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Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Chat About Makeup with Toni Payne + 10% off Toni Payne Cosmetics & Funky Tees!


Talk to Toni Payne, CEO and owner of Toni Payne Cosmetics, over the phone or in person and her personality quickly makes you feel at ease, like you are lounging with some of your favorite girlfriends on a very comfortable sofa, at home or a spa, and talking about everything!Everything, including sharing beauty secrets and bursting out in laughter when you realize, “oops! I think I goofed on some of the beauty secrets you are sharing Toni.”

As Toni Payne prepares to open doors to her first retail store in Hollywood, Ladybrille caught up with her for a chat about makeup: choosing the right foundation, lipsticks, blush, mascaras, concealer and more! And of course, since we know you will be inspired to achieve like this young lady, we ask and Toni offers insights on getting into the beauty business.

Enjoy and don’t forget to log on to http://www.tonipayneonline.com/ to receive your 10% discount on Toni Payne cosmetics and funky tees! Be sure to use the Ladybrille/Toni Payne Code "LBTP"
to receive your discount. Just before you get to the last page of your checkout, where your payment information is requested, you should see a box that says 'discount coupons' enter your redeem code "LBTP" in that box and click the button to receive your 10% discount. This is a Limited Time Offer that ends on October 5th, 2007.

LADYBRILLE.COM:
Hello, hello! T-O-N-I! I honestly have to tell you I was looking forward to this chat.
Toni Payne [TP]: aww that’s sweet!

LADYBRILLE.COM:
You are a familiar name in the beauty industry but for those who might not know you, introduce yourself lady!
TP: Toni Payne is a YBF lady, lol. I run my own cosmetics and apparel business.

Ladybrille:
YBF as in Young Black and Fabulous?
TP: Yeah baby girl, too fabulous. Lol.

Ladybrille:
Lol! Hey, there [a]in’t nothing wrong with knowing your value. So go on with your YBF self, although we would call you a very Ladybrille lady!
TP: Well I could be that too, only thing is I am still working towards that level.

Ladybrille:
Ya got jokes? Funny! You are also a comedian?
TP: hahaha well I have been known to crack a few funnies! Call me the life of the party. Lol.

Ladybrille:
Lol. If I let you, I know we would be here all day cracking jokes. So, let's get into your cosmetics and apparel business. How did that come about?
TP: Well it all started back in 2003. I started a company called Hot-n-Trendy, selling clothes from different designers online while running Hot-n-Trendy from my one room shack, lol. Ok kidding, but yeah, while running Hot-n-Trendy, I worked at this cosmetics manufacturing lab called Sun Labs. That is kind of how the makeup came about. I always knew I wanted something along the line of cosmetics. I started developing a skin care line called Clasee, but never followed through. A few years later, I started working on developing my makeup brand.

The decision to do makeup kinda stemmed from what my passion was. I love makeup, application, playing with colors and honestly when I first started, I did not anticipate it being as big as it is now. I started with eye shadows, and as the month went on, I noticed that a lot of people kept requesting foundation, blush etc. Basically, my makeup line has grown according to demand. As for the t-shirt collection, it was just something that was meant to happen, I love tees and it just seemed unnatural for me not to do it too. Lol.
LADYBRILLE.com: Your tees are honestly so interesting. You have some of the most interesting and inspiring designs. Do you do most of these designs yourself?
Toni Payne:Yes I do all my designs myself. My designs are very unique because they are drawn from inspiration of what goes on around me. The collection consists of wearable art and positees. The wearable art line has a more artistic look to the design while the positees line has a positive message attached to it.

One of my favorites is the Taba Soko Soja tee shirt. The design is a Yoruba [Southern part of Nigeria] proverb the says "taba Soko soja, a ba ara ile eni' ( if you throw stones in the market it will hit someone close to you). This proverb is very deep because it somehow teaches you how to treat others and I felt it just had to be turned into a tee shirt design. Other designs are Akanke. Akanke is the image of faceless girl and it is meant to represent someone special. Akanke is a Yoruba Oriki a way of praising a female child. There are also shirts like moving on, sweetest dreams etc. Every single shirt has its own story to tell, its own character. The concept for me is fantastic and I hope people can take the shirts, read into the designs and make it their own.

LADYBRILLE.com:
Let's talk about your growth and increased demand for your products. You are opening your first USA store in Hollywood on October 3rd and what amazes me is how you have been able to use the internet to do some excellent PR and marketing of your brand even before you had the store! Tell us the role of new media and technology in your business.
TP: The internet for those who do not know is one place you need to learn to get with the program. It’s the easiest way to reach millions of people worldwide, and for me the internet was very important because that was how I started, plus my company is international so in order for my customers in other countries to reach me and see updates, the www was just the way to go in terms of promotion.

[A]lso, one thing that I think wasn’t always easy for me was to find makeup made for black skin. Now, what are your options? Drive around looking for a company that caters to your type of skin, or do a google search? Of course the google search seems easier and it makes even better sense because someone from Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, or where ever can easily get online and find you, make a request to carry the line in their country or purchase for their own personal use.

I think if you have a cosmetic line geared toward the so called minority, and you do not have a web presence, you are doing yourself a disfavor. My customers cut across continents, Africa, Europe, America, South America and even Asia. I don’t think this would have been easy without the net.

LADYBRILLE.com:
[I] want to revisit the use of the web before we finish. But, let me touch on the point you made about finding makeup for black skin. As you know, in the fashion and beauty industry, finding the right makeup for black skin has historically been impossible! Today, we've come a long way. Give us your view of today's beauty industry, especially as it relates to Black/African women.

TP:
Today’s beauty industry, well the trend I have noticed is that more cosmetics companies are trying to cater to the Black woman. One thing you have to understand though is that not just Black women have this problem. I think finding the right makeup is easier for a Black woman than it is for an Indian woman. But, let me not digress.

We now have for us by us companies popping up and it’s like telling the commercial brands like M.A.C to go screw themselves, we don’t need your ashy makeup anymore. We now have private label brands such as myself who take the time to research what the ethnic woman needs. It is not just fair skin or 3 shades anymore.

Ethnic skin comes in a lot of shades, tones [a]nd I think makeup companies are now starting to realize that. Well, maybe they did before and just did not care but now that the competition is there, the effort is being made. Now, you see cover girl touting Queen Latifa using more women of color in their ads. I think they are trying to reach out to the customers they really did not cater to before.

LADYBRILLE.com:
True talk. I’d like to touch on the different shades of foundation for black skin [t]hat your line has. But, before we do that, let's talk about entrepreneurship in Africa.

Toni Payne Shares Tips on Doing Business in Africa and getting into the Business

LADYBRILLE.com:
It is my firm belief and experience that we do not have many Blacks/Africans in the fashion and beauty industry. It is important, I think, for our women and particularly African women to be behind the scenes in the entertainment industries. To me, they like you, have a HUGE part of painting and redefining the African woman as beautiful. What are some suggestions you have on how our women can break into the industry?

TP
: Ha ha ha! That’s one subject that is not for the weak hearted. See it’s a different ball game. You follow different rules and if you can survive there, you can survive anywhere. lol. My decision to take my business to Naija [slang for Nigeria] was not an easy one. I knew for a fact that I was going to face certain obstacles in doing so, but it’s a decision I do not regret. The response has been very good and I think people are actually starting to buy quality instead of brand. But, yeah we still have brand whores who don’t care about quality, but we are working on converting them, why have one when you can have both?

LADYBRILE.com:
Can you give us more concrete steps on how to get into the beauty biz?
TP: Well, first of all before you even attempt to go to Naija to do business, create a buzz because if they do not know who you are they will not jar u face [show you face]. Lol! Well, unless of course you have a fantastic name like Toni Payne. Hell, even I wanna buy my makeup so I can say, "I’m using Toni Payne."

LADYBRILLE.com:
Lol! LUVIN' THE PERSONALITY! lol! This is a good time to revisit how you used the web to make it work for you.
TP: lol! First thing is to gather all your information. What will your site be about? What do you plan on doing with it? Will it be strictly informational, or will it be an e-commerce site? After doing this, meet with a web designer and they will help get the ball rolling, but be very sure what you want, and let the web designer know your vision. Do not just leave them to build alone, follow up always because at the end of the day it will be a reflection of what you have to offer. Then once your website is up, promote it to your target market.

LADYBRILLE.com:
Have you faced any obstacles in doing business in Africa and particularly Nigeria?
TP: [O]h yes! The one issue I have with Naija is getting goods into the country. The government does not seem to understand that import and export is good for the economy. There was a time they banned shipping anything not Naija made into Naija. That kinda affected business because, of course, we could still ship but the cost to clear your goods went up by 400%.

LADYBRILLE.com:
Wow!
TP: Now, I am all for all that patriotic stuff. But, if you do not have proper structure, equipment or whatever to produce equivalent or better than what is being brought in, then why bother? It’s like people are not waiting for the government to create jobs for [them] but doing it themselves; and then the government wants to come in and “pour sand in their garri” [soil the hard work of people].

It’s not only lame and irresponsible, it’s [u]nfair. Anyway sha, things are looking up. It still sucks that I have to pay so much to clear my goods which of course cuts into my cost and makes things more expensive for the end user, but at least now we can ship goods into the country.

LADYBRILLE.com:
Interesting and crazy with the cost!!! Although, the import ban by Obasanjo [former President of Nigeria], especially with fashion goods, appears to have been as a result of infiltration of Chinese goods in the country. But, they should be able to find a balance.
TP: I think it has to do with greed! Nothing more, nothing less.

LADYBRILLE.com:
what other obstacles have you faced and why do you continue doing business there?
TP:
For me, I think the biggest challenge has been getting people to switch from a brand like MAC to mine. Nigerians absolutely love brand names but the luck I have is:
1) I am a brand name;
2) I am more affordable than MAC;
3) the quality of my products speak for themselves; and
4) I understand what my people need and I work towards catering to that.


The biggest challenge in terms of the clothing would be like I said before, customs and ban on shipping certain goods. You hear so many things that may not even be true because someone is greedy and trying to eat. When Obasanjo placed a ban on imported goods, the cost of shipping skyrocketed. When the ban was lifted, things stayed the same and now I think some people are using that opportunity to make money. Anyways, I think the biggest challenge overall would be lack of set rules and structure.

We should know as business people things are done this way and that's the way it is so when someone else comes in with their own rules, we can challenge it. Another reason would be the dollar to naira ratio, I have to undersell myself in Naija because the rate of the dollar and keeping things affordable. The reason I would say I continue is because the demand is there, and for me, it would not seem right not having my goods in my home country. We all look forward to a day when people can do business with proper rules put in place, rules that will favor the economy and not their pockets.

LADYBRILLE.com: Let's talk about creating jobs. You essentially are creating jobs for young women in the West and Africa. [I]f you want to be a Toni Payne Consultant, especially in Africa, how do you go about doing that?
TP: Right now, the best way would be to purchase direct at wholesale cost and resale. We do not have a structure laid out just yet and that is because I am taking my time to study and figure out what works best for [m]arkets such as Nigeria. You know we may be using the same makeup but things are structured differently. I can't just run your credit to give you net terms and one thing I have learned never to do when dealing with people is take and come back. So [any] one that wants to rep Toni Payne can always contact us via email or [if] you are in Nigeria, visit our headquarters in surulere and someone will be more than happy to guide you on getting started.

LADYBRILLE.com:
What is "take and comeback" and could you give us your Surulere address?
TP: Ha ha! "Take and come back" is when you give someone goods and they tell you to give them time to pay. The Surulere address is 1 Adelabu Street, Surulere. It’s right by Marsha bus stop. One other thing I have realized is, in order for me to have a rep., you have to be very motivated and not just be driven by money alone. So, the type of person I am looking for is someone who is passionate about cosmetics or fashion and would love to make money selling it.

LADYBRILLE.com:
Makes sense. So, to rep Toni Payne one has to create buzz as a good makeup artist, be motivated, driven e.t.c. if you don't have the experience, does your company train?
TP: And you have to use the products. I honestly think, if you use the products, you will sell it effortlessly because you can speak from your experience. Yes we do train when situation allows. If you sell in your salon, you can invite me down to train your staff, unfortunately, because we are spread out in different countries it hard to know who needs it. So far so good, a lot of people who decide to carry the line or resell have a background in cosmetics and I always advice them to familiarize themselves with the products first and of course we are always accessible for tips. I have been known to spend 2 hours on the phone with a customer. Lol.

LADYBRILLE.com:
Lol. That's a long time. Lol! Alright, let's get into your products.
TP: Yes maam.

Toni Payne Shares Beauty Secrets for Celebrities and the Everyday Woman

LADYBRILLE.COM:
First of, I have to start with the movie industry
TP: Yeah!

LADYBRILLE.com:
African celebrities in Africa, especially in the movie industry, get it wrong 95% of the time when it comes to makeup. What suggestions do you have for helping them put their best foot forward on and off screen?

LADYBRILLE.com:
I should say “Nollywood” is what I refer mostly to.
TP:
They should do their homework. Information is out there for them. Different types of makeup do different things. Some reflect light, some don’t. Some are good for the camera some aren’t. I think the problem they have is they probably think makeup is makeup and a lot of them have not received the proper training. I’m not talking sitting at aunty Risi's class for 40 hours. I’m talking training in makeup for film. Like I said, even if you cannot afford it, information is available free online. I have found that my matte finish foundation works wonders on camera more so than my cream concealer. So it’s a matter of knowing the products, the ingredients, what they do and their qualities, not just slapping makeup on someone’s face to look pretty, because it looks pretty to you doesn’t mean it will look like that on camera.

The Everyday Woman and Makeup
LADYBRILLE.com: Alright. We are done with the celebrities. Let's talk about the everyday woman. Finding the right foundation can be MAJOR drama. How do we choose the right foundation for our skin?
TP: Well choosing the right foundation is pretty simple. First of all, you have to know your skin. Do you have oily skin, dry skin, combination etc. It’s all in the formulation and with foundation, sometimes, you have to use two shades to get the look you want but most importantly, know your skin and pick the best formulation for it.

LADYBRILLE.com:
For your product line, how many options of foundation for black [s]kin do you have?
TP:
Depends, for the mineral line I have about 8 and for the platinum line I have about 7.

Toni Payne says Skin bleaching Will Turn your Skin GREEN

LADYBRILLE.com: Quick thing Toni, on bleaching. A lot of African women bleach and then use foundation to cover. Please help us here.
TP: hahahaha. Okay the number one problem with Nigerians/Africans that bleach is that they fail to realize that hydroquinone and sun don’t mix. So, here they go in 100 degree weather, slapping on some bleaching cream and they wonder why their skin turns green.

LADYBRILLE.com:
Green? Wow woman. Lol!
TP:
Lol. I always say do your research before you leap and this is one instance where it’s needed. There are other ways to bleach I suppose but I guess they are not as effective.

LADYBRILLE.com:
Do you think the need to bleach is because of Western ideals of beauty.
TP:
Yes of course.

LADYBRILLE.com
: How do we change the mind frame? Plus, if you bleach, should you still use foundation? It seems to make matters worse.
TP:
When they start realizing it is okay to be black and beautiful, then maybe it will stop. Colonial mentality is a big b**** that keeps poking them in the eye and they can't even see it. If you bleach, just don’t bleach at all. Yeah, foundation may hide all the gorriness of your bleaching but when the makeup comes off, wahala dey! [It brings trouble/trouble becomes present].

LADYBRILLE.com: Let’s talk concealers? When do we need to use them?
TP:Well I say use concealers if you have something to conceal, do not abuse it. Concealers tend to be heavy and will not let your skin breath as much so only use it when you need to hide something powder or foundation can’t hide.

LADYBRILLE.com:Lipsticks, blush, mascara, lip-pencil would you share your insights?
TP:Lipsticks, blush e.t.c. All color cosmetics for me are a must. They add that extra something to your face. Even if it is a little blush, it will go a long way. Proper application is a must though because it can be easily overdone.

LADYBRILLE.com: Talk a bit about hygiene to prevent styes and other problems caused by improper care of makeup tools/brushes?
TP: I always try to advice people not to share brushes or makeup, it’s like you are transferring bacteria and there is nothing cool about that. Always try to keep your brushes and tools clean, wash them when needed and store in a cool dry place.

LADYBRILLE.com:
What are some of the essential makeup items a [L]adybrille woman should have in [h]er purse?
TP:
The essentials are, lip gloss and blotting powder. No one likes a chapped lip and oily skin is only cool when you are going for that dewy look. lol

LADYBRILLE.com:
hahaha! Lol. Toni Payne lip gloss and Toni Payne blotting powder? Lol!
TP:
Yes of course! No other one o! It has to be all Toni Payne to get the maximum effect. Lol.

LADYBRILLE.com:
What are the makeup trends for Fall 2007? What should we look for?
TP:
I am one of the few people who do not follow trends. I say do what suits you, if you want to wear golds in winter and that is what makes you comfy then go right on ahead.

LADYBRILLE.com:
Lady, you got to give us a little more for our our readers who like to stay informed on [t]rends or are just curious.
TP:
The fall colors for 2007 are actually quite bold, you have shades of purple, blues, greens and even gold. Ore specifically, you have your plums, turquoise, olives, and rich hues of gold ranging from a yellow gold to a bronze gold. To give you even more specific examples, colors from my eye shadows that would fall into the fall range include but not limited to Caribbean, Olive, Deep Plum, Gold Finer, Terracotta etc. For my clothing I am doing shades of yellow, orange, and eve adding black for fall07/spring 08.

Toni Payne Talks about her Store Opening

LADYBRILLE.com: What does opening your store in Hollywood mean and why did you wait this long?
TP:Well, everything is about timing. You have to take steps in doing things and the reason I waited this long was because I did not see the need to up till now. Opening the new store is a huge step for me because I felt the time was right and the demand was there, besides, I was tired of hearing "Toni when are you going to open a store?"
LADYBRILLE.com:It’s been fun chatting with you, you YBF & Ladybrille woman! Thank you!
TP:lol! Thank you so much.

8 comments:

Toni Payne said...

oh my gosh!! who is that Toni Payne girl?, she is like soooo cooool,... hehehe!. Thanks for the interview had loads of fun doing it. see you at the launch :)

Emilia Asim - Ita said...

Great interview girl!


Interviewed Toni on my show, she's such an inspiration to young women...

Welldone, for creative content...when are we expecting the magazine???

Regards,
Emilia

pamelastitch said...

Great Interview Lady Brille!!

I have only heard great things about Toni's products.


To all the bleachers in West Africa - "bleaching will turn your skin Green"....

:D

Take care,
pammy

Bobby said...

Truly a great interview Lady Brille and Toni Payne is definitely talented.

Ladybrille said...

@TP:lol!
@Emilia,Pamela and Bobby, thx y'all. With a personality like Toni's it makes it fun to produce an interesting interview.

Olu said...

Great interview~
I love your blog!
Toni is such an outgoing person....

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