Indie Beauty Profile

Vicki Barillaro, TōN Cosmetics

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

TōN Cosmetics President Vicki Barillaro (right) and co-founder Maria Barillaro
TōN Cosmetics President Vicki Barillaro (right) and co-founder Maria Barillaro
In her Indie Beauty Profile, Vicki Barillaro, president of TōN Cosmetics, describes how her direct-to-consumer makeup brand is helping shoppers find the perfect shade of red, nude, or pink lipstick with a quick online test. And, she outlines a series of deceptively simple wins that have given the brand a foundation to grow from.

Indie color cosmetics brands have been lagging behind the multitude of innovative skin care startups that sparked the indie beauty movement. But that’s no longer the case, thanks to smart, stylish brands like TōN Cosmetics. 

Here, the beauty entrepreneur Vicki Barillaro shares a profile of herself and the brand.

Name: ​Vicki Barillaro, President

Indie Beauty Company: ​TōN Cosmetics

Launched: ​May 2017

Headquarters: ​Laval, Quebec, Canada

Cash flow: ​Maria Barillaro and I are the sole owners of TōN Cosmetics and do not have any investors.

And, we don’t normally discuss the specifics of our financials; but we were very pleased to see a surge in orders after an appearance on The Social (a Canadian daytime talk show) and the Emmy Red Carpet Special with Anya Sarre on KTLA.

Indie how? ​For us, an indie beauty brand is a new brand that isn’t backed by a huge corporation. It’s a small, unique brand that is looking to bring a missing piece of the puzzle to the market. An indie brand has the goal of bringing a product to life and offering the consumer more than what mainstream brands may have to offer.

Team work: ​Two full-time employees – us! We are sisters, co-owners, co-founders, order fulfillment department, customer service and social media managers all rolled into one – or should we say two?

Distribution: ​TōN Cosmetics does direct-to-consumer sales throughout the USA and Canada.

Years in beauty: ​My sister and co-founder, Maria, has worked in the beauty industry for nearly a decade as a beauty editor and blogger.

Years at TōN Cosmetics: ​About 4 years from initial concept to today.

Entrepreneurial experience: ​This is the first company we have ever founded. We felt very passionately about the product and felt our different areas of expertise and unique individual skill sets could work together to make this business venture a success.

The business: ​TōN Cosmetics is an all-inclusive line of lipstick. We have three collections; each of which have a perfect color match for people of varying ethnicities. We truly believe people are not meant to conform to anything. Makeup needs to conform to the consumer.

The wow-factor: ​We are the only cosmetics brand on the market that not only creates unique color variations to complement various skin tones and complexions, but the only ones to also offer an online quiz to help direct consumers to their perfect match in just a few minutes.

The customer: ​Our target customer is anywhere from 18-45, loves makeup, admires the glam shots in social media of her fave celebs but doesn’t know exactly how to find the right red. To her, all reds look the same and she doesn’t know why she can’t make it work for her. Above all, she is tired of trying, buying, and being disappointed with makeup. She wants a match that’s made for her unique skin tone and complexion and doesn’t want to spend hours looking for it.

Milestone moment: ​TōN Cosmetics has been featured in some great publications and met some amazing people. I think we are most proud to have built up great relationships at Cosmoprof North America, where we introduced our brand to some amazing prospective clients and got hugely positive feedback from everyone who tried our product.

Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: ​Focus on what you believe in and keep working at it. Don’t give up on what you know is a quality product.

Just one:​ Asked about her go-to product, Barillaro says it’s the TōN Cosmetics Medium Cool 1 – our best-selling slightly shimmer pink nude lipstick. It hydrates so well that we’d need it on a deserted island!



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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