Melinda Williams’ beauty philosophy is simple: “All women are beautiful,” she tells thirteen lune. “I just help them see it clearer.” And how does she help specifically, you ask? Through her company facefront sKin, born out of a need to meet her clients’ needs during the pandemic.
Williams, a multi-talented makeup artist, mother, and licensed practicing nurse, was unable to take beauty appointments during lockdown but still wanted to be able to help her existing clients feel their best from home.
“My clients constantly told me ‘you make my face feel so good with the products you use.’ You see, secretly, I was using my products on them,” Williams says. She also brought a personal touch to her makeup artist work that her customers felt was unique to Williams.
"Instead of just doing their face I would teach them, listen to them, and the impact was so much greater.”
“I created a vision of beauty they loved. But when I would touch people with great service and listen to their needs, the impact was much deeper,” Williams says. That said, she was unable to bring her signature touch to clients in the midst of lockdown. So, Williams decided to take a leap of faith, launching the products she’d been using on clients for some time.
“One day my very first brand ambassador, Taryn, said ‘Mel why are you scared to launch these products? You cannot do makeup due to pandemic closures.’ So, in the middle of a pandemic, I took $25,000 out of my savings and dug up thousands of journals about my future product line,” she explains.
Now, facefront sKin is a successful line and available at thirteen lune—but Williams says the business’ biggest win is the fact that they have “repeat customers.” The following is more insight from Williams on building a brand, early beauty influences, diversity and inclusion in the beauty space, and more.
Get to Know – Melinda Williams
What was the impetus to start your brand?
The impetus to start my brand is tri fold: self-need, representation, desire to impact. The brand has been living in me for decades—but fear, poverty, and lack of knowledge held me back. Growing up I was that little girl that did not see herself in beauty ads or magazines. My skin was super sensitive, and everything irritated my skin.
What were some of your first memories of beauty growing up?
Watching my mom line her lips with dark black pencil and moisturize her face with Ponds Cold Cream. Reading ALL the Magazines to see what the latest style was. The Avon Lady. I started doing hair and makeup in my mom's kitchen, she was so cool when the ladies would stop by to get their brows arched.
What are some early beauty influences?
My older sister Katrina, the most beautiful woman inside and out. Madonna and Whitney Houston. To see Whitney with her afro and natural features on magazine covers, back then, was amazing. It made me feel seen. Madonna gave me the courage to be me. I also loved the beauty of Mrs. Coretta Scott King and Julia Roberts.
What does self-care look like in your life?
A1 personal health, thoughts, foods, and healthy and happy kids. Friends that understand I cannot be out a lot. I also love the sauna as it makes my skin glow and body healthy. I love at-home facials, and I absolutely love volunteering.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and industry today?
Everything: accessibility, funding, opportunities for women that look like me. Platforms like Thirteen Lune that provide access for brands like mine. The imagery looks like me. The industry is pivoting and I am here for the ride.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business?
Not knowing what I do not know about business, overall, specifically with things like business credit, negotiations, brand visibility, contracts, and the like.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
I would like the diversity and inclusion to be more sincere, not just photo ops or jumping on the next big thing because its popping in a viral video.