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Britney Spears, Beautylish And The E-Commerce Boutiques: Nils Johnson On Building An Online Beauty Brand

Beauty products can be a huge investment, but a good one if you know what you’re buying. My strategy before investing is doing a little online research as well as field surveys with my friends and family. Then, I go into the physical store, test out some products and finally make a purchase. It’s a little painstaking, but when a tiny jar of eye cream can set you back $50, you want to make sure it has some positive wrinkle-reducing testimonials.



Beautylish has helped streamline this beauty product purchasing process (say that ten times fast!) by creating a huge online community of make-up artists and working moms alike, discussing everything from eyeliners to foot cream. The site has made the natural move into e-commerce and now users can by the products they gab about directly from the site’s “boutiques.”


Here are some beauty-branding tips from co-founder Nils Johnson.


Community to commerce

Beautylish launched in late 2010 as a beauty forum to discuss and discover new beauty products. It has since become a huge community with user-generated content. But, according to Nils, the intention was always to move into commerce.



So, how does Beautylish compete with commerce sites like beauty giant Sephora? Nils says it is the community and the education around products that the site has built in the last two years that gives it an advantage.


OK, so who exactly makes up this community?


Britney Spears and Beauty Pros

Nils says the Beautylish community is vast, ranging from beauty product newbies to YouTube beauty gurus like Kandee Johnson and Lady Gaga’s stylist Billy B.


Oh yes, and there was the recent Britney Spears office visit that caused quite the stir. Nils says celebrity endorsement for the site is a natural occurrence because of their involvement in the beauty industry, i.e. Britney’s extremely popular fragrance line.


It’s also naturally good for business, of course.



The comprehensive experience

Nils hopes to create the best user experience through not only the site, but with its new iOS app all the way to the box getting to your front door through an exceptional commerce experience.


Nils says the whole end-to-end experience is the most experience aspect at Beautylish and what makes for super satisfied customers.


The Products


Beautylish has built a database of over 30,000 products, but instead of stocking anything and everything, the site is taking their user-generated data and providing customers with the most popular items on the site.


I did a little site browsing and, thanks to user’s rave reviews, am now thoroughly obsessed with Urban Decay’s Naked eye shadows. Early birthday present, anyone?


Photo credits /

Author : Holly Hutton

Born in the Big Easy and raised in the Sunshine State, Holly has spent the last five years brunching in the Big Apple and bantering with Big Ben. As a wandering writer, techy-in-training, and avid alliterator, Holly has written everything from educational policy and political news briefs to web content and travel blogs. She is thrilled to be a part of the KS team and working with a community of smart, savvy, entrepreneurs on all things startup!

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