I had a blast chatting with Stacia Prince. Stacia is the International Buying Director at Cult Beauty, the trusted global gatekeeper of all things beauty. She is proud of Cult Beauty’s transparency when vetting beauty products, honest about where her sleepcare routine needs improvement and obsessed with sleep (us too!). Meet Stacia, an absolute gem.
Jessa (Nollapelli): Cult Beauty is the ultimate beauty destination for what’s upcoming. And as the Buying Director, how do you go about vetting skincare and beauty products?
Stacia: We are very fortunate that we already have fantastic brands that are partners, and in some ways, we rely on them to come up with the next big thing. We are always busy on social and reading trade journals and being very much abreast of what’s going on. We often find that a territory has its moments. We have celebrated Germany this year. We are looking to Japan and China next. We are just hungrily reading every bit of information we can. Having gained a fantastic reputation as a great launchpad for new brands, the brands, themselves, come to us as well.
Jessa: Cult Beauty is based in London, are you there often?
Stacia: I live in L.A. I am in the London office every six weeks.
Jessa: Long flight.
Stacia: Yes. It’s a day off. And the second part of that question, is very important. Every single thing that goes on the website is actually tried and tested by us. We really take the guesswork out for our customers.
Jessa: What about the beauty industry drew you in?
Jessa: I love that you just laughed.
Stacia: Well, I have been in the beauty industry for almost 39 years and it started when I was still at school. My mother was my inspiration for everything in life. She was a true taste maker and she had the most amazing creative and artistic flair. She was always passionate about makeup and very Avant Garde. I got an absolute passion for cosmetics and skincare from her.
Jessa: How did you find your way to Cult Beauty?
Stacia: That is a fortuitous thing. I met the two girls of Cult Beauty a few months after she [Stacia’s mother] passed. A girlfriend of mine who has her own press agency said to me ‘I think you should meet these two girls; they’ve got this brilliant concept and I think the brands you are working with would be perfect for Cult Beauty.’ I went to lunch and my intention was to work with them and the beauty brands I was working with. I went to meet them again the next day, and they said, would you come and join us? It was the furthest thing from my mind, and I said I can give you one day a week. And, eleven years later, here we are. It’s been amazing.
Jessa: You have really seen the company evolve.
Stacia: Oh gosh. I have never worked for a start-up before, ya know, my background has been quite corporate. Absolutely seen them evolve into now what is a global, let’s use the word, empire.
The one thing that remains the same is that we have always stuck to our original ethos which is to be the most trusted beauty retailer in the world. Now we are a very exciting mix, quite an eclectic mix really of niche brands, emerging brands and very commercially established brands, but all of them do what they say they are going to do and that’s the primary purpose of Cult Beauty.
Jessa: Is skincare Cult Beauty’s largest category?
Stacia: Skincare has always been our primary focus. We have never taken our eye off of skincare. It is definitely having another moment. Skincare is obviously, you would hope for any genuine beauty buff, their primary go-to. You can put all the makeup on in the world and it would look gorgeous, but it is not on a good base, it is not going to last.
Jessa: We, at Nollapelli, can fully relate to that with our innovative sheets being designed for a skin-conscious community. What other emerging skincare trends are you seeing?
Stacia: I think a lot of skincare is talking less about skin type and more problem solving. Skincare is talking about stress, and stresses caused by pollution, lack of sleep, aging or being in front of the computer all day. Skincare is getting a little bit more intelligent. And, quite rightly, brands are really focused on sustainability. The other trend for skincare, and again we have seen it before, it’s just a new mutation, of skincare that can do everything for women who haven’t got time for seven steps in their skincare routine.
Jessa: A lot of trends out there.
Stacia: I think the most important one, which is connected to sustainability, is transparency in skincare. This is something we keep track of. We’ve always looked at clean ingredients, long before anyone else was doing it, for absolutely every product that we sell. It’s about the source of raw ingredients, taking it back to the origins and being completely transparent about every aspect of it.
Jessa: Any skincare trends you wish would go away?
Stacia: People that are pulling the wool over our eyes. I want to see complete transparency.
Jessa: Let’s switch to sleep. You mentioned early in skincare trends about the shift toward problem-solving, and sleep is a solution for skin and beauty challenges. What is your sleepcare routine?
Stacia: Sleep is so important to me. I am probably overly obsessed about it. I generally have a hot bath, and I use something in there like an essential oil. I spray my pillow with a sleep mist. And, I do take CBD Be Calm caplet by a brand called Plant People, which is amazing. Oh, and I do some sort of exercise before I go to sleep, a few hours before, a hike around 5pm if I went to bed around 9pm. I am often culpable of watching television in bed or working on my computer while I am in bed. I know both of those are terrible for you. I do a mix of good and bad.
Jessa: I appreciate the honesty! I love that you mentioned exercise. Sleepcare can start hours before you go to sleep.
Stacia: Yes, absolutely.
Jessa: From a beauty perspective, why is sleep important? People don’t always connect sleep to beauty.
Stacia: I know, I find that so amazing because many people are very conscious about their nighttime routine but can’t link sleep to it. Sleep is so important! I think people are becoming a bit more educated towards it. Knowing your skin itself, regenerates at night.
Jessa: What is one thing you do for your skin every day?
Stacia: My absolute, absolute, absolute that I would never not do is really cleanse my skin well.