Makeup Geek’s Marlena Stell on her $20M business

marlena stell makeup geek

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I interviewed Marlena Stell for Forbes last year, and we’ve stayed friends since. This 36-year-old entrepreneur built MakeUp Geek, the once cosmetics blog, now-makeup brand on track for $20 million in sales — and she’s remained just as passionate, real and cool as when her followers first met her on YouTube 8 years ago!

In this episode, Makeup Geek’s Marlena Stell shares:

  • How she went from high school music teacher, to cosmetics mogul (named to Inc.’s ‘Fastest Growing Women-Led Companies’), thanks to the then-new YouTube, brutal honesty and being herself in a world of gloss and perfection.
  • Whaaatt?! Her ex-husband is her COO? She explains how that works.
  • Why she DOESN’T have a mentor or professional idol.
  • What she does with all her money.
  • How she found her new husband, and balances her role as the breadwinner with her relationship.
  • Biggest mistakes she’s made in building Makeup Geek
  • Her advice to aspiring cosmetics entrepreneuers
  • Whats’ next for this woman
  • Why she is always unabashedly honest about the products she reviews (and drugstore brands often beat spendy Sephora labels)

Have a listen … and check out Makeup Geek’s latest products. 

What do you think of Marlena’s story? Too good to be true? What lessons did you learn from her journey. Share in the comments!


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