Could you share with us a little of the backstory as to how LOELLA began?
I was researching the beauty industry and always love to work in niche, adjacent product spaces, so in this case the tools of the industry rather than the actual cosmetics. Whilst researching makeup brushes, I felt there was such a huge divide between affordable brushes and professional grade expensive brushes. Professional brushes also seemed to maintain quite a traditional look and speaking to a lot of makeup artists, I definitely felt that there was a gap to be filled by creating high quality, affordable brushes with a design twist.
Was creating a brand like LOELLA something that you always wanted to do?
Working previously in the service industry, I suppose I had always dreamed of designing something on paper and then ultimately holding it in my own hands and having people use it. It is such a thrill to see something you come up with in your mind come to life, and if people love using it, that is an even bigger plus.
Can you think of a brush or two that are most unique in your collection?
In our latest Femme Fatale collection, there are quite a few unique brushes that I absolutely love. We collaborated with a professional makeup artist, Sarah Exley, and she incorporated some brushes that are really on trend. We have for example Smoke show Sally which makes it so easy to create a smokey under eye look and also a nose contouring brush with a really unique shape.
Is there a particular brush that was most exciting or enjoyable for you to create?
I suppose it was the brush that I personally use the most, which is Buffed up Briony from our original Girl on Fire collection. I went up and down with the manufacturer to get the exact right firmness and length of the bristles to ensure it applies smoothly without picking up too much product. It was such a steep learning curve for me because it was the first set I designed and I do not have a professional beauty background, so I utilised a lot of input and suggestions from seasoned makeup artists and then added my own design twist. But it clearly paid off because it is one of our bestselling individual brushes and the brush I use myself pretty much every day.
What makes LOELLA different from other makeup brushes?
We are all about striking the perfect balance between quality, design and price. Our mission is really to make sure that everyone can access high quality tools that make it much easier to apply product, whether you are a beginner or a pro. Moreover, I am very proud that we are also a small business that gives back. We have partnered with a foundation called #iamtheCODE, which is teaching girls all over the world coding and STEM skills. A makeup brush seems like such a simple and staple product, but we think you can make a difference even with the simplest things you buy!
Do you have a motto or ethos you live by with regards to business or life?
My motto I always live by is ‘Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will’. I love this quote so much, as I think a lot of entrepreneurs face lots of self-doubt and fear of failure – I certainly did, particularly in the beginning. But this quote always reminds me to push through the doubt and just dare to fail, it is all part of the path to success.
What brushes would you suggest for a non-professional who usually applies makeup with their fingers? Do you have any advice on how to get the most out of the brushes?
I would say there are probably 3 key things you cannot achieve with your hands: 1) create a streak-free, flawless foundation base 2) blend powder properly 3) apply eye makeup precisely. So depending on which on those 3 you actually use, I would recommend a good buffing brush for the first (e.g. our Buffed up Briony brush), a good overall powder brush for the second (e.g. our Powder woman Penelope brush) and a simple and easy to use eye brush (e.g. our Blend me beautiful Betty brush). The key to using all 3 of these is blend, blend, blend to make sure the product settles evenly and there are no harsh lines anywhere on the face.
What’s the most common mistake people make when it comes to makeup brushes?
Not to wash them or not to wash them often enough. You would be shocked to know the dirt and bacteria that live on your makeup brushes, so it is so key to wash your brushes often with some gentle soap (such a baby shampoo or dishwasher soap) and just let them air dry before the next use.
Why is it worth investing in quality makeup brushes?
With the right tools, your daily process of putting on makeup can become so much quicker and easier, regardless whether you are a heavy makeup wearer or not. Also, if you like to experiment or do more detailed eye work for example, having quality tools is key in achieving that professional look.
What are the benefits of LOELLA products?
We like to think that we struck the right balance between quality, design and price. All of our brushes are also vegan and cruelty free, which is not only great from an ethical standpoint, but is also more hygienic and allergy-friendly vs. animal hair counterparts. And finally, we are a brand that gives back as well, and we are doing our small part to change the world with every brush we sell.
What is next for LOELLA? And would you ever think to dabble into another area of beauty?
We have an exciting pipeline of new and innovative designs coming out very soon, which we are super excited about. For now, we would like to expand our range of beauty tools, because the category covers a lot more than makeup brushes, and sure, eventually we might dabble into cosmetics as well.
What has been your career highlight?
I think it has been creating our latest collection together with professional makeup artist Sarah Exley. Sarah is Head of makeup at X-Factor and Love Island, so to get someone from her calibre on board has just been such a privilege. It took us a year to design the final brush set, and it has been so amazing to see her talent and experience come through to create this ultimate professional brush set which has now been used at TV studios and by celebrity makeup artists all over the world.
What is your advice for an aspiring beauty entrepreneur?
Both to never give up as well as to have a back-up plan or side hustle. The beauty industry is very competitive and it certainly takes a long time to build a brand so I think you need to be realistic with your finances. However, brand building just takes time and success could just be around the corner, so keep hustling and don’t let fear of failure stop you!