It can be a common misconception that, in order to make money, you need money. Lucy Hilson smashes this out the water with the incredible success she’s seen with both Cosmetic PR and SKN REHAB – read on to learn some of her Girl Boss wisdom!
HOC: Great to speak with you, Lucy! Tell us about your business Cosmetic PR…
Lucy: I’d love to! I launched Cosmetic PR back in 2015. I have over 15 years experience in Beauty PR and a real passion for skincare, skin treatments, and in particular more advanced treatments such as laser rejuvenation, skin peels, PRP and aesthetic treatments. With this love for everything cosmetic, I saw a gap in the market for aesthetic specialist PR: there were no other PR agencies with this niche and it’s an industry that was and still is growing rapidly.
So – with nothing but an iPhone and a notebook – Cosmetic PR was born. I had the idea and knew what I wanted to do but had no savings to invest, nor did I want outside investors. So I saved up enough to buy a laptop and started to contact beauty brands that could be potential clients. Days later my first client signed up, followed by a second, a third, and so on…
We’re just going through a rebrand and the new website just launched! We’re now more focused on aesthetics and skincare whereas before our site was more mass market. When I launched Cosmetic PR the plan was to have a strong beauty and medical aesthetics niche, so I’m just taking it back to that original vision. This the heart of the business – we stay true to our passion and focussed on our area of expertise.
My dream client would probably be Dr Simon Ourian! Or the guys from (the TV show) Botched; they always seem to be enjoying their work. I’m also skincare obsessed and would love to work on a brand like ZO Skin Health.
HOC: And you are also the founder of SKN REHAB?
Lucy: Yes, my love for skincare and skin treatments led me to meet my now business partners and ultimately to the launch of SKN REHAB. We all have a background in the beauty industry and between us we’ve probably tried every treatment going! We were hooked on cosmeceutical skincare and results-driven treatments and wanted to create something that would combine our favourite treatments for powerful and effective results.
The SKN REHAB machine combines 5 different technologies that target and treat specific skin concerns (from Diamond Microdermabrasion to Pure Oxygen and LED) We use the 5 different technologies together with potent active ingredients which we drive into the skin using a mild electrical current. The results are amazing! My knowledge of the skin, ingredients and how they worked certainly helped with the development stages of SKN REHAB. With my background in Beauty PR I also had the knowledge of what would be appealing to the UK press, what sort of story each product needed and what would look good on the pages of a magazine. When we created SKN REHAB we knew we wanted a serious product line, but didn’t want to stick with the usual ‘clinical’ look & feel of a serious skincare brand.
HOC: It you weren’t doing this, what could have career plan B looked like?
Lucy: My working life started working in a clothes shop on the King’s Road, 3 days a week at 16. I didn’t love it but it taught me the value of money and I got a great discount on clothes which was the main reason I worked there!
In an alternate life, I would love to be in the FBI solving murder cases! It’s a bit weird I know but I’ve always been fascinated with shows like Forensic Files. Or maybe I’d just travel the world and start mini business ventures everywhere I go. I truly believe you can make a successful business out of anything – it’s about finding your passion and just making it work!
HOC: Now you have a little one, how has this impacted the way you work?
Lucy: My son was actually my driving force behind starting Cosmetic PR! I had become a single parent and was struggling on the salary I was on at the time. I was practically working just to pay his childcare costs (which are extremely high in London) and was living in a tiny one bedroom flat just making ends meet. I wanted more for us both and I knew I had to do something to give us a better life. Creating Cosmetic PR was the perfect solution, not only did it allow me to live my passion but it gave me the flexibility I needed being a sole parent.
Running the business was a challenge at the start because my son was just one when I started the business and still didn’t sleep through the night; so I was up all night (several times a night) with him and working on my business all day. Now he’s five and is in school so it’s much easier to get work done without falling asleep at my desk!
HOC: You must have crazy busy days, what hacks do you have for running your business smoothly?
Lucy: I’ve got a ‘business hub’ on Trello to ensure everything runs smoothly. When you have a lot of clients it’s really important that everything is in order and you know where you’re at in terms of coverage targets etc. I’m also obsessed with Canva at the moment, it’s brilliant for creating social media designs, newsletters and presentations.
HOC: Being a beauty expert, we’d love to know what your top work bag pick me ups are for long work days?
Lucy: For skin, the SKN REHAB actives are brilliant for when I’m on the go, they come in a pack of 7 so ideal for travelling. SKN Drench is my favourite – it contains a high content of hyaluronic acid for extreme hydration; perfect for use whilst flying too!
I also love the Bobbi Brown BB cream, it’s my daily go-to for a flawless complexion. I also make sure I use SPF50 on my face every day to protect against UV/UB rays (yes even in winter!). Just a few products, my iPhone, macbook, diary and I’m good to go!
HOC: Finally, what keeps you grounded when everything is crazy with work and life?
Lucy: Definitely my son! It’s the little things, like watching a film together on the sofa eating popcorn. We also love to go bowling, or to the park and feed the ducks. Just listening to him sing me a song, or tell me a funny story… It makes my day, and makes me remember why I’m doing it all.
Find out more about Cosmetic PR at cosmeticpr.com
and SKN REHAB here: sknrehab.com