Photo: Mariya Nurislamova
We love shining light on the female entrepreneurs in the beauty industry who are working to bring us incredible innovations in makeup, hair care and fragrance. This month on our list, we reached out to the founder of Scentbird, a monthly perfume subscription service started by Mariya Nurislamova. With a passion for fragrance and love for the beauty industry in general, she started Confessions of a Rebel, a gender-neutral fragrance company, and Deck of Scarlet, a makeup subscription brand that offers “badass formulas and good-for-you ingredients.” Ahead, read on for more about her journey and what’s next for her companies. 

Can you tell us about your background and how you got started in the beauty industry?
My background is in technology. Prior to Scentbird I ran a tech outsourcing firm that connected American companies with European developers. Beauty has always been my passion and for many years I knew that building a beauty startup was in the cards for me. It was simply a matter of timing and getting enough resolve to follow my heart. 

When did you discover your passion for fragrance?
Embarrassingly early — I must have been about three years old playing with my mom’s makeup bag and wreaking havoc in her vanity. I just really liked the concept of fragrance, and I used to sneak away my mom’s perfume bottle all the time. I think a part of me knew even then that I would one day make fragrance my career. 

What has been the biggest pinch-me moment of your career?
Funnily enough, it hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps it’s because I’m an eternal optimist and expect great things to happen, so when they do I don’t get surprised. But building something that I truly believe in alongside a wonderful team is more than I could ask for. I feel immense gratitude every day that I get to do what I love for living. 

What does a day in your life look like?
I spend a lot of time with people such as my immediate team, as well as investors, partners and of course, potential hires. It can get pretty hectic. However, I always take time for my daily meditation and skin-care routine because those are great rituals to get me in the right state of mind and help keep a healthy overall pace. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your other brands, Confessions of a Rebel and Deck of Scarlet? 
Confessions of a Rebel is our first fragrance brand and the brand that we built in close collaboration with our community. Everything from the overall story to the aspects of packaging has been tested with our community — it’s truly a labor of love. We are excited for what’s in store for the brand as we keep building out our offerings and pushing the boundaries of the gender fluid fragrance landscape. 

Deck of Scarlet started off as a subscription service that launched influencer collabs every two months. Since then we have been evolving the DNA of the brand and are shaping up to be a game-changer in the clean makeup space. We like to say that Deck of Scarlet offers badass formulas and good-for-you ingredients. We are also building out our hero product assortment at the moment and are excited to introduce first-to-market innovative products in 2020, so stay tuned. 

What is your favorite fragrance/scent?
This is the hardest question for me to answer because it’s like picking a favorite child. I am biased but I love Get a Room from Confessions of a Rebel. I have also been loving Gabrielle by Chanel lately and Sundazed by Byredo. 

What is your daily beauty routine? 
I easily spend about an hour on makeup and skin care every day, so it is a pretty involved process. I exfoliate daily. Currently I’m loving Paula’s Choice for that. I also use two serums daily from Algenist and Peach and Lily. I am also loving my jade roller lately as it gets to be pretty addictive. 

As far as makeup, I keep the palette pretty neutral, but I live for my winged liner, which means that the rest of the face needs to follow suit. I frequently skip the lipstick and go heavy on the eye. I guess it is just a matter of preference.  

What advice do you have for female entrepreneurs? 
I feel as women we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and always put the needs of others first like our family, our friends and even our co-workers. I believe we should learn to fill our cup first and take the time, despite the daily pressures, to do what makes us truly happy. This way when we do show up for others in our life, we do so from a position of being full, not being empty. This is also immensely more sustainable as this life is a marathon, not a sprint. I would also say that, as women, it is important for us to follow our joy and not necessarily the money. When we follow our joy in life and in business, the money follows. 

What is next for Scentbird?
At Scentbird, we are focused on growing our presence in other categories such as skin care and wellness. At the same time, we are excited about continuing to create unique brands and products with the help of our wonderful community. 

What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is a state of balance and harmony — both internal and external. It’s a state of loving yourself and loving life regardless of external circumstances. 

Read More: 
Career Dairies: Meet Courtney Adeleye, Founder of the Mane Choice
Better Together: Lancôme Teint Idole Foundation and Oil-In-gel Cleanser
Career Diaries: Meet Amy Liu, Founder of Tower 28 Beauty and Champion of Sensitive Skin

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