As the go-to makeup brand for ladies who want to look fabulous and trendy without breaking the bank, NYX Cosmetics has grown to become a major cosmetic powerhouse, with over 10,000 beauty supply stores in the U.S. and a presence in over 40 international markets. We caught up with its founder, CEO and creative director, Toni Ko, who started the brand in her mid-20s in 1999 with the strong belief that looking fabulous means never compromising affordability.
We give you the inside scoop into Ko’s ‘can-do’ attitude, what inspired her to start her own business and her advice on how you can start your career in beauty. Also make sure to look out for our upcoming giveaway contest, where you can win a fabulous NYX prize pack!
Mochi: Tell us about yourself and how you got started in beauty.
Ko: My family has been in the beauty business since I was a teenager, so it was a natural progression to create my own line of color cosmetics.
Mochi: How did you start your own business, and what is your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Ko: I implemented a “just do it” attitude and mustered the courage to follow it through! My main advice is to have a true passion for your field of business. Don’t let money be your driving force—if you have passion and drive, success will follow. You also must possess an incredible knowledge of your industry and clients. If you’re not already an expert, make yourself one! To be successful, you must know the product or service you are selling 1000 percent better than your competitor.
Mochi: What is the story behind NYX? Can you explain what NYX represents and how it’s different from other beauty companies?
Ko: NYX gives you the tools to look fabulous without breaking the bank. When I started the company, I wanted to develop a makeup line that met the needs of my discriminating girlfriends. We wanted the impossible—makeup that was fun, on-trend, high-quality and affordable. I am not your typical CEO in a suit and tie sitting behind a desk. I find inspiration through varying cultures, food, travel, nature … I live, eat and breathe NYX cosmetics. It’s my essence.
Mochi: What inspired you to get involved with beauty?
Ko: Beauty is my passion. I believe that beauty is not just about looking good, but rather about feeling good. We feel more confident when we look good. Likewise, when we’re confident and self-assured, we smile more. It’s a positive domino effect—and one that I’m proud to be a part of.
Mochi: What are your top five must-have products?
Ko: Bronzer, mascara, eyebrow powder, lip gloss and a big smile.
Mochi: What new and exciting products and ideas can we see from NYX in the near future?
Ko: NYX will be launching a new, revamped website in the next few months. It is designed to be more interactive with our customers, hold forums, have a blog—basically be your go-to beauty site. Our loyal fans are our priority, so I’m thrilled this site will let us have a more personal interaction with them all.
Mochi: Who do you look up to in the world of beauty?
Ko: My beautiful friends. They gave me inspiration and support when I first launched the brand and continue to do so. I often name products after them!
Mochi: Do you have any advice for our readers who want to begin a career in beauty?
Ko: Embrace your passion. Begin your career in beauty (or any industry) because that’s where your heart lies and because you simply love it.