Wednesday, February 10, 2010

20 Questions...with Dr. Michael Huwe, creator of Obsessed Minerals Cosmetics

In my journeys, I have the priveledge to meet so many wonderful, and fascinating people, and most recently, I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Michael Huwe, creator of Obsessed Minerals Cosmetics.
I am in awe of successful women and support women owned businesses whenever I can and encourage you to do so as well, especially those made in my hometown!

I fell in love with Michaels' shadows the minute I saw them! The colors are vibrant, sparkling and just plain beautiful, so I just had to ask her a few questions, because inquiring makeup minds and lovers want to know!
Who is this woman behind the Minerals?!

20 questions with Dr. Michael Huwe - creator of Obsessed Minerals cosmetics

1. How did you get the name Michael?!
mh- My mother named me for her father, her favorite cousin, and her favorite nun.

2. You started your career as a chiropractor...why the switch to makeup?!
mh- I've always been obsessed with makeup, I have had the biggest collection of all my friends for as long as I can remember...then one day someone suggested I start my own line. With my background in natural medicine, I thought it would be a good idea to keep this in mind and create a line staying as close to natural as possible, but still enough great pizazz to be worn on the runway!

3. How is Obsessed Minerals different than all the other mineral makeups?
mh- Most mineral makeup is loose or baked...which is either difficult for the average woman to apply, or comes off very dry leaving very little color behind. Obsessed Minerals is pressed with ingredients which allow the full pigmentation to come through, as well as, maintain the look for the enitre day! In addition to the great color payoff, Obsessed Minerals' specialty is the wide color choices which include incredible color undertones found with no other manufacturer. I strive to come up with unique makeup giving eveyone an individualized look.

4. What is your vision for your company?
mh- My dream is to become the leading creator of dramatic color and the number one choice of makeup artists! Hopefully, Obsessed Minerals will eventually be found in all great makeup stores!

5. Have any celebrities been wearing your makeup?! If so, who?!!
mh- This is a great question....and the answer is yes....however, Obsessed Minerals has been tested and used by some of the biggest name celebrity makeup artists...who are under contract to other companies. This makes it difficult for me to name names as I don't want to violate any contracts. That being said, Obsessed Minerals was mentioned in Glamour Magazine's online site, with this article:
Also, be sure to check out Glady's Magazine...a great magazine for women who are breaking into the modeling industry. Obsessed Minerals made their editors choice, as well as, their #4 makeup product! Although the issue doesn't state that the cover model wore my shadows, the owner/editor told me that Kim Alexis was wearing Obsessed Minerals and loved it! For those who are familiar with celebrity makeup artists, Obsessed Minerals found a friend with Ve Neill, who loves our shadows and uses them frequently!

6. What are your personal favorites in your line?
mh- I have so many absolute obsession would be the eye shadows! I am constantly looking to create new awesome colors that no one else has. I love adding iridescence and sparkle. I also adore the has taken a long time to create a great formula that looks great and feels good on. My foundations are sweet...incredible coverage, yet you feel as though you have nothing on! I can't forget my awesome lip glaze! They are beautiful and infused with peppermint oil, which is a natural lip plumper! I will tell you this....I don't offer anything that I won't personally wear or am proud to sell. So, it's hard to choose any one thing, as I love them all!

7. What's it like in your makeup lab?!
mh- Right now my makeup lab needs reorganized! It's actually difficult to get in the door! We built the lab before we realized how much room would be needed. I have stacking bins full of containers, a hydraulic press, and tons of shelves full of containers of my 660+ concoctions! Not to mention multiple types of heating equipment, a chair for company, a television for those long days, and boxes for containers that have no home.

8. If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 items would you have?
mh- Hmmmm. Toothpaste! Oh, do you mean makeup? I would have to have eye liner, lipstick, and mascara. I think with those three items you can still pull off a look. If I could add a fourth I would take my foundation...but I could survive without it!

9. Who is your dream celebrity to endorse your makeup?
mh- Wow! That's a tough one! It would depend on who I was targeting....for the young I would have to go with Taylor Swift or Rhianna. For ladies my age and older....either Oprah or Sarah Jessica Parker.

10. Where can we find Obsessed Minerals?
mh- We are in several Pittsburgh locations: Huwe Chiropractic in Bridgeville, The Nutrition Shop in Wexford, The Southpointe Spa and Salon in Canonsburg, and Bangz in Bridgeville. For anyone not in the Pittsburgh area our website is get on the mailing list for any specials that might be running.

11. When you're not creating makeup, what are you doing?
mh- I still practice Chiropractic one day a week, I maintain all the book work for our Chiropractic office, I teach Pathophysiology for DeVry University, and I have three kids ages 8, 12, and 15...all of which are very active in sports, I am their chauffeur, which is in itself a full time job.

12. How did you start your own company?
mh- Actually, this is the second company I've started, the first being our Chiropractic office. I learned the first time around that there are always people to ask if you don't know how to do something. So I did a lot of research as to what went into various types of makeup, bought ingredients, started mixing things up in my den and pushing my trials on my friends. I took their opinions and worked to change whatever was negative. One of my close friends then offered to have a makeup party for me before I started pressing out my powders, which was very successful. I took any money I made from selling my start-up products and kept putting it back into the business. I bought more containers and more ingredients. My friends had more parties for me. This continued until I managed to aquire the equipment I needed to create more professional looking products and build a lab to keep the ingredients in a sterile environment. I did cheat a bit and use some credit cards, but have worked very hard not to go into debt with this project. As, I continued, it occurred to me to get professional advice about the quality of my shadows, specifically, as they are my most favorite thing. So I emailed various celebrity makeup artists and started sending out samples. This is what has led me to where I am this far.

13. Any advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
mh- Utilize the internet! The best tool I have used is researching the internet for everything! LinkedIn is one of the best sites out there! Another entrepreneur turned me on to it at a chance meeting at the post office....that was a lucky break! You can find anyone you want if you look hard enough and most are friendly enough to drop you a return note and give you some advice on how to acheive your goals! I have found buyers for the majority of the stores that I am interested in breaking into through this site. My other advise is don't take any pay for yourself until you are well established...therefore you need other income while you are starting. Take every dime that you've made and put it back into your new business. Network your business with everyone! You never know who might be able to help you.....everyone know's someone....who might know someone else....who might be able to help you!

14. Where do you get your inspirations for your palettes?
mh- Sometimes I see someone on TV who has a great color combo going on, so I slip into the lab and put the colors together. Sometimes I put things together to go with an outfit I plan to wear and think it's something others would love. Believe it or not, I think about colors all the time...I even dream about them! Sometimes my best ideas come when I'm either sleeping or about to fall asleep.

15. Who is your favorite makeup artist?
mh- I have several, locally I adore Patty Bell and Bethany Montecalvo, Hollywood wise, I really like Sam Fine, Ve Neill, Patty Dubrof, Mai Quynh, Lizbeth Williamson, and Lorrie Turk.

16. Besides Obsessed Minerals, do you have any other favorite makeup lines?
mh- I have so many is my list: MAC, Makeup Forever, Too Faced, Nars, Urban Decay, but of course my number one is my one line....I never thought that I would love the quality and colors more then those previously listed, but I do!

17. Is your makeup green & cruelty free?
mh- Obsessed Minerals is made with the finest, natural ingredients...especially if you stick with the loose products. When you get into the pressed, you have to add in an anti-microbial, and a mineral oil substitute. However, these items are still much more kind to the skin then the harsh chemicals used in the usual brands. Ironically, mineral oil is a natural oil that is non-harmful, yet, people are afraid of it due to it being a petroleum cosmetic companies steer away from using it, hence the mineral oil substitute. As far as the cruelty free question, our cosmetics are in no way tested on any animals other than myself, my friends, and occassionally my children!

18. Who inspires you?
mh- So many people, but, mainly my husband! He is the most encouraging, open and optimistic person I know. He always backs my "crazy" ideas and is constantly working for my benefit and to help me succeed.....From a professional stand point I would have to go with Jerrod Blandino (makeup artist founded Too Faced Cosmetics), Mary Kay Ash (needs no introduction) and Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo (founders of MAC).

19. What's in your makeup bag?
mh- Bag? Ha! Two drawers! When I say I'm "obsessed" with makeup, it's a severe understatement! I have always had a huge collection of makeup, primarily eye shadow. Now that I have my own cosmetic company, I have so many things that it actually takes two large drawers and some of my countertop to hold all of my favorites! BUT, if you mean what do I take with me when I leave....I only take lipstick! The eye shadow never needs re-applied, the only reason I need lipstick is when I eat it often I like to re-fresh.

20. What are your hopes and goals for 2010?
mh- This is the year I want to break into mainstream retail! I am in the process of finding eye catching packaging and working on getting approval from some of the best buyers in the industry! Hopefully before the year ends, you will see Obsessed Minerals on the shelf of your favorite store :)

Thanks Michael...I wish you continued success!