Less than two years ago Tricia Cusden started Look Fabulous Forever, a makeup range designed specifically for the faces of older women. Initially the business model centred on in-home makeover parties, but the launch of just two videos on YouTube radically altered the course of the company and its approach to marketing and sales. Thanks to digital, today British-made Look Fabulous Forever products are bought by women in all corners of the world, from Alaska to Saudi Arabia.
Tricia Cusden, Founder and Managing Director of Look Fabulous Forever, says that Google has played a role in the direction of her company since the beginning. "I actually Googled 'cosmetics manufacturer' and 'e-fulfilment companies'", she remembers about the very earliest days of the business, which caters to women looking for makeup specifically designed for older skin.
Tricia says she decided to launch the brand at the age of 65 based on "a hunch that there would be lots of women like me". The Look Fabulous Forever philosophy is that age is no barrier to looking great. It's not about looking younger; it's about looking better. The company describes its approach as 'pro-age', with a product range that is specifically formulated to suit more mature faces, eyes and lips.
After the launch, Tricia made two video tutorials and put them on YouTube "just as an experiment". She didn't really believe that older women were using the platform. "How wrong was I!" she exclaims. "We suddenly started to get a thousand views a day, sometimes more. And our business just took off."
The response from the worldwide YouTube audience had a huge impact on Tricia's direction. "It made me reassess," she says. "I had started it as a makeover party business, so I was going to go out and sell personally. Suddenly I didn't need to do that because we had so many customers coming literally from everywhere in the world — 50% from America."
What would she say has been YouTube's contribution to the growth of Look Fabulous Forever? "To be honest, without the digital revolution — of which YouTube is an enormous part — this business would not be possible," she affirms. "YouTube informs what we do; it is our voice to the world, it's our platform for getting our message out there. It's absolutely essential to what we do."
Today there are nearly 30 tutorials on Tricia's channel, with the most popular video having been viewed more than 350,000 times. "The thing about video is that it's extremely visual — and makeup is also visual," she observes. "Video is an extremely powerful tool for educating people and showing them how things work."
Today the company is going from strength to strength, with both views and global sales continuing to skyrocket. In this context, Tricia admits there's one more Google tool that she relies on day after day. "We're on Google Analytics all the time," she laughs. "It's so exciting!"