There are myriad beauty brands to choose from in 2014. And customers have their own wants and needs that extend beyond performance. For instance, many look for brands that are organic, cut out preservatives or are cruelty-free. But for the average woman, sorting through the sea of options can take serious time, and then there’s the issue of squeezing in time to visit the makeup counter to purchase the product.
Online shopping has clearly impacted the category in this respect. Now there’s another option: Sindulge, an online beauty destination with an emphasis on cruelty-free that offers a “live” consultation feature in which a trained professional makeup artist and skin care expert dispenses advice so that shoppers can skip the trip to the makeup counter.
According to co-founders Jaivin Karnani and Dinesh Mirchandani, Sindulge “aims to take personal beauty to the next level for users everywhere.”
“We both saw the need to provide a more customized approach to beauty online. We saw the proliferation of YouTube, blogs and many self-help beauty options on the web, but felt that the key missing piece was providing personalized recommendations to today’s busy men and women,” Jaivin Karnani, co-founder, told Happi.com. “Through our live video consultations, we are able to fulfill the holy grail of web shopping by creating an environment that is comfortable for our customer and connect her with our expert beauty and skin care advisors.”
“Our main goal was to replicate the in-store experience as much as possible, while removing the key negative of the beauty business—the pushy salesperson.”
To create the Sindulge, Karnani and Mirchandani worked closely with celebrity makeup artist Troy Jensen, whose clients include Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Megan Fox.
“We look to learn about the customer’s everyday lifestyle, and their existing beauty and skin care routine,” noted Karnani. “Through the video consultation, our consultants are able to more accurately discern the skin type and skin tone of our customer and make more accurate recommendations. A lot of other beauty sites rely on customer reviews and live chat—our video consultations provide that one true personalized experience, coupled with the experts on our team.”
The once-a-month consultations are offered in 15-minute increments, where one of three makeup artists will focus on goals, application and lifestyle.
According to Mirchandani, initially Sindulge focused on a membership option, but they “learned that our customers were looking more for an ‘as needed’ option. We are now offering consultations in 15 minute increments for $15.”
The first consult is free “to allow our customers to get a feel for the service and see the value that our beauty and skin care advisors provide,” said Mirchandani.
Users can view consultants’ profiles and videos, before selecting a particular consultant. Sindulge has compiled a team of three beauty mavens, each with an impressive resume in the beauty industry.
Sindulge’s corporate team, which boasts experience in brand management and finance, also prides itself on sourcing great products.
“We spend a lot of time researching the brands we carry to make sure that they not only meet our objectives of being cruelty-free, but support the mission toward being cruelty-free in the industry,” said Mirchandani. “Our whole team at Sindulge are avid animal lovers and we share this passion with our customers every day. The need for animal testing is a thing of the past, and we encourage brands we curate to work toward this goal and as a path to being a part of our Sindulge family.”
Some the beauty products offered by Sindulge include Clarisonic, Kevyn Aucoin, Dr. Brandt and Cargo.
Brands continue to approach Sindulge, according to Karnani, who says his team spends “a lot of time to vet them out to make sure both the brand and our ideals are a great fit.”
Karnaniand Mirchandani are proud of the success Sindulge has achieved so far; the site only officially launched in June.
“We came off a tremendous year and nearly hit the $1 million mark in sales for 2013; a remarkable achievement over a short period of time. We are also excited to see our consultations resonating with our customers and saw a significant uptick in usage,” noted Karnani. “We are looking forward to a great 2014 and continuing on with the positive momentum built from last year.”