I’ll be honest, I suck at nail art. Painting cute little designs on my nails is just not in my wheelhouse of creativity or patience. So when I heard about Espionage Cosmetics nail wraps I was over the moon! I got my first set, Time Lord, back in April and wore them for my Doctor Who themed birthday. Since then I’ve been a fan of Espionage Cosmetics, so much so that I got their beta box! And now I’ve finally asked the co-founder of EC for an interview, so without further ado…
Brewing a Business
Since 2011, our team of determined nerd misfits have been constantly busy with crazy “what if?!?” ideas, crazier product research and marketing strategy, and lots of mad-sciencing. We’re constantly dreaming up new product lines and finding new ways to reach and respond to our customers. Killer convention booths, special retail events, online promotions, and the most colorful, creative Instagram feed and followers—we do it all with the loving obsession of your garden variety nerd fanatic.
The Espionage Cosmetics All-Nerd Team
Our company is run by an all-pro, all-nerd team that is passionate about all of the geeky stuff in the ‘verse. We believe make-up is just one more way to feel amazing about your stylish, nerd-tastic self! Our goal is to create a space in the world where makeup is not intimidating and perfection is not required. Instead we hope to keep pushing the message towards a larger audience that makeup is supposed to be applied however makes YOU feel amazing. Not what beauty gurus, society, or even your best friend insist are the requirement.
A Love of Fandoms
The Espionage Cosmetics cosmetics, nail art, bath bombs, and other products are were all created to fuse our beloved fandoms and our adoration of bright colors, sparkles, and more. We are our own target market and so we construct only products that we wish existed for nerds like us! Every time someone shops on our website, purchases product at one of our convention booths, or talks about us on social media they are contributing to our experience points that inch us towards being able to create more jobs for fellow, professional, geeks who are looking for a place to call home. We have the best job in the world.
1. What inspired the creation of espionage cosmetics?
As a working makeup artist I was already creating or using products that could be used in multiple ways. It is, simply put, more efficient. So when I formulated espionage, everything shadows to have multiple uses. The nerd-themes came in when I signed us up for the inaugural year of Geek Girl Con. We released our Gamer Girl & Browncoats collections which were themed for things that I loved so much about being a nerd. They went over SO fantastically that I realized no one thought it was weird to couple fandom and cosmetics. So we began to move entirely in that direction.
2. How do you come up with your designs?
Every product you see Espionage release is essentially a love letter from us to one of our many fandoms. The games, characters, storylines, worlds we care about and have invested our time into. We take what we love about those things and infuse it into our products. We just create what we want to buy. We are our own target market.
3. How long does it take from idea to final product?
Because we are a smaller company our turn around is a lot quicker. For shadows it’s 1-2 months, nail wrap designs its 4-9 weeks, and lip serums its 2-3 months.
4. What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever made?
Everything shadows: Borderlands Collection
Nail wraps: Mystical Mane and Nebulae
Lip Serums: Soulless and Cold Blooded Killer
Aside from specific products my favorite things are how we have come up with to convey to a larger market why our product is the way we talk to it w/ potential customers and have navigated our way, after 10s of thousands of interactions in person, to the bullet points that make their eyes light up. Seriously, the best thing in the world is seeing someone’s face when we say “Nerd Makeup” and explain that we hide easter eggs in all of our packaging, design, even on our website that people connected to that fandom will really get!
5. What’s your most popular piece?
Nebulae nail wraps and the Browncoats collection are our bestselling!
6. You’ve got some fabulous nail wraps! I love the Doctor Who one! Can you share what’s your next design?
We do about 10 new designs per round. This round we have a collaboration with Wil Wheaton, two new licensed sets with our friends at Privateer Press for War Machine & Hordes, and of course our newly released work with Kelly Sue Deconnick for “Bitch Planet” and Matt Fraction for “Sex Criminals”. Those sets in particular are close to my heart because I love the comics, and the stories got picked up by Comics Alliance, The Mary Sue, Fashionably Geek, and other heavy hitters. It was awesome to see that people were as excited as were!
7. Tell us about your new subscription box!
Currently the sub box is in Beta, but it will go live to the public in December and ships January 2016! It’s $25 (+shipping & tax) and is worth more than $40 per month. There are two things that this box will do: It will allow us to continually introduce brand new products every month. From new everything shadows, to nail wraps, to serums on a more consistent basis. Additionally when we launch in January it will also include 1-2 items from another geeky company that we think you should know about!