Heading to the gym with a face free of makeup has long been a grievance of many a fashionable young women. On one hand we know it's not right as it bespeaks a focus on appearance rather than on fitness, but on the other, it's hard to feel fully comfortable in a bare face.
Struggle no more.
According to five energetic professional athletes women no longer have to choose between clogging their pores, and rocking a perfect complexion while hitting the treadmill. The hard-working group of women behind Sweat Cosmetics has introduced what might possibly be the holy grail of beauty products; sweat-proof foundations and bronzers that won't make you breakout from a workout.
Another problem women face? Wearing sun protection every day. We've all heard the risks, we all know we should wake up and slather on the SPF, but not everyone has time for this extra step, or for that matter, even remembers it.
There had to be a way for fitness-minded women looking for proper coverage as well as SPF protection to have it all, conveniently in a company on-the-go package right?
According to these five ladies, there was.
Following collegiate soccer careers, Olympics and strenuous work outs - Taryn Hemmings, Emily Hines, Courtney Jones, Lindsay Tarpley and Leslie Osbourne began their journey toward sweat-proof and sun protection make-up back in 2015 taking the beauty industry to task, and challenging the idea that wearing make-up while working out will clog your pores and make you actually look worse. Having accumulated capital through investors interested because of the girls' prestigious background in sports, but also because of their very definite and concrete business plan from the outset, they began to work.
"After five years of not being able to forget this idea and knowing there was a space for us, the first step we took was trying to write a business plan" - Taryn
Emily and Taryn met in college while studying at the University of Denver, where the concept for the product was born. Having met with the constant struggle of sun protection and make-up while working out, the girls formulated an idea for the product in their formative college years. When the concept was still lingering heavy on their minds after they had graduated and were working professionally - Emily in finance and Taryn playing soccer for the Boston Breakers, they decided to pursue it, along with the help of a few friends Taryn had made in Boston.
Lindsay, a two time Olympian and the team's most decorated athlete met Taryn while she was playing soccer professionally in Boston. This is also where Taryn met Boston Breaker teammates Leslie and Courtney.
Having a VC as one of the owners of the Boston Breakers proved to be a lucrative relationship for the girls who utilized that connection to put significant investment toward research for the product. After finding their chemist and a reliable marketing guru, the girls spent months in R&D pouring over chemical nuances and the focus for the product. They asked themselves “what did we want out of our product? What was the active woman looking for?"
They knew from the outset that protection from the sun was a priority and so they set up based on the premise that the make up would be every woman's best friend, from sun protection right through to its lasting capabilities. Would the make up contain oil based, or powder based sun screen - how could they produce the best and most workable product that would help active women like them throughout the country?
"We spent so much time making sure this was a custom product, specifically made for women like us - who are active, who have sensitive skin" - Courtney Jones, CEO
Their's is an innate but much needed product - for the women that are active but care, not only about the condition of their skin during a workout, but their appearance also. There's always the chance you'll meet your next business partner, or dinner date at a pilates class - right? The products - there are four current shades of the foundation- are all hypoallergenic and contain SPF 30. Most interestingly perhaps though is that the components are all refillable (refills go for $24). Once you buy the 'twist brush', the container is easily (and reasonably) refilled and more importantly easily applied. Sweat, which ranges between $18 for a cleansing wipe to $42 for a bronzer) is very much in line with the beauty trends of late that lean towards easy and quick application - for the woman on the go.
"Knowing what people wanted, what people liked and didn't like, we went through so many months of testing and making sure we compiled the best product" - Courtney
Sweat's promise to last you throughout a standard workout and not interfere with your pores while protecting you from the nefarious glare of the sun is unrivalled in its mission and outlook. Where other make-up brands pledge an SPF 15, this one commands an SPF 30.
The winning combination of athleticism and drive has produced a product we can all use for those days when blotchiness and sun burn threatens an outdoor yoga class or a jog.
"Sweat Cosmetics to me is all about embracing and empowering the everyday woman. Sweat was developed to provide products for women like me, that protect and enhance our bodies for active beauty." - Emily Hines, CFO
Having been picked up by Sephora in June of 2016, the product continues to gain consumers and grow in size. With five more shades in the mineral foundation expected to roll out in the coming months, as well as a possible a lip line, Sweat is poised to become a gym bag staple in the coming years. With another round of investment on the horizon and the prospect of going into another VC firm for further R&D investment, 2017 looks like it could be an equally prosperous one for this group of women who are certainly comfortable with winning.
1. What app do you most use?
Leslie: Groupme. Sweat Cosmetics chats all day.
2. Briefly describe your morning routine.
Lindsay: Coffee, Sweat Cosmetic's Twist brush on my face, illuminator on my checks, mascara and I'm out the door.
3. Name a business mogul you admire.
Courtney: Sophia Amoruso
4. What product do you wish you had invented?
Taryn: Harry Potter
5. What is your spirit animal?
Leslie: Definitely a wolf.
6. What is your life motto?
Emily: Don't stop until you get what you deserve.
7. Name your favorite work day snack.
Courtney: Peanut butter pretzels.
8. Every entrepreneur must be what to be successful?
9. What's the most inspiring place you've traveled to?
Leslie: Japan and South Korea.
10. Desert Island. Three things, go.
Taryn: Sweat sunscreen, my Nook, my boyfriend.
Not too many years ago, my advice to political candidates would have been pretty simple: "Don't do or say anything stupid." But the last few elections have rendered that advice outdated.
When Barack Obama referred to his grandmother as a "typical white woman" during the 2008 campaign, for example, many people thought it would cost him the election -- and once upon a time, it probably would have. But his supporters were focused on the values and positions he professed, and they weren't going to let one unwise comment distract them. Candidate Obama didn't even get much pushback for saying, "We're five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." That statement should have given even his most ardent supporters pause, but it didn't. It was in line with everything Obama had previously said, and it was what his supporters wanted to hear.
2016: What rules?
Fast forward to 2016, and Donald Trump didn't just ignore traditional norms, he almost seemed to relish violating them. Who would have ever dreamed we'd elect a man who talked openly about grabbing women by the **** and who was constantly blasting out crazy-sounding Tweets? But Trump did get elected. Why? Some people believe it was because Americans finally felt like they had permission to show their bigotry. Others think Obama had pushed things so far to the left that right-wing voters were more interested in dragging public policy back toward the middle than in what Trump was Tweeting.
Another theory is that Trump's lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable behavior was deliberately designed to make Democrats feel comfortable campaigning on policies that were far further to the left than they ever would have attempted before. Why? Because they were sure America would never elect someone who acted like Trump. If that theory is right, and Democrats took the bait, Trump's "digital policies" served him well.
And although Trump's brash style drew the most handlines, he wasn't the only one who seemed to have forgotten the, "Don't do or say anything stupid," rule. Hillary Clinton also made news when she made a "basket of deplorables" comment at a private fundraiser, but it leaked out, and it dogged her for the rest of the election cycle.
And that's where we need to start our discussion. Now that all the old rules about candidate behavior have been blown away, do presidential candidates even need digital policies?
Yes, they do. More than ever, in my opinion. Let me tell you why.
Digital policies for 2020 and beyond
While the 2016 election tossed traditional rules about political campaigns to the trash heap, that doesn't mean you can do anything you want. Even if it's just for the sake of consistency, candidates need digital policies for their own campaigns, regardless of what anybody else is doing. Here are some important things to consider.
Align your digital policies with your campaign strategy
Aside from all the accompanying bells and whistles, why do you want to be president? What ideological beliefs are driving you? If you were to become president, what would you want your legacy to be? Once you've answered those questions honestly, you can develop your campaign strategy. Only then can you develop digital policies that are in alignment with the overall purpose -- the "Why?" -- of your campaign:
- If part of your campaign strategy, for example, is to position yourself as someone who's above the fray of the nastiness of modern politics, then one of your digital policies should be that your campaign will never post or share anything that attacks another candidate on a personal level. Attacks will be targeted only at the policy level.
- While it's not something I would recommend, if your campaign strategy is to depict the other side as "deplorables," then one of your digital policies should be to post and share every post, meme, image, etc. that supports your claim.
- If a central piece of your platform is that detaining would-be refugees at the border is inhumane, then your digital policies should state that you will never say, post, or share anything that contradicts that belief, even if Trump plans to relocate some of them to your own city. Complaining that such a move would put too big a strain on local resources -- even if true -- would be making an argument for the other side. Don't do it.
- Don't be too quick to share posts or Tweets from supporters. If it's a text post, read all of it to make sure there's not something in there that would reflect negatively on you. And examine images closely to make sure there's not a small detail that someone may notice.
- Decide what your campaign's voice and tone will be. When you send out emails asking for donations, will you address the recipient as "friend" and stress the urgency of donating so you can continue to fight for them? Or will you personalize each email and use a more low-key, collaborative approach?
Those are just a few examples. The takeaway is that your online behavior should always support your campaign strategy. While you could probably get away with posting or sharing something that seems mean or "unpresidential," posting something that contradicts who you say you are could be deadly to your campaign. Trust me on this -- if there are inconsistencies, Twitter will find them and broadcast them to the world. And you'll have to waste valuable time, resources, and public trust to explain those inconsistencies away.
Remember that the most common-sense digital policies still apply
The 2016 election didn't abolish all of the rules. Some still apply and should definitely be included in your digital policies:
- Claim every domain you can think of that a supporter might type into a search engine. Jeb Bush not claiming www.jebbush.com (the official campaign domain was www.jeb2016.com) was a rookie mistake, and he deserved to have his supporters redirected to Trump's site.
- Choose your campaign's Twitter handle wisely. It should be obvious, not clever or cutesy. In addition, consider creating accounts with possible variations of the Twitter handle you chose so that no one else can use them.
- Give the same care to selecting hashtags. When considering a hashtag, conduct a search to understand its current use -- it might not be what you think! When making up new hashtags, try to avoid anything that could be hijacked for a different purpose -- one that might end up embarrassing you.
- Make sure that anyone authorized to Tweet, post, etc., on your behalf has a copy of your digital policies and understands the reasons behind them. (People are more likely to follow a rule if they understand why it's important.)
- Decide what you'll do if you make an online faux pas that starts a firestorm. What's your emergency plan?
- Consider sending an email to supporters who sign up on your website, thanking them for their support and suggesting ways (based on digital policies) they can help your messaging efforts. If you let them know how they can best help you, most should be happy to comply. It's a small ask that could prevent you from having to publicly disavow an ardent supporter.
- Make sure you're compliant with all applicable regulations: campaign finance, accessibility, privacy, etc. Adopt a double opt-in policy, so that users who sign up for your newsletter or email list through your website have to confirm by clicking on a link in an email. (And make sure your email template provides an easy way for people to unsubscribe.)
- Few people thought 2016 would end the way it did. And there's no way to predict quite yet what forces will shape the 2020 election. Careful tracking of your messaging (likes, shares, comments, etc.) will tell you if you're on track or if public opinion has shifted yet again. If so, your messaging needs to shift with it. Ideally, one person should be responsible for monitoring reaction to the campaign's messaging and for raising a red flag if reactions aren't what was expected.
Thankfully, the world hasn't completely lost its marbles
Whatever the outcome of the election may be, candidates now face a situation where long-standing rules of behavior no longer apply. You now have to make your own rules -- your own digital policies. You can't make assumptions about what the voting public will or won't accept. You can't assume that "They'll never vote for someone who acts like that"; neither can you assume, "Oh, I can get away with that, too." So do it right from the beginning. Because in this election, I predict that sound digital policies combined with authenticity will be your best friend.