How to Hire Technical Staff as a non-technical leader

view>How to Hire Technical Staff as a non-technical leader

How to attract top talent

Most talented graduates are most drawn to a small number of tech companies (FAANG for short: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google). New grads start with six figure salaries (or more), bean bag chairs, catered breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as the cachet of saying “I work for Google”. So how do companies compete, especially when their core business isn’t technology related?

Interesting problems

Top tier technical talent will be drawn in by interesting technical problems regardless of industry, company or even sometimes pay. If you can find a problem within your organization and package it to technical people in a way that makes them want to solve it, that is your best recruiting technique. 

No technical debt

Companies run by people without IT backgrounds can be difficult for IT staff to work for. Oftentimes any tech that had to be implemented used piecemeal contractors. There was no plan around database infrastructure. Systems were built in a haphazard way and are frustrating to maintain.  To recruit top talent you need to show them that there isn’t a lot of technical debt and they will have the freedom and autonomy to solve interesting problems, not burdened by bad code.

How to choose candidates

Now that a number of people have expressed interest in a role, you have to choose who to hire. THis can be really tricky if you do not have other technical people on your team. You will need other technical people to tell you if the person you are talking to is a smooth talker or an expert. 

Find a third party

If you currently have no one technical on staff, or no one who is specialized in the area that you need to hire in, you need to use a third party to help vet their person’s technical knowledge. If your company is particularly small with a limited budget, I would try to find a friend with a technical background to help. If you can afford it, use a third party service. Investors can also be a great help for this.

Ask them to explain a technical concept to you.

Now that you have found someone that knows what they are talking about, you need to see how well you can work with them. As I’ve mentioned in another article (top 10 mistakes section_) for technical people being right is far more important then being nice. This is a good thing. You want someone who is direct and can explain what will work and what won’t. You don’t want someone who will not highlight problems, or be direct. That being said, you need to understand what they are saying.


When hiring, focus on communication skills not people skills. Ask them to explain some technical concept you know nothing about (try ACID for example). Do you understand what they are saying? Can they take big concepts, break them down and make them easy to understand?


How to retain top talent

Now that you have an exceptional hire, how do you make sure they stay and grow with the organization? IT staff can hold alot of organizational knowledge, and retaining those skills can be critical to success.

Autonomy and respect

General management principles apply, but here are some pitfalls that are common when people without IT backgrounds Hire IT staff. It’s very important to respect what programmers do. To some IT can feel like a financial burden that doesn’t significantly improve the bottom line. IT workers often demand salaries more in line with managers or directors. They work from home, progress can be slow, and can be hard to understand. All of these factors can lead a manager to micromanage employees, and a culture where their contributions are not acknowledged or respected. IT is one of those things that you only notice when it’s broken. Try to notice when it’s working too.


If you want to attract and retain top tier technical talent you need to compensate them well. Depending on the size of the organization, that may mean that they are the best paid in the company. 

Room for advancement

Smaller companies with limited tech teams usually have work that is  fairly mundane and easy to complete. There is little room for growth or advancement. Try to offer educational opportunities outside of the office, whether that is conferences or online courses to help them gain additional skills. 


Most technical people have very little opportunity to explore non technical areas, and often those experiences are what can lead to the biggest career growth. Think about how you can help involve the employee in other areas of the business. This will also help keep boredom at bay. 

What to do if the work is boring

Most great technical hires will get bored easily, and need a challenge in their work. As previously mentioned most companies without an IT focus can be rather mundane to work for. If you are looking for greater engagement and satisfaction amongst IT staff consider letting them explore other areas of the business. Maybe once a week they can do some marketing operations. Ask them if there are any improvements they could make. Would a different IT system save time and money? This can offer a fresh and interesting perspective for the employee. Similarly you can have a day where the marketing team learns about IT decision making. Cross functional teams often result in the most amount of innovation.

How to Hire Technical Staff as a non-technical leader

How to attract top talent

Most talented graduates are most drawn to a small number of tech companies (FAANG for short: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google). New grads start with six figure salaries (or more), bean bag chairs, catered breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as the cachet of saying “I work for Google”. So how do companies compete, especially when their core business isn’t technology related?


view> Top 7 mistakes Cosmetics make when it comes to IT

IT can make or break your business. A lack of professional expertise can cause a company to stall at a lower level of revenue, impacting the ability to manage information and decision making.  Here is a list of common mistakes that you can easily prevent.


1. Viewing IT projects as construction projects

Sometimes people conceptualize a IT project the same way they would building an apartment complex also called “waterfall design”. First you get designers and engineers to design the building. Then you hire construction workers to build it for you. Then you hire a building manager and some cleaning staff to maintain the building. This really doesn’t work for IT. Organizations are constantly changing and so is technology.

You cannot plan a 10 year IT project because all your technology will be outdated by the time it’s finished

1.1 Instead use more modern approaches

Agile programming is the idea that you make small changes and features on a regular basis and test them rather than planning multi year projects. Test-driven development and Continuous Delivery are both forms of agile development that are better than older agile approaches.

You can read more here:

2. Hiring contractors instead of hiring full time staff

Any company making more than a million in annual revenue should have dedicated technical staff. Relying on short term contracts may seem like a good financial decision in the short term but there are a few problems with it:

2.1 IP Protection and confidentiality

When working with overseas contractors it can be difficult to secure IP protection. Countries with high levels of corruption will make it virtually impossible to hold contractors legally responsible for violating any agreement. 

Even in countries with low levels of corruption and strong IP protections there is a risk that a contractor breaks confidentiality. Most contractors do similar work for different companies therefore they will likely use similar techniques with a competitor.

2.2 Maintenance 

Business software is a continuous system that faces ever-evolving needs and threats. When a system is built, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure that it stays up to date and any bugs are dealt with. It can cost more money to hire new people to maintain the system the original staff. 

2.3 Integration

Similarly when you need to integrate an existing system to a new one, having staff on hand that fully understands your systems will save time and money.

2.4 doing what's in the company’s long term interests

Contractors have an incentive to do things easily. One off contracts incentives bad code because they do not have to maintain the system. Programmers make better decisions when they have to work with past shortcuts they’ve made.


3. Wanting immediate results

Studies have consistently found that there is NO trade-off between speed and quality of software development.We have become used to software being immediate to download, and instant online when non technical people start a project they often don’t understand the amount of work required to make it happen. Pressuring teams to make a service or feature quickly rather than well can cause problems down the line.

4. Not fixing Poorly designed infrastructure

Investing money in good IT infrastructure will save you money over the long haul and it is a competitive advantage. Being cheap will cost you. This why have a full time staff member that can help you understand what needs to be improved will be invaluable to your organization

5. Excel instead of a database

Databases are designed to securely store large amounts of data, more importantly they have protocols on how to handle changes and maintain consistency.  Excel is flexible and relatively easy to use so a lot of people gravitate to putting data sets into excel spreadsheets. This is a mistake because:

5.1 Security

Having sensitive unencrypted data on your computer, or in an e-mail makes it vulnerable. Databases are designed to be secure.

5.2 Cannot handle 1000+ entries

Excel was not designed to be a database. It cannot handle thousands of entries. Excel can crash or take a really long time to create results.

5.3 Inconsistencies between sheets

5.3.1 Picture in time

When you download an excel spreadsheet from a database you are taking a snapshot of what's on record for that particular time. It’s not uptodate. 

5.3.2 You can accidentally alter cells

You can easily delete or alter a cell without realizing it. Making any results or statistics incorrect. 

5.3.3 If you make updates they are not shared

If you update the spreadsheet with any data, those updates are not shared with the entire organization. 

There are software solutions on the market that help make databases easy to create charts with and drill for statistics. We recommend you explore those solutions.

6. Build on the shoulder of Giants

There are plenty of open source projects that can solve most business problems. They are free to use and often require minimal integration and maintenance. Using an existing solution to a problem is better than building it from scratch. 

When there isn’t an open source solution companies that specialize in a particular problem will be better at solving that problem then you. Because they offer solutions to other companies with the same problem, they can also offer that solution to you cheaper then what you could build yourself. Good programmers always research what tools are available to them before programming it. You should too. 

7. Not making software decisions with software professionals

If you do not have a technical background it can be hard to tell what things will be difficult to create. Even minor changes to a design can save hundreds of thousands of dollars on a project. 

Top 7 mistakes Cosmetics make when it comes to IT

IT can make or break your business. A lack of professional expertise can cause a company to stall at a lower level of revenue, impacting the ability to manage information and decision making.  Here is a list of common mistakes that you can easily prevent.


Safe Sunscreen and Moisturizers for all Complexions

view>Safe Sunscreen and Moisturizers for all Complexions

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Mineral Based vs Organic Sunscreens

In sunscreens, there are generally two options: organic and inorganic. The primary ingredients in inorganic sunscreen that are used to block harmful ultraviolet (UV) are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide these are safe sunscreen. On the other hand, organic sunscreens have formulas containing compounds with only carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. "Organic" only refers to the type of compound, not the ingredients being naturally harvested as some may assume. The label "organic" can be misleading as people have positive associations with the word, assuming that it is the favorable option. However, the reality is quite the contrary. The ingredients in organic sunscreens are chemicals including, but not limited to, oxybenzone, benzophenone, benzene, and octocrylene, which are toxic to coral reefs, and known to be carcinogenic. Organic sunscreens are proven to be less effective than their inorganic counterparts and are even banned in some coastal areas that are protecting their reefs from coral bleaching.


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The danger of Organic Sunscreens

The chemicals, like oxybenzone, in organic sunscreens are allergens and are known to cause irritation upon skin contact. More importantly, recent findings are showing that the chemicals are not safe, even in the small quantities that are present in sunscreen. According to opinions published in 2021 by European Commission, the limits for safe concentrations of oxybenzone and homosalate, two common ingredients in organic sunscreens, are 2.2% and 1.4%, respectively. Popular cosmetic brands in the United States have reported concentrations for both of these chemicals over 7%, far exceeding what is safe for our bodies. Sunscreens with these compounds do not satisfy our needs as consumers.

Oxybenzone in sunscreens


Oxybenzone is a hormone disruptor, known to affect estrogen and testosterone production in women and men. This can lead to lifelong thyroid issues, as well as reproductive diseases. Furthermore, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), researchers are finding evidence that oxybenzone can be a cause of skin cancer.

Benzene in sunscreens

Aerosol sunscreen is popular for quick and easy application, but unfortunately contains dangerous chemicals, the most significant of which is benzene. The FDA and CDC have agreed that benzene is carcinogenic, making the rate at which the chemical is absorbed into the body extremely concerning. Since benzene is present in aerosol sunscreen, consumers are breathing in the nanoparticles that are diffused into the air, as well as absorbing it through the skin. Most of us have experienced first-hand the feeling of dizziness associated with breathing in aerosol sunscreens. Benzene also inhibits one's ability to produce red blood cells, which can result in anemia and leukemia.


In a study done by the Bureau of Chemical Hazards in Ottawa, Canada, it was shown that benzene applied to the skin in the form of sunscreen was absorbed almost twice as fast as benzene alone applied to the skin. Not only does aerosol sunscreen contain a toxic chemical, but it aids the process of penetration into the skin and bloodstream. Furthermore, the FDA has advised that benzene should not be present in any product in quantities greater than two parts per million (ppm). This is only a recommendation and is not enforced, allowing companies to far exceed these limits. Numerous products have been recalled due to high levels of benzene.



This leaves users with one viable option for UV protection: mineral based (otherwise known as inorganic) sunscreens. With a light complexion, the white pigment in mineral-based sunscreen is less noticeable and blends with the skin, however, when used on dark-toned skin, it tends to leave an ashy, white cast. The only desirable aspect of chemical-based sunscreens is that they have a transparent appearance on the skin, which is ideal for users with dark complexions, however, the risks far outweigh the benefit of the sheer look. This raises the question, how can people with dark skin tones find a sunscreen that fulfills all of the following qualities: desirable appearance on the skin, safe for the environment, nontoxic to the user, and effective in blocking UV rays.


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Choosing ingredients For Safe Sunscreen


One product will not work seamlessly for everyone, which is why Tejo recommends formulas based on specific qualities of your skin. This way, all users can be accommodated in the way that works best for them. It is generally a safe bet when the ingredients in a product are already produced naturally by our bodies. This is why hyaluronic acid, collagen, ceramides, and vitamin C are touted as some of the best ingredients for skin care, which is true. Another good source of ingredients to harvest them from plants or animals. We must still be wary of some of these, but it is not likely that they would have harmful effects on our bodies.


Iron Oxides as visible light protection and dark pigment


Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are easily the most common active ingredients in mineral sunscreen, as they are proven to be extremely effective as UVA and UVB protection. Recent studies have found that iron oxides can successfully block visible light rays, although unfortunately, iron oxide has little efficacy in protecting from UV rays, which are most damaging to the skin.


One must not underestimate the value of protecting against visible light. According to Henry W. Lim, a board-certified dermatologist, exposure to visible light can result in darkening pigmentation, melasma (blue-gray patches on the skin), and even free radical production. While it is widely believed that artificial light produced by electronic devices is a harmful form of visible light, however, the visible light produced by the sun is thousands of times stronger and 

more damaging. This proves how significantly visible light affects our bodies, and confirms the value of iron oxides as an ingredient.


When formulating a skin care product, engineers must be wary of allergens and negative reactions of the skin to certain chemicals. Fortunately, iron oxides have shown no undesirable skin reactions, even on users with sensitive skin. In most cosmetic products, synthetic iron oxide is used as opposed to a natural version because engineers can synthesize iron oxides in a way that regulates the shade of the pigment, creating more brown and black tones, rather than red and yellow tones. Additionally, tests have shown adverse reactions from the skin to the natural versions. Iron oxides are often contaminated with heavy metals. Since engineers can purify the synthetic versions, this makes them favorable. This is another situation in which labels are misleading in the skin care industry, as one normally associates "natural" with the "better" version of a chemical.

While titanium oxide and zinc oxide both have white pigment when applied to the skin, iron oxides have darker tones that can almost appear red, making them an ideal way to color match dark skin. the iron oxides paired with the other two metal oxides can make for a protective sunscreen with a less white tone, but rather a darker reddish-brown tone. Additionally, the opaque nature of iron oxides produces a look that blends well with the skin. Iron oxides can give sunscreen a glowing appearance rather than a dreaded white cast.


Chromium Oxide as a Color Corrector


Color theory is an important part of creating and using makeup products. To neutralize red tones, it is common to use a green-hued product to create a more balanced color. Chromium oxide is a mineral that produces a green pigment and is often added to a product containing iron oxide to neutralize the redness. Unfortunately, chromium oxide is an allergen. Despite this, it is still used in many color corrector products including concealers and foundations.


The Environmental Working Group (EWG) uses a scale from 1 to 10 to evaluate the safety of various chemicals, with 1 being the safest. Chromium Oxide is listed as a 2.5, making it safe for skin contact in small quantities. Fortunately, no skin care product is made with extremely large amounts of chromium oxide. Engineers use this compound in formulas to create SKUs that color match specific skin tones.


Cosmetic companies tend to counteract the inflammatory effects of chromium oxide (which is usually the main ingredient) with soothing components like squalane, hyaluronic acid, or squalene. Adding chromium oxide to a skin product formula allows for more options for shades to match unique skin tones.


Squalane as an Antioxidant Ingredient


Squalane is an up-and-coming compound in the skin care product industry. For clarification, squalane and squalene are similar, although squalene is more stable, resulting in longer shelf life. Like hyaluronic acid, squalane is anti-inflammatory and has healing properties for skin cells. Moreover, it is naturally produced by our bodies, as well as marine animals, so it is completely safe for consumers and the environment.


Squalene is a lipid naturally produced by the body, rather than a chemical created in a lab environment, it is a safe ingredient. Squalane is extremely light on the skin, making it a quality sunscreen ingredient.


Ceramides as Protection


Similar to squalane, ceramides are already produced by our bodies. Ceramides are the protective layer within the epidermis that prevent allergens and toxins from penetrating the skin. Like the iron oxides explained above, it is common for pseudo-ceramides synthesized in labs to be the versions present in skin care products because they can be purified of contaminants. There are twelve types of ceramides, which are all formed from different variations of the compound sphingosine. Sphingosine is the combination of an amino acid bonded to an unsaturated carbon chain, meaning that the chain contains double bonds, and is not "saturated" with hydrogens. The types of ceramides differ based on the form of the carbon chain ("form" is referring to the placements of the double bonds, and any branches within the chain). Different versions of ceramides are all likely to be found in skincare products but vary depending on the skin type the 

product is marketed towards. For dry skin, it is common for ceramide EOS or ceramide AP to be present.


Not only do ceramides prevent impurities from entering the bloodstream, but they also improve skin health at the cellular level. Decreased ceramide levels are proven to result in dry and irritated skin, and even diseases like atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, and eczema. With aging, ceramides decrease naturally, which is why it is so important to maintain these levels through a proper, personally curated skincare routine.


It is important that vitamins and skin care agents can be absorbed into the skin, which is why anti-inflammatory compounds are used in companies with these ingredients to achieve the desired effects. With skin and substance absorption, there is a fine line. Agents are easily absorbed when the skin is hydrated, but also when the skin is damaged and inflamed. It is just a matter of the skin preventing the bad materials from entering the barrier, and aiding the good materials. Ceramides acting as the barrier help do just that.


The Bottom Line


Skin care ingredients work differently for everyone, but there are a few chemicals that consumers and producers alike should stay away from. Ingredients like benzene, oxybenzone, and homosalate are all red flags when it comes to sunscreens and other products. Alternatively, squalane, ceramides, metal oxides, and hyaluronic acid are all safe and beneficial components.

Onboarding mass retailers

view>Onboarding mass retailers

Congratulations on your mass retail partnership! But how do you do Onboarding with a mass retailer? Now that you have an agreement in place withm your newest retail partner, here are the common steps that proceed the agreement:

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1) Company & Brand Setup

Once the agreement is signed, the retailer will need you to set up your brand with them.
This will include providing information about your business, which usually includes
official company name, business address, shipping address, and setting up financial and
payment information. Many mass retailers have their own portals that you’ll need to set
up log ins for. Your buying team will likely send this to you.

2) Item Set Up

You will need to set up the products you have agreed to sell with the retailer either via
an Excel sheet that they will send you and/or upload it into a portal. Item fields usually
include SKU #, UPC, Product Title, Ship Date, Pricing, Case Pack Dimensions, Product
Attributes, Images. Depending on the retailer, you may need to utilize inventory
platforms, like WERCS, GXS and Intertrade to upload your product information.

3) Vendor #

Once you are set up with the retailer, you will likely be assigned a vendor #. Be sure log
this vendor # somewhere because you will need to refer to the unique brand
identification number any time you need to communicate with the retailer support
teams for logistics, transportation, portal troubleshooting, order edits, accounting, etc.

4) EDI Integration and Testing

If you are required to be an EDI vendor for this retailer and you now have your vendor #,
you can proceed with integrating the new retail partner to your EDI portal and sending
through test documents. It’s safe to buffer in between 4 to 6 weeks for integration.
However, most of the time, the timeline is much shorter. It depends on the
responsiveness of your provider and the retailer. Typically, you will be able to submit
Order Acknowledgements, Advanced Ship Notices, and Invoices via EDI.

5) Review routing guides, set up transportation log ins

Ask your buyer or the retailer’s logistics team for their routing guides and instructions
for shipping. Review the materials thoroughly with your fulfillment partners to ensure
that you and they have a proficient understanding of the packout, labeling, routing
requirements. Lack of understanding and errors in routing can ultimately lead to
chargebacks, so it’s important to take a careful look at these guides.

6) Receive and ship your Purchase Order!

Once your items and brand are registered, EDI is set up, and you’ve reviewed all your
shipping and routing guidelines, you should be ready to receive your first live PO! Be
sure to review the PO carefully and double check the PO quantities, the ship window,

and the cancellation date. It is crucial that you ship the order within the ship window on
the PO.


Author Contact info:
Jiyuh Kim

Onboarding mass retailers

Congratulations on your mass retail partnership! But how do you do Onboarding with a mass retailer? Now that you have an agreement in place withm your newest retail partner, here are the common steps that proceed the agreement:

Mica in Makeup: child labour

view>Mica in Makeup: child labour

Mica in Makeup: child labor

We all have applied shimmery eyeshadows, lip-gloss, or highlighters some time in our lives, some people more than the others. But have you wondered where that shimmer and glossy look comes from? We often ignore the ingredients of a product when we are purchasing it as we know that it has remarkable results but what is not remarkable would be the process of extracting some of these ingredients. One of the many ingredients is Mica, a group of minerals which are physically and chemically similar. Mica is present in almost all the shiny or shimmery makeup products we apply, ranging from eyeshadows to lip products to glowing bronzers and highlighters. In other words, mica dust gives the product it’s shine and sparkle. However, Cosmetic industries have turned to ethically sourced products due to the recent consumer behaviour shifting to ethical makeup (extraction and application). This has caused quite some controversy for mica products and people want to know more about where and how mica comes from. There has been an ongoing debate on how the mineral is extracted and people are raging over the use and exploitation of minors to extract the hazardous mineral without safety gear.

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Asia remains one of the biggest micas extracting continent as of yet, with China producing 95,000 metric tons of mica in 2020. According to the export measuring site Statista, the value of mica exported from India in 2019 was 71.27 million US dollars. Some other places containing chief mines of mica mineral are Belgium, Brazil, and Madagascar, where mica crystals are present and often in the shape of distinct mica sheets. However, 2020 onwards, the value of mica export dropped dramatically to 52.57 million US dollars from the previous 71.27 USD and many cosmetic companies backed out of mica containing products due to public outrage for children exploitation in extracting mica.

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The mica particles used in foundations and bronzers etc are small and long-term inhalation of mica comes with a health risk to workers, more specifically those working in muscovite mills, which is the most common form of mica. In addition, other occupations such as agriculture, workers in cosmetic manufacturing factories, mines, and construction work are also unsafe. They are usually are given masks to prevent mica inhalation. Long term mica inhalation causes coughing, weight loss, irritation, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Furthermore, these problems, if not treated, can give rise to lung disease respiratory problems, and lung scarring and create problems in breathing.

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Although processed mica which is sold in makeup products does not have any serious side effects to the skin, it is only toxic when extracted raw. As mentioned before, India and China are one of the largest mica producers in the world and unfortunately more than half of their workforce is full of minors some as young as 5 or 6 years. A report by SOMO, an online news publication platform, reveals that around 22,000 workers working in India, in Bihar and Jharkhand, are children. A central reason for this is poverty, children are forced to take up these jobs as they have to help their families financially and provide for them. According to the data from the Reserve Bank of India, Bihar and Jharkhand has one of the highest rates of poverty within India. Another major reason for using children instead of grown ups is that these mica mines are extremely narrow, cramped and deep. It is very hard for an adult human to fit inside thus the use of children to easily slide in and extract mica. However, as this is not a professional operation, these children are not provided safety features, from mining companies, like masks, goggles, or gloves to protect them from mica inhalation. Many children obtain diseases due to the health hazardous nature of the mineral and therefore upon recent consumer trends increasing the use of “Ethical sourced makeup and skincare”, many brands have shifted to alternatives. So how are cosmetic brands dealing with the uprise?

Well, the truth is that there is no one solution to the huge problem. You may have noticed how many brands have alternated to “cruelty free” products and often display it on their items. Well, these brands are referring to the fact that they don’t test their products on animals. According to the website Ethical element which is based on research about sustainable and ethically sourced cosmetics, manufacturers don’t really focus on the source of the product just the manufacturing part.


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ical-mica-in-makeup/#:~:text=Some%20ethical%20beauty%20brands%20have%20chosen%20to%20use,with%20its%20own%20set%20supply%20chain%20traceability%20issues. In fact, Estée Lauder, MAC, Rimmel, Bobbi Brown, too faced are some of the high end brands which actively use mica in their products. However, there are brands which have taken initiatives in order to become ethically based or at least spread awareness of the matter:

1)      Synthetic mica: some beauty brands have successfully switched to the use of synthetic mica, which is produced in labs and therefore does not involve exploitation of children or animals. Some brands which have switched to use of synthetic mica are Aether, Clean Faced Cosmetics, Glo Skin Beauty, and Lush Cosmetics.

2)      Awareness regarding the product: There are many brands which have clearly stated on their packaging whether it contains natural mica or synthetic ethical mica. This is a great way to make your audience aware of what they may be using. some brands that explicitly state that they use ethically sourced or lab-created mica are Dr. Hauschka and River Organics. On the other hand, some brands emphasize that their makeup is cruelty-free, including Black Moon Cosmetics and 100% PURE.

3)      Some brands have claimed that they have opted out of child exploitation linked to mica extraction by simply not purchasing mica from places like India and Madagascar. For example, Fit glow. However, banning the use of mica from these areas is not the whole solution to the problem.,with%20its%20own%20set%20supply%20chain%20traceability%20issues.

4)      Mica free products? There are lots of skincare and makeup brands that are completely mica-free. From using only matte finish products to banning products that contained mica previously. For example, a very well known skincare brand farsalicare, in 2020, reformulated many of their top selling face serums due to the presence of mica, for example, Rose gold elixir and unicorn essence.


Mica in Makeup: child labour

Mica in Makeup: child labor

We all have applied shimmery eyeshadows, lip-gloss, or highlighters some time in our lives, some people more than the others. But have you wondered where that shimmer and glossy look comes from? We often ignore the ingredients of a product when we are purchasing it as we know that it has remarkable results but what is not remarkable would be the process of extracting some of these ingredients. One of the many ingredients is Mica, a group of minerals which are physically and chemically similar.

Editorial Eyeliner trend inspired by Euphoria: A New Era of Makeup

view>Editorial Eyeliner trend inspired by Euphoria: A New Era of Makeup

The HBO show Euphoria has left its whole audience in awe with the many innovative makeup looks exhibited in the show including editorial eyeliner. The show featured a variety of different characters who express their emotions and personality through their makeup, along with other things. This creativity is expressed through different types of eye makeup that the cast put on. It is safe to say that this show has introduced a whole new side to cosmetics.

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Since the release of the show in 2019, people have taken upon themselves to recreate the creative looks featured on the show to look like the characters in Euphoria. The editorial eyeliners displayed in the show is a mix of edgy, bold, and charming. Weather it’s the use of popping colors to do eyeshadows, colored eyeliner looks, or rhinestone inspired eye makeup, Euphoria is the ultimate trendsetter for these unique eye cosmetics, and we are here for it! Surely, this Reignition of your love affair with makeup has left Gen Z fearless and unapologetic in how they express themselves.

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However, along with every iconic trend inspiring teenager of today, follows significant benefits for the cosmetic industry. It is no surprise that the legacy of eye makeup in this show has continued in season 2, giving us Lo and behold, even more alluring and seductive looks. Be it YouTube, TikTok or any other platform, content creators and children are carrying this trend forward by constantly recreating these looks which has significantly benefited the cosmetic industry as they have been restocking on popping eye makeup, eyeliners, mascara and much more. It is not only the children however who have been recreating looks from euphoria, on the New York Fashion Week Fall 2022 runways, designers suited up their models in a full glam inspired by Euphoria when showing off their latest collections. The models were covered in shimmery eyeshadow, long stiletto nails, dramatic winged eyeliner, rhinestone face makeup and Y2K-inspired hairstyles.

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Therefore, it is evident that the Euphoria cast has turned into a fashion icon for the whole world. Not only the high-end cosmetic industries such as MAC, Loreal, Sephora, or Fenty beauty are on the rise, but even smaller brands have been working on releasing the best of eye makeup tools for their customers. Indeed, this has given an intense rise to sales of eye makeup products and the way these brands advertise their products, showing models with blue and sequined eyes with a heavy liner and popping colorful exaggerated lashes, how would the makeup not attract a wide variety of audience? Displaying graphic designed eyeliners is yet another famous way of representing the quality of their products and the ability of it to be able to form such distinct looks. There is no doubt that Euphoria has shaped fashion and beauty in the last almost three years, and with the new season, it is bound to keep pushing the limit.

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Editorial Eyeliner trend inspired by Euphoria: A New Era of Makeup

The HBO show Euphoria has left its whole audience in awe with the many innovative makeup looks exhibited in the show including editorial eyeliner. The show featured a variety of different characters who express their emotions and personality through their makeup, along with other things. This creativity is expressed through different types of eye makeup that the cast put on. It is safe to say that this show has introduced a whole new side to cosmetics.

Hygienic Packaging for Skincare

view>Hygienic Packaging for Skincare

With the pandemic once again influencing many parts of our lives, many are

beginning to realize how important hygienic skincare packaging is.
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Importance of Hygienic Packaging in Skincare

While hygiene, in general, is always favoured, the COVID-19 pandemic made hygiene a bigger part of everyone’s lives. When it came to the beauty industry, companies prioritized this in their packaging to cater to the consumer. There has been a bigger realization that many jars and tubs of creams and moisturizers could harbor microorganisms. Bacteria from hands could transfer into the product and then contaminate the entire jar. So, even if your hands aren’t washed properly for just one time, the entire jar could be housing a vast amount of germs. The same bacteria then get onto your face which could cause breakouts or irritation. With more people spreading this information around, many consumers started looking for better ways to keep their skincare routine without contamination. Enter hygienic packaging for skincare.


Typical Skincare Packaging 

Much of the packaging for skincare is centered on appearance rather than utility. After all, the point of the product was that it was delivered onto the skin to diminish a skin concern. A lot of skincare products were delivered in jars, tubs, pumps, droppers, and more. There without too much emphasis on whether they were hygienic, bacteria-resistant, air-tight sealed, or sustainable. While appealing packaging is still desired to this day, the criteria for in-demand packaging have grown. Not only should appearance be considered but also the finer details. Ease of use, weight, quality, reactivity to water or sunlight, and more, are all parts of basic testing. However, with the huge surge of interest in hygienic packaging, more time could be spent on ensuring the product itself is protected to its best ability from contamination. 


Read more about packaging testing here:

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Variations in Hygienic Skincare Packaging 

The new demand for more hygienic skincare brought innovations to typical skincare packaging. 

  • Skincare spatulas

Jars and tubs are not going anywhere when it comes to skincare. Though they have gotten a bad rap recently due to them being the easiest to contaminate, they’re both visually appealing and practical. As a compromise, many brands have started including or selling a skincare spatula on the side. This way, no direct contact will happen between the product and consumers’ fingers. 

  • Airless pumps 

These are commonly used for products that contain ingredients highly susceptible to contamination. For example, think of anti-aging skincare products which contain retinol and peptides. They eliminate exposure to air and direct contact with the entirety of the product. Cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson states that non-airtight pumps “tend to be more hygienic than jars because you're not touching the product itself every time you use it, which can contaminate it.” However, the downside to airtight pumps is the expensive production costs. 

  • Airless seals 

The goal of airless seals is similar to airless pumps, but not the same. Airless seals are typically needed for products that do not have an airless pump, making for a great alternative. 

  • Skin fridges 

While not a direct change to packaging to make skincare more hygienic, promoting a skin fridge to go alongside products prolongs shelf life. The humidity, temperature, and light level within a skin fridge are specific to keep most skincare products from growing bacteria. Not every formula works well in cooler conditions, such as oil-based products. Ensure you’re letting customers know which products are not recommended to be placed in a skin fridge.


Read more about skincare fridges here:

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Hygiene meets Sustainability 

To take packaging to the next level, some companies are selling products that come in both sustainable and hygienic packaging. For example, some higher-end brands are using skincare pods or refillable cartridges. The point is to buy the specialized hygienic skincare packaging only once instead of multiple times. This way, consumers can refill their product without having to pay the extra price of the patented packaging. For some people, sustainability is a more important factor than hygiene. While individually wrapped products guarantee hygiene, the waste that it creates isn’t worth it. Companies are also looking for more ways to incorporate eco-friendliness into hygienic packaging. Recyclable cartons made from paper are one way to blend hygiene and environmental consciousness. However, more innovative materials like ones made from mushrooms are up and coming in the beauty industry. 


Read more about packaging made from mycelium here:

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Innovation Through Packaging

Skincare packaging is what the consumer sees first. Though it may sound complicated to consider all of the complicated aspects that go into it, your brand will stand out for it. There are numerous patents already for hygienic packaging, so there isn’t a need to be inventive. The impact of these past few years has changed the beauty industry. Hygienic packaging, along with sustainability and eco-friendliness, is likely to be around for a long time.  


Read more here:


Hygienic Packaging for Skincare

With the pandemic once again influencing many parts of our lives, many are

beginning to realize how important hygienic skincare packaging is.
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In Store Cosmetic Testing

view>In-Store Cosmetic Testing: A Permanent Discontinuation?

Even before COVID-19, cosmetic testing in stores was unsanitary. Now that we’re emerging from the pandemic, what does this mean for in-store testers?

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Pre COVID-19 in-store cosmetic testing

Cosmetic testing and sampling in-stores was a huge part of a consumers’ choice on purchasing a product. However, even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, some people thought the practice was unsanitary. After all, anyone could try on the product without the requirement of washing their hands or wiping the product. In some stores, alcohol wipes and sprays were available. However, employees only had to disinfect a product if a customer asked them to do so. In 2018, Marketplace launched an investigation at twelve cosmetic stores in Toronto. Samples of testers were taken to a lab at the University of Guelph to be tested by microbiologists. It was found that 40% of samples housed Staphylococcus bacteria and 28% with mold. Regularly sharing makeup, in general, is an unsafe practice as microorganisms prefer the moist environment that many products create. This is especially dangerous if the makeup is targeted at the eyes or mouth. These places are easy modes of transmission for bacteria and viruses to enter the body.


Read more about the Marketplace investigation here:

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What does cosmetic testing look like now?

Once the COVID-19 pandemic began, it was obvious that makeup testing in-stores had to be eliminated right away. This also meant that samples taken from testers could not be given. Consumers were left without a way to try makeup directly on their skin. Makeup testing in-store is usually done to ensure the colour matches or suits one’s skin tone, as there are often a plethora of undertones and shades available. Or, trying on skin products like moisturizers and serums was also common. Consumers wanted to see if they like the texture, scent, or way that the product feels before purchasing. The significance of in-person makeup testing is clear. A study by Base Beauty Creative Agency found that 86% of respondents viewed in-store makeup testing as a critical part of deciding when to purchase a product. Consumers are more likely to keep a product and be satisfied with their purchase if they get to see it on their skin first. 


Read more about the significance of in-person testing for consumers here:


Why Tejo is the solution to the pause on in-store testing

Tejo is a specialized AI that can directly help with this problem. AI, software, and apps have become increasingly popular as this issue persists. Tejo uses diagnostic and shade finding technology to discover exactly what colours will match or suit the consumer. Tejo also works to create a custom skincare routine for your consumer if you also carry skincare products. This eliminates the need for consumers to try on products and see if it suits their skin type. By sending your products to us for testing, Tejo becomes an expert on your products and shades to ensure maximum tailorization to your consumers. Adding technology like Tejo to your brand can bridge the gap for your customers. 

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Moving forward

It’s likely that testers will be back in the future. However, customers may still be apprehensive. Currently, as we emerge from the pandemic, some stores have opted for a no-touch policy on testing. These stores get their employees to take some clean products out onto a separate container for every individual who wishes to try on the product. Even with this, it seems like there’s still a large chunk of buyers who wish not to try at all in order to stay safe. January Digital and Coresight Research found that over one-third of respondents were online buyers or chose curb-side pickup. Many consumers also prefer to wait until others have tried and reviewed a new product. Platforms like TikTok and Youtube have popularized this due to the lack of in-person testing. Stores are offering more pre-packaged samples to mitigate this issue. Subscription boxes may also become more popular as they can also send out smaller amounts of products for customers to try on a wide variety of products. While this poses a sensible solution, consumers are still not able to choose directly which product they wish to try. While these all pose as solutions, consumers are still not able to receive immediate gratification from trying on a product they directly wanted to test. So, software and AI will flourish in this time to help out those types of consumers. 


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Further readings:



Lip Plumper

view>How to Formulate Lip Plumpers

Lip plumpers are a popular product used to achieve fuller lips. With so many on the market, how can they be formulated to stand out?

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Why are lip plumpers so popular?

The look of fuller lips has been desirable for many decades. Exaggerating the lips using colour is known to have started with the Sumerian civilization. Crushed berries, insects, henna, or clay would be used to provide more colour to the lips. The first commercially produced lipstick was sold in 1884 before lipstick became a huge success in the 1900s. Stars like Marilyn Monroe perfected the full-lipped look and helped pave the way for the trend of pouty lips. The early 2000s was the first time a lip-plumping product came out. The brand Too Faced released their Lip Injection gloss which now has multiple renditions. Famous actress Angelina Jolie was also named World’s Most Beautiful Star in 2006, her full lips being a sought-after feature by many. Perhaps the more extreme leap in popularity for lip plumpers came from the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge.” When famous celebrity Kylie Jenner posted a picture of plumper lips, young fans were eager to look like her. The prevalence of Injectable wrinkle fillers increased by 243% from 2000 to 2013. Lip augmentations that don’t include filler were up by 35%. It wasn’t just younger people wanting fuller lips, though. Fuller lips are a sign of youth, as lips tend to get thinner as we age. They are also a sign of sensuality, which can boost one’s confidence. For those who didn’t want cosmetic procedures, products like lip plumpers were the perfect solution.

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What makes or breaks a lip plumper?

Common topical lip plumpers cause blood to rise to the surface and swell the lips. This works by aggravating the skin on the lips using irritants. Milder irritants include cinnamon oil or menthol, giving the tingly sensation on the lips when put on. Stronger irritants could be an ingredient like bee venom. Bee venom is one ingredient known to be used in certain formulations but is not suitable for those with sensitive skin or allergies. Many consumers like the prickly feeling from these ingredients as the immediate sensation imply that the product is “working.” However, keep in mind that lip plumpers should not be painful. Painful plumpers have been known to be featured on popular influencers’ posts and videos specifically for their irritation. Usually, the feedback given is negative because they’re shown to cause such discomfort. As well, it’s important to note that these irritants only give temporary plumping effects. Therefore, a good lip plumper that would be better than others should meet the following criteria. Not too irritating, provide fullness to the lips all day, moisturizing, comfortable to wear, and be layerable.

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How to formulate a lip plumper that stands out

Level of irritation

Not every lip plumper needs to be irritating. Those with sensitive skin may prefer ones that don’t. This is entirely dependent on your brand’s vision and target market. As recommended earlier, milder irritants are likely a better choice. They generally are not painful to most and do provide initially visible plumpness. 


Long-lasting fullness

Whether or not you decide to use irritants, a good lip plumper should be effective throughout the day. The point of lip plumpers is to provide fullness to the lip. Consumers are more likely to be happy with a product that does not need to be reapplied in order for that effect. Formulations will need to include ingredients that draw moisture to the lips or promote vasodilation (increasing blood flow to the lips). Ingredients like collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, niacin (a form of vitamin B), or caffeine

work to do this. Cosmetic chemists can work on special blends of these ingredients and others to create the perfect formula for long-lasting fullness. 


Moisturizing formulas

It is always beneficial to add something moisturizing to soothe the lips while simultaneously plumping them. Drying lip products are generally disliked, and they bring to mind the opposite of lush, plump lips. Choosing the right blend of emollients and oils is essential for lip plumpers. Ingredients like argan oil or shea butter are well-known by many consumers to be moisturizing. Oils also add shine to the lips, which is great for a gloss formula.



Like any lip product, lip plumpers should be comfortable to wear. Formulas should not be too heavy on the lips. A lightweight feel is a great point to market and is typically well-received by consumers. If formulating a gloss, ensure it’s not too sticky. If it’s lipstick or balm, it shouldn’t be too waxy or stiff. 



Often, lip plumpers are used alongside other products as their main purpose is to simply plump the lips. So, it is always wise to create a formula that works well with many others. Testing the product on top or under other lip products is a great way to gauge just that. 

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Is it necessary to add a lip plumper to your line?  

As a brand, it is always important to assess which products should be created. Lip plumpers can be a great addition to your selection of lip products, but they’re not completely essential. Techniques like lip contouring are also popular and help consumers achieve the look of fuller lips. Promoting and marketing certain colours of lip products like dark lip liner or lighter lipsticks alongside regular lip glosses can save resources but still be on-trend. But, as lip plumpers are so popular and in demand, it could be worth it to produce one. Like with any product, this is highly dependent on your brand’s needs, goals, visions, and target market. 

Further reading:,the%20body%2C%20resulting%20in%20plumping.




How to Formulate Lip Plumpers

Lip plumpers are a popular product used to achieve fuller lips. With so many on the market, how can they be formulated to stand out?

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Rise of Dewy Makeup

view>The Rise of Dewy Makeup


Within the past few years, matte makeup and powder have been replaced with glowing skin and dewy makeup. What formulations cater to this, and why the sudden change?

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Out with matte makeup and in with dewy makeup

There’s been a huge lean toward natural-looking, dewy makeup. These days, many people are incorporating at least one item in their beauty routine to achieve a glowing, radiant look. Even those with oily skin are joining in. Only a few years ago, matte makeup and heavy contouring were deemed “in,” so why the sudden change? Dewy makeup is not a new concept. It is thought that Cleopatra in 332 BC used olive oil to achieve a shiny, glowing finish to her skin. In the 1900s, added shine and highlight were essential for actors and actresses to accentuate natural facial definition. In many Asian countries, especially Korea, dewy skin indicates beauty and good health. 


Perhaps the current interest in skincare and desire for healthy, blemish-free skin also made an impact. Amid a pandemic, consumers were tired of “mask-ne.” Face masks would induce acne around the mouth and jaw, prompting people to switch to lighter bases or natural bases. It was thought that the mask amplified clogged pores from heavy matte makeup. The increasing interest in skincare led to many skincare-makeup hybrid products as consumers continue to learn about different ingredients. For example, foundations that include hyaluronic acid have become exponentially popular. Many brands have at least created a hydrating or dewy counterpart to their best-selling products. Others have focused solely on glowy makeup. Take, for example, Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez. The celebrity-founded brand has a big focus on natural makeup meant to empower the consumer. Or Glossier, a brand that has been favouring dewy makeup since 2012. As more advanced formulations come out, dewy makeup is possible for everyone. 


Read more about the timeline of dewy makeup here:

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Trends that prove dewy makeup is in

In 2017, a video of a girl showing their “glass skin” routine went viral. Korean “glass skin”, along with “honey skin” paved the way for newer dewy makeup trends. The “glass” or “honey” part alluded to the light reflecting look as the focus was on skincare. Oils and creams provided a glowing base before sheer face makeup and highlight were put on. The goal was to achieve radiant, blemish-free, perfect-looking skin. More current trends include the no-makeup makeup look. The no-makeup makeup look involves glowing skin and attention to natural-looking makeup. Liquid and cream products are essential for this. “Clean girl” makeup is the latest social media beauty trend that works adjacent to the no-makeup makeup look. Once again, dewy skin is the goal with minimal eye and lip makeup. Instead, think lip glosses, face glosses, and a natural flushed look.


Read about the clean beauty look here:

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Formulations and ingredients for glowing finishes

Dewy skin usually starts with skincare. If your brand exclusively sells skincare or has both skincare and cosmetic products, these are the ingredients to look out for to help your customers attain glowy skin. The first is exfoliating acids. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are popular for a reason. These chemical exfoliants are known to slough off dead skin cells to reveal softer, smoother skin– the perfect base for dewy makeup. They're usually seen formulated as cleansers, toners, or serums and should not be used every day. The next ingredients, niacinamide, vitamin C, humectants, and emollients, can also be used in makeup formulations. Niacinamide and vitamin C are known for their brightening properties, while humectants draw water to the skin. Emollients provide shine and also soften skin. (Read more about these skincare ingredients here: In makeup, popular humectants include propylene glycol and hyaluronic acid. It is extremely popular in foundations and is often highlighted as a star ingredient. Emollients add shine to makeup and are used in lipsticks, cream blushes, and more. Oils are also used in makeup, but they are less common to find. However, in certain products like lip oils, oils give an amazing shine. Many formulations also tend to use mica and pearl pigments to provide luminosity. Mica and pearl pigments are usually fine powders that reflect light, giving a shimmery finish. Be warned, however, as face makeup such primers or foundations should contain extremely fine pearl pigments or mica. Most people want a glow, not chunks of shimmer. Face makeup formulations should also be water-based instead of silicon-based. This is because silicon tends to mattify. It is also wise to stay away from powders, as consumers tend to associate powders with mattifying or drying properties. Instead, opt for liquids, creams, and balms. 

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Marketing dewy makeup

Emphasize that your products will not cause oiliness or greasiness. Dewy makeup should be highlighted to give radiant/glowing/moisturized/hydrated skin instead. Decide whether you wish to use the term “youthful.” While dewy skin can look after younger-looking skin, some consumers believe the term can imply that aging is a bad thing. There is a fine line when it comes to this topic, so give some thought to this idea and identify your target market. Use skincare ingredients to your advantage. Many consumers now know common ingredients in skincare like niacinamide or hyaluronic acid which improve moisture and hydration. Including these ingredients in the name of the product can help consumers immediately identify that it will give a dewy finish. Otherwise, use terms as mentioned before: radiant, glowing, luminous, etc. in the name. Lastly, go for lines that empower the consumer. Dewy makeup is meant to enhance natural beauty. It is mostly intended for a look that is simple, effortless, and gives a your-skin-but-better feel. You can also utilize software that will help your consumer get their perfect match. Tejo assesses their skin type to recommend their best product and aids in finding the correct foundation match. Consumers will appreciate accurate, tailored picks to suit their needs and have expert advice on your products.

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Will dewy makeup stick around?

It is impossible to predict trends, but it seems like dewy makeup will stay for a long time. However, as more products come out that provide a dewy finish, may turn back to matte makeup to balance the finishes. It is not reasonable to have every step of a makeup routine be glowy. Typically, there is a pairing of a dewy finish with a matte one. For instance, luminous primers to pair with matte foundations. Or, conversely, luminous foundations with a matte primer. As well, matte makeup is still popular for some people with oilier skin. Similarly, dewy makeup is a holy grail for dry-skin makeup lovers. So, dewy makeup always has a market, regardless of what becomes popular. 


Further reading:



The Rise of Dewy Makeup


Within the past few years, matte makeup and powder have been replaced with glowing skin and dewy makeup. What formulations cater to this, and why the sudden change?

Image removed.

Out with matte makeup and in with dewy makeup