Erin Jung shares her journey as a young entrepreneur running her own makeup line.
Erin Jung, a YouTuber with an almost 10,000 strong subscriber-ship, is the proud founder of Candela Cosmetics – a budding cosmetic company in Singapore. Erin has been posting makeup tutorials since the young age of 11, and decided to start her own makeup line 6 years later.
The inspiration to start a beauty brand sparked from the frustration of being unable to find products that suited her skin. “I just couldn’t find anything that I love because my skin was sensitive and they [the makeup products] made me break out,” Erin recalled. Eventually, she had to resort to available natural makeup brands, but was sorely disappointed by the poor color payoff. As a result, the determined 17-year-old decided to take matters into her own hands and created her very own cosmetics from scratch.
Her brainchild, Candela Cosmetics, boasts naturally derived ingredients such as coconut water and mango butter. The brand was off to a good start in May this year when it revealed 3 new products at a launch party—Luxe Moisture Lipstick, Invigorating Coconut Water Foundation and Perfecting Crème Blush. The launch was attended by more than 30 media guests including Expat Living and LiveWell magazine. Currently, the foundation and blush has been taken off the website, as they are still trying to perfect the formula to give customers a better product experience.
Of course, it has not always been a smooth-sailing journey for Erin. The young entrepreneur found it challenging when people did not take her seriously in the dog-eat-dog world of entrepreneurship. When she first started out, she was met with a lot of doubts and skepticism from the people around her. “There were a lot of people who told me that I was too young or you know, all sorts of things like ‘Oh, that’s a cool hobby you have’.”
Securing finances to start the business was also another worry for the teenager. Despite her parents funding and income generated from her long-time YouTube career, the sum was not sufficient to start a company. Erin had to take up a part-time job at a hotel gift shop, clocking in countless hours—just so she could realize her dream.
In the beginning, her attempts to formulate her own cosmetic products were a failure. For example, some of the formulae would be too wet, too dry, or even burn in the mixing process. However, that did not stop her from working diligently on developing the products in her chemistry teacher’s laboratory. “I would go [to the laboratory] almost everyday or every other day just to practice and play [around] with colors,” recounted Erin.
She also devoted her senior year in high school to studying the science of makeup in a bid to increase her expertise. During her time as a final year student, Erin conducted extensive research on cosmetic chemistry and skin biology so that she could improve the quality of her products. After many rounds of trial and error, she can now make beauty products confidently. She even has her own manufacturing facility where she formulates products using ingredients approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Lifestyle blogger June Fong, who mentors Erin in public relations, said Erin is a very driven person. “She’s only 17 years old but she already has a very good idea of how her brand is going to be like—what is the mission, vision and what it stands for.” She also added that Erin “acts as her own guinea pig” when it came to experimenting and testing makeup products.
After facing so much disbelief in her ventures, she considers her biggest achievement as being able to break that barrier where society says: “No, you can’t do this” or “you know, you’re too young”. Erin hopes that through her brand, she is able to “inspire positivism and brightness”.
The future for Candela Cosmetics seems bright. They have been collaborating with retail stores like Naiise to sell products in their stores, and are expanding into some retail stores in the United States soon. However right now, they are focusing on having the product mass-produced and getting the formula perfect before they penetrate the worldwide retail market.
As for Erin, she will be studying Science and Management at a university in California this fall, which is relevant and useful to her cosmetic business. While this means that she has to shuttle back and forth between the 2 countries, she is positive that she will be able to juggle both her studies and work. “As stressful as entrepreneurship is sometimes, I really do think that it is for me. I love it,” she gushed.
To girls who aspire to turn their dreams into reality, here’s a piece of advice from Erin. “First of all, do it! Second of all—once you’ve done it, don’t give up on it. There are times when it gets bad, but for every bad thing, comes way better days after!”
Stand the chance to win a 15 color eye-shadow palette, together with a 12-piece makeup brush set. “Like” & “Share” our post on the Facebook page, and answer the following question:
“Why did Erin start creating her own cosmetics?”
This contest closes on Nov 16, 2016.
About the Author: Isabelle Tan
A self-proclaimed stationery lover, Isabelle finds joy in collecting cute notebooks, stickers and washi tapes. She also likes to catch up on the latest Korean dramas or work on D.I.Y. projects (even though she’s terrible at them) in her free time.