Benefit Cosmetics’ Executive Vice President Julie Bell has been with the company for over 13 years, and leads the global product innovation and marketing team.
In short, she’s the brains behind cult favourite beauty products such as They’re Real and POREfessional. Recently, she touched touched down in Sydney for the launch of their latest mascara Roller Lash, a lifting and curling mascara literally inspired by hair rollers. Read on for our chat with Julie about her favourite products, best beauty tips and more.
Tell us about your experience at Benefit.
When I first came to Benefit, owners Jean and Jane described the brand as a big locker room. Everybody wanted to talk and share, and we wanted to have product names that are very much our DNA, but describe what the product does. At the end of the day, our overall philosophy is “make buying and wearing makeup super fun, easy and instant”. If you have to think about it too much, then it’s too much work.
There’s two key lovers to our brand – there’s the DNA, and there’s the laughter, the fun… but it’s also about the products. We’re super proud and serious about creating real innovation. We don’t use the word innovation when it’s not right, some things are just for fun.
We don’t go all the way on the first date… we just want to sell a couple of products each time and feel good, have fun with it.
What are some of your favourite Benefit beauty products, and what inspired their creation?
They’re Real Push Up Liner was inspired by my personal problem – people used to make fun of me because I couldn’t put liner on. I thought, if I have this problem, how many others feel the same way? So, we created a groundbreaking liner that is easy to use and stays in place.
POREfessional is a great story as well – our CEO came into our office one day and asked if we had been reading the reviews on the product. It all clicked… we needed a name that truly described what the product was about, and pores are a universal problem that everyone can relate to.
Puff Off was something that goes against what Benefit is all about. We’re usually bold and girly, but the name Puff Off is something a little naughtier. In some countries they might not understand what it means, but it’s still so damn funny.
Here at Benefit, we love storytelling. We understand people love products, and want to know everything else that goes on behind it.
What are your global best sellers, and why do you think it is?
They’re Real Mascara and Liner are our top two sellers, followed by Porefessional, Gimme Brow and Hoola (blush). The only one that’s different is Dandelion (blush) – this is a best seller in Asia as they all want something lighter in colour. It shows us that girls have the same problem. Everyone wants bigger and sexier eyes, everyone wants flawless-looking skin, everyone wants it nice and easy, and they love our tips and tricks – we have little booklets that go with each product so you can stick the instructions up on your mirror.
What is your beauty secret?
Laughter is the best cosmetic, and real beauty comes from within. Makeup just gives you more confidence, and makes you more self-empowered.
What’s your best beauty tip?
I am truly obsessed with pores. They are the single factor that determines whether you have flawless skin or not. Address your pore issues, and deal with them.
What’s your favourite Benefit product, and why?