HOW A 20-YEAR-OLD IS MIXING HER WAY TO MAKEUP MAGIC IN THE MAGIC CITY
by Jannely Espinal
Sophy Cosmetics is a fresh new makeup brand that just launched in Miami’s saturated makeup market. Founder Sophia Perez, just 20 years old, plans to defy traditional makeup norms with a kaleidoscopic selection of skin tones. The independent beauty brand offers vegan, cruelty-free, and luxury makeup. Sophy creates and manufactures her beauty line inside her parents’ home in Hialeah, Florida, about 20 minutes west of Miami.
Sophy’s background as a freelance makeup artist gave her the knowledge base to build her own makeup brand. She’s strengthening that business “foundation” with a public relations degree. At night, the burgeoning beauty boss transforms from student to makeup lab technician. Her parents’ home is a bona fide makeup factory, with lip-glosses, body oil, brushes, and highlighters.
The concept behind Sophy Cosmetics is simple: Offer affordable makeup that caters to both genders. Sophy has been a freelance makeup artist for three years. Since high school, she has been offering makeup services to friends – that pay-it-forward attitude built her a loyal client base that now buys her products.
Beauty products come at a high cost, though, and Sophy realized this early on. She spent months combing through YouTube videos and Google searches for ways to create homemade eye shadows and highlighters. Through continual refinement of her lab experiments, Sophy brought new products to market that met her aforementioned goal of catering to both genders and at an affordable price.
Sophy Cosmetics is currently sold online at sophycosmetics.com and sells for between $10-$48. Her bestselling product is Champagne Mami, a 37mm compact highlighter with a rose gold hue that is handmade with love and passion. Sophy Cosmetics products are non-scented and are produced in a highly sanitized environment.
Sophy believes in “the glow from within” and she believes every woman can precisely match her skin tone. Her experimentation also enabled Sophy to achieve an even more elusive goal, offering a wide spectrum of shades and colors.
“I just started crushing eye shadows and mixing colors together,” explains Sophia. Sophia believes that when a company starts manufacturing in high quantity it loses the cruelty-free and organic aspects.
Keeping her products organic is easy: Sophia is proud to be the sole creator of her products. By measuring every drop and ingredient, Sophy knows exactly whether her makeup is staying true to form. She uses jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, apricot oil, and fractions of coconut oil. Sophy purchases her ingredients from TKB Trading, a company that sells high-end raw materials, packaging, and starter kits to beauty starters. The company has been certified organic by FD&C and D&C and has more than 5,000 positive reviews on the quality of ingredients.
Keeping her products cruelty free is easy, too: It’s all about the supplier. Many beauty brands claim to be cruelty-free, such as Beauty for Real and Wet and Wild. The products that Sophy purchases from TKB Trading are designated as cruelty-free. As evidence, the animal testing statement on TKB’s website cites that “the color additives we sell have not been the subject of animal testing for cosmetic purposes by or on behalf of this company since 12/31/1990.” TKB takes an additional step by regularly contacting its suppliers for updated Animal Non-Testing Declarations.
Sophy acknowledges that the cruelty-free and organic angles appeal to a limited audience. To attract mainstream beauty buyers, she knows she will need to step up her game. One example, she says, is that her cosmetics need prettier packaging and technology like Beauty for Real (BFR) LED lip-glosses.
In addition to packaging challenges, the makeup maven continues to test different ingredients so that she can offer more shades for different skin tones. She has promoted her beauty brand at the Miami Expo and currently sells her cosmetics at Shop Koveted, a fashion boutique in Miami Lakes.
As the brand continues to branch out to other stores, Sophia plans to build an ambassador and internship program so she can focus on the production of the products. She continues to promote her products through Instagram and Twitter where her customers can keep updated about new beauty creations.