December 14th, 2016
Beauty is only skin deep – this phrase resonated within Lisa Dodds. A consummate hard worker and beauty lover, she became saddened by the extreme lengths women were going to feel beautiful, which she’d seen at first hand after years spent working within a cosmetic surgery clinic. The idea for the NKDb range (Naked Beauty) from 4th Base Cosmetics was born – a range of high quality make-up which help customers to look and feel fabulous, while also offering other ambitious women the chance to become entrepreneurs themselves.
WP: When did you realise that you wanted to work within the beauty industry? Were you interested in beauty from a young age?
LD: I’ve always loved beauty products and think that looking good on the outside can make you feel wonderful on the inside. My passion for make-up really took off when I was 18 and entered a male-dominated company. As a woman in business you’ve got to be tenacious and confident, and the process of physically applying my make-up mirrored the mental application of my feisty persona. It made me feel like I could achieve anything.
WP: You gained plenty of experience working within the R&D department of a major company. What was the biggest lesson that you learned from that experience?
LD: Within this period of my career I had to support staff to sell the benefits of the company and ethically advise which procedures, treatments, skincare and make-up would be suitable for specific clients. This role really highlighted to me that every client is different and wants to feel like they’re special. Whilst it’s more difficult to produce bespoke products within the make-up industry, you’ve got to place you client on a pedestal and offer them a bespoke experience. With NKDb, our vast range of colours and products ensure that whatever a client wants, they’ll be able to find on our website.
WP: What sparked your interest in a career move and a partnership with Marco Robinson?
LD: Although I’d worked in the cosmetics sector and also had experience running my own business, I’d never paired the two together. Yet with my passion in beauty and my desire for a new challenge – it seemed natural for my career to progress in this way. I’d previously worked with Marco Robinson setting up a leisure company in Kuala Lumpur, and since then I’d watched him become a highly successful entrepreneur, heading up the NAKED Group of Companies. He was the obvious choice of business partner for my next challenge.
WP: How did 4th Base Cosmetics come about?
LD: During my time working in the cosmetics industry, I was amazed by the surgery and procedures women put themselves through which were both painful and costly, when using good quality make-up and applying it correctly can help correct many beauty concerns. This gave me the idea that I wanted to create my own range of highly quality make-up to help women. Not only this, I wanted to provide opportunities for budding female entrepreneurs by allowing them to sell the NKDb product range. Talking from my experiences, being a successful entrepreneur is 95% hard work, and 5% opportunity and 4th Base Cosmetics aims to provide this opportunity.
WP: What makes 4th Base Cosmetics different from other brands?
LD: 4th Base Cosmetics’ key mission is to ensure women feel beautiful both inside and out, by producing high-end make-up whilst empowering them to start their own business. NKDb’s professional formulations housed in sleek and chic packaging make it one of the most exciting beauty launches of the year. In addition, any woman who wishes to become an NKDb ambassador will have the opportunity to be an independent sales representative for the brand, running her own successful business. We have also launched a series of informative video tutorials from expert make-up artists providing tips and tricks of the trade. All available on our website, the videos offer advice and tips on how to create a range of beauty looks, ranging from natural and subtle, to glam and exotic. I think the combination of excellent products, exciting career opportunities and engaging website content makes us a brand to watch.
WP: The huge range of colours and products must have taken a lot of time to get right – what kind of process is that? Do you get pro make-up artists to advise on colours, textures etc.?
LD: NKDb was created by a range of trained beauty professionals, encompassing make-up artists and cosmetic manufacturers. It took us two years from initially creating the NKDb range to the time of launch which highlights how much of in-depth process this was. It was also crucial to us that our products were not tested on animals, which is a way some brands can speed up the creation process. We were advised on the aesthetics of the products and how best to create a highly pigmented, long-lasting lip colour for example, but also the importance of selecting specialist ingredients. These ingredients include nourishing antioxidants such as vitamin A, E and C, collagen to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and wheat germ to improve the skin’s elasticity. The end result is a product that looks great and is on-trend, but which also is made of high quality formulations and kind to the skin.
WP: What was the steepest learning curve you’ve experienced since starting 4th Base Cosmetics?
LD: I think the steepest learning curve has been that not everything will be ready at the time you want it to be! Our launch date got pushed back which was frustrating, as I just wanted to see the products we’d work hard to make in the hands of consumers. However, you’ve got to look at the bigger picture when it comes to these things, and a postponed launch date was born out of good intentions as we wanted everything to be perfect. A key lesson I’ve learnt in founding 4th Base Cosmetics is that it pays to be patient.
WP: What are the brand’s best known, or best-selling, products?
LD: One of our key hero products is the Sheer-Glo Illuminating Lotion. Highlighters are so popular right now, and the sales of this product are a testament to this. The versatility of this product is that it can be worn on bare skin to add a subtle dewy glow, mixed with foundation, or used as the finishing product to complete your glam look. Another best-selling product is our Primer – it glides on flawlessly and creates a perfect base for the rest of the range.
WP: What are the company’s plans for 2017?
LD: Next year we’d like to continue to expand the business and sell into new territories. We’re looking to launch NKDb in Asia and the USA which is a challenge I can’t wait to get my teeth into.