Ron Robinson ’87, a graduate of Adelphi University, is an independent cosmetic chemist and founder of BeautyStat
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Independent cosmetic chemist and founder of BeautyStat
Favorite Adelphi Professor: Sal Primeggia
Memorable class: “Organic chemistry, believe it or not. It was a very tough course, but I loved the challenge and I did well in that class.”
Adelphi memories: “I have so many wonderful memories. I remember many all-nighters spent studying in the library with my classmates, and the countless hours we spent in the Ratt.”
Advice for current students, or new graduates: “Internships, internships, internships! I recommend that all students look for internships while they are in school so they have real work experience to put on their resumes. Plus, internships help you build a network. Many interns go onto become full-time employees if they work hard and excel.”
Ron Robinson ’87 graduated magna cum laude from Adelphi in 1987 with his sights set on becoming a doctor. “I majored in biology and minored in chemistry with the intention of becoming a physician,” he said. “But after a year of medical school I realized it wasn’t for me and that I wanted to combine my science background with something creative.”
After applying for entry-level chemist and biologist positions, a company called Robinson to set up an interview. “I drove to the location and it ended up being for the Clinique laboratories, a division of Estee Lauder. At the interview, I learned that there was an entire world of science and technology behind cosmetics that really intrigued me,” he said.
Robinson accepted the position of cosmetic chemist for Clinique. In this role, he formulated several new makeup and skincare cosmetics including some of the original TurnAround Products, which were among Clinique’s first anti-aging skincare products. These became some of the best-selling beauty cosmetics in the early 1990s.
He went on to climb the corporate ranks in the beauty industry, first becoming product development manager at Estee Lauder. He then moved on to the role of director of product development for Revlon and then Lancome. Robinson returned to Revlon after a little over a year at Lancome to become vice president of product development, where he spent the following three years developing skincare and hair color products. He then joined Avon as the company’s global director of product innovation. “It was the most challenging position of my career,” he said. As Avon’s global director of product innovation, Robinson created and staffed a new department with the mission of improving the levels of innovation in Avon’s global skincare pipeline. This included developing unique product concepts, product claims, technology, aesthetics and packaging. Robinson led the development of several innovative, first-to-market skincare products globally.
During his last year at Avon, Robinson began to seriously think about starting his own business, “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew my passion was to develop and create new things,” he said. “This was in the mid-2000s when people were just starting to spend a lot of time on these sites. I had a growing fascination with the fast growth of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.”
Robinson combined his interests to create the online beauty community, BeautyStat. The company’s mission is to create a platform where consumers can learn more about beauty products, which will help them make smarter purchase decisions. “We serve as a matchmaker, connecting brands with the appropriate target consumer so brands can test out new concepts and products,” Robinson said. Clients and partners of BeautyStat include Tarte Cosmetics, Laura Geller Beauty, OLAY, Stila Cosmetics, Clairol, Aveeno, Ahava, COTY, Walgreens, Beauty.com, Amazon, ULTA and Target.
Robinson, who does TV appearances as a guest beauty expert and speaks at industry events, has been featured in Women’s Wear Daily, Self Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, Los Angeles Times and CBS News. He is also a resident beauty expert for Allure Magazine.
“Most start-up businesses fail within three years. My biggest accomplishment is starting my company and seeing it continue to be successful as we go into our seventh year.” said Robinson, who credits Adelphi with giving him the tools to become a successful entrepreneur.
“Adelphi taught me to be more independent and responsible, and it broadened my horizons,” he said. “Getting to meet classmates from all over the state, country and world gave me much more of a global perspective.”
Published May 2016
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