Marc was the new boy in the office where I was working at the time. He was always suspiciously well groomed, he looked a little too perfect to be honest. I later found out why…We quickly became friends outside of work and spent most of our free time together. On the way back from one of our many shopping trips on a Sunday evening we had the ‘Oh God it’s Monday tomorrow and we’ll have to be in work in 12 hours” conversation. I asked him what his dream job would be, he instantly replied that he would love to have a range of corrective cosmetics for men. Marc had told me shortly after we met that as a teenager he had really bad acne. He had tried everything from the pharmacy from creams, supplements to the latest wash or scrub but nothing worked for him. He still had the same skin issues as an adult so instead of trying to eradicate it he would instead cover it. He would use his sister’s products or ask her to pick up concealer from the pharmacy as he was too self-conscious to purchase it himself. He felt the products never looked right and had an obvious finish as they were designed for women’s skin. He always felt that men should be able to walk into a pharmacy and purchase products to conceal skin problems without the stigma attached to buying female products. That’s where the idea came from and 18 months on from that conversation we now have a completed range of 8 skincare products for men ready to launch.
It has been a long road for us, formulating a range of cosmetics from scratch. It’s been a steep learning curve, first sourcing a cosmetic manufacturing partner to assist us with creating a range of undetectable cosmetics for men. To get a company to take us seriously was an uphill struggle as most of them thought that these two Irish nutters were having a laugh creating a cosmetic range for men. We have been laughed out of the building at previous meetings. One company wanted us to show them 250k before they would even meet with us. Where were we going to get 250k? We had just walked out of our full-times jobs and just started a company on a shoestring budget! As neither one of us had any experience working in the cosmetic industry it was difficult to get a foot in the door anywhere. We eventually found a partner who saw the passion and determination that we had and decided to work with us. This was something that our laboratory analysts had never done before, they had over 100 years’ experience creating cosmetics for women but never men. When we approached them with our idea they were dubious and non-committal to say the least especially as Marc insisted that the product contain no oil, oil is what gives cosmetics their thick obvious texture. We flew to our laboratory on a regular basis to see how our water-based range was coming along. The team surprised themselves at the quality they had produced but were unsure if the product was stable as it was brand new. All the products would have to undergo a 6-month stability test to ensure that they wouldn’t separate and a further 4 months of packaging compatibility testing to ensure that the cosmetics wouldn’t breakdown in the plastic containers. It was an anxious wait for us as if the products failed the tests we would have to start from scratch. Luckily the products all passed thanks to the expert team around us who had worked tirelessly to ensure we had a product that were happy with. We will be forever grateful to them for their hard work during those difficult times and their continued support.
With our products now complete the next step for us is marketing them!