Student Profile | Valerie Christofel – Beauty Industry Essentials

Who: Valerie Christofel

What Course: Beauty Industry Essentials

How did you find us: I’d been working in the beauty industry for about 27 years and I took some time off to take care of my family. I found Beauty Industry Essentials while scrolling through Facebook. I came across a YB x F.I.T. ad and I was like OMG this looks very interesting to me! It’s very inspiring and it just keeps me going! 

Why: I wanted to get back into the Beauty Game. I wanted to see what was out there. This course is a great way to jump back in. So much has changed over the past 5-10 years. The terminology has changed, everything has changed and taking this course is a great way to relearn everything. I am  excited to learn from Bobbi Brown (course contributor). I am really inspired right now and I can’t wait to complete the program and get my certificate. 

Experience: Hair and makeup artist for films, TV shows, runway and printwork. 

Course Thoughts: 

For more information on how you can apply for the Beauty Industry Essentials program, visit

Student Profile | Ronnie Parris – Beauty Industry Essentials

Who: Ronnie Parris

What Course: Beauty Industry Essentials

How did you find us: I’d been working in retail for about 6 years and I wanted to get into the makeup industry. I needed some kind of knowledge about the industry. 

Why: I wanted to get into makeup because being darker, it’s kind of difficult for me to find a lot of shades. Makeup to me is not just about how I express myself. And that’s my career! Thanks to Beauty Industry Essentials thanks to F.I.T., Allure and Yellowbrick. 

Experience: Retail 

Course Thoughts: 

For more information on how you can apply for the Beauty Industry Essentials program, visit

YB Faves: Top 5 Podcasts in Yellowbrick’s Rotation

If podcasting is something you’ve always wanted to get into, today (well, tomorrow) is the perfect time to start. While blogs and digital publications have flourished, podcasts have become a really cool alternative to sharing content. There are so many to choose from and it is easy to get hooked. When going back and forth to work was a thing, podcasts helped make the commute time a little less tedious. You could listen on the walk to the train, on the train, and on the walk to the office at the push of a button. 

Podcasts are a great way to tell a story and provide detailed information on a variety of topics. The Yellowbrick student, faculty, and industry expert community is stacked with people who are the voices of quite a few podcasts in rotation. Some of Yellowbrick grads, current students, and university faculty are lending their ideas and conversations to some very popular podcasts. Since International Podcast Day is coming up, September 30th, we took some time to compile a list of our favorites below. Each podcast comes with a description with links on where and how you can access them. All of the episodes featured in this post can be listened to at the bottom of the page.

The Complex Sneaker Podcast co-hosted by Joe La Puma, Brendan Dunne, and Matt Welty engage in heavy sneaker conversation. The trio are no strangers to sneakers nor our audience as they are seen as industry experts in the Sneaker Essentials sneaker course. Their latest episode includes an in-depth convo with Gary Aspden, the adidas OG. He talks about meeting Kanye and what it took to create the Spezial. Aside from this latest episode, they have a solid archive of conversations to choose from. Click here to listen. 

Find Your Dream Job podcast by Mac Prichard is a great way to get some solid career advice. If trying to find the job of your dreams is something you have been trying to achieve, this is the podcast for you. This weekly podcast is all about sharing insider hiring info and tips on the job search that could prove to be helpful in any career. His latest episode, How to dine the Side Door at HR features Dana Pratt, the founder of DCP Training and Talent Development. Her company is the go to to help employers with performance consulting, leadership development, and talent management. Click here to listen.

Renaissance Soul podcast hosted by Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier is the home for all things Detroit hip-hop and music. What launched as a digital hip-hop website back in 2001, is now an audio podcast with the same content just a different output. The pod recently re-launched in August and led with Detroit’s own Dan Charnas, NYU professor and music journalist who is the go-to for all things Detroit/J-Dilla related. To check out the pod and Dan’s episode, click here.

How to Share podcast is a hospitality focused podcast that discusses storytelling, travel, and marketing in the travel industry. Host Amy Draheim is a marketing maven in the hotel industry and presents new and innovative ways to market hotels and travel destinations. Drahiem also owns and creates content for The Traveler’s Journey, which provides blogging tips, trip storytelling, and how to make the most of your IG feed when traveling. She recently sat down with Moniqua Lane to discuss how she started in hospitality, her efforts to create one-of-a-kind guest experiences, and her efforts to keep her property open despite the current vibe of the country. Click here to listen.

Unravel is a weekly podcast operated by Dana Goodin, Jasmine Helm and Joy Davis. The trio create content that is geared towards educating people about the importance of fashion in the history and current culture of the world. One of their goals is to encourage conversation about these topics within their digital platform community. They are women with a plethora of scholarly knowledge and do a great job of presenting it to their audience. Their goals are to, “collaborate with experts, in their field, to expand the conversation, speak beyond the canon of traditional fashion media and history, and be on the “frontline” of solidifying fashion history as a serious subject to study and learn”. Click here to listen.

Kenecia Lashae Discusses Why She Chose Beauty Industry Essentials | #SoICould

(press play above to hear Kenecia’s course testimonial)

Name: Kenecia Lashae Course: Beauty Industry Essentials

Instagram: @passport2pretty

I enrolled in Beauty Industry Essentials so I could…

I enrolled in this program so I could gain a better understanding of the fashion industry and the day-to-day process of getting an idea turned into a product.

Where are you working now?
I am working on creating a conscious body care line.

Has your experience in Beauty Industry Essentials impacted your career at all yet, and if so, how?
Beauty Industry Essentials has not yet affected my career but I’m sure in time it will have a positive effect.

Why did you think the course was right for you when you enrolled?
I thought the course was right for me because I took two years off from the industry and wanted to polish up with the course.

How did the course prepare you for working in the beauty industry?
The course was a refresher for me in many ways. I think it will show potential clients my dedication to continued education.

How did the partnership with Allure for Beauty Industry Essentials affect your choice to take the program?
The partnership with Allure was a major appeal to me because they are a staple in all things beauty.

What assignment, course, and/or instructor sticks out in your mind or taught you something valuable?
The course that stuck out to me the most was beauty writing is hard, because it is. I like the instructors’ analogy of writing 500 words on mascara versus a crisis overseas.

What is your biggest takeaway from this program?
That I was actually very interested in the branding side of the course and could see myself exploring an additional service.

What would you say to a friend about Beauty Industry Essentials?
I would tell a friend that Beauty Industry Essentials is a great refresher course that can help you explore different avenues of the beauty industry.

Take a Look Inside New York City’s Makeup Museum | VIDEO

Play Video

The Makeup industry has been around for quite some time. From the early days of makeup campaigns to the trends that have come and gone, there have been a lot of styles, looks, and products that have made the industry what it is today. Red Lips, smoky eyes, and smooth skin have always been beauty basic. The styles and concepts behind makeup have evolved over the years to make the industry what it is today. The Makeup Museum in New York City was created to allow visitors to immerse themselves in a historical beauty experience. It was designed as an immersive experience but had to pause and reset due to the ordered Covid restrictions that hit New York City last year.

The Makeup Museum was set to open with interactive exhibits that focused on touch and creating products. The pandemic changed all that. In May 2020 it still opened with its premiere exhibit, “Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America”. The exhibit showcased a variety of historical makeup items that belonged to icons like Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo. Beauty Industry Essentials graduate Kenecia Lashae was tapped to help curate the museum, with a focus on the Black Beauty wall. The Black Beauty Wall highlighted some of the makeup products, successes, and challenges that African American women faced during these times.

We paid a visit to the Makeup Museum recently and caught up with Kenecia. She was able to take us through the museum on a guided tour and show us what they had to offer on a visit. The video serves as an inside look at the “Pink Jungle” exhibit with helpful commentary from Kenecia. The makeup museum is temporarily closed due to Covid restrictions. For more information on the next Makeup Museum exhibit, please visit and sign up for the newsletter and exxhibit alerts. 

7 Fluid Beauty Brands That Don’t Care About Gender

There was a time when beauty only existed as a space for those identified as cis, white, and female. As gen zers step into areas that older generations have occupied for too long, the beauty industry is finally beginning to look like its consumers. Here are our favorite inclusive and fluid beauty brands.

Alder New York

Alder, Beauty Brands
Alder New York Exfoliating Mud Face Mask Trio

Nina Zilka and David Krause founded Alder New York in 2016. Alder is a ​​queer and woman-owned independent skincare brand offering a full range of vegan products. The line covers every step of your skincare routine, regardless of gender or any other label. “Inclusivity is inherent to how David and I think about design. We are always trying to create the best possible, most effective product. That has nothing to do with someone’s gender identity, race, age, etcetera,” Zilka said in an interview last year. “So when we create a product, we’re focused on the effects of the product and how it will make someone feel.”


IG: @alder_new_york

Dragun Beauty

Dragan, Beauty Brands
Dragun Beauty DragunEgg TRANSformation Kit

When YouTube star Nikita Dragun set out to create her own fluid beauty brand, she understood the unique power makeup could have on someone’s life and confidence. In a sit down with Them, she discussed the importance of launching one of the first trans-owned beauty brands. “It was more of a transformation thing. I was using makeup to feminize my features and alter my face to present myself in the way I wanted. It wasn’t about, ‘Oh, I need to eyeshadow here and eyeshadow there.’ It was survival.” Dragun’s initial 2019 launch featured two products — the Dragun Fire Skin-Perfecting Potion and the TRANSformation Powder — and sold out in a day. Since then, the brand has expanded to over 20 products that are all certified vegan and gluten-free.


IG: @dragunbeauty

Non Gender Specific

NGS, Beauty Brands
Non Gender Specific Everything Cream

Called “the beauty brand for all humans,” Non Gender Specific’s sole intent is to live up to its motto. “After nearly a decade in beauty, I couldn’t understand how a progressive industry that relies so heavily on innovation could be so backwards in who the products were being marketed to,” founder Andrew Glass explained in an interview. Glass launched by Non Gender Specific in 2018. The vegan and cruelty-free fluid beauty brand offers a wide range of skincare products designed for multifunctional use. Its most popular product, Everything Serum, addresses all types of skin concerns, from wrinkles to hyperpigmentation.


IG: @nongenderspecificofficial

NOTO Botanics

Noto, Beauty Brands
Noto Agender Oil Anywhere Hair + Body

Gloria Noto’s mission in starting NOTO Botanics wasn’t just to create a skincare brand that reflected her approach to self-care but to offer more visibility to the underrepresented. NOTO’s website boasts the founder’s intent clearly, “launching NOTO quite literally in my kitchen, I became excited to use all of the skills I learned over the years to create a line that celebrated the identities I felt I wasn’t seeing in the clean beauty industry.” These values are essential to the brand’s aesthetic and marketing. In addition, their Agender Oil is the brand’s giveback product, benefiting charities like Planned Parenthood, LGBT Youth Center, and The Okra Project.


IG: @noto_botanics

Trixie Cosmetics

Blush Palette
Summer of Love Blush Palette by Trixie Cosmetics

Trixie Cosmetics was founded by RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars winner Trixie Mattel. The line is the culmination of her experience as a drag superstar and her time working behind the scenes as a makeup artist. Trixie Cosmetics may feature bright, nostalgic packaging that mirrors the fun-loving personality of the brand’s namesake, but Mattel’s purpose is simple in its inclusivity: “drag queens and people, they want the same thing: we all want products that work well, that are priced well and are fun to apply.” 


IG: @trixiecosmetics

Volition Beauty 

Volition Moisturizer
Yaupon Tea Glow-Awakening Moisturizer by Volition

Brandy Hoffman and Patricia Santos founded Volition in 2016. The queer-owned beauty brand has a unique approach to community engagement. Together they launched Volition by combining the concept of crowdsourcing and the power of social media. Consumers submit their ideas for beauty products through the brand’s website. Then, followers vote on which products they’d like to see developed and released. Finally, the winning products go on sale to shoppers. The immersive process is an indication of how Hoffman wants Volition to serve people on a broader scale, “we believe at our core that the only way to be an inclusive beauty brand is to start with their ideas and share in that. Our community, their needs, and their creativity are what drive our product development and ensures that an array of voices are represented.”


IG: @volitionbeauty

We Are Fluide

We Are Fluide Lip Gloss
Universal Gloss Quad by We Are Fluide

We Are Fluide is a Brooklyn-based, queer-owned beauty brand offering a full lineup of gender-neutral products from lip gloss to nail polish. Fluide’s core tenant is to provide a fun and safe space for anyone wanting to explore. The brand’s commitment to inclusivity is evident throughout its marketing and its racially and ethnically diverse staff. As co-founder Laura Kraber put it, the mission of Fluide is “to create a beautiful and intimate online universe where everyone is comfortable being themselves—to evolve the mainstream conception of ‘beauty’ while creating a space for people to express themselves authentically.”


IG: @fluidebeauty

If you want to explore the beauty industry and learn how to build your inclusive brand, check out Yellowbrick’s Ultimate Beauty Career Guide.

Yellowbrick, FIT, and Beauty Inc Launch Beauty Business Essentials

Yellowbrick has partnered with the Fashion Institute of Technology and Beauty Inc to introduce Beauty Business Essentials. This new online course provides a behind-the-scenes look at the business of beauty. In this 100% online and self-paced course, FIT’s world-renowned faculty and experts from Beauty Inc guide students through the major segments of the business of beauty. In addition, students who complete the online course will finish with a portfolio-ready hero product concept and receive a non-credit Certificate of Completion from FIT.

Beauty Business Essentials Thumbnail
Beauty Business Essentials, a new online program to help students learn how to take a beauty product concept to market.

Beauty Business Essentials consists of five modules: Beauty Industry Entrepreneurship And Intrapreneurship, Product Development And Production Management, Building A Successful Beauty Brand, Beauty Business Marketing Strategies, and Retailing And Distribution. Students complete activities, assignments, and quizzes in each module to gain a deeper understanding of industry practices and potential career opportunities. In addition, course instructors include Virginia Bonofiglio, Assistant Professor and Associate Chairperson of Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing at FIT. Industry experts also include Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, founders of Glow Recipe, Karen Chambers, VP of Iman Beauty, Ian Ginsberg, CEO of C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, and Fenton Jagdeo, founder of FACULTY.

This online course is perfect for people at all career stages. Enthusiasts searching for a way to turn their passion into careers will learn about the different opportunities available in the beauty business. Furthermore, industry veterans will strengthen their knowledge and expand their skill sets. Seasoned professionals looking for an industry refresher will gain insight into new trends in the market. No matter where you are in your beauty industry journey, Beauty Business Essentials will help you take your career to the next gear.


FIT is a leading educator in cosmetics, fragrance, design, fashion, and art. The New York-based university has provided industry-defining instruction for over 75 years. 

Beauty Inc is the go-to source for coverage on beauty. Beauty Inc is the preeminent authority up to the minute industry news and trends. They have six printed issues per year, a weekly digital publication, and have reports in WWD.


Graduates of Beauty Business Essentials can expect to complete the online course with an understanding of:

  • Basic branding principles and marketing strategies to launch a beauty brand concept
  • The beauty product development process
  • How brands establish retail and distribution strategies
  • How successful brands have taken a concept to market

As part of their course work, graduates who finish the course will have a beauty-based hero product concept for their portfolios.


Virginia Bonofiglio

Virginia Bonofiglio is an Assistant Professor and Associate Chairperson of Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing at FIT, where she’s used her 40 years of beauty industry experience to develop the curriculum for the Cosmetic & Fragrance Marketing program, as well as a specialized certificate program in perfumery.

Christine Chang and Sarah Lee

Christine Chang and Sarah Lee founded Glow Recipe in 2014. The pair previously worked together at L’Oréal in South Korea before launching Glow Recipe, now one of the best-selling skincare lines in the world.

Karen Chambers

Karen Chambers is the Vice President of IMAN Beauty. She’s also a writer, editor, and multicultural beauty & wellness speaker.

Ian Ginsberg

Ian Ginsberg serves as the Chief Executive Officer of C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries. Ginsberg is the third generation owner of C.O. Bigelow which is the oldest pharmacy-apothecary in the United States.

Fenton Jagdeo

Fenton Jagdeo is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of FACULTY, a line of modern grooming products.


If you’re still not sure if Beauty Business Essentials is right for you, consider the following questions:

  • Do have an interest in the business side of beauty, but you don’t know how to get started?
  • Do you want to launch your own beauty brand or beauty product?
  • Interested in pursuing an education in beauty, but don’t want to commit to a traditional university program?
  • Are you in another career and considering a change into the business industry?
  • Are you a licensed Professionals or career MUA’s looking to expand your skillset?
  • Have you worked in the business of beauty for years and feel like you could use a refresher? 

If you’re interested in more information, head over to Beauty Business Essentials and sign up to receive a video preview and our course catalog.

An Introduction to Beauty Industry Essentials Module 7: Beauty Media

There are many different career paths and areas of interest in the beauty industry. The seventh module of Yellowbrick’s Beauty Industry Essentials online course takes a deep dive into beauty media. During the course, students will learn about the challenges faced by beauty media professionals, learn about the skills and knowledge needed to write for print and online publications, explore the impact of social media on the beauty industry, and get an overview of the career opportunities available.

Be a Journalist First

Danielle Pergament, a contributing editor and former executive editor at Allure breaks down what students can expect to take away from the course. Pergament is well-versed in all things beauty writing. However, there’s more to the beauty business than it may appear. Thorough beauty education and journalistic research skills are critical to accurately writing and reporting on beauty developments.

Beauty Media

“When people hear that I work at Allure, their first or second question is always about beauty,” says Pergament. “What comes up a lot is beauty as journalism and how that’s not a contradiction in terms. This is something Allure has pioneered for 25 years, the idea that you can report on an eye cream, that certain products are more efficient and effective than others, that there is real journalism to be had in there.”

Skepticism is Necessary in Beauty Media

As a beauty media writer, you have to dig deeper — you can never trust a press release at face value. “I tell our reporters and writers to believe that everything is a lie. Believe every press release you get is completely untrue,” says Pergament.

Beauty Media

She suggests going to an impartial third-party source, getting double-blind studies, and digging deeper into online beauty education. “You have to find the story and why it matters to people in beauty,” she advises. Why should somebody spend $30 on a product? Why should somebody get a cosmetic procedure? If they’re going to spend this money, it’s your job to deliver that information and make your reader a satisfied consumer.

Pergament states, “it’s an exciting time because we’ve moved on to a place where there are no beauty rules. Now, having blue hair is not shocking, nor is it men experimenting with makeup.” As beauty media members and journalists, it’s your job to report on trends factually and truthfully, not judge them, and share what readers need to know.

Are you interested in the aspects of beauty writing and the careers surrounding beauty and media? Check out Beauty Industry Essentials online course, or download The Ultimate Beauty Career Guide.

Industry Perspectives: Danielle Pergament on Beauty Writing for Print

Danielle Pergament’s expertise in beauty writing is second to none. Her work has been published by New York TimesCondé Nast Traveler, and Marie Claire, and she has served as an Executive Editor for Allure and Editor-in-Chief of As one of the mentors featured in Yellowbrick’s Beauty Industry Essentials online course, she spoke with us about the tools necessary to be successful as a beauty writer and editors.

Find Your Own Voice

I recently interviewed somebody for a job, and there was a long discussion about what the job entails. This person would have to go to beauty events, organize products, and so forth. I said, “the only thing I care about is that you can get me from the beginning of a sentence to the end of one; that you don’t use cliches, and that you don’t write in magazine speak.” By that, I meant a generic woman’s magazine voice. You want to surprise the reader.

Separate Yourself as a Beauty Writer

When I started off as an editor, the internet was a nonentity. Now, everybody has such a strong social presence. There are so many voices out there. So, for print to rise above, we have to speak like humans. There’s no place in the world anymore for generic, cliched voices. I want every sentence to be compelling, clever, pithy, and engaging. To become a beauty writer, you have to care more about writing than beauty. Take whatever space that is given —  whether it’s 200 or 2,000 words, give me and make me feel something. As cheesy as it sounds, you want to elevate the human spirit. Your only loyalty is to the reader. You want to make that reader feel engaged, hang on to every word, and not just flip through. There’s no place for that “yay, just between us gals” voice anymore.

Find the Right Publication for Your Voice

The voice of Allure, if we do our jobs right, is nonjudgmental. It’s a little snarky, but not sarcastic. It’s never cruel; we never talk about envy. I hope that we are a judgment-free zone that makes people feel fun and engaged, and that the sentences are pithy, alive, and cliche-free.

Relax a Little Bit

I have no problem with broken sentences. I have no problem with stories that start with “OK, here’s the thing” because that makes me want to find out what the thing is. I think that men’s magazines have been — and I hate to say this — more successful over the years than women’s magazines. I don’t know if they have more free reign or if the writers just have more stuff they can say. But women’s magazines tend to be over-edited and the voice can be watered down. When you have 10 editors, you never make things more creative. So, I always encourage my writers or the people I’m interviewing to just let it out. Talk like you’re talking to your best friend after a cup of coffee or after a glass of wine. What makes you feel most creative? That’s what we want on the paper.