A woman who invented her own Kim Kardashian-style contour make-up when she couldn’t buy any has had the stamp of approval from the woman herself.
Charlotte Miskell was desperate to find a palette that would give her the Kardashian contouring which has made Kim one of the most admired women in celebrity.
But when her extensive but fruitless search failed, the 29-year-old decided she could do better herself and set about launching her own brand.
A year later, Charlotte’s company Contour Cosmetics is a business worth an eyewatering £2million – and being worn by same celebrity who inspired the search.
“I had wanted a cream contour kit to recreate Kim’s look on myself,” said Charlotte, from Burnley, Lancs.
“But I noticed there wasn’t anything readily available in the UK.
Contour Cosmetics comes after Charlotte designed her perfect palette
“I started researching the market place and noticed there was a huge gap for this type of product.
“Then I found a UK manufacturer and set about producing my own brand.”
Things weren’t always so glamorous for the young entrepreneur.
During school, Charlotte was labeled the class clown, leaving sixth form with a qualification in drama.
She was encouraged by teachers to be an actress, and didn’t seem likely to go into business.
Kim Kardashian is known for her contour make up look
After working a series of dead-end jobs – including an admin role in a mental hospital and working on the rubbish collection team for Burnley Council – she eventually set up a PR company from her mum’s kitchen, Sweet Heart marketing, with a starting sum of £500.
She said: “I’d saved £500 from my last job and bought a secondhand PC for £200, spent £200 on a website and £100 in business cards.
“In month one I made £100. I was so proud of myself.”
Contour Cosmetics give shape to the face with different shading
But it was when Charlotte was sat at her PR desk job, trawling through websites looking for Kardashian inspired make-up, she had her light bulb moment.
“I knew how hard it would be because there is so much huge competition out there with so many different make-up companies, but I was also up for the challenge.”
Charlotte hid herself away in her bedroom and began work on a prototype contour palette, which would eventually put her at the helm of a company now worth £2m.
Danni from TOWIE is another of Charlotte’s happy customers
Her palette consists of six different shades of foundation, which if applied correctly, can give shape to an area of the face, enhancing natural facial structure.
“Contouring used to be a technique previously reserved for runway models and fancy photo shoots,” said Charlotte.
“But because of the Kardashians, it’s becoming a part of many girls’ daily routines.
“It was important to me to make this brand my own, so I worked with a team to create the correct texture, shades and even smell of the makeup, totally bespoke to my brand.
Contour has also been used by Katie Price and some of the TOWIE stars
“That was the longest part of the process. It took 12 months from the first meeting to actually being able to physically hold the product.”
With a minimum order of £20,000, Charlotte scraped together the money borrowing capital from her family, but within two months of launching she was able to pay them back and has been raking in the cash ever since.
With celebrity fans such as Katie Price, Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby, Holly Hagan and TOWIE beauties, all tweeting their love for the product, the orders began to roll in.
A year after launching, Charlotte’s wildest dreams became a reality when she sent a Contour Cosmetics palette to Kim Kardashian’s personal make-up artist, Mario Dedivanovic and he used the product on his most famous client.
“I was a huge fan of all of the Kardashians- especially Kim, she actually inspired me to want to work for myself,” said Charlotte.
Contour Cosmetics has gone global and it’s got many happy customers
“When I started the brand, I always said ‘I’ll have a Kardashian wearing my make-up’ and when I saw Kim’s make-up artist using my product on her, it was a dream a come true.
“I couldn’t even breathe I was crying for about twenty minutes. All my hard work and effort had paid off.
“It was all so surreal. I mean, Kim Kardashian wearing my makeup? I’m just from Burnley, it’s a small northern town in Lancashire, and yet you have the queen of tinseltown wearing my products. It’s nuts.
“People always have these ideas about creating something, becoming an entrepreneur and your product being a success, but I never actually thought it would happen.
Watch make-up artist’s Kim Kardashian-inspired beauty tutorial:
“In my first month I turned over £2,000, now I average £150,000 a month.
“We sell worldwide through our website, America being our second biggest selling country after the UK. Our next move is to launch in the USA.
“There have been times when people though I was crazy and biting off more than I could chew, but I’m living proof that if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it with a little hard work and determination.”