The co-founder of Too Faced talks billion-dollar success, working in a salad bar and raunchy new product launches

Started from the bottom, now Jerrod Blandino is here...

12 Apr 2018

Do we really need an introduction for the man who brought us Better Than Sex, a chocolate gold eyeshadow palette and a unicorn-inspired festival collection?

Jerrod Blandino is the creative force behind beloved beauty brand Too Faced. Married to his business partner and co-founder, Jeremy Johnson, the duo have been growing their now multi-billion dollar business for almost 20 years.

Who would've thought it all started in a salad bar...

Starting from the bottom

Like many of us who started our careers wiping tables and working the till, Jerrod's first ever job was working in the salad bar at Chucky Cheese.

"My best friend at the time called me and said 'why don’t we go get jobs today?' and I was like 'why the hell would we do that?'", he recalls. "I quit two weeks later, but I had the most fabulous salad bar of all salad bars, it was really beautiful... until people would come along and ruin it."

So how do you go from picking the tomato out of the lettuce to running your own multi-billion dollar makeup company?

"I fell into cosmetics by complete accident", says Jerrod. "But once I did, I instantly found my place in the world."

Starting behind the counter at Esteé Lauder, Jerrod quickly became the best salesperson in his region – in the smallest store.

"I got to instil self-esteem into women every day and experiment with colour in artistic ways; it just clicked."

Coincidentally, Jeremy also worked for Estée Lauder, before the duo decided to branch out and start their own boutique brand. It was during the peak 90s makeup era of brown lipsticks and beige everything. Enter: the crazy colourful world of Too Faced.

Too Faced today

Too Faced was bought by The Estée Lauder Companies in 2016 for a whopping $1.45 billion dollars (US), but Jerrod is still heavily involved in every aspect of the business.

"I still touch everything from products to packaging, copy, t-shirts, EVERYTHING!", he says.

"My most favourite thing to do is create products and develop them through all stages", he says. "I love the creative process. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn't be creative. It feeds me."

Jerrod revealed that when it comes to his products, Better Than Sex is definitely the favourite child. A product of complete labour and love:

"It was the most agonising, difficult and painful product we ever created", he says. "But it ended up being the most wonderful and successful product we’ve ever done."

So what will be the brand's next prodigy?

"I would say we have the best bronzers, we work so hard to create different textures and shades", says Jerrod.

Newness and super-secret launches

A big fan of the surprise Instagram-launch, learning what's next for Too Faced is almost impossible, but Jerrod did let us in on a few secrets...

"I’m bringing out a new super coverage version of the Born This Way concealer for sculpting," he says.

And possibly the greatest gift he could ever give: "I’m coming out this Christmas with ‘A year of great sex’: One kit that keeps you sexy all year long."

This will involve a year supply of none other than the Better Than Sex mascara – and stocking fillers don't get much better than that.

Skincare is also very important to Jerrod, who says: "Why should something on your face not make you look good when you take it off?"

So we wouldn't be surprised to see serums and moisturiser in the Too Faced future.

How Jerrod copes with running a buisness

While creating new formulas, choosing products names and picking out pretty packaging may sound like a breeze, running your own beauty brand is not without its challenges.

"One of my best friends told me 'don’t ever let what you do get meshed into who you are' and I would say that’s the biggest challenge."

"Because I love what I do so much and because we’ve been blessed and are growing so fast, it does start to overtake everything that you do."

So how does he deal with the constant brain ticking?

"Well, I'm still trying to figure that out", he says. "I would say my relationship with Jeremy and my family is my touchstone."

If the thought of working full-time with your partner has you reaching for the Xanax, Jerrod shares this secret:

"We rarely, rarely talk about work at home. We take our dog for a walk on the beach every night and we just try to feel grateful and disconnect."

Sound advice for your own success

If you're looking start your own business, whatever it may be, take this leaf out of Jerrod's book:

"I don’t worry about other people, I don’t worry about other brands, I don’t focus on negative stuff, I just worry about what we’re doing and try to be the best that we can be."

"Don’t feel like anyone needs to fail in order for you to succeed, focus on what you’re doing and be the best you can be and that’s how you win."