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Sarah Gadd leans into the camera smiling

Student Spotlight: Sarah Gadd is This Year's Valedictorian

Born in Sydney, Australia and raised in Naperville, Illinois, Sarah Gadd attended Naperville Central High School and originally wanted to go to medical school to become a surgeon. After taking a marketing class during her junior year, plans changed. Sarah, this year’s valedictorian, just completed her A.A. degree in Beauty Marketing & Product Development and will return to FIDM this fall to pursue a B.S. in Beauty Business Management. We caught up with her to learn more about her FIDM journey. 

How did you decide on FIDM? [That marketing class] made me decide that I really like business but only when it applied to the things I love — aka makeup. FIDM had the Beauty program and it could not have been a more perfect fit for what I wanted. 

Favorite FIDM memories so far? My favorite FIDM memory would probably be meeting my people. I finally found people I love!

What is a memorable lesson you've learned at FIDM? Talking will get you far. I love to talk and my industry is all about networking, so my ability to talk has gotten me far.

What are your career goals? I would love to work in the C-Suite of a major beauty brand, specifically Huda Beauty. Or, I love Kim Kardashian, so I would love to work at SKIMS or her new branded beauty company.

Learn more online at sarahgadd18.wixsite.com/website and on Instagram @sarah.mich3ll3

Photo of Laura smiling at the camera. She has a white headband in her hair, and is wearing a light pink sleeveless top and a gold necklace.

Cosmetic Chemist and Alumna Laura Lam-Phaure Returns to Campus To Teach

Cosmetic chemist and FIDM Grad Laura Lam-Phaure starts this quarter as an instructor, teaching a course entitled Sustainability in The Beauty Industry, a topic she’s focused on throughout her career. “I have been in research and development in the beauty industry for 4 years and incorporate sustainability in my work every day by choosing to select materials and ingredients that have some sort of positive impact on the environment. Even if it is a small impact it is still worth it.”

Ms. Lam-Phaure grew up in Houston, Texas and earned an A.A. in Beauty Industry Merchandising and Marketing (now Beauty Marketing and Product Development) from FIDM before completing a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design from The University of Toledo. She’s worked steadily in the beauty industry since her 2019 graduation and is currently the R & D Director at Product Society LLC, a brand development and manufacturing partner. She’s also a regular columnist for Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine, a periodical centered on research and development in the cosmetics and personal care industries. We checked in with her to learn more about her new course. 

Welcome back to FIDM! Please tell us about the class you’ll be teaching, Sustainability In The Beauty Industry. What will the course cover? This course will educate students on sustainability as it relates to environmental, social, and economic systems within the beauty industry.

What do you intend for students to take away from the course? The ability to identify and analyze sustainability in the beauty industry and determine if the initiatives taken have a positive effect on the planet or if they are greenwashing. 

Why is sustainability in the beauty industry so important? Sustainability in the beauty industry is vital because the planet as a whole is being depleted of its resources one product at a time and if this industry wants to economically continue to thrive it will be vital for brands to begin to adopt sustainability measures. 

Why did you choose FIDM for your education? FIDM offered a unique education that gets you set up for the beauty industry, an industry I have been passionate about since I was a preteen. 

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM not only helped me get my foot in the door of the industry but also made me feel confident when I got there. I had no general reservations about my capabilities when entering the workforce.


Sarah Gadd leans into the camera smiling

Student Spotlight: Sarah Gadd is This Year's Valedictorian

Born in Sydney, Australia and raised in Naperville, Illinois, Sarah Gadd attended Naperville Central High School and originally wanted to go to medical school to become a surgeon. After taking a marketing class during her junior year, plans changed. Sarah, this year’s valedictorian, just completed her A.A. degree in Beauty Marketing & Product Development and will return to FIDM this fall to pursue a B.S. in Beauty Business Management. We caught up with her to learn more about her FIDM journey. 

How did you decide on FIDM? [That marketing class] made me decide that I really like business but only when it applied to the things I love — aka makeup. FIDM had the Beauty program and it could not have been a more perfect fit for what I wanted. 

Favorite FIDM memories so far? My favorite FIDM memory would probably be meeting my people. I finally found people I love!

What is a memorable lesson you've learned at FIDM? Talking will get you far. I love to talk and my industry is all about networking, so my ability to talk has gotten me far.

What are your career goals? I would love to work in the C-Suite of a major beauty brand, specifically Huda Beauty. Or, I love Kim Kardashian, so I would love to work at SKIMS or her new branded beauty company.

Learn more online at sarahgadd18.wixsite.com/website and on Instagram @sarah.mich3ll3

A smiling portrait of instructor Albin Gielicz

Beauty Instructor Returns From Assisting Ukrainian Refugees

Beauty Marketing & Product Development Instructor Albin Gielicz recently returned from volunteering with JCD, the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian organization, at the Polish-Ukrainian border. “When the war started in February, I was extremely moved and saddened,” said Albin, who currently teaches the major’s Promotion and Presentation course. “Every evening while watching the news, I became increasingly frustrated by just sitting on the couch and decided that my role in all this needed to be different.”

After researching organizations looking for Russian speakers, Albin found the JDC, which has put together volunteer programs in Poland, Hungary, and Romania. “All in all it was fulfilling because it was comforting and helpful for the Ukrainians, the Polish, and other volunteers,” said Albin, who hails from Arlington Heights, Illinois and currently resides in Santa Monica, California. “There were difficult and sad moments, but my lasting impression was relief that they are safe and hope that Ukraine will prevail so these proud people can return home and rebuild their beautiful country.” 

Albin has been in the world of beauty marketing since 2004, and has worked for brands such as Mary Kay, Murad, and RevitaLash. The FIDM Instructor and marketer is also part of the Santa Monica Travel and Tourism Board of Directors and serves on the city's Recreation and Parks Commission. He graduated from Miami University (Ohio) and received an MBA from Thunderbird, School of Global Management. 

Grad Tala Othman holds two bottles of her curly hair product Curl Sauce against a red background

Grad Developed Curl Sauce Hair Brand While at FIDM

Beauty Marketing & Product Development Graduate Tala Othman was raised in Anaheim, California, where she attended Cornelia Connelly High School and spent summers in Jordan, where she is originally from. While a student at FIDM, the 2021 alumna began developing Curl Sauce, a curly hair product company that specializes in vegan, all natural, chemical free, and clean hair products. “I’ve always wanted to venture into the creative industry and once I found out FIDM had a Beauty Marketing & Product Development major I was all in!” she said. We caught up with Tala to learn more.  

What are some of your favorite FIDM memories? There are so many, but one of the key memories would have to be perfume class when we got to create our own scent. I love perfumes and it was amazing to see how easy it can be to make our own. Our teacher was very nice and passionate about it and she even had her own lab that we were able to visit! 
What led you to start Curl Sauce? I began to get into hair products when I became a curly hair enthusiast on Instagram. I would make tutorials and try out different curly hair brands while I reviewed the products. After two years of trying most products out on the market I decided why not make my own?

Two men with curly hair smile at one another with Curl Sauce hair products in front of them

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? During my time at FIDM I would incorporate Curl Sauce into all of my class projects. When we would create business projects in our class I would base the project off my brand and slowly my brand was built and I was able to launch. I basically created the blueprint for my brand so by the time I graduated I was able to launch Curl Sauce easily! 

We heard you have hired a FIDM intern. FIDM Students are some of the most creative, well-rounded people I’ve met yet. I wanted to have that same environment within my business so I decided to ask some students if they would like to intern at Curl Sauce! At FIDM we’re all very supportive of each other and want to help each other grow. I am so happy with my current intern. She is amazing! 

Learn more online at CurlSauce.com and on Instagram @CurlSauce.

bottle of skincare product As Of Today

Graduate Sarah Choi Launches Skincare Brand As Of Today

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Sarah Choi moved to Southern California with her brother and grandparents when she was 14 years old. She graduated from Torrance High School in California, and attended USC where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Information and Operation Management. She graduated summa cum laude in 2002 from FIDM with her degree in Merchandise Marketing, and has had an impressive career in beauty product development and fashion. She returned to FIDM in 2019 to pursue an Advanced Study Degree in Beauty Marketing & Product Development, and recently launched a skincare brand, AS OF TODAY. Currently headquartered in New Jersey, she is planning to relocate her brand to New York in 2023. We caught up with her to learn more.

Sarah Choi standing outside in front of a decorative pool of water at the Getty Museum

Tell us about your brand, AS OF TODAY, and what inspired you to create it: When I do my skincare routine every morning and night, I wonder if there are products that comfort, refresh, and motivate me. This inspired me to share that feeling of support with everyone. I wanted to make products that felt like a friend that lifts you on your busiest days. I created this brand to celebrate individuality and beauty. AS OF TODAY, is all about being confident, overcoming adversity, and dedicating yourself to being better than yesterday, as of today. 

What sets your skincare brand apart from others? Clean ingredients, honest quality, high efficiency. We aim to inspire a positive, modern, and effective skincare routine.

Tell us about your choice to use ingredients from Paris: I have tested so many ingredients and this is the most exclusive and innovative peptide ingredients that work for all skin types.

You use R-Peptide in your product. What it is? R-Peptide is a naturally derived neuro-calming peptide acting on opioid receptors. It reactivates skin barriers thus reversing signs of stress-aging, restructures mature skin, smooths the surface of the skin, promotes a healthy glow, brightens the complexion and refills deep wrinkles. Results take 2 to 8 weeks, with a visible reduction of wrinkles and smoothing of the skin and increased hydration. We are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, animal oil, phthalates, sulfates, triclosan, talc, retinol, plastic microbeads, hydroquinone, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, octinoxate and oxybenzone, and DEA/TEA/MEA. 

What are your ultimate goals for your company? Our philosophy doesn’t only mean self-love, it also means contributing to people, society, and the earth. Our goal is to promote self-love, positivity and unity through our clean and modern selfcare routines.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? The specific major such as Merchandise Marketing helped me to focus and motivate me more directly in the fashion field. My advisor, Alex Bruzzese, was always encouraging me to be positive and take a career risk that helped me succeed.

Anything else you’d like to share? I encourage FIDM students to keep moving forward, always stay positive and smile. 😊

Follow As of Today on Instagram @asoftoday.official.

A photo of FIDM Graduate Amulya Deva smiling and leaning against a wall

Recent Grad is Associate Product Manager at PLUS

After growing up in Seattle, Washington, Amulya Deva studied Business Analytics & Technology at Trinity University, and moved to California where she worked as an IT consultant. After realizing she wasn't passionate about her career, Amulya decided to go back to school to pursue her love of the beauty industry. In 2021, she graduated from FIDM with a B.A. in Creative Industry Studies, Beauty Marketing & Product Development and is currently an Associate Product Manager at PLUS, the plastic-free personal care brand. We caught up with Amulya to learn more.

Tell us about your new role as Associate Product Manager at PLUS: We all know that the packaging waste in the cosmetic industry is a huge problem and PLUS was launched with the goal of reducing waste while still offering fun, sage products. My job is to create more products for the brand. It's so cool working with such a small brand because the next products I make really solidify the direction of the brand and I get to make products that are so recognizable and different from the majority of things in the market.

How was your classmate Rachell Corpuz involved with you getting hired? When I found out Rachell was graduating sooner than I was, I wanted to make sure she knew how impressed I was with her and build a relationship outside of class since we didn't get to work together in class. We ended up having a Zoom call after she graduated and she told me she was impressed with my work as well and we just developed a natural friendship and mutual respect. She shared her job search progress with me, including her interviewing for a Marketing Associate position at PLUS. She ended up getting the job, and a few months later reached out to me asking if I was interested in being a product development intern during my last quarter at FIDM. I interviewed and loved the team and the mission and was offered the internship and did well enough to get a full-time offer before I graduated!

How has FIDM helped prepare you for the industry? Literally yesterday I was on the FDA's website reading through the differences of regulations for cosmetics versus a soap versus OTC drugs and I was thanking myself for going to FIDM because I actually had prior experience with this because of the FIDM curriculum. I knew where to look and had a good context of what I was doing because of my Beauty Science class with Professor Amy Chang. Everyone I work with raves about FIDM graduates; they see the experience and understanding we bring to the table. Most new graduates from other schools aren't as knowledgeable. Many people aren't familiar with things like cosmetic regulation and formulation or the behind the scenes of the product development process but FIDM gives you that like very few other programs in the nation. 

What advice would you share with a current FIDM Student wanting to break into the industry? My biggest piece of advice is to make sure you network while you're still in school! I used to work really hard to make my class projects as impressive as possible so I could post them on LinkedIn and tag the brands and ideally have people see my work and expand my network. I also recommend leveraging the FIDM connection and finding FIDM Alumni on LinkedIn to interview and learn from to expand your network. While I'm recommending expanding your network outside of school, that doesn't mean I'm discounting the importance of developing strong relationships with your classmates, including the ones in your class that you don't directly work with. Rachell and I never actually got to work together but because I happened to reach out, I got the internship that led to my dream full-time job!

Student work from Lauren Delosreyes on the history of blush and why we wear it

Student Shares Class Presentations to Grow Her Network

Lauren Delosreyes is currently pursuing a B.A. in Creative Industry Studies, Beauty Marketing & Product Development Core at FIDM, while also interning at Bespoke Beauty Brands. Last quarter, Lauren created two presentations she created for her Future Trends in Society class with Instructor Claire-Dee Lim. “Both projects asked to take a current popular trend and apply class concepts to analyze and forecast the longevity or decline of the trend,” Lauren wrote on LinkedIn where she’s growing her network while studying at FIDM. 

Student work by Lauren Delosreyes on blush styles from 2021

Lauren’s first presentation for the course was on the excessive blush trend. After researching the history of extra blush and why we wear it, she showed examples throughout the years, ranging from red cheeks during the Tang Dynasty to the 1980s to present day “E-Girl Style.” In the second presentation on the bushy eyebrow trend, Lauren provided an overview of bushy brows in history and why we care about them, as well as significant remixes throughout the years, covering trends such as “Instagram Brows” and “Laminated Brows” in the process. 

Student work from Lauren Delosreyes on the history of bushy eyebrows

All images courtesy of Lauren Delosreyes

A headshot of FIDM Grad Michelle Fry, a brunette wearing an orange sweater and white top

Grad is Co-Founder and CEO of Good Faith

Raised in Southern California where she attended St. Joseph’s High School, Michelle Fry heard about FIDM from a friend. “I took interest and discovered the Beauty Marketing & Product Development courses and knew I had to go there as well,” said Michelle, who graduated in 2005. Since then, she’s worked in product development for major beauty brands such as Urban Decay, Dermalogica, Too Faced, and Boscia, launching numerous bestselling and iconic products in the process. Today, she’s the co-founder and CEO of Good Faith, an inclusive and accessible vegan and cruelty free skincare and supplement line. We caught up with Michelle to learn more. 

How did FIDM help prepare you for launching your brand? FIDM was a fantastic launchpad for my career in that so much of what I learned was real-world knowledge directly from industry experts. Even straight out of school, I was far more prepared than colleagues from other colleges as the programs at FIDM required me to apply the skills I was being taught in mock settings and that gave me an incredible advantage to those that had never done so before. The familiarity of everything made my transition from student to professional much smoother and I excelled faster because of it.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities? As CEO and co-founder of a start up my day-to-day responsibilities vary drastically. I’m ultimately responsible for the success of the company and have my hand in every department. I work on everything from product development and marketing to HR and operations. No two days are alike but I’m passionate about every aspect of the brand and I’m grateful to be leading a great team and growing an incredible company.

A brand image of 6 smiling women from different ages and ethnic backgrounds

What sets Good Faith apart from other brands? We are the only skincare brand that offers a safe and simple holistic solution to self-care, combining beauty and wellness that is accessible. We believe that skincare and supplements shouldn’t be overwhelming or cost a fortune. We’ve created products for real women looking for real results at realistic prices. It’s our goal to simplify your self-care routine and make it accessible. Because we believe that self-care is a right, not a privilege.  

Is there anything else you'd like to share? Since I was 6 years old I wanted to do exactly what I’m doing now. Through doubt from others and even myself I stayed true to pursuing my passion and learned as much as I could from every opportunity or person I came across. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s been worth it. Don’t be afraid to share your passion with the world and be ready to surprise yourself with just how much you’re capable of.

Learn more online at goodfaith.com and on Instagram @meetgoodfaith

Use code FIDM20 to take 20 percent off all products through November 20, 2021. One use per customer.

the lavinder cat logo which is black on a purple backgroun

Julia Vinder Praises Rebecca Mason's New Skincare & Wellness Course

Hailing from Northern New Jersey where she attended Montville Township High School, Julia Vinder recently took FIDM Instructor Rebecca Mason’s new course, Fundamentals of Skincare & Wellness, which covered not only physical health, but spiritual and mental as well. With her degree in Merchandise Product Development, Julia is on track to graduate in 2023 with her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Industry Studies, with a Beauty Marketing & Product Development core. We caught up with her to learn more about her journey.

Tell us about Rebecca Mason’s “Fundamentals of Skincare & Wellness” course: This course absolutely blew my mind. To have an instructor like Rebecca, so passionate and enthusiastic about teaching the importance of wellness, was refreshing and inspiring. It is not often that you get an instructor that is compassionate, open minded, and emphasizes self-care. Not only did we discuss the depths of skincare, but how to be sensitive and cater to different needs. It meant a lot to me to have a class that emphasized the importance of taking care of your physical, spiritual, and mental health. 

What was your favorite thing about the course? It was always fun explaining the concept of this class to others, as some days we were discussing the layers of the epidermis, and some days it was crystal healing. My favorite experience was creating the final project and seeing everyone's presentations. It was so refreshing, being able to stretch our creative minds in infinite ways. I walked out of the class feeling inspired by the creativity of my peers, as I really learned that the possibilities in this life are endless. 

What topics did this particular class open your eyes to in the industry that maybe you weren’t aware of before? Alternative healing modalities really expanded my idea of wellness. I never considered looking into the spa industry, but after this class I realized how many different types of spas there can be. Alongside taking care of your physical health, your mental and spiritual health is equally as important. There is a lot of room in this industry to take care of people and their different needs, and it’s evolving every day.  

Tell us what you love about the beauty program at FIDM: What I love about the beauty program is the authenticity and variety. Beauty is about looking good AND feeling good, and I feel like everyone has the same motive. We all just want to find ways to better others and make them feel beautiful. Whether that is the journey with a scent, skin, cosmetics etc. The beauty industry has so many moving parts and paths one could take. Also, sitting in class discussing the difference between shimmer and glitter never ceases to make me smile.  

What was your path to FIDM like? When it came time to apply to colleges, I had no clue what I wanted to do but I knew where I wanted to go. All I craved was to go to my favorite place since I was a kid, Los Angeles, and do something creative. I was impressed by fashion illustrations done by students from my high school who had gone to FIDM, and my wonderful art teacher suggested I investigate it. I recognized my passion for fashion and the industry while doing the entrance project, and eventually I was on my way to L.A. I graduated with my A.A in Merchandise Product Development and loved the program so much that I decided to move forward with Beauty Marketing & Product Development to learn the same side of another industry I’m passionate about. I have been infatuated ever since.

What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? I’m going to own a fashion/lifestyle brand as well as a beauty brand. I wanted to study these topics because it is very important for me to know the entire process to ensure that it is ethical, quality, and authentic. FIDM has taught me new ways to express my creativity and expand the potential of my capabilities.

Learn more about Julia Vinder online at juliavinder.myportfolio.com.

Attend our Online Lecture Series event: The Changing Landscape for Launching Beauty Products, on Thursday, September 23, 2021, from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM PDT. Register for the free event here.

close-up of a young Black woman with her eyes closed and her fingers touching her face

New Course Fundamentals of Skincare & Wellness Authored and Taught By Rebecca Mason

An instructor at FIDM for the last six years, Rebecca Mason recently authored Fundamentals of Skincare & Wellness (COSM 2150), a new course in the Beauty Marketing & Product Development Program which has been well-received by her students. Covering topics such as skin, aging, and the concept of beauty and how it has changed, the course provides an in-depth overview of skincare, spa, body care, hair care, and nail care and their roles in the competitive marketplace.

Throughout the quarter, students explore alternative wellness modalities, product and distribution strategies and product positioning as well as the impact of innovative formulas and current trends that will enable students to grasp the complexity of the categories.

“Students often come to my class with a clear idea of what they want to pursue in the industry,” Mason said, “but this class opens their eyes to new paths.”

On track to graduate in 2024 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Beauty Business Management, student Nika Vadipour recently took the course. “I went into it knowing that it would be one of my favorite courses as I am super interested in skincare. One thing that I didn’t foresee, however, was how much I would fall in love with the wellness aspect. This course was the first of my college classes that actually taught me how to prioritize my wellbeing and I now do not understand how this is not a required course everywhere.”

Mason says that many indie beauty brands have been inspired by diverse global philosophies, and are starting to use indigenous ingredients. “Ayurvedic brands are looking at your dosha and how essential oils relate to that,” she said. “Some products are infused with crystals. We would be remiss to not talk about some of these things that are driving new trendy brands built on these philosophies.”

The first assignment she gives her students is the Wellness Wheel which illustrates a wellness model with seven dimensions: emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial, and spiritual—all of which are interconnected and important to a well-rounded and balanced lifestyle.

She challenges her students to name three personal goals for each of the seven dimensions, for a total of 21 goals. She then helps them strategize a plan to accomplish several goals at once.

For example, if a student wanted to diminish their negative self-talk and start going to more concerts, they could start putting a dollar in a jar at home each time they engage in negative self-talk. When the jar is full, they can use the money to purchase a concert ticket. This way it brings their awareness to how often they are engaging in this type of destructive behavior, plus they’re saving money for something they want to do.

The course covers a diverse range of topics relevant to the current beauty environment including reiki, crystal healing, sound bathing, ayurveda, iridology (the study of the eye), aromatherapy, essential oils, and cupping. 

“A lot of brands and spas are incorporating this,” Mason said. “We also talk about aging—the physiology of skin and the physiology of aging skin.” She dives into womens’ health issues and global therapies, as well. “We cover it all,” she said.

“All in all, in this course not only did Professor Mason truly show us she cares, she taught us how to care for ourselves,” said Nika. “It was a truly awesome class.”

With a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Arizona State University, Rebecca Mason is a licensed esthetician and the founder and senior consultant at Sage Mason providing customized consulting services designed to liaise between brand, retailer, and consumer. Her industry experience includes positions at Chanel, Caudalie, L'Oréal, Lalicious, and RevitaLash Cosmetics.

COSM 2150 - Student Learning Outcomes: 

1. Learn and understand the history and current skincare industry, products, anatomy and basic chemistry of the skin.
2. Develop understanding of the marketing, pricing, positioning, and distribution of skin and haircare products.
3. Understand and apply how changing trends and cultural influences have impacted the skin and haircare industries.
4. Understand the spa industry, its unique categorization and regulation, and alternative modalities that often inspire skin, body and haircare brands.
5. Understand growing segments within the beauty industry, Indie beauty and niche markets that are impacting the body, haircare and spa industries.

Learn more about Rebecca Mason at sagemason.com.

Image: Model | Cienah Akesa; Photographer | Audrey Fretz @parkstreet_

Attend our Online Lecture Series event: The Changing Landscape for Launching Beauty Products, on Thursday, September 23, 2021, from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM PDT. Register for the free event here.

Lindsey Hughes Featured in the New York Post

Lindsey Hughes Featured in the New York Post

FIDM Graduate and YouTube creator and social media influencer Lindsey Hughes recently shared her go-to sustainable lifestyle products with the New York Post. She is best known for making lifestyle vlogs and videos focusing on sustainability, home decor, cooking, beauty, and fashion for more than 10 years. Lindsey, who graduated from FIDM in 2016, has an audience of nearly 900,000 on YouTube and 329,000 followers on Instagram.

“When I started off on YouTube, everyone was in the beauty and fashion space,” Hughes told The Post. “Over the years, vlogging became more popular and I wanted to evolve my content to talk about ‘real life’: highlights, lowlights, mental health, and where I’m at.” The Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing alumna, who was raised in Georgia, is now based in Boise, Idaho after living in LA for four years.

She told the publication she tries her best to promote brands that have a focus on sustainability when it comes to partnerships. As for her top sought-after sustainable products, Lindsey suggested the BruMate Toddy 16 Oz. Sunset Insulated Mug, the OrganiCup Menstrual Cup, Flyby Party’s Recovery & Prevention Pills, Nuuly’s Women’s Monthly Clothing Rental Subscription, and Everlane’s The Forever Platform Sneakers, among others, as part of The Post’s ‘Influencer Picks’ roundup. 

Learn more at youtube.com/c/lindseyhughes and on Instagram @livinlikelindsey

Photography by Fiona Montagne

Recent Grad Hired as Junior Production Coordinator at Pixi Beauty

Recent Grad Hired as Junior Production Coordinator at Pixi Beauty

Hailing from Charleston, South Carolina, Hartley Griffin attended Ashley Hall before studying Graphic Design at Auburn University. She first heard about FIDM when a friend from home started attending the Orange County campus. “I had never seen a major like Beauty Marketing & Product Development before, and I knew I wanted to finish my degree at FIDM and get that specific education,” said Hartley, who transferred to FIDM in 2019. In December of 2020, the Los Angeles resident received a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Industry Studies, Beauty Marketing & Product Development Core. This month, she started working full-time as a Junior Production Coordinator at Pixi Beauty. We chatted with Hartley to learn more about her FIDM experience, finding a job during a pandemic, and working in the industry.

How did you pick your major? I chose Beauty Marketing & Product Development because of my innate passion for the beauty industry. I just never knew I could make a career out of it, much less get a real education tailored to the specific industry.

What were some of the most valuable lessons you learned at FIDM? Teamwork makes the dream work – cheesy, but very true. As much as the control freak in me sometimes wished every project during my time at FIDM wasn’t a group project, realistically, you can’t do everything yourself in a real work environment. It’s important to cultivate good relationships with your peers so that you can lean on and trust one another to do the work and do it well.

Tell us about your new position at Pixi Beauty: My official position title is Junior Production Coordinator. I work in the Product Development department at Pixi and am very hands on with pre-production samples, finished product samples, reformulation, new products, and proofing packaging, labels, and artwork. Our desks are all constantly covered in products and we are always swatching, smelling, and testing them out. It’s any makeup or skincare junkie’s dream come true!

Did the Career Center assist you in any way? Ruth Ritchie at the San Francisco campus was an absolute saving grace during my job search process. We met by phone or Zoom once or twice a week for about 2.5 months, and she guided me through the entire process. From interview prep to getting the best use out of my LinkedIn account, and everything in between, I couldn’t have done it without her.

How did it feel to get hired in the midst of a global pandemic? Truly the biggest blessing, and the biggest sigh of relief. And it’s doing something I genuinely and wholeheartedly love. Doesn’t get much better.

Anything else you'd like to share? It is much easier said than done, but if I have one piece of advice to give anyone searching for a job right now during this pandemic, it would be to enjoy the process as much as possible. Once you start working, you never stop – so make the most of this time while you have it!

Connect with Hartley on Instagram @hartleygriffin.

Grad is Social Media and Digital Marketing Manager at Alterna

Grad is Social Media and Digital Marketing Manager at Alterna

Born and raised in Delaware, Ohio, Lindsay Mundell first heard about FIDM through her godmother, Lisa Morabito, the college's Executive Director of Community & Educational Affairs. “I had always been really interested in beauty and the marketing that goes behind bringing a product to life,” said Lindsay, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from The Ohio State University prior to studying at FIDM. “When Lisa told me about FIDM and that they had a program specifically for Beauty Industry Marketing & Product Development, I knew I had to go!” 

While in college, Lindsay worked part-time at Walgreens as a beauty advisor and became passionate about the industry and “wanting to learn and understand how a product went from just an idea to fruition.” Lindsay enrolled at FIDM in Los Angeles, earned a Professional Designation degree, and went to work in the industry. Since graduating from FIDM Lindsay has worked in public relations and digital marketing at Sexy Hair and she's currently the Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager at Alterna. 

Based in Los Angeles, Lindsay recently won an achievement “Above and Beyond Award” for managing the largest marketing budget for the brand and leading the team to create an increase in Instagram Story engagements, Instagram followers, comments, and total engagement. “What I love most about the beauty industry is that it's always evolving and changing,” she said. “Every year there are new technologies or advancements in ingredients and I love seeing new innovation and being a part of that.”

Lindsay, who said FIDM taught her to approach everything with an entrepreneurial eye and “that no idea was a bad idea” is encouraged by beauty brands’ efforts to be inclusive in their marketing to represent people with diverse backgrounds. “As a black woman, it really means a lot to me to be a part of these open discussions and diversity strategies,” Lindsay said. “It's important not only for brands, but also for professionals that we are always evolving and growing in our efforts to be more embracing of all people, no matter the race or gender.” 

Connect with Lindsay on Instagram @lindsay_mundell.

Grads Are Founders of Scrandie Beauty

Grads Are Founders of Scrandie Beauty

Yasmine Dabgotra ‘18 (pictured above, left) and Miriam Cruz-Uribe ‘08 are both graduates of the Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing program at FIDM, but they didn’t meet one another until they were working together in the industry at a professional nail company. After their work relationship turned into a friendship, and they both left their positions, the two FIDM Grads teamed up to co-found Scrandie Beauty, an affordable line of vegan and cruelty-free makeup products with high-quality formulas and minimalist packaging. We recently caught up with the entrepreneurs to learn more about their Los Angeles-based brand. 

Where were you born and raised? 
YD: I was born in Scottsdale, Arizona and raised in Southern California from the age of five.
MC: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.

When did you first realize you were creative? 
YD: Creating things always interested me since I was a young child, from projects during school to dance classes. It is through dance performances where I became particularly interested in makeup. My mother was a single mother so she could either be backstage helping me get ready or watch me dance. She chose the latter, so I quickly learned how to do hair and makeup. This turned into full-blown themed photoshoots in elementary with my friends to doing hair and makeup for their 40-year-old mothers for events at the ripe age of 13, and yes, I was getting paid.
MC: I was always in some sort of art program growing up, whether it was performing arts from a young age, or visual arts in high school. I was always attracted to the idea of creating something that brought me joy and sharing that with the world.

What was your path to FIDM? 
YD: My sister attended FIDM five years before me. After taking a tour in high school, I knew it was just the place for me. At this point, I knew I wanted to be in the product development side of the beauty industry.
MC: A FIDM Representative did a presentation at my high school and the moment they said, “We are the only school with a Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing major,” I knew FIDM was the place for me.

How did you decide to study Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing? 
YD: Since high school, I wanted to create original beauty products and this program would give me the tools to do exactly that.
MC: I loved beauty ever since I was in middle school, but I knew I didn't necessarily want to be the one behind the chair, even though I currently have a manicuring license. I wanted to create things behind the scenes, but I didn't know what that meant until I got introduced to FIDM. The Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing major immediately stood out to me and I knew that's what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

What were some of the most valuable lessons you learned at FIDM? 
YD: The most valuable by far would be that the industry is small so put your best foot forward and be professional. It is super important to take school seriously because everyone knows everyone. Your peers or professors might be in the position to hire you or be asked to share their experience with you when you apply for a position. Another valuable lesson would be to get as many different internships as possible while you’re in school. This way, you get to experience different departments and roles so when you look for long-term employment you have a preference based on experience. Sometimes the role you always wanted isn’t a good fit.
MC: FIDM taught me how to effectively communicate in groups and drilled into me presentation skills that became invaluable in my career.

Did you have any internships or part-time jobs while in school? If so, did FIDM help place you in any of them? 
YD: I had five internships at different times throughout my time at FIDM before landing my first long-term job in the industry. Teachers and counselors played a part in helping me land each one. I have to be clear though, the opportunities didn’t land in my lap; I had to do my part in asking teachers for leads and working with my Career Advisor regularly to land internships that interested me and fit my school and commuting schedule.
MC: I was working part-time at a Victoria’s Secret store. I made it very clear to them that I was only interested in working in the beauty section and they were very accommodating.

Tell us about some of the jobs you've had since graduating: 
YD: During school and after graduation, I worked for a professional nail brand as a Marketing Assistant, then later as an Associate Brand Manager. After that, I took a Marketing Coordinator position for a medical-grade skincare brand startup.
MC: I've worked in marketing for an LED light device company and in brand management for a professional nail company.

What do you enjoy most about entrepreneurship and why? 
YD: I most enjoy the freedom to bring ideas in my head to life alongside someone I work well with and very much enjoy being around.
MC: I love that you can set the vision for your brand/company and make it happen. The flexibility is a major plus, as well as being able to contribute to causes that matter to you. The main reason why I wanted to go into business for myself was the fact that I can devote more time and/or resources to causes that I value, such as animal rights, environmental causes, and education.

Anything else you'd like to share? 
YD: If anyone reading this wants to start a business, don't be scared to go for it! It’s much scarier to wonder “what if?” Be resourceful, be creative, and take chances. When I started to do that, wins and opportunities started to emerge.
MC: Don't be afraid to do what brings you joy, because it can lead to many wonderful paths in your life. I know this sounds cheesy, but it's so true, if you follow your heart and have the right intentions, you will never be steered down the wrong path.

Learn more about Scrandie Beauty brand and FIDM Grad life when Yasmine and Miriam do an Instagram takeover @fidm on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Find Scrandie Beauty online at scrandiebeauty.com and on Instagram @scrandiebeauty.

Students Attend Virtual Lecture on Cosmetic Chemistry Then Formulate Product at Home

Students Attend Virtual Lecture on Cosmetic Chemistry Then Formulate Product at Home

During this time of online learning, Cosmetic Chemist Amy Chang is ensuring her students don’t miss out on the real-world projects FIDM is known for. Beauty Marketing & Product Development Students in the Principles of Beauty Science course (COSM 2620) were sent kits with equipment and ingredients to make hand sanitizer at home during a recent Saturday morning lecture on cosmetic chemistry.

Ms. Chang invited FIDM Grad and fellow cosmetic chemist Laura Lam-Phaure to lecture on polymer science before they got into the lab work. “Polymers are viscosity modifiers,” said Ms. Lam-Phaure. They help minimize the effects of temperature changes that beauty products undergo in shipping. “When you formulate a product, it must have good structural integrity, so the end consumer can use the product for a long period of time.”

Next, Ms. Lam-Phaure introduced Carbomer, a unique polymer which gives beauty products that “water-like” feel. “Carbomer is a tightly coiled dry powder,” she said. When you add water, you get swollen hydrogels. Carbomer also holds alcohol really well, she said, so it’s a great ingredient to use in hand sanitizer products.

Early in the pandemic, back in February, when hand sanitizer started selling out, there was a shortage of Carbomer, Ms. Chang told the students, which sent smaller beauty companies scrambling to find a substitute. The result was hand sanitizers that created a slip and residual build-up.

Ms. Chang walked the students through the kit they received from FIDM to make their hand sanitizers. The equipment included goggles, beakers, mixing sticks, pipettes, and the final component. The ingredients were distilled water, isopropyl alcohol, polymer, glycerin, aloe vera juice, and essential oils. She then led the students through the step-by-step process of making the hand sanitizer.

In Principles of Beauty Science, students gain an understanding of the principles of chemistry and their vital importance to beauty technology. They examine the complex process of product development from raw materials and ingredients to formulations, applications, and finished products. Students then apply what they have learned to actual on-site product development. They also study the legal, regulatory, and technological standards governing beauty products.

Instructor Amy Chang received a B.S. in Chemistry and a M.S. in Engineering from Purdue University. A chemist by training and creative formulator by practice, she has worked as a cosmetic and skincare product innovator for more than 15 years at companies such as Algenist, SpaRitual, Kate Somerville Skincare, and GLAMGLOW. Along with teaching in the General Studies and Beauty Merchandising & Marketing departments at FIDM, she is the Senior Director of Product Innovation at Tapia Beauty Group.

Beauty Students Create Fictional Harry Styles Fragrance for a Class Project

Beauty Students Create Harry Styles Fictional Fragrance for a Class Project

Beauty Marketing & Product Development Students in the Fundamentals of Fragrance class were recently tasked with becoming a Fragrance Marketer, Developer, and Evaluator for a fictional fragrance launch. Inspired by Harry Styles’ gender neutral fashion, confidence, and music, students Sam Cleary, Lauren Delosreyes, and Kasey Liguori collaborated on the ultra-creative project. 

For their presentation, the trio of students focused on branding, their target market, marketing, and competitive analysis. Together, they created mood boards, fragrance briefs, ad campaigns, and packaging for launching a series of signature scents. The team also put together a Holiday Collection for 2021 that would feature roller ball sized fragrances, as well as a shower gel and body lotion and an eau de parfum. 

The introductory Fundamentals of Fragrance class explores the ever-evolving technology of essential oil extraction, the artistry of blending multiple scents, and the growing use of synthetic essences. Students learn to evaluate fragrances as they develop their individual scents and discover the fascinating history of perfume and its synergy with the world of fashion and beauty.

Keep up with Sam, Lauren, and Kasey on Instagram @samclearyy, @laurendelosreyes, and @kaseyyjeanne.

FIDM Alumna Rea Ann Silva Beautyblender founder entrepreneur

FIDM Grad Rea Ann Silva Featured in Smithsonian Exhibit

FIDM Grad and Beautyblender Founder, Rea Ann Silva, is one of 8 women currently featured in a new display, “The Only One in the Room: Women Achievers in Business and the Cost of Success," at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. This “New Perspectives” case will be on view in the museum’s business history exhibition, “American Enterprise,” through November 2021.

Spanning three centuries of American history, the displays tells the stories of 8 strong women who made it to the top of their industries. While illustrating the remarkable achievements of women in business, this display also examines how much work remains to remove these obstacles, not only due to gender, but also to race, class and ethnicity.

"Getting to the top in business is always tough, and for women tougher yet. While women are inventive, driven, and great managers they often face discrimination and cultural boulders blocking their path. For the few women that do get to the highest levels, on arrival they often find themselves alone—the only one in the room," states the Smithsonian website.

Rea Ann Silva built the Beautyblender empire. One of the first makeup artists to work on a high-definition television show, she desperately needed a makeup sponge that could meet the challenge. She began hand-cutting her own sponges, which were promptly stolen by actors who loved the tool, and that's when she knew there was a retail possibility for the product. Rea founded Beautyblender in 2002, and the company is projected to do $215 million in retail sales this year alone.

The Original Beautyblender is the recipient of 10 Allure Best of Beauty Awards, and everyone from Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez to Emma Roberts and Meghan Markle uses the lightweight, edgeless makeup sponge.

The other 7 women featured in the Smithsonian exhibit are: Rebecca Lukens (President of Brandywine Iron Works and Nail Factory), Maggie Lena Walker (Bank Founder), Lena Richard (Chef and Entrepreneur), Tillie Lewis (Food Industry Entrepreneur), Lillian Vernon (Fashion Businesswoman), Sara Sunshine (Co-founded the nation’s first Latino ad agency), and Mary-Dell Chilton (Agricultural Molecular Biologist).

Rea Ann Silva is the guest judge on FIDM's 2021 National Scholarship Competition, and was recently the keynote speaker at our Fall Virtual Open House event.

View the Smithsonian exhibit, “The Only One in the Room: Women Achievers in Business and the Cost of Success," online here

Grad and Former Sephora Chief Merchant Margarita Arriagada Launches Luxury Lipstick Line

Grad and Former Sephora Chief Merchant Launches Luxury Lipstick Line

FIDM Graduate Margarita Arriagada, who spent eight years as Sephora’s Senior Vice President of Merchandising and seven years as the retailer’s Chief Merchant, is launching a direct-to-consumer premium refillable lipstick line this month. Named after her late mother, Valdé is inspired by her years of industry experience in branding and product development, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

The launch of the lipstick-focused beauty brand is a tribute to women’s resilience and inner strength, as well as her mother, who developed dementia: “In the last few years, she didn’t recognize me. But every time I took out this lipstick, she would perk up, and she’d pucker up, getting ready for me to apply it to her. And when I’d apply, she’d look in the mirror, and she’d kiss the mirror, reflecting that she saw someone that was beautiful.” 

Valdé is offering eight shades in creamy satin and the luxury collection is vegan, gluten-free, fragrance-free, and clean by Sephora standards. The high-end refillable packaging concept features a decorative, wing-shaped metallic cover of the customer’s choice, magnifying mirror, metallic lipstick case, a faux suede pouch, and storage box for $199. Each refill lip product is priced at $40. 

“I’m fully conscious of the price point, and I’m leaning into it, because less is more,” she explained. “And you want to invest in quality and in something that you’re going to get versatility out of, that you’re not going to throw away. We just don’t have the energy for product that you’re going to throw away, product that doesn’t last. How do we put more into less? How do we give you a product that’s really going to deliver and also stand the test of time?”

Learn more at valdebeauty.com and on Instagram @valdebeauty.

Beauty Students Work on Class Project for Tower 28

Beauty Students Work on Class Project for Tower 28

Beauty Marketing & Product Development Students in the Fundamentals of Cosmetics class were recently tasked with launching three new color cosmetics and a seasonal collection for the existing beauty brand Tower 28 for a class project. 

Working in small teams, the students created presentations that included research on the competition, their target market, retailers, product launch, concept, inspiration, and a mood board. The California-based brand is 100 percent clean, non-irritating, vegan and cruelty-free, and gluten-free. 

Tower 28 Beauty was founded last year by former FIDM Instructor, Amy Liu, and is now sold in more than 500 Sephora stores. Beauty Marketing & Product Development Graduate Paulina Char is the brand’s Head Product Developer. 

Work by FIDM Students Kaylynn, Diana, and Sonja.