Beauty brands need innovation and social media to excel, say pros at Beauty Biz Roundtable

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Shasta Blaustein, packaging development manager at ColourPop (image courtesy of Mazur Group)
Shasta Blaustein, packaging development manager at ColourPop (image courtesy of Mazur Group)

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The fall installment of the twice-yearly industry event took place late last week in Santa Monica, California, bringing cosmetics and personal care industry executives together for networking, brainstorming, and ideas sharing.

The west-coast based recruiting firm Mazur Group hosts the Beauty Biz Roundtable event series and has since 2009. The half-day event addresses trending industry issues and acts as a space where pros can come together outside the bounds of their current roles and delve into concerns and conceive of solutions that have credence in today’s beauty business.

“Based on 2017’s trending growth of major brand acquisitions, retail rebooting, and emerging markets, our goal is to continually facilitate lasting and invaluable connections for the beauty industry as a whole,”​ says Frances Mazur, CEO of Mazur Group, in a media release about this month’s roundtable.

“When the beauty community is given the opportunity to come together in this intimate forum, the ideas that are sparked – from marketing innovations to essential steps when scaling the business – are incredible,”​ observes Mazur. “More importantly, we give our speakers the opportunity to directly connect with their peers in a smaller, more intimate setting, which is rare in the beauty industry.”


The fall roundtable, which was held in the Penthouse Ballroom at the Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica hotel, opened with two keynote presentations.

Elizabeth Maul, EVP of brand development at Luxury Brand Partners spoke first on the topic of ‘Inspiring for Innovation’. Giulia Prati, associate director of research in beauty, at the business intelligence firm L2 Inc, then spoke on ‘Social Frontiers’.

Maul’s remarks centered on a report from the Harvard Business Review entitled The Innovator’s DNA, according to the media release. “Citing LBP’s success stories with prestige beauty brands like Oribe, Smith & Cult and R+Co, Maul explained the importance of how CEO’s should not just create an internal environment of innovation but to actively participate in it using the 5 Key Steps of an Innovator’s DNA: Observing, Questioning, Associating, Experimenting, and Networking.”

Prati covered social media and especially the challenges that brands in categories other than visually dynamic color cosmetics have when it comes to popular platforms like Instagram. She gave advice on how fragrance and skin care brands could better engage with consumers and prospective consumers on Insta. And explained that “based on L2’s research, resonating factors for driving positive skincare engagement on Instagram are user transformational videos vs image-only posts, demonstrable products and proven results, the integration of color cosmetics, and the disclosure of product ingredients,”​ as the media release notes.


The remainder of the event was devoted to roundtable sessions. Topics ranged from packaging in the world of ecommerce, to retail relationships, to funding beauty and beauty tech, to marketing to millennials and Gen Z, to contract manufacturing, to open source IP, and more.

Each small group was facilitated by an industry executive, such as Shannaz Schopfer, SVP of strategic business development, at brush maker Anisa International (a company which recently celebrated 25 years in business​); Shasta Blaustein, packaging development manager at ColourPop; and Laura Chisholm, VP of sales and education at Becca Cosmetics.

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