Editor's Spotlight

Indie beauty brands are winning with QVC and HSN

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (fizkes)
© Getty Images \ (fizkes)

Related tags Qurate Retail Group retail Indie beauty

Following a pitch competition in mid 2019, the video commerce channels owned and operated by Qurate Retail Group are putting winning brands on air and in front of millions of consumers.

Retail placement can be a tricky. And with more and more legacy retailers and online marketplaces eager to help consumers discover new and niche indie brands, the competition is picking up.   

Which may be why so many indie beauty brands took part in Qurate’s pitch competition The Big Find last June​. As Cosmetics Design reported when the competition was announced, Qurate is “looking for entrepreneurs who are passionate about their products, have great stories to tell, and are engaging storytellers,” ​according to Mary Campbell, Chief Merchandizing Officer for the retailer.

Beauty brands winning with video commerce

Besides the beauty buying team at Qurate (which includes Bridget Love, Anna Baker, Rob Robillard, and until this year Ellen Lennon), celebrity makeup artist and successful makeup brand founder Mally Roncal helped judge The Big Find pitch competition.

The first winners to be announced appeared on QVC this month and include the kids’ body care brand Dabble & Dollop, the well-established makeup brand Mented Cosmetics, and the travel accessory innovator Beauty & the Box. And the refillable mineral facial mist brand AlkaGlam went on air over at HSN this month as well. And according to QVC.com, “Even more are coming in February!”

More about The Big Find winners

As readers of Cosmetics Design know, Dabble & Dollop is the brand founded by ingredient industry veteran Stephanie Leshney. She launched the brand in 2019 “the exact week” ​that she submitted Dabble & Dollop for the Qurate pitch competition.

“I was stunned that we were selected, and then shocked to receive a ‘Big Ticket’. I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to tell Dabble & Dollop’s story to such a wide audience,” Leshney told Cosmetics Design shortly after she made her QVC debut​.

The brand’s product portfolio is a small collection of mix-and-match bath care products that kids can blend up to make their own bubble bath, body wash, and shampoo. “It was so exciting and surreal to be there and to be scheduled on a prime-time show….Getting to work with QVC host Shawn Killinger was a real treat,” ​says Leshney. “She’s so down to earth and funny, and we had fun during our segment….There were bubbles everywhere!”

Mented, which Amanda Johnson and KJ Miller launched in 2017, is already a well-respected color cosmetics brand in the startup space. The vegan makeup brand developed for women of color has a sizable portfolio of complexion products, lip color, eye color, nail color, and more.

Beauty & the Box is a portable makeup organizer system developed by Barbara Brock. The kit of collapsible boxes, folds flat for travel and sets up easily to contain and organize makeup and skin care products and applicators. It keeps things organized in a familiar way and neatly contained.

AlkaGlam is a refillable facial mist that recreates the benefits of hot spring water with a compact in-bottle filtration system. The spray needs only to be filled with bottled water and in 20 seconds the mist is ready. And AlkaGlam can be refilled for up to one year, making it more cost effective and less wasteful. Cosmetics Design spoke with the brand’s founder Michelle Vidal about the AlkaGlam technology at IBE NY 2018; watch that video interview here to learn more.



Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders ​and writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region.  
Deanna will be speaking next at the Uplink Live event in LA this month​ (save 10% on tickets with code: CD10) and at Green Beauty Night in February​.

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