Well hey there lovelies, how goes your week so far? I know I haven't posted about a feature like this in a while, but believe me, you're all gonna love me for this "I want this job" feature!
Frankly, I would swap lives and careers for this talented bloggers job, whom I'm sure many of you are already familiar with.
Anyhoos, ever since I discovered Dawns inspiring blog "The Alternative Wife", I've been living in 'happily ever after land', getting drawn into snippets of her life as a New Yorker & the dreamy, uber feminine and just plain gorgeous imagery. It was through our mutual love of beauty products and probably my addiction to perfume that I discovered that she had the coolest jobs in the world. So cool I have to share with you all!
I want this job: Cosmetic Product Designer
What's a typical day in the life of Dawn of The Alternative wife?
Well let me first start out by telling you all a little bit about cosmetic product development or cosmetic innovation. It's a separate function from marketing or Research & Development (R&D). Basically a cosmetic product developer comes up with new concepts or products ideas. We work hand in hand with marketing on strategy and then we work with R&D on development, ie how each product should look, feel, smell and taste like and also what the function should be including what ingredients we want them to include.
That being said it's hard to say a typical day. Some days I'm at the office in meetings working with various team members to ensure that a product will be launched. Other days I'm meeting with fragrance houses or raw material suppliers to see the new trends. Other days I'm off at a lab or production facility somewhere working on site with the chemists to approve products. Then some days I'm meeting with clients to present new products. And I always squeeze in a little competitive shopping time when I can. It's important to know what's going on in the industry.
What do you love most about your job? Were you always passionate about beauty/cosmetics?
I love that I basically get to play with makeup all day and what girlie girl doesn't like that? I've always been a pretty creative person. I have a passion for art and illustration and I just love to create things and I'm fortunate enough to have a job that marries my passions. Creating and beauty. I've always been obsessed with beauty and cosmetics since I was a young girl. I used to play in my mother and grandmother's cosmetic drawers. And I managed a cosmetic boutique while in high school and majored in Cosmetic Marketing in college. I knew what I wanted to do at a very young age and just went after it.
Is the job as glamourous as it sounds?
There are aspects that can be incredibly glamorous, working with perfumers to develop new fragrances, the travel to find new and exciting things, the launch parties, working with celebrities and designers and such but day to day working in the office it's not all that glamorous. At the end of the day it's a job. An incredible job but it is work.
What area of the cosmetics/beauty industry do you enjoy designing & coming up with new concepts for most & why?
I've worked on all aspects of the beauty industry...color cosmetics, skin care, bath and body and fragrance. I honestly love each and every part of it. From the visual and textural aspects of it to the innovation and technology. They're all equally intriguing and rewarding.
What's not so great about your job?
It's hard to complain about my job. The only thing I can think of is the frustration of wanting to launch a product and not being able to for some reason.
What is the most exciting thing you've ever developed?
Oh this is a hard one! They're all my babies, really. I never launched a product that I didn't love and believe in. I wouldn't launch it if I didn't believe that it was incredible. If I had to think of one thing I guess I'd go way back to my first job right out of college. I was working at Revlon and I was lucky enough to work on Ulltima IIs Lipsexxy, the predecessor of Revlon's ColorStay lipcolor which was a major breakthrough in the industry at the time. Also I worked on LipFusion Lip Plumper which was another major breakthrough in the industry a few years ago.
What is it like working on a fragrance? How do you research and come up with a successful scent?
It's truly incredible. And such an art form. I work with all of the major perfume houses and really all the credit has to go to them and the perfumers. They're the artists. I can just evaluate and decide what I like and what I think will be successful.
What actually goes into an anti-ageing cream? What makes it reverse or improve the skin? (sorry very random, but I am curious!)
There are so many ingredients and new technologies that it's hard to focus on just one. There are a few different ways to address aging. One is prevention and another is reversing the damage that has already been done. I work with all of the raw material suppliers out there and various R&D teams and I have to tell you that there are things that truly do work, retinols and peptides being some of them.
What tools are required to help you with your job on a day to day basis?
You definitely have to stay on top of trends from a fashion, lifestyle and color standpoint as well as from an ingredient standpoint. The industry moves very quickly and you have to have your finger on the pulse. Also it's always good to look back to see what's been successful before and to see how you can update it and improve on it. I work with various trend and research agencies, raw material suppliers, I read industry journals, fashion and lifestyle magazines constantly, and I always keep my eyes open when I'm out an about. You never know what will inspire you! Often you can find a concept in a different industry and then it can be applied to beauty.
What's the career path for anyone wanting to get into the cosmetics industry? (Education, training etc) -Do you have to have to be a genius in the science department & have a knowledge about molecules and cells?
I just happened to go to school specifically for cosmetics marketing but that's not the only way to get into the industry. It really depends on which part of cosmetics you're looking to get into. If you're going for marketing or product development a marketing degree and an internship or job in the beauty industry will help you get your foot in the door. Even if you work retail at a counter that will show you have an interest and passion for the industry. And you definitely do not have to be a genius in science unless you're looking to go into R&D. I happen to love science and formulation so that's helped me have a better understanding of the workings of a formula but the formulators are the geniuses.
Have you ever come up with a concept for a huge cosmetics/beauty brand? If yes, can you share what it was?
I'd go back to LipFusion. I was being presented with a new technology meant for skincare to plump out wrinkles and I thought wouldn't it be great to put this in a lip formula to plump up lips. The chemists I worked with formulated an incredible product that truly works!
What are your thoughts on lotions, potions and creams that claim they can reduce wrinkles or can improve the texture of your skin to creams that reduce the appearance of cellulite?
Cellulite is a tough one. Anti aging creams definitely can and do work but I've yet to find a product or technology that truly works on cellulite. We've been searching for years now and nothing yet. I mean some can help temporarily but nothing long term. I'll let you know when one is discovered!
Can a $20 face cream be just as good and have the same or better results than a face cream costing $100?
Absolutely. Well I'd go up to $30 but there are definitely drug store formulas that work incredibly well.
Are there any beauty products you'd like to recommend?
I would but I wouldn't want to get in trouble or offend anyone. If any one would like some recommendations, feel free to email me :) via The Alternative Wife
I hope you all enjoyed this feature! I sure learnt a lot through the answers... all very fascinating! Dawn, thank you again, it's been a pleasure having you over on A Brit Greek! Smooches x.o.x.o
Stunning Images via my newest Photographer Love addiction: Kenneth Willardt - Some of the images are from the 2011/2012 calender for Maybelline, other via his site
Perfume lab image via designsponge