Q & A with TOK Beauty Founder Tara O’Kelly

While many beauty consumers shifted their attention from make-up to skincare during the pandemic, I actually missed exploring new make-up launches and finding the gems that I can share with you. Luckily when you set an intention, things start coming into focus that you might have missed otherwise, so before I share a post with you about a young Canadian make-up brand TOK Beauty, I would like to introduce its founder, Tara O’Kelly to you.

Tara O’Kelly, founder of TOK Beauty

With having established the brand in Canada, where Tara lives, and imminently expanding into the US, Tara has no immediate plans to land in Europe, but with family there and past back-packing travels, I think her products will land on our shores soonish – she does ship the products to Europe and the UK in the meantime. Expect simple, but elegant & recyclable packaging, ethically sourced ingredients and focus on performance-driven products. Welcome to The Curiosity Gap brand founder spotlight Tara!

Galina: What makes TOK Beauty different from other make-up brands & what do you consider your USP to be?

Tara O’Kelly: Well, I am not your conventional beauty founder. I didn’t come from the corporate beauty world, I am not a celebrity, nor did I have a degree in cosmetic chemistry. I didn’t have the faintest idea on how to develop my own line, but I knew that I had the hustle, passion and determination to create a clean beauty line that is without compromise.

I started my beauty career as a receptionist at a salon and doubled as a professional makeup artist, and after traveling around and meeting with women for make-up applications, I realized that they were looking for a brand that was relatable, authentic and transparent. They were intimidated by beauty and I wanted to be their ‘beauty bestie’ – providing them with products that here high-performing, clean and authentic.

TOK Mascara in ‘natural black’

Galina: One most favourite product from TOK beauty that you won’t leave home without?

Tara O’Kelly: My desert island product is our Eyes That TOK Mascara. I don’t leave home without some mascara applied!

Galina: How do you source the ingredients?

Tara O’Kelly: It was important that my products were made in Canada, and that it was with an EcoCert/Cosmos manufacturer. They ethically and sustainably source all ingredients.

Galina: Why sustainability is important to you as a brand founder?

Tara O’Kelly: Sustainability is important to me because plastic pollution is a big part of beauty industry. Any little part I can play in subsiding that, the better.

It was important to me from the beginning that our Clean Slate Cleansing Cloths were biodegradable. We also try to use recyclable aluminum where we can, and compostable mailers for shipping. I am always looking at creating products that use less plastic waste. 

TOK Beauty mailer

Galina: Why is make-up important to you – so many surveys say that in the last year make-up purchases have fallen, while skincare went through the roof.

Tara O’Kelly: I wear make-up every day. It makes me feel more confident and put-together. I also love to apply make-up. I am a very creative person, and painting (on faces or paper) is so relaxing to me. A hobby I really got into in 2020 is watercolour painting. 

That being said, I also love a simple routine with multi-purpose products. A simple routine to me includes lashes and lips. If I have our Eyes That TOK Mascara and a Lip Tonic shade on, I feel better and more put together. Plus applying makeup in the morning is my “me-time” before the craziness of the day begins. 

I try to make our products multi-purpose as well – our Eyes That TOK Mascara promotes lash growth with horsetail plant and pea protein, and can also be used as a liquid eyeliner when applied with a flat brush.

Our Lip Tonic has unique ingredients like Lysine, which promote collagen and prevent infections, like cold sores.

Future product launches will show our commitment to sustainability as well as creating multi-purpose products.

I also think the colour cosmetic sector will go through the roof as we get further into 2021.

Face focus

Galina: Favourite Tok Beauty make-up hack?

Tara O’Kelly: A great hack to get those perfectly curled lashes is to take our Curl TOK Eyelash Curler and heat it up with your breath or blast with the blow dryer before curling your lashes. The heat will create a better and stronger curl.

TOK Beauty Lip Tonic

To learn more about TOK Beauty (all products are made in Canada, my experience with shipping was quite fast), please click here

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