoyed some publicity for its ‘guyliner’ and ‘manscara’ products. But Kelly says the best selling products right now are in the Taxipure mineral makeup line. “The European market has been aware of minerals for a while but only in the last six months have they become widely available,” says Kelly. “We have positioned Taxipure at competitive price points packaged in components that have built-in brushes and applicators in line with our … philosophy.” With Kelly at the wheel, Taxi London is on the move.

Lakshmi Prakash, PhD, Vice President of Innovation & Business Development, Sabinsa Corporation

Knowledge is a valuable commodity, and those willing to impart knowledge strengthen an industry and seed its advancement. Lakshmi Prakash, PhD, has leveraged a background in food technology to become an important voice as nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals gain significance in the beauty industry. With more than 25 years of combined research and management experience—including head of the Department of Food Technology at Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University, Mumbai, India, and project manager at the Center for Advanced Food Technology, Rutgers University (where she worked to facilitate research collaborations between corporations and academia)—she is an authority on the science of herbal ingredients, their application and function claims.

At Sabinsa, Prakash’s responsibilities include identifying and developing innovative health applications, delivery systems and intellectual property pertaining to natural actives and nutritional raw materials, and this work, in combination with her food background, was instrumental to the launch of Sabinsa’s GRAS ingredients. And to the benefit of the industry as a whole, her findings and practical research are often shared through peer-reviewed journals and trade publications, making her a partner of many.

Beauty Bloggers, Anywhere, Anytime

While there’s some debate going on these days about just how much influence social media and its participants really have over consumer buying decisions, there’s no doubt about beauty bloggers’ passion for product; their willingness to talk about it with friends, relatives and complete strangers; and their growing business savvy. A lot of beauty blogs start out simply, as homegrown sites produced by girls and women who are admittedly crazy about beauty products. And many stay that way. On the other end of the spectrum are blogs that have grown into professionally designed endeavors complete with advertising and their own “Best of” awards. They’re organized, too, with sites such as Beauty Blog Network, founded by makeup artist Elke Von Freudenberg, who believed beauty needed a larger forum.

At its best, blogging delivers beauty without borders. From A Touch of Blusher in the UK, to Jack and Hill: A Beauty Blog in the U.S., to Rouge Deluxe in Singapore, beauty bloggers share their passion for products with anyone who cares to read their posts—influencing others sometimes just comes with the territory. A comment on a U.K. blogger’s post about Japanese brands said, “I love it when you review Japanese products so I know what to buy and what not to.” The impact may never be equal to an ad in Vogue, but large numbers of consumers seem to relate far better to a girly, bright pink blog created by someone just like them than to a printed page. At the end of the day, blogs and bloggers are one more way that product reviews and opinions are generated and shared in this fast-paced, multimedia world.