Cher Donaldson set out to find an alternative to regular makeup brands that are filled with harmful chemicals. She wanted to design a beauty range that was natural and cruelty-free and, at the same time, concealed, enhanced and healed the skin. After much research and testing, she launched her business, Alluring Minerals. Here she talks about her inspiration behind the brand and her dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
My inspiration came from wanting to find an effective, high-quality beauty range that was attainable to all women: a beauty range made from true natural ingredients, cruelty free and it had to work! I needed to design a product range that was going to produce results without breaking the budget.
I wasn’t blessed with perfect skin so looking after my skin has always been a big part of my life. Makeup gave me back my confidence but I didn’t want to add to my skin issues by using chemical-filled products so, when I discovered mineral makeup, I was excited!
After discovering that not all mineral makeup is created equal and that some of the other brands actually use fillers such as bismuth oxychloride or talc, I knew this defeated the purpose of using natural makeup so I set out to design my own brand. An ethical brand that empowers women to look and feel their best.
As a makeup artist by trade, I was finding women were becoming more aware about what products go on their skin and more sensitive to some of the harsh ingredients in traditional cosmetics. This also empowered me find a better solution to traditional cosmetics.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
My journey began firstly with a lot of research, testing lots of different products and trialling manufacturers who could help me design a beauty range to find one that worked, was completely natural, cruelty free and would not only conceal but enhance the skin by acting as a healing product. As a mother of teenage daughters, I had the best critics at hand to let me know their honest opinion on my new product range. I started doing markets, makeup parties, working with influencers and contacting wholesalers to launch my brand.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Mindset. It’s been the biggest piece that’s really helped me to overcome just about everything to help me move forward and take action every day.
My favourite quote is “progress over perfection”. I make sure to make progress every day, no matter how small as long as I’m moving forward.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
I make sure that, when I’m working on my business, I set focused times to get the most out of my creative energy and when it comes to family, well that’s what it’s all for right! When my kids talk to me, I give them my full attention, I look them in the eyes to show I’m listening and I always aim to ask them questions about their day and what their favourite part was. This helps me stay connected with them and show them how much I care about what’s happening in their world.
My husband recently joined up to the gym I go to so now, when we can, we go and work out together which I’m loving. He’s such a supportive person of my business, he will spend an entire day with me at the markets from set up to pack down and he’s always willing to help me out when I need it.
The drive: What challenges have you overcome?
In business there are so many challenges but they only make you stronger! The first year in business was a particularly big challenge as I’d invested all my savings into a supplier which ended up as a disaster! They were completely unreliable and dishonest which ultimately made me better at so many parts of running a product-based business – from testing, researching and having patience, which has been a blessing in disguise.
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
Pros: I get to make all the decisions and be my own boss! I can show up for my family on important events and be there when they need me.
Cons: It can be lonely being in business by yourself and you can end up doubting some of your choices so it’s key to have a supportive network of like-minded people to bounce ideas off.
Hopes and dreams: What next?
My vision is to be Australia’s leading natural cosmetics brand, empowering women to look and feel their best!
I’d love to have my brand in many stores across the country and eventually worldwide. I’d also love to have my very own store where women can come and be pampered and learn the skills of applying makeup confidently.