Flipping the script on the makeup industry, Pound Cake cosmetics delivers the first liquid lipsticks specialized for various skin and lip tones.
Finding the perfect lipstick for your coloring can be a challenge, especially in a less than inclusive beauty industry. To end the makeup woes, Temple University alumni Camille Bell and Johnny Velazquez launched Pound Cake (poundcakecosmetics.com), a cosmetic brand that provides Black, curvy and queer representation in the beauty industry through revolutionary lipsticks. As a woman of color, Bell spent years frustrated with vibrantly-hued cosmetics that dissipated into her skin. Regardless, her love for makeup endured, and after connecting with Velazquez in a theater makeup course, the two began to defy the industry's whitewashed “universal” tones, one Cake Batter lipstick at a time. In 2016, about a year after Bell graduated, the team launched their award-winning cosmetics line, and despite no prior experience in cosmetics, the products sold out in under 48 hours. Customers finally found that elusive, perfect vegan lipstick that popped with true red cherry on top—the product has even garnered national attention in a recent spotlight on Good Morning America. Here, Bell takes a moment to discuss the company’s journey, current goals and the future.
What effects do you think your brand can have on the beauty industry?
The cosmetics industry is still anti-Black in the way it creates products. We’d like to let people’s diverse opinions and voices be heard while bringing people in as decision makers. We are hiring Black, full-figured and trans models for our photoshoots, but also as our partners and influencers. We want folks to know that we will literally argue tooth and nail for their right to exist in beauty spaces.
Has the response to Pound Cake exceeded your expectations?
Johnny and I couldn't have been more excited to receive an Allure Best of Beauty Award two weeks before we even launched our product to the world. To be chosen as one of 318 products was a moment we will forever be grateful for.
Do you have any new releases in the works?
Right now we're focusing on our red Cake Batter lipsticks. We do have some big partnerships coming up, so know that we're planting a lot of seeds right now, and soon they'll all bloom!
What do you hope for the future of Pound Cake?
Our long-term goal is to expand our products and offerings internationally, not just online, but in accredited retailers across the globe. We may even want to have our own showroom to expand our direct to consumer efforts.