Driving home for the holidays? Listen to our latest podcast with Beautycon.

Nicole Quinn
3 min readDec 11, 2018
Pictured: Moj Mahdara, CEO of Beautycon.

I recently had the chance to sit down with the CEO of Beautycon, Moj Mahdara. Beautycon is a media platform that combines live events, influencer marketing and cosmetic commerce with events in LA, NY, and London. Under Moj’s leadership, Beautycon has transformed from an invite-only influencer event to a B2C cosmetics summit that has created a cult following of its own. This past July the event included over 30,000 people, 200 brands, and over 400 influencers and traditional talent. The New Yorker has described Beautycon as “where Sephora meets Coachella.”

Source: Women’s Wear Daily

Moj was one of the early thought leaders in the influencer marketing space, and she has a real understanding of the power of content creators in the beauty landscape. We sat down to discuss her journey from newcomer to CEO, how celebrities are disrupting the beauty landscape, and the power of authenticity in the beauty world.

Below are a few highlights and our full conversation is available on the Lightspeed podcast, Tomorrow, Built Today

On what gave Moj conviction about Beautycon:

“I saw the line for Beautycon was a mile and a half long. It was a marketers fantasy.”

“After being involved in hundreds of brands in my career, I’d never seen women line up at 4 in the morning for something like this. I’d seen that for music, and for sneakers, but I’d never seen it for beauty.”

Her experience as CEO of Beautycon:

“Our community is an ethnic and diverse audience that mostly feels underrepresented by traditional media.”

“We’ve done our fair share of pivots and I’m proud of those pivots — we’ve shown that we’re tenaciously able to dip our toes into verticals and see if they work for us or not.”

The power of curation:

“People are looking for new methods of discovery — that’s why brands like Goop and Girlboss are important. People count on curatorial voices that bring them authentic stories. There is still power in the editorial process.”

How influencers and celebrity brands fit into the larger beauty landscape:

“Influencers have become the wind behind disrupting the beauty industry and that’s why you’re seeing exponential growth within these new beauty brands.”

“If a company like Fenty can do hundreds of millions in revenue, and Kylie is doing $250M in revenue on a bad year, then the game is changed. The game is totally changed.”

On the Beautycon Consumer:

“The consumer now has permission to be unique and self-expressive. We’re not going back to pantyhose.”

“I think women have been taken out of the box. There’s no putting them back in.”

Advice for founders and creators:

“Stay close to your consumer. If you’re not obsessed with your consumer, if you’re not scouring comments, reviews and hashtags, you’re in the wrong business.”

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Nicole Quinn

Investor at Lightspeed, Stanford alum, Former Consumer Analyst at Morgan Stanley and British 100m sprinter