Like celebrities, bloggers and influencers before them, podcast hosts are hoping to put their stamp on the beauty category. On April 7, Lauryn Bosstick of The Skinny Confidential podcast will debut her Skinny Confidential-branded product line. The first offering will include a Hot Mess ice roller and Ice Queen face oil, sold DTC, for $69 and $52, respectively. Bosstick has 20 other beauty and wellness products in development. While Bosstick has a wide reach in other mediums (1.3 million followers on Instagram, 278,000 fans on Facebook, 38,000 newsletter subscribers and 2.6 million monthly impressions on her blog), her 5-year-old podcast has given her a point of difference. The Skinny Confidential has 90 million downloads.
“I started in the blogging industry, talking about health and fitness in 2010, so [podcasting] was definitely not cool,” said Bosstick. “The podcasting industry [now] is where blogging was in 2010. When I told people I was launching a blog, they looked at me like I was an alien. They’re like, ‘How are you gonna make money?’ Podcasting is just starting to get some traction and people are hopping into the industry.”
While Bosstick has a compelling beauty founder story — the ice roller is inspired by the metal roller she used for lymphatic drainage after jaw surgery — it’s her connection to her audience that will perhaps make her brand a viable business. For instance, Bosstick’s collaborations with other beauty brands and even her product mentions have garnered sales; 2,000 units of an Elemis and Skinny Confidential beauty bag sold in three hours on Elemis’ site. And because of tips on her podcast show, Bosstick has been credited with sellouts of an It Cosmetics CC cream, Laneige lip sleeping mask and Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipstick.
Ahead, Bosstick breaks down her new beauty brand.
There are other ice rollers on the market. What makes yours stand out?
“In 2015, when I started working on this, there were none. When they started being sold, I tried them all out. They didn’t hold cold long enough and they were not sturdy. Most of them looked like they were white-labeled and were cheaply made. I created mine with an Italian designer who rendered the shape to my hands. It’s sturdy and holds cold, and it’s not something that’s going to end up in the back of your drawer because it can be displayed. You can really manipulate your face with it, down to your neck and tits, which is what I wanted. People are so concerned about what they’re putting on their skin for skin [care] and makeup, but what they don’t understand is you have to remove the fluid to get that tight contour face and look good.”
How confident are you that this line is something your audience wants?
“Beauty wellness is my No. 1 [category on my site and podcast]. I talk to my audience on a daily basis, whether it’s through email or getting into my Snapchat messages, or [through] a Facebook group. One of the main things that I keep hearing is: ‘My eyes are puffy.’ They need the fluid to be drained out. My audience is not looking to me about what makeup to buy. It’s more niche — for instance, trying lymphatic drainage or facial acupuncture, instead of Botox. They like hearing about very unique or weird practices like dry brushing. Our most popular podcast episodes have been with Dr. Dennis Gross, Georgia Louise and Dr. Barbara Sturm, where I’m sharing my own tips and tricks mixed in. It feels very natural to launch this product line, because I’ve been [doing] content marketing for this for the last five years.”
How would you describe your audience?
“She’s definitely a millennial woman, age 25-40. Some are moms, but some are not. It’s typically someone who has an interest in pursuing their side hustle. We have a big audience in middle America, but also from L.A. and New York. They expect from me to always get value in whatever kind of content I produce, which is why it was important to not go put my label on any roller. It took four years to create the box and packaging, to design how she opens it, to decide what it looks like on her vanity, and to figure out how long it needed to stay cold, because my audience cares about this. I always want to make sure I respect their time and that they’re getting some kind of takeaway. Podcasting is the only social media platform that respects time; every other social media platform takes your time. My audience is learning and bettering herself while doing a million other things, like cleaning, doing their skin-care routine or cooking. I always put my audience first. With the show, the audience is my first priority, then it’s the guest.”
What is your marketing strategy for launch?
“We have a very multi-pronged approach. My platforms are No. 1 and then the podcasts that my husband produces [Bosstick’s husband is Michael Bosstick, the co-founder and CEO of Dear Media Podcast Network]; we’ll be running spots on those shows. But I’m not interested in just putting The Skinny Confidential on a podcast — in any ad — that has nothing to do with what I’m doing. Just because it has big numbers doesn’t mean it makes sense. It has to be seamless. There is a lot of podcast inventory out there, but that doesn’t mean putting an ad on a show is going to drive sales. I’ll also be partnering with micro influencers in the skin space and gifting to them, instead of automatically doing all these paid ads. Community is the way that [people] are getting the product and trying it, and then getting content that they and I like. It’s a win-win.”
Do you think podcast hosts will become the next wave of beauty founders?
“I’m not surprised that people haven’t launched [products] yet, but I think they will launch down the line. It’s important for a blogger or a podcaster to refine your intention. Slapping your label on stuff, like a random T-shirt, is not going to work. But if you have a point of view and it makes sense to your story, then it will.”