The Case against FREE


By now everyone’s read the stats on the importance of free shipping, but we see many brands offer free product  in an effort to promote sales without the hassle or cost of creating another SKU

We recently met a dynamic duo Olga Parno & Cassandra Wills. Cassandra is a music executive who successfully  launched a line of color cosmetics, Haute Face a few years back, with the Martini Makeover, actually serving martini’s at Saks while makeup artists transformed customers.

Her philosophy? Never, Ever, give away your products. Give away shipping, services, ancillary products, but never devalue your brand with BOGOs, discounts, or give aways. A reminder that building brand equity is a slow and costly process that can be easily derailed in the quest for quick sales. 


Not as much innovation as CosmoProf Hong Kong, but still great to see the entrepreneurs out in droves introducing their “babies” to the world.

The comment heard all over: Can you help me with sales? Everyone has some version of an e-commerce strategy - sophisticated or not - and everyone has a few retail doors, but the words on everyone’s lips were, “help me with sales!”

We met a distribution guru I have been waiting for months to meet; more on that company later...

Tales from the Top: How to Succeed at Sephora --& the Beauty Biz in general

CEW, June, Santa Monica

We love going to hear buyers talk. They are the gate keepers --the end point for everything we do. Without buyers who love our products, we are relegated to being one more website out of billions.

Once you’ve made it past the buyers, how do you succeed? And, more interestingly, why do so many beauty brands FAIL?

According to Priya Venkatesh, lead buyer for Sephora, beauty brands fail when they stop innovating. Become complacent, lose passion for your brand, and you lose the sales game -- its as simple as that!

Welcome to Catalyst Beauty's new blog!

Welcome to the first blog post on our experiences in the global beauty industry!

Last week we attended 2 great events here in LA:

First was Beauty Industry West's luncheon with JuE Wong, CEO of StriVectin --the independent brand that came from nowhere in 2002 and catapulted to the number 8 skin care brand in the U.S.

The real scoop, for me, was the importance of overseas DR sales, with StriVectin exceeding 6 years of domestic sales in 4 months of Korean home shopping exposure.

JuE Wong sung the praise of tiger moms --and in her case the approach worked, what an amazing career!