A Delicate Balance or A Perfect Storm: Young Beauty Brands Share Their Insights

Wednesday 23rd February 2022 – 03:30 – 04:15

Hear about the tribulations and triumphs of startups and young brands and what they can teach us all.
Understand how to learn from blunders and optimize success. Find motivation to keep going when the
journey is full of obstacles. This amazing panel will help you understand why indies brands are now 20%
of our industry.

Karen Young

CEO The Young Group

Before opening The Young Group in 1999, Karen was Vice President of Marketing, Advertising, Product Development and Sales Promotion for Lancôme. Prior to that, she spent seventeen years at Estée Lauder, where she held a variety of executive positions, including Executive Director of Color Cosmetics.

Karen is an active board member of Fashion Group International. She is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist.  Karen divides her time between New York and Paris, where The Young Group also has an office.

Since opening The Young Group, Karen has worked extensively in all categories of the cosmetic industry.  She has developed concepts and products for RoC, Bath and Body Works, Neutrogena, e.l.f, Vichy and Oribe.  Karen has worked on numerous established brands in the beauty category, including Christian Dior Beauté, Shiseido, Bumble & bumble, Dove and Paula’s Choice.

Karen is an adjunct professor at The Fashion Institute of Technology, teaching Product Development in the Master’s program in Cosmetic & Fragrance Marketing and Management.

Kathryn Madison

Dye Candy

As an Army brat living overseas, and later as an ex-pat traveling the world, Kathryn was captivated by self-expression through beauty and culture.
It was natural that she was drawn into the salon world where her own over the top self-expression of beauty was celebrated, finding joy aiding the transformation of others.
While taking a break from the salon, Kathryn discovered how difficult it was to self-color her hair at home and despite her skills. The awkwardness and mess made her dread what should have been an experience of self-care. On further exploration, she discovered that most home color was applied with rigid, ketchup-like, single-use bottles provided in kits that were bound for ocean waste and landfills.
After many years, multiple designs, prototypes, and testing, Kathryn’s final design has now been internationally patented. The Hummingbird has launched as Dye Candy’s flagship product with a mission to provide a sustainable option to single-use plastics, transforming the experience and outcome of color application and in the process touching the heads of many, just like she did while in the salon.


Regina Merson

Reina Rebelde

Regina Merson is the founder and creator of Reina Rebelde, a makeup line inspired by Merson’s Mexican heritage that celebrates the collective and empowering dualities of women all over. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised in Dallas, Texas, Merson left a successful career as a bankruptcy attorney to launch Reina Rebelde, which ties her two loves—cosmetics and her Mexican heritage. Reina Rebelde has been featured in publications such as O, Allure, Vogue, and Forbes, and her products which have been sold at Amazon, Target and Walmart have won several beauty awards. A graduate of Yale University and The University of Chicago Law School, Merson is a proud Mexican immigrant carving out her own path in the beauty world.

Stephy Kim

Co-Founder + CEO Moonlit Skincare

Stephanie Kim’s first dive into the beauty industry was as one of the first interns at Birchbox. Before co-founding Moonlit Skincare with Krisztina Matyi, she worked for Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, Obliphica, and L’Oréal-owned Kérastase and Shu Uemura.

Moonlit Skincare has been praised by Refinery29, Forbes, VOGUE, NY Mag’s The Cut, Marie Claire, and listed as CEW’s “Indie Brands to Watch.” Past and present retailers include Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Lou & Grey, and QVC.