Natasha Moor On Creating A Beauty Empire With Kindness At Its Core
Natasha Moor, the founder of eponymous cosmetics brand Natasha Moor Cosmetics, never planned on a career in the beauty industry. But a few unexpected career turns have seen her grow into one of the most sought-after bridal makeup artists in Asia.
After graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2011, Hongkonger Moor moved back to the city to work in her intended industry: public relations (PR) and marketing. Working for an entertainment startup, Moor was constantly attending large-scale events in the city. “Every time I went to these events, people would come up to me and say ‘Your makeup is amazing!’” she says, crediting those experiences to her eventual decision to start a side-business doing professional makeup.
She got her first official job as a makeup artist at the age of 23, for a woman who was attending her brother’s wedding. “I was doing her makeup in the same room as the bride,” she recalls. “I remember the bride’s makeup was so bad that she fired her makeup artist on the spot and hired me. That’s when I was like ‘Okay, I need to do this.’”
Despite being talented, Moor admits that in the early days of her career, her young age was a deterrent when it came to securing some of the biggest makeup jobs—weddings and magazine shoots. “You don’t trust a 23-year-old with your face for a wedding,” she says. “When I decided to quit my job in PR to be a makeup artist, it was so difficult because people didn’t trust [me] with their faces.”
Hundreds of makeup jobs later, Moor built her reputation to such an extent that she launched her own makeup line, Natasha Moor Cosmetics, in 2017. Stocked in Sephora, Macy’s and on her official website, the line began with lipsticks and has since grown to include products such as eyeliner, mascara, contour stick, lip oil and concealer.
For Moor, makeup is about more than just the products; it’s a way to empower people and make them feel confident and beautiful. “I remember every time I would do [a client's] makeup they were like, ‘Oh my god, I’m so beautiful!’ and would start taking selfies. When I realised that transformative power, I realised that [it’s not] just superficially applying cosmetics onto your face. It is so much more than that.”
How did you become interested in makeup?
“I used to play with my mother's makeup when I was a kid. And when I was in university, I used to do all my friends’ makeup. It was my thing. My best friend always said to me that I should turn my passion for makeup into a career, and saw me opening up my own salon. I used to say, ‘I want to be a gazillionaire—I can’t be a makeup artist!’ And that’s why I never did it initially.”
Why did you get into bridal makeup in particular?
“I started to love doing bridal more than film and TV [makeup] because of the way that people would respond. So film and TV were really great, but models and actors are used to getting their makeup done, whereas brides don't [often] have the opportunity. They're getting married, it's like the one day they want to look phenomenal. So the confidence boost that I saw in these women, that's what inspired me to actually start my brand.”
It was so difficult because people didn’t trust [me] with their faces
— Natasha Moor
Was there a particular moment you realised that makeup had transformative powers?
After realising how many of her clients felt so confident after getting their makeup done, Moor decided to visit some women’s shelters to help more women feel the same way. “I went to Compton in Los Angeles and I visited drug and rehab centres, and I visited women's shelters in San Diego where I worked with victims of human trafficking. I was doing their makeup and it was very sensitive, but I just had to be myself and do what I do best,” she says. “As soon as I touched their face, they were a bit nervous, but once the makeup was on, it was like they forgot everything in the world. They were just checking themselves out and then they started taking selfies. That was when I realised I'm onto something.”
At that point, Moor had already formulated a couple of beauty products. Her experiences in the US made her realise she wanted to shed the typical product names that many brands adopt, like “Sexy Mama”, and instead go for names like ‘empowered’, ‘boss’ and ‘conquer’—all a tribute to seeing how women felt once they got their makeup done.
What kind of community are you trying to build with Natasha Moor Cosmetics?
“Now, more and more with the world and the way things are going, I think that we all just need a little positivity and support, and it's hard to find people who support each other. There’s often a lot of unnecessary competition; I really saw that when I was starting my career. There were so many haters, but I guess now that I have a voice, people are obviously nicer to me. So, my voice to the world is going to be all about supporting each other. There's no point in fighting or competing—healthy competition is fine, but I am all about supporting each other. That's also the community I'm trying to build in Natasha Moor Cosmetics. I really want to be able to create a community where everyone talks to each other, vibes with each other and energetically connects with each other. Kindness is the most important thing to me. If you think something nice, you say it—that’s my motto in life.”
If you could go back to before you founded your company, what is the one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?
“I've grown so much in dealing with clients, customers and vendors. But the thing is, I could never teach myself those things, you really have to go through [these experiences] to grow. So I don't regret anything in life because whatever happened has helped me get to this place right now. But I think I’d tell myself that I’ll be fine and to just keep believing in myself.”
“There are times where I've just given up and I've cried.When we were searching for investors, I questioned who would believe in my brand. But I just kind of went for it. I just ignored everyone's BS and I continued to believe in myself. I reminded myself that I have a great product and I have a great purpose.”
Was there a moment when you really found your purpose?
“I understood my purpose in life only last year. I was in the hospital for 34 days with Covid-19. It gave me a lot of time for reflection, and I realised that my purpose is to bring happiness to people, whether that is in my personal life, my friendships, relationships or random people I meet on the street. That’s something I’ve really implemented into my [mindset]. So, on the cosmetics front, it makes me so happy when someone says that they feel beautiful in my lipstick or that they feel confident because of it—that’s what makes me so happy.”
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