It’s no secret that Texas is quickly becoming a beauty haven as local indie brands constantly find their way into big markets. But of course, behind every successful brand is a story to tell about a mission to change the world. Dallas-native Amanda McIntosh did just that when she created the Mitty Blackout for Take My Face Off, which landed her a deal with beauty giant Sephora. However, the beauty expert continues to overcome personal obstacles to provide top-notch products that redefine skin care while giving back to the environment.
Outside of the beauty industry, McIntosh faced problems with her own skin, which tended to be oily and acne-prone. After trying everything from astringents, soaps, toners, topical creams, solutions and spot treatments, she felt that she could never get her skin clean enough. But, she had no idea that it was causing her skin to overreact and produce more oil due to the harsh ingredients in most skin care products. Even disposable wipes contained preservatives known to cause reactions and most are woven through with plastic, which doesn’t break down in landfills or sewer systems.
“I’ve talked to countless dermatologists, aestheticians, and consumers,” said McIntosh. “What I discovered is that most people are just as confused about facial cleansing as I used to be.”
After extensive research and consideration, she learned that a face should never be squeaky-clean. Slightly moist and tacky is best, even for oily skin. This led to a larger strategy, a rebranding of Take My Face Off, and the filing of her first patent application for fabric-based cleansing tools. Looking for the perfect textile that grabbed makeup without tugging on the skin, she fell upon a Korean fabric that she shaped to create a simple, yet effective remover.
Within the first months of launching Take My Face Off, a contract manufacturer noticed the brand at Cosmoprof, the huge three-ring circus of beauty trade shows. That manufacturer worked with the Sephora Collection and thought the brand would love the ultra-soft eye makeup remover, the Mitty Blackout. She was right and after a long process, the product hit the shelves of Sephora, online and in-store, all over the nation (p.s., It works with any cleanser, but McIntosh recommends pairing it with apricot kernel oil).
As a successful indie beauty brand, McIntosh knows the struggles of growing a brand all too well. In fact, half the people she talks to about her company still thinks she’s crazy, while the other half thinks she’s a genius. Either way, it’s not stopping her from growing her business into a skin care empire.
“I grew up in Denton, which is full of creative, interesting people. And Dallas is stylish and sophisticated. And Texans don’t wait for people to tell them how to do something — they just do it. Basically, being a Texan has given me everything I need,” said McIntosh.
When asked what advice McIntosh would give to other locals wanting to make a mark in the trade, she pointed out that beauty is an innovative industry that welcomes unique points of view. She recommended getting a start by reading beauty publications, joining professional organizations, going to networking events, and doing lots of researching in the area of interest. Eventually, it comes down to taking that first leap of faith.
“If you see yourself as a founder, know that new, ‘indie’ companies are hot commodities right now,” said McIntosh. “Don’t wait, just jump in.”
Images courtesy of Amanda McIntosh.