Beauty By The Geeks: The Start-up Changing the Face of Beauty

Beauty By The Geeks: The Start-up Changing the Face of Beauty
Will that mascara really make my eyelashes look longer?  And if so, how?  Which product will keep my hair colour looking great for as long as possible and not leave me feeling disappointed and ripped off?  You've looked online to compare as many product reviews as possible but are still left feeling skeptical and unsure whether or not to believe what you've read.  Finally we have somewhere to turn in times of beauty need: Beauty By The Geeks.  Sheffield-born, 24-year-old entrepreneur Brigitte West is here to tell us everything we need to know about the innovative start-up which is changing the world of beauty. Hi Brigitte, thanks for letting us interview you for The Daily Wiz! How are you today? Really well, thank you! You came to our attention because of your innovative start-up, Beauty by the Geeks (great name!). First off, what IS Beauty by the Geeks? The core of our business is our website, www.beautybythegeeks.com, an unbiased and evidence-driven review site that is written by a team of scientists using scientific research to review beauty products and the claims behind them. We investigate the science behind the formulations to find out which beauty products really work and why. Beauty By The Geeks, logo Another strand of our organisation is education and we design, develop and deliver comprehensive and innovative science educational programmes and events to educate young people about science by making it real and relevant to them. Our mission is to encourage people from all backgrounds to be excited by science and the opportunities it presents, by making it more accessible. We campaign for women in science and strive for diversity and equality in the science sector. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what university did you attend and what did you study? I graduated from Newcastle University in 2014 with a First Class Honours in Biomedical Sciences. Since I left university I haven’t stopped learning though (from coding to cosmetics!) and I really am a geek at heart. Brigitte West, female entrepreneur, startup, UK, beauty, scientist, science How did you come up with this ingenious concept? Did you have any help with the idea? Completely by accident, following a hair dye disaster! I used a packet hair dye to go blonde (bad idea!) as a student because I couldn’t afford to visit the hairdressers. After ruining my hair, I tried lots of different products claiming to colour correct/repair the damage and after little luck, I started to look at the formulations to figure out why. The idea for Beauty by the Geeks was born and with a team of fantastic scientists, we launched the website in 2013 to publish our findings. Every cloud right?! How do you come up with ideas for which beauty products to test? Many of the products we review are requested by our readers or it will be something that is trending in the media or has a particularly intriguing advert/product claims. beauty, products, Olay, Elizabeth Arden, Nude, L'Oréal, makeup   What would you say was the hardest part of creating your own start-up? Do you have any advice for budding entrepreneurs wishing to create their own business? Firstly, just go for it! I won’t sugar coat it because running a start-up business can be really hard work and quite an emotional rollercoaster but the rewards of running your own business are definitely worth it. I would say the hardest part is getting funding or sustainable sales, especially in the early days. My advice would be to always surround yourself with great people that inspire you, both inside and outside of your business, and to always be open to conversations. My granddad always says “you learn something new from everyone you meet” and I’m a strong believer in that. Did you have any help from your university/other sources to help fund BBTG as you developed the idea? Newcastle University has been absolutely amazing, from early stage business support and funding (Rise Up) to providing us with a place on their 6 month business incubator (The Founderships), we honestly could not have done it without them. I was also fortunate enough to gain a place on the Lloyds TSB school for the social entrepreneur, which provides incredible support and funding for social entreprises. Being from a science background with no prior business knowledge, I have also surrounded myself with some amazing mentors who I can’t thank enough for their continued support. beauty, geeks, lipstick, makeup, makeupbrush, hairspray, scientists, experiment, cream What has been your biggest beauty disaster? Gosh, there are so many! Over-plucked eyebrows, hair dye disasters, using a concealer as a lipstick… just to name a few!   Thank you very much Brigitte, wishing you and Beauty by the Geeks the best of luck for the future :).   Find Brigitte and her Geeks on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram or visit the BBTG site.