What can push a beauty therapist to launch her own skincare brand?
QDL Cosmetics was brought to you with the hope to solve your skin problems
And with this I embarked on the most ambitious professional adventure for me to date!Let me first share with you how I started this journey.
I have build very beautiful, high quality, precisely made crowns, bridges, in-lays and implants for two decades.
And then new far-away production markets opened up, global shipping rose and the once-upon-a-time beautiful work we did become an expensive luxury. Unaware patients have now dubvious if not hazardous materials in their mouths and dentists still played golf...
And sure enough dental labs found business harder, margins thínner, cost of sale higher. So much so that eventually I lost my job, following the loss of a major client by my then employer.
I was always the girl, pink shoes and all. That girl. As I started thinking about my options my husband suggested I could simply go and do something else.
" I know how to help get started, that's what I do! " What do you think you are good at?
We kind of narrowed down that when aged 35, people asked for my ID when buying cigarettes for a friend, I was pretty good at keeping up appearances. The girly thing again.
I decided to re-train as a beauty therapist.
So that's me going back to school, aged 38, equipped with ADHS and dislexia, two young children and a husband working most of the week away from home!
Self-pity considerations aside (I often cried in total dispair, I know...) I managed, we managed. The school, the commute to it, the homework, the learnings and everything else. I qualified.
First 12 months...
...were spent at home
I would recomment this to every new beauty therapists should their home allow it.
It was fantastic. It allowed me to lower my risks with no additional financial commitments to landlords or additional bills. It helped me juggle getting a business up and still remain a woman, a wife and a mother, in that order. And it really helped me build-up confidence in what I am best at: Service & Advice, the experience as one would say.
In the first 12 months I also got to learn a few MLM companies from the US, all market leaders of course, one with chemical waste in (mostly pink) bottles and the other with the best ever therapeutic grade essential oils created by some kind of fake doctor who recovered from a fake mortal injury in a fake part of the world with oils that I also assume to be fake by now.
I also got acquainted with the most expensive brands of skincare products.
"Born a dental technician" I pay attention to detail, consider angles, problem pre-dispositions and more. Let's just say that one should not look under the hood of the more expensive products either, most of the products out there are pretty shocking and do only one thing well: dry and irritate your skin with a fantastic smell and feeling to the fingers...so you come back for more.
A little frustrated I decided to experiment for myself.
Tired of the self proclaimed aromatherapists, I took it on myself to experiment from the seed up.
This is when my husband lost his garage.
Long story very short: Do not attempt to make your own essential oils.
It's very very hard work. The principles are simple enough, finding the best of the best organic resources is also very straightforward. But oh man this is slow and predictably tiring!
I grew Basil, Rosemary, Lavender and more...and getting hydrosols was satisfying enough but the last drops of actual essential oils take patience, skill and large facilities.
[ I am not an aromatherapist but I grew certain that Hydrosols are in fact the best compromise for most people who should not apply oils directly to the skin anyway...side story]
This was by far the most difficult part of my experience.
Finding the right balance in butters, oils, wax and other ingredients in my robomix was somewhat easier.
I would expand on this but suffice to say that I had to find subjects to experiment with. Another great moment, who did not like Frankenstein!!??
But before that, what did I learn?
1) GREAT essential oils are hard to make and justify a high price tag. Be VERY wary of oils costing more than they should per 15ml however, exception made of rare (Rose) or double distilled (Ylang Ylang) ones.
2) NATURAL products should be treated with high respect as they are extremely potent (!) when quality ingredients are used
3) QUALITY is a difficult concept, and only really the end user experience counts.
Being the only cosmetic studio in town with a focus on natural cosmetics and "the skin", people come to me.
I have also investigated the area of "Medical Cosmetics" with a focus on acne, rosazea, hyper-pigmentation etc in collaboration with iS CLINICAL.
Finding test subjects was not difficult. I have treated a lot of customers with skin lesions, acne, irritations and other concerns with sorry skin outbreaks.
And what I found is that some ingredients work best in some situations (Basil, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Myhre) and some others work best ALL THE TIME (CBD, Blueberry etc).
My husband was already convinced by the power of CBD as he has been treating his back pain (damaged discs) with CBD for relatively long now, with success.
We then decided to make this a core component of the QDL Cosmetics skincare range.
Here the science is important...a lot of American service providers (Wix, Stripe, Google, Facebook etc) are simply too carried away by the three letters. This is not a drug, not a food but a natural (or synthetic) substance that can provide benefits in areas such as the skin, digestive tract and much more.
Smoking or ingesting our creams won't bring you much by way of entertainment, sorry
What did we achieve
We have launched three products in August 2019.
Based on user feedback they individually provide tangible skin improvements, both in terms of how the skin looks but also how it feels medium-term.
Together they are described as "the bomb", "the hammer", "glorious".
The studio's clients are delighted by the results and so should you.
We believe this all you'll ever need.
A couple of notes:
- please wash your skin well before applying the creams. Using a decent natural cleansing milk and toner is a small step for a great result.
- We may extend the range with an acne type IV specific lotion...experimenting right now!