The cosmetics company has invested heavily in technology since its 2018 U.S. relaunch. Last year, it launched Kenzza, an app geared toward microinfluencers. Shortly after, it acquired Israeli tech start-up NeoWize.
Over the past two weeks, Il Makiage has tasked its tech and product teams with creating a platform for a virtual beauty school that would allow the company to employ 200 beauty freelancers impacted by COVID-19. Il Makiage aims to hire makeup artists to teach up to eight classes a day at a rate of $25 an hour. The classes will be made available to customers for free.
As a direct-to-consumer brand, Il Makiage generates 99 percent of its revenue through its own web site. The business is on track to exceed $100 million in sales in 2020, according to Oran Holtzman, Il Makiage’s chief executive officer.
“We know how fortunate and lucky we are in this moment, so we felt this is our time to help and support the makeup artist community,” said Holtzman. “We are asking what can be done for the community, but also what can be done to sustain our users and customers. Thousands of makeup artists around the country lost their jobs with massive retailers closing. We are simply offering them a job, this time online.”
The coronavirus has caused a wave of store closures, furloughs, pay cuts and job losses within the beauty industry. Spas and salons have been forced to temporarily close due to government mandates. Some retailers have committed to paying their employees despite the closures, but for freelancers, the cashflow has dried up.
Il Makiage’s virtual beauty school will give hundreds of freelance makeup artists adversely impacted by the coronavirus a source of income — though, Holtzman noted, the company is not planning to poach any makeup artists.
“I don’t see an issue recruiting [makeup artists] because there are so many,” said Holtzman. “And with social media today, I think it’s going to be easy, especially due to the fact that it’s helping the community.”
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