Katia BeauchampBirchbox Co-Founder
Katia Beauchamp is not your typical beauty guru: ulike most makeup mavens, she bypassed the formal beauty school circuit and instead attended Harvard Business School. The idea for Birchbox, the membership-based beauty brand she created with friend and classmate Hayley Barna, came from a dilemma the girls knew they weren’t the only ones having: with the constant inundation of beauty products, women need help curating their personal cosmetics drawers. The two friends built a basic business strategy around this idea: each month, Birchbox members receive a curated box of beauty samples (they can go online to buy full-size versions of anything they love); each product tried—and tried again—by Katia and her team. From top-of-the-line cosmetics, to the just plain weird, Katia has lathered it, applied it and dabbed it all—all in the name of her members. Some might call her a makeup martyr. Katia’s in Chicago on a whistlestop tour for Birchbox and we’re catching up on all things beauty in this week’s Spotlight.
BEAUTY MUST-HAVES>> scent: MISS DIOR // moisturizer: KORRES GUAVA BODY BUTTER // concealer: MIRACLE SKIN TRANSFORMER // mascara: BENEFIT THEY’RE REAL // lipgloss: LANCOME ROUGE IN LOVE or STILA LIP GLAZE IN KITTEN // nails: ESSIE VERMILLIONAIRE // cleanser: BOSCIA MAKEUP BREAKUP OIL // eyebrows: ANASTASIA BROW PENCIL // spa treatment: CAUDALIE GRAND FACIAL TREATMENT (at The Plaza’s Caudalie Spa, NYC)
Q: What is your beauty philosophy?
A: Always exploring. I love trying the latest and shaking up my routine. At work I am known for always being willing to try anything twice.
Q: What are a few of your all-time favorite products you’ve discovered since starting Birchbox?
A: Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint, Oribe Après Beach, and OCC Lip Tars [pictured right].
Q: Birchbox recently expanded to include a men’s line. Any favorite products for men?
A: Where to begin? We are working with fantastic brands: Kiehl’s exfoliating bar! Richer Poorer socks! Herschel bags….so many great things!
Q: How do you decide what products to give someone?
A: Products are curated for subscribers based on their profile and their behavior. We don’t ask subscribers specifically what they want, because that would impede discovery. It is all about broadening horizons, while still making sure we send products that will work based on someone’s hair, skin, style, etc.
Q: Who is your beauty icon?
A: Estee Lauder. Yes she loved the product, as do I, but she also built an incredible business. I admire her as an entrepreneur and business-minded woman.
Q: Beauty is clearly a huge part of your life, but what other interests do you indulge in when you aren’t working?
A: I love getting everyone together and cooking a big meal. My specialties are tacos, homemade salsa and the works.
Q: Sounds good! And finally, what do you never leave the house without?
A: Sunglasses. A grey day is still fair game for shades in my mind.