Bronwyn Isaac
November 09, 2017 11:58 am
Courtesy of Stage 13

Any makeup lover who regularly follows Melt Cosmetics on Instagram is likely familiar with the CEOs and co-founders, Lora Arellano and Dana Bomar. The two women bonded after working the makeup counter at Nordstrom, and they decided to take their love of bold beauty into their own hands with the launch of Melt Cosmetics.

While Melt Cosmetics started as an indie passion project, the brand quickly grew a huge following for its bright colors and inventive formulas. Throughout the changes, the co-founders have intentionally kept the brand down-to-earth by modeling their own products and hosting inclusive launch parties. And now, as part of their ethos of transparency, the two have released Lipstick Empire, a 13-episode digital series, detailing the behind-the-scenes process at Melt Cosmetics.

HelloGiggles spoke with the badass co-founders about their digital show, the process of creating beauty products, and what inspires their new makeup launches.

HelloGiggles: What inspired you to make Lipstick Empire?

Dana Bomar: The inspiration for the show was that we wanted our customers to see more of us. Lora and I are super out there with social media, we’re very connected to our customers, so this is a perfect extension of what we do on Instagram and Snapchat. We’re very open with our lives, and we just wanted to be even more open with everybody.

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HG: I really like how you model your own makeup and in many ways, the show feels like an extension of that. I heard you plan on hiring models in the future, do you think that would change the branding of your company?

Lora Arellano: The main reason why we have been modeling, is even with my own personal work as a makeup artist, people don’t really care about what they see on models. They care about what they see on us, we’re more reachable. The main reason we want to get models is because we’re getting old, girl. There’s a limited time where you can pretend to be a model when you’re not. I’d like to also extend my creativity in more ways. We just did our first shoot with models, and we have so much fun playing with makeup and doing work off the camera. It’s really a matter of switching off where our creative hand lies.

DB: I think even with our model shoots, there will always be something incorporated with us personally. Maybe not a full-on campaign shoot, but we’re always going to photograph ourselves and put it out there on social media. Who wouldn’t want to stare at Lora’s beautiful face?!

HG: I really love that you hire a lot of your friends and family for the company. Do you view your social media followers as part of the extended family?

DB: We definitely want our customers to feel that! We threw a huge event for our Hot Box Collection and instead of it being for influencers, we wanted to include everybody. We wanted them to feel like they were our friends, because they are.

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HG: What’s your process for picking the colors you release? Do you guys brainstorm the colors as you go, or do you have a clear vision months ahead?

DB: It’s definitely a long process. Every piece that you see has taken us at least a year from when we sit down with the idea to when it’s released. Even if we have a very clear idea at the beginning, sometimes it shifts by the end product. Everything comes from Lora and I desperately wanting a color that we feel is missing.

HG: This question is specifically for Lora, what was it like doing Rihanna’s makeup, are there certain products and color combinations she swears by?

LA: She was probably the most fun to work with because she’s playful and she’s not afraid to try anything.

HG: Has working with celebrities influenced how you predict makeup trends or what you plan to release?

LA: As a makeup artist, I feel like you are the person that tells them what the cool thing is. Not with Rihanna, she’s cool on her own. But with other clients, when they go on the red carpet or anything, you are the one who pushes the boundaries and decides what will make them stand out. A lot of times, I’m trying to make trends happen.

DB: I think Lora’s experience as a working makeup artist definitely influences our brand. When we launched Highlights, we didn’t launch a highlighter that was for social media. We wanted to launch a highlight she could put on a client and that would be beautiful on the red carpet.

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HG: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about Lipstick Empire?

DB: I think it’s really crazy for us to watch because this show was filmed a year ago. It’s crazy to watch that process then, and see how much we have grown and how much we have changed in that year.

Courtesy of Stage 13

New episodes of Lipstick Empire air on Tuesdays and Thursdays on Stage13.com.

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