Bucking Convention

Challenging the industry standard of costly cosmetics, e.l.f. says, "The buck stops here."
Magazine Contributor
1 min read

This story appears in the January 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Vital Stats: Scott Vincent Borba, 31, and Joey Shamah, 23, of e.l.f. Cosmetics (Eyes.Lips.Face.)

Company: cosmetics company where every product costs $1

2005 projected sales: $7 million to $10 million

East Meets West: "I've always loved the idea of making people feel and look beautiful on the outside and inside," says Shamah. He was a New York University business student working for his family's apparel company when, at a party, he met Borba, a Los Angeles beauty-industry veteran who helped launch Hard Candy cosmetics along with a handful of re-launches for high-end hair-care and cosmetics lines. Between Shamah's international sourcing contacts and Borba's extensive experience, an idea was born.

Dollar Daze: After discovering that higher-income consumers shopped at dollar stores, Shamah and Borba saw a perfect opportunity to nestle their cosmetics into the dollar market. Borba says they target these customers by offering "the same benefits, look and ingredients for a reasonable price."

Cosmetic Procedure: During the month of October, e.l.f. donated 20 percent of the proceeds from its Shimmering Facial Whip to help fund Win Against Breast Cancer's research and services, and provided makeup in Color Therapy Care Packages to breast cancer patients in inner-city hospitals in Los Angeles.

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