Finance pro-turned-entrepreneur taps into $532B beauty industry

by Liz Warren
February 13, 2019
blushup
image via blushup

Get your beauty sleep, but don’t sleep on the beauty industry.  

Zion Market Research predicts that the global cosmetics market, which was valued at $532 billion in 2017, will grow to $863 billion by 2024 — and it’s this data that has Monique Salvador betting big on her beauty services startup Blushup.

Launched in 2017, the platform makes it easy to digitally book makeup application services at local retailers, such as your local shopping center’s Clinique or MAC counters. It’s a simple concept with a big impact: People get their makeup professionally done at their convenience, makeup counters make more sales and scheduling is less of a headache for all parties.

Users who want to book an appointment visit the site, type in their preferred time, date, brand and location, and the search engine pulls up a list of available time slots. Retailers pay the company a monthly fee to use the platform, so the service is free for users — though they must purchase between 1-4 products at the time of the appointment. The website lists how many product purchases are required for every beauty counter.

While a beauty-booking platform seems like a basic concept now, it wasn’t always so simple. Salvador came up with the idea for Blushup after trying to book a makeup appointment of her own. She noticed that, despite beauty being a part of a billion-dollar industry, its merger with tech was wildly overlooked.

“Given my background, I went straight into market research,” she said. “I spoke to hundreds of women, created surveys, stopped by more than 20 beauty counters and talked to their clients and employees — everyone I spoke to complained about the same pain points. I felt the desire to build something cool for the world; for women; for retailers.”

Previously a finance professional immersed in the startup and VC world, Salvador worked with a number of entrepreneurs but never intended on becoming one herself.  

I've always been inspired by entrepreneurs, but I never thought I would be one unless I came across an idea that I really believed in.”

“I've always been inspired by entrepreneurs, but I never thought I would be one unless I came across an idea that I really believed in,” she said. “I never thought this day would come.”

The platform initially worked with 75 locations throughout Manhattan and is now expanding to 250 new locations in NJ, White Plains, Long Island and all of the NYC boroughs. There are also future plans to expand to Los Angeles before the end of the year.

As the service grows, so does the team, which is made up of three engineers, as well as Salvador and three new hires focused on expanding the product.

“People are starting to know our brand,” said Salvador. “This is giving us a steadier monthly recurring revenue.”

The platform’s main stack is built on react.js and JavaScript and the product is customized specifically for retail counters.

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