Meet Hillary Clark of Hillary Clark Beauty & Blush Beauty
Today we’d like to introduce you to Hillary Clark.
Hillary, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I had the good fortune of growing up in a “Beauty Family” of female entrepreneurs- my Grandmother was the first female lingerie buyer for a major dept store in the Bay Area, my mother and Aunt worked in beauty boutiques throughout high school and my Aunt has owned her own salon in a cozy Northern California town for over 40 years – very Steel Magnolias.
I caught the Beauty Bug early and my earliest memory of dedication to makeup was in 2nd grade while attending Newport Elementary in Newport Beach. The first- and only- time that I ever played sick from school was to miss ‘Picture Day’ so that I could wear makeup to ‘Make-up Picture Day’. I was convinced that I could wear makeup to school and do make up for those that also missed ‘Picture Day. The rest, as they say, is history!
After boarding school, I majored in Psychology and Business, supporting myself by working in the cosmetic department at Nordstrom where I learned one of the most valuable lessons, one which I encourage and rely upon to this day- I found a mentor and asked how to do what she did. Our in-store Beauty Director was responsible for training the sales floor across brands and participated as an artist for runway shows and photo shoots. I thought it was the most glamorous role ever and asked to be groomed to do the same. I was promoted as a Beauty Director and excelled in the second largest Nordstrom Door in Northern California.
In 1999, I was recruited by Sephora.com to assist in launching one of the first retail beauty websites- it was like the Wild West and I thrived, working bi-coastally- in San Francisco, I developed and lead the first team of on-line Beauty Advisors to assist the hundreds of online clients with skincare and beauty selections. As the West Coast Beauty Editor, I partnered with the NYC editorial staff and contributed to Beauty Stories for Sephora.com Magazine. As a seasoned makeup artist, I had the opportunity to work backstage for NYFW on the artistry teams for Betsey Johnson, Zang Toi, Richard Tyler, and many more. I would do the makeup, take digital images, write the BHTS content and the story would go live on Sephora.com. In LA, I partnered with Urban Decay and Smashbox to work on the artistry teams for LAFW and for brand photoshoots.
The corporate structure of Sephora.com changed and became less artistic as the company grew. I missed working with individual clients- and had developed a following that was clamoring for personalized, in person consultations so, in 2003, Blush Beauty was born on Unions St in San Francisco. Blush Beauty was the first Glam Squad like model with a by appointment atelier located in a quaint bungalow – a former carriage house- set off of Union Street above a florist named the Secret Flower Garden. It was there that I saw my personal clientele for personalized lessons, product edit and selection, post surgical referrals from Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists and Oncologists and many, many Brides to be. On any given weekend, I had as many as six teams on location from Wine Country to Los Angeles doing hair and makeup for brides and their bridal parties. Blush Beauty and myself were featured in Allure Magazine, Allure Brides Magazine and in the New York Times Sunday Magazine feature ‘Beauty 911’. I continued to work runway shows, corporate photo shoots, travel with celebrity clients and took my first foray into product development and created a beauty brand sold at Sephora.
Europe was calling and I became bi-continental, living between Switzerland, San Francisco and Manhattan Beach to see private clients and study the European aesthetic for skincare.
Upon return to the US, I became more involved with my most beloved brands from my early cosmetic days like Stila, Lorac, Makeup Forever and Perricone MD and ventured into corporate product development.
Today, Hillary Clark Beauty is based in Beverly Hills and while keeping my finger on the pulse of fashion and beauty behind the scenes as an artist with celebrity and corporate clients, I consult and advise cosmetic companies with a range of services that include marketing, product development, PR and retail placement. I re-branded and created over 160 color skus for Gallany Cosmetics, am branding and launching a new K-Beauty Brand named OrgaPlus, am considering collaboration with a scientific team on a skincare range developed by a NASA scientist and am going back to my online roots to consult with a new online service, BeautybyDesign.com, that connects the consumer with a network of estheticians and employs an algorithm to define the exact skincare solutions for you from thousands of options to fit each consumers specific needs.
I continue to contribute to magazines and online publications like DestinationLuxury.com and am currently looking for larger atelier space for Hillary Clark Beauty and Blush Beauty in Los Angeles.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The Beauty Industry and technology as a whole is ever changing and I strive to always be at the forefront of advancement. The integration of influencers into PR and marketing is as crucial to communicating to consumers as is staying current with the latest advances of skincare and color technology- look at the new smart mirrors that allow you to track the performance of skincare and create your own color cosmetics via 3D modeling in home. It’s all very “Jetsons”!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Hillary Clark Beauty & Blush Beauty – what should we know?
My clients, from individuals looking to incorporate new techniques, look their best for events or photo shoots to companies that I advise, will tell you that they rely on my ability to understand their unique needs to meet their goals.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
A thirst for knowledge, perseverance to staying relevant and informed- ahead of the curve and taking a deep dive into the needs of each client is the basis of building long term relationships.