At Beautylish, Three Men and a Beauty Editor Build a Community Around Cosmetics

3/7/11Follow @xconomy

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name direct competitors, he says, but the closest would be the networking site Makeupalley.com, or the cosmetics retailer Sephora, which is beginning to ask customers for product reviews. But Nguyen doesn’t believe these sites have all of the necessary elements of social commerce. “We think we may be doing just the right blend,” he says.

The company is still pre-revenue, and it isn’t “fixated on” developing its business model yet, according to Nguyen. But the founders are thinking about how they can implement the “obvious advertising model,” and if there might be a way to bring in revenue by helping users find the products they want.

The list of angel investors who contributed to the $1 million the company raised back in July includes some pretty big Silicon Valley names, including “super angel” Ron Conway, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, and Yelp co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman. “When we were out fundraising, we basically looked for investors who had a domain expertise, who could provide a lot of value in areas critical and important areas,” Nguyen says.

Since starting the site, the three co-founders have also learned a lot about make-up. “After you read about it so much, you kind of just want to try it to see,” Nguyen says. “We haven’t perfected our technique yet, but I know Nils has tried out a number of products.” And so far he’s learned one thing that he actually uses every day. “You have to pat, not rub,” he says.

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