After Mary Schulman learned about her teenage daughter’s rising interest in makeup, she began investigating the questionable ingredients used in Instafamous beauty products and noticed a white space for an affordable, natural cosmetics line with bold color pay-offs. She enlisted the help of her college friend, Amy Carr, and with funding raised exclusively through friends and family, the pair launched PYT Beauty in July 2018 with an eight-shade eyeshadow pallet ($32). The line has since grown to a seven-sku collection of makeup for eyes, cheeks and lips, designed to be compliant with EU standards.

“PYT Beauty aims to be ‘beauty without the BS’ – what we call the bad stuff,” said Mary. “We want to be seen as a creative, fun brand offering high-performance, clean, accessible products without any of the ‘nonsense’ the beauty category can be typecast to, such as overpromising marketing claims, chemicals, unnecessary ingredients and sticker shock pricing. Beauty should be guilt free.”

Although PYT, which stands for Pretty Young Thing, was developed with Mary’s daughter in mind, the brand is not targeting a specific age group or consumer type.

“We really feel that PYT Beauty transcends age and targets a healthy mindset that is not willing to sacrifice performance,” said Amy. “It works for the beauty aficionados and it works for the wellness-driven consumer who is analyzing labels with a fine-tooth comb because they really care about what they’re putting on their skin. We’ve also found that pregnant women making changes in their lifestyles are really attracted to the brand as they clean up their overall wellness routine.”

PYT’s stand-out qualities includes its multi-functioning formulas, dual-ended products, and slim compact design, which offers users day to night flexibility and ease of portability. For example, its Strike Twice Lip Duo ($18) features a satin matte lipstick on one end and a shine gloss on the other, designed to offer both color payoff and lip hydration; and, its All + Nothing Concealer ($18), features a twist-up skin nourishing concealer stick on one side, and a mini brush on the other, developed to blend the product with ease.

One main area of the clean beauty market Mary and Amy are hoping to hone in on is affordability, offering their products within the $15 to $35 price bracket, with the goal of removing the cost barrier for consumers looking for cleaner options.

“The fact that we are high performance, clean and affordable puts us in a unique position. Our pricing and the multi-tasking formulations make it accessible for younger women and millennials while the colors work on a range of ages and skin tones,” said Amy.

The duo has taken a multi-dimensional approach to raise brand awareness, actively investing in social media, including both Instagram and Facebook, through paid media and organic growth. They are also investing in PR, including traditional press, influencers and hosting events. Additionally, PYT participates in affiliate programs and the brand’s website was thoughtfully designed to be consumer-friendly. “We have to continue to push on all fronts to gain brand awareness. There is so much competition out there, but we believe we have a unique proposition with the consumer and our momentum is validating that,” said Mary.

The brand became available at Credo Beauty and PYTBeauty.comin July 2018, and Amazon, Anthropologie and Free People in October 2018. This spring, PYT will enter Macy’s, starting online and followed by a rollout to 35 of the retailer’s doors. The brand is also preparing to expand its lineup.

“We have a lot in the pipeline and will be excited to start our second phase of product launches late this summer but we’re keeping the plans a secret for now,” said Amy. “We are actively looking at products that will be the ‘first-to-market clean’.”