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34 September 2016 | beautystorebusiness.com RADIANT SKIN IS IN Caradanian's love of makeup was an act of kismet, as she serendipitously fell into her career after discovering and igniting her thirst for art. "My passion for makeup started about 15 years ago, when I was still juggling a full-time job, all while being in school, receiving both my bachelor's and master's degrees," she says. "I fell in love with the art very quickly, and merely on accident, after my friend and I decided to sign up at a makeup school for fun. Soon after, I found makeup artistry to be my pas- sion, as it naturally became my career of choice." Caradanian started to grow her fol- lowing as a go-to makeup artist on social media and YouTube known as Makeup By Lilit, and even opened a studio in Sher- man Oaks, California, called Lilit's Make Up Studio. She began learning the ins and outs of the industry and constantly tested and reviewed new cosmetics coming out. Yet, she still felt there was a void in the market for just what she was looking for. Though other cosmetics were offered in endless varieties, colors and formulas, there wasn't a foundation that was ideal for her and her clients. "There was, and still are, so many products, and the market is definitely saturated with lipsticks, shadows and so many colorful products. But I always felt when it comes to skin, there is always room to evolve and introduce new things to people," Caradanian says. For consumers hesitant about buy- ing premium foundations at a higher price point as opposed to inexpensive drug-store varieties, Caradanian hopes to convert them when they try her first- rate products. "An average consumer won't know if something is missing until it is introduced to them," she says. When it comes foundations, every- one has a unique skin type, and the plethora of drug store and high-end options out there can be overwhelming to those who don't know what the right products are for them. To combat this dilemma, Caradanian created a product line that's user-friendly and approachable— taking the guesswork out of finding the right foundation and making makeup regimens simpler for everyone. By limit- ing her products to just foundations in the beginning, she was able to become recognized in the industry as one of the reigning queens of skin care. "People are easily confused by the abundance of foundations on the market and don't necessarily know what is right for their skin type. The creation of a one-fits-all product eases their selection process and allows women to enjoy makeup that much more. And for artists, it's helpful to have one product in a kit that can be used on so many various skin types, textures and age groups," she says. Caradanian even had a solution for those looking to achieve a dewier, glow- ing appearance that has emerged due to the rise of Korean beauty trends and popular looks from the '90s. "To achieve the popular J-Lo glow that everyone raves about, the shimmering oil was created to purposely enhance and bring out natural radiance of the skin, with- out making you look frosted—like most average highlighters do," Caradanian says. And with that, her second product, The Glow Enhancer, was born. THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE Caradanian used her knowledge of trends and a connection to her fans via social media to better understand her audience and assess what real consum- ers, like herself, wanted. "The benefit I had in being a makeup artist before being a brand owner is "My inspiration was to create a line that everyone can use—from pro artists to average consumers." WORDS OF WISDOM Founder Lilit Caradanian shares her advice for beauty entrepreneurs aspiring to start their o n business. 1. Determine What Sets You Apart: "First and foremost, interview yourself." Caradanian suggests that you ask yourself questions, such as, "What makes your product different? Why are you creating this product? Is there a need for it? Ultimately, you need to plan before you get into a business," she says. 2. Sky's the Limit: "Prepare yourself financially, mentally and emotionally. It is draining in all aspects, but if you are a big believer of your own brand, then shoot for the stars and never give up—no matter what you wish to do or create, it's all possible," she says. 3. Stay True to Yourself: Lilit advises entrepreneurs to make sure that they are pursuing the right career path for themselves before starting. "Most importantly, follow your passion. Don't be as concerned with money, especially in the beginning; but follow what makes you happy, and you will end up exactly where you're supposed to be. Many people go into different industries for various reasons, but it's important to remain authentic to both yourself and your audience," she says. 4. Gravitate To ard Positive People: "Learn to build a thick skin and value those who truly wish to help you and stay by your side," Caradanian says. "Don't waste time or energy on those who want to bring you down." Image courtesy of Elcie Cosmetics