Behind the Scenes with Head 2 Toe Cosmetics

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On a recent visit to Head 2 Toe Boutique, I found owner and makeup artist Melissa Solis almost finished with her interpretation of Roy Lichtenstein Thinking of Him.  Her model?  herself!

Redress: Tell us about Head 2 Toe Cosmetics - when did you start this line, and what led you to it?

H2T: I started my relationship with H2T Cosmetics in 2011. As a makeup artist I'd noticed clients always tend to say "I love this color, I love this concealer, where can I get it?" I realized I was making more money for various cosmetics companies that I didn't even believe in. So I started to play around and began making my own lipsticks or eye shadows at home, with very few products and I was very happy with the results. High in pigment, natural everyday products, and I can actually pronounce the ingredients. So after doing some research in cost and manufacturing in creating a makeup line, I realized to do this I would have to take out many loans, have big investors or divorce my husband and find a really rich one. So to create a brand from the ground up was out of the question. I was talking to a friend who is a chemist at Revlon and he suggested I look into private label companies. After much research I found a group of 15 makeup artists who were like me. We went through a planning process and joined income and forces to create a private label company. I have had a say or input in the design of every product that is in our store. 

Redress: Tell us about the components and benefits of your makeup line.

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H2T: The great thing about H2T Cosmetics is the simplicity. Most of the items - eyeshadows, lipsticks, concealers, blushes - have anywhere from 6 to 9 components. Pigment {coloring}, Titanium Dioxide {thickener}, Mica {A natural stone, an actual rock}, and various oils {grapefruit, sunflower oil, aloe oil, rosemary extract, coconut oil, Jojoba, green tea, sage, grape seed, casterseed oil or vitamin E}. No fragrances, no animal testing, safe enough to eat! All the ingredients fit on the back of each product. 

The other benefit of H2T Cosmetics is at the makeup counter, we are not sales people. We are artists. We would rather you purchase products that you will use, love and when you run out come back to buy a refill. We show you how to use the items in a professional way. People that support our cosmetics are not customers they are clients.

Redress: How long have you been a professional makeup artist?

H2T: I have been a makeup artist since 2002. I started out at MAC Cosmetics, which is where I learned I was good at makeup, as well as where I developed a passion for making people feel confident, beautiful and all around awesome! Its also where I learned I needed to work for myself. I decided I will not promote and develop new items just for sales, I want to bring in new items because they are amazing and would be a great asset to anyone's makeup bag! 

Redress: What kind of projects to you work on (in addition to gracing the runways of Raleigh with your work)?

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H2T: If I am not working on fashion shows or at the store, I am usually on movie sets, commercial sets or on various multi-media projects. 

Redress: What are your inspirations? What is your favorite kind of project to work on?

H2T: Being a math geek, I study the geometry of a clients features and really let that inspire colors, and shading. Architecture and gardens are a huge inspiration for some of my avant-garde looks. I am always inspired by fashion.

In the last five years I started to get into special effects, my favorite project to date was being chosen do makeup for the AMC show Walking Dead. It was a promo video, but to be chosen in the first place boosted my confidence in my skill. Not only can I do glamorous and pretty, I can also make things scary, gross, f-ugly. 

Redress: What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs in the fashion and beauty industry?

H2T: Don't wait for someone to knock on your door, go and do the knocking. Try your best to be a master in that skill set. Keep it simple and focus on your #1 passion. Develop relationships.

Redress: Is there anything exciting on the horizon for you or anything I didn't ask that you'd like to tell us about?

H2T: We do have amazing news for 2014. Till then follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Also make sure to check out H2T's work on the runway this fall and keep an eye out for our specials and up coming events.

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