The beauty business is notoriously fickle. Brands come and go, products are hot until they’re not, and staying power is rare. Makeup artist and brand founder Laura Geller is one of those enduring beauty icons, an industry trailblazer with a namesake makeup line that’s been going strong since she founded it in 1997. Laura Geller Beauty is as on trend as ever, even though many of the brand’s TikTok followers are younger than the brand itself. Geller has been a QVC superstar since the mid-nineties, and her line is the shopping network’s longest-standing color brand. Today, Geller’s not just on TV, but also Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok—pivoting as the culture and the industry evolves. She’s playing the long game, and hardly taking a back seat after her company was sold in 2019 to AS Beauty from Tengram. In fact, Geller is as involved and passionate as ever, which is a key reason why her brand is still thriving. Here, she talks to CEW about staying relevant and successful in the beauty business for 27 years, and counting.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Laura Gellar’s iconic Baked Foundation product, and the company’s 27th year in business.

CEW: What sets Laura Geller Beauty apart as a makeup brand? 

Laura Geller: The tried-and-true quality of our products that are versatile, easy to use, and really deliver. I always say, ‘I’m the lazy girl’s guide to makeup.’ I’m no different than anybody who wants makeup that’s easy and effective and doesn’t require an instruction manual. You can even put it on wrong, and still look better. On a regular day, I’m not going to take the time to put on a million things. I want to do the bare minimum to look polished. Those are the things I teach, and that’s where I communicate so well with our clients.

CEW: What is your current role since the sale to AS Beauty?  

LG: My role now is what I always wanted it to be, which is working on product development and innovation, and being the face of the brand. That means being part of all the marketing initiatives and, of course, being the spokesperson on QVC. I do Instagram and Facebook Lives, as well as TikTok videos, social media posts, and photo shoots every quarter. The truth is, my name is on this brand, so I treat it as though I still own it because I care so much about [the consumer]. I’m just as passionate now as when I was building the business myself. That’s never changed.

CEW: What’s the brand’s distribution like these days, and how has it changed?

LG:  We’re mostly focused on DTC now. Amazon is strong for us, and sales on our own website are strong, and QVC is mega, and grows every year for us. We feel that we can talk to her so much better in those environments, and nurture the consumer in ways that you can’t effectively in brick-and-mortar. I was in all the Sephora and Ulta doors until about 2018, but we changed up everything and streamlined when AS Beauty came along. We still have certain sku’s in some stores, but the infrastructure needed to manage brick-and-mortar on a large scale is overwhelming. We can’t possibly touch every retail store, or make sure the presentation is right, or speak about our story at point of purchase.

CEW:  How do you continue to connect with the Laura Geller Beauty community? 

LG: I continue to build a clientele that trusts me on our website, on social media, and on QVC, which is my biggest platform. I’ve built loyalty based on that authentic communication for years. I may be a professional makeup artist, but I’m a real woman and I understand what real people want and need. I know what it was like in my 30s, 40s, 50s, and now in my mid-60s, and I bring all of that understanding to bear, so I’m able to resonate with anybody in any age group because I’m speaking from experience.

CEW: How do TikTok and influencers come into play for your brand? 

LG: Our biggest following is on Instagram and Facebook, where we’re talking to more of a 40-plus age group. That said, when we joined the TikTok movement we were able to speak a little bit more and do more video demonstrations, and our TikTok shop really started to grow. We’re also finding that the 40-plus customers are really engaging there too. Social media influencers, content creators, and pro makeup artists are the best thing that’s happened for us. The visibility you get from influencers is massive, especially if they have large followings—and I even learn tricks about how to use my own products from them.

CEW: Laura Geller Beauty focuses on a more mature group, especially with this year’s Let’s Face It campaign featuring more mature models. Why is this demographic so important to the brand?  

LG: One of the things we leaned into a couple of years ago was really understanding who our customer is, and she is 40-plus. We make an effort to have this age group feel seen and heard, and be relevant, which is why we started using real life ‘Geller Girls’ between the ages of 40 and 80 in our ad campaigns. I personally never felt like I was aging out as a brand founder, and now I’m especially embracing my age at 65. That said, our slogan is: ‘Our makeup is for anybody, from 19 to 90 and below and beyond.’ Our products have stood the test of time, and work for teens on up.

CEW: How do you engage with a younger consumer and get them excited about your products? 

LG: We have young customers who found out about Baked Balance-n-Brighten Color Correcting Foundation from their mothers. This year marks the 20th anniversary of that hero product, and it’s literally been used by generations of women. So, it’s real word of mouth from women they trust, including influencers on social media. Younger people often learn about us when one of our products goes viral after a famous influencer discovers it and posts about it on TikTok. This just happened recently with our Serum Blush Cheek Tint, and it sold out everywhere.

CEW: Speaking of hot products, is it a challenge to keep innovating for over 25 years? 

LG: It’s challenging when you’ve been around as long as I have to come out with something unique that you haven’t done before. The customer is hungry for what’s next, and this keeps her loyal to the brand, and brings new people to it. When you’ve been developing products as long as I have, you come to learn what people like and don’t like, what is fluff and what is important. We do have some great product innovation coming out this year, so stay tuned.

CEW: What advice would you give to today’s beauty executives on how to stay successful for more than 25 years?

LG: First, do your homework. You should know the beauty space and where you sit in it. Know your competition in the market and how to set your brand apart. Know your customer and then speak to that specific audience. And you have to shift to address the new ways of doing business, like embracing social media and influencers. Finally, don’t rush to get to the finish line, because there’s always another step on the ladder, and that’s what keeps it fresh. There’s so much more to look forward to.