How to work with Beauty Boxes: An interview with Jeannie Jarnot

2016-02 how to work with beauty boxes

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jeannie Jarnot, Founder and Chief Hero at Beauty Heroes. Beauty Heroes is a monthly non-toxic beauty subscription box service that is perfectly curated for your beauty needs. Rotating between skin, body, sun and hair care products, each Hero Product fits the season and delivers results.

Beauty Heroes

Jeannie and her team choose one clean beauty company each month to bring you the freshest batch of their star performer. By introducing one full-size product at a time they slow down the beauty discovery process enough for you to fully experience the benefits of each month’s selection, get to know the ingredients that make it effective and meet the makers behind each product.

We spoke to Jeannie about her experiences at Beauty Heroes and also to ask for her top tips for getting your skincare products into a beauty box scheme.


Jeannie JarnotHi Jeannie, when and why did you start Beauty Heroes?

I came up with the concept for Beauty Heroes over 10 years ago when I was a Spa Director working in luxury spas. Early on in my career I had discovered that there were toxic ingredients in the products we were using in our spa and I went down a path to clean up our face, body nail and hair care lines.  Through that process, I started working with ultra clean brands that were made by incredible people.  That really inspired me.

I was also seeing a trend in spas where women were being sold beauty in excess, spending a lot of money not only on products with harmful ingredients but that they didn’t understand how to use. I would often hear them complain that they had a lot of product they didn’t use and that it was a waste of money. I also met a lot of women were confused about ingredients, products and the benefits they offered their skin.  That led me to become passionate about healthy beauty.

In my spa, I adopted a sales-through-education approach to skincare that would teach our clients about healthy skincare, ingredients that might address their specific skin conditions and a slower approach to product discovery. We encouraged them to simplify their beauty routine, and focus only on the products that really deliver results and are safe to use.

Beauty Heroes was born out of many years of working with a spa clientele, which is why it’s not really a beauty box, but rather a beauty discovery service that delivers one healthy beauty product in a focused and intentional way, in a full-size along with ingredient information and support.  We also include a printed version of our Ingredient Intelligence Pocket Guide in each box, which is available for free for anyone on the Beauty Heroes website.  It’s a new way of discovering beauty — not all at once — just one product at a time.  I created a beauty company that delivers the experience I would like to have.

What kind of brands do you work with and how do you vet them for your beauty boxes?

Beauty Heroes BoxWe work with brands that have a clear vision for their line, care about healthy ingredients and careful sourcing and have formulations that deliver results. Before we even test a product, I usually talk to the founder of the company and learn more about the brand and what’s unique about them. We talk about ingredients, their distribution strategy and of course, their top-selling Hero Products.

Based on this we decide what product to test that would be a great way to introduce their brand to our savvy healthy beauty community. Then we test the product in the team. One of the things we look for when we test a product is if a wide audience would be able to use, understand and benefit from the product. We want to deliver a product that will be well received by all our members.

You offer full sized products in your beauty boxes – what made you decide to use full sizes instead of sample packs?

The idea for Beauty Heroes came long before beauty subscription boxes, so honestly the idea to do sample sizes never even crossed my mind. I don’t like to use sample packets very much, so I wouldn’t create a service that really focused on them. I think there is a place for smaller trial sizes, but one or two use sample packets are messy and don’t ever give me a really good sense of the product inside of them.

Discovering beauty through full sizes is just the way I like to try product, so I hoped that other women would also enjoy the way we presented product.

With so many new beauty boxes popping up all over the world, what do you feel sets Beauty Heroes apart?

Beauty Heroes Gift The first value that sets us apart from any other beauty company is that we really want women to use fewer products. People around me tell me all the time that is an odd message for a beauty company to have, but it’s true. I think we as humans are consuming too much. My sincere hope is that people will find products that work for them and that they love and over time will not need to buy as much.

Second, we took a clear stand on the ingredients we would not allow in our products, and I believe we have one of, if not the strictest ingredient standard in the U.S. Our product selections never contain any of the cosmetic ingredients banned for use in the United States, European Union, Canada or Japan. Over and above international standards, our selections will also never contain ethoxylated ingredients, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, synthetic fragrance or any of the ingredients listed on our Villain Ingredient List.

Third, in our clean beauty shop we work with each of our brands to stock a curated selection of their Hero Products, focusing on the top-sellers and most effective formulas. Since we want our clients to use less, we aim to fill our shop with the products we’ve found deliver results. We are looking to build trust with our audience, and this takes time.

The last way we are different is our size. We are a small beauty discovery service and we will soon need to cap our subscriptions. We work with small brands that use a lot of botanicals, so there is not an infinite supply of raw ingredients. Therefore, we are keeping our subscription service small so we can continue to work with brands that we love.

How can a beauty box benefit an artisan green beauty brand?

I think beauty boxes can serve new brands by generating awareness, building their social following and getting placed in the beauty box’s online store which can offer repeat sales. Keep in mind however that beauty boxes will feature really special artisan brands alongside with a variety of different brands.

One thing I would consider if it were my brand is what is the message that is being conveyed to the consumer through this introduction and how do other brands alongside mine support or detract from the attributes of my brand. That’s another reason we feature only one brand at a time. Each brand has such a unique and important (dare I say Heroic story). We like to tell and celebrate we that story in a focused way.

Many beauty boxes require artisan brands to produce tens of thousands of free products, which can be off-putting for small businesses. What are your views on this type of box scheme?

Beauty Heroes GiftThere’s a limit to the number of samples that an artisan or green brand can produce. I think you will find that beauty sample boxes which want to feature artisan brands are having to limit how large they grow their membership.

I think if it’s the right box, the right product going to the right client, it could be a great way to introduce your brand. But tens of thousands of samples generally can only be obtained from mass beauty brands that have bigger budgets for marketing and use less expensive raw ingredients in their products.

To contrast, Beauty Heroes pays a substantial amount for the full sizes that we deliver to a very limited membership. We will need to cap our membership soon, not yet, but soon. Most brands we work with do a specific run on their Hero Product just for our collaboration, and we plan it months in advance.

What are three main pieces of advice for an artisan green beauty brand considering a beauty box scheme?

My three pieces of advice are:

1. Find a beauty box that aligns with your core values.

2. Choose a box that has a strong sell through strategy that will lead to re-purchase of full-sizes of your products.

3. Ask the company to outline in detail the marketing support they will provide you while your product is in the box, as well as on-going after the box.


Thank you to Jeannie Jarnot from Beauty Heroes for telling us all about their beauty box scheme. Or as Jeannie would say, Hero On! We’ve had the pleasure of trialling Beauty Heroes’ products for the last three months and love the brands they’ve featured during that time. It is wonderful to see a beauty box scheme that supports artisan businesses and takes the time to lovingly promote each individual business to their following.

If you don’t follow Beauty Heroes yet, make sure you check out Jeannie and Beauty Heroes at:

Tell us what you think in the comments below – what are your experiences of getting your products featured in beauty boxes?


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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.


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