Jerrod Blandino’s millennial makeup empire is going strong with Gen Z, too. He says entrepreneurs need to remember 4 things, most of all be unique.

It’s nearly impossible to enter a beauty retailer today and not see Too Faced products lined up on the shelves.

The brand, cofounded by Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson in 1998, is known for its millennial pink aesthetic, “Better than Sex” mascara, and glittering eye shallow pallets. In 2016, the brand was bought by Estee Lauder for a staggering $1.45 billion.

Ironically, Blandino used to work at the Estee Lauder beauty counter back in the 1990s, a time when he says “everyone was taking makeup way too seriously.” 

“It was very regimented, very controlled, very step one, two, three, four,” he told Business Insider. “I just realized very quickly, being a guy working behind the counter, that they were missing the fun, creative dream aspect of beauty.” 

He said his experience behind the counter inspired him to cofound a brand that would inspire people to “dream and to reinvent themselves every day to express themselves.” 

“This is all about giving you self-confidence in the world to go conquer and do anything you want to do,” cofounder Jeremy Johnson told Business Insider.

The branding of Too Faced has allowed it to remain a millennial favorite for over two decades. It’s one of the best-selling makeup brands at Sephora, and has an acclaimed mascara that, for instance, won the 2020 Allure reader’s choice poll. But the brand is proving Gen Z-friendly, too. It has 13.2 million followers on Instagram, and had a lip plumper go viral on TikTok back in the spring. 

“The world’s getting smaller — the internet and social media, it’s brought us all so much closer together,” Blandino said. “These social stars, these kids on YouTube, these fabulous and amazing makeup artists, these boys and men, who are wearing makeup in their own way — it’s just such a whole new, amazing world of beauty that we’re just so thrilled to be a part of.” 

But of course there are some aspects of business that are universal, and Blandino shared four pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to create their own robust brands. 

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