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The Future of Beauty: Evan Feldstein of FOREO On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up The Beauty Industry

Make sure you’re practicing self care. All of our products are a great way to treat yourself and can be easily incorporated into any skincare regime, but I have to shout out our eye massager called IRIS. It’s the perfect example of a tool that allows you to reach the ultimate level of relaxation. Being mentally centered is a great way to feel beautiful.

As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years, I had the pleasure of interviewing Evan Feldstein.

Evan Feldstein currently serves as the Vice General Manager and General Counsel for FOREO North America. Feldstein joined the FOREO team in 2016 as its lead Intellectual Property Attorney and its General Counsel, where he was instrumental in combating patent infringements and counterfeit products on behalf of the company. Leading the Brand Protection department, he oversaw the removal of over 30,000 illegal infringing listings on retailer sites, saving the company over $4 million.

In 2018, Feldstein was promoted to his role as Vice General Manager and General Counsel. Feldstein serves as a key business leader and legal advisor for the North American market, where he works closely with the President and General Manager to develop and implement key sales and marketing strategies to contribute to the overall growth and success of the business. Feldstein’s effective leadership and strong business acumen led to a profit increase of 50% since he entered into the role.

With a passion for intellectual property law and brand protection, Feldstein’s extensive efforts to fight counterfeit products has led to the removal of thousands of imitation replicas, further preserving FOREO’s reputation along with the safety of consumers. Acting as a bridge between the marketing side of the business and legal affairs, Feldstein continues to align organizational objectives with the company mission, increasing revenue, profit and business growth by collaboratively developing integrated strategies. As a key figure in the North American market, Feldstein has established key business tactics and procedures to improve operational quality and team efficiency.

Feldstein received a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Miami and went on to earn a law degree from Arizona State University. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, traveling and spending time with his family.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I joined FOREO in May of 2016 and was brought on as the lead attorney due to the rapid growth the company was experiencing. In just two years, the North American market underwent an exponential growth in sales, so the brand was in desperate need of someone to legally manage the negative effects of gaining popularity so quickly, as well as perform the day-to-day legal tasks a growing company generates. This primarily included identifying counterfeit products, protecting the brand’s intellectual property, and aiding in trademarks and patents. After about two years focusing primarily on FOREO’s legal, regulatory and brand protection aspects, I became interested in learning more about other areas of the business, particularly marketing and sales. I was constantly asking my supervisor to allow me to sit in on these meetings, and I was able to learn and gain insight from observing. Eventually my supervisor was transferred to Tokyo to handle the Japanese market which gave me the opportunity to transition into more of a hybrid role between law, sales and marketing. I think my experience in the legal realm gives me a different perspective than the average marketing manager, so I am able to see things from a different perspective and act as the most realistic head in the room.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The first time I went to Europe was because of FOREO, which is an experience I’ll never forget. Myself and some of the members from the sales team were traveling to Paris to visit LVMH’s headquarters, which owns several luxury brands such as Sephora. This was back when my position was still more law-focused, and I was there to talk about trademark licensing. This trip really stands out to me as one of the first times I was interested in learning more about the business from just a legal perspective.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

I’m a firm believer in opening your own doors. It’s important to act as an advocate for what you want. At my old law firm I was focused solely on medical device patents, but was interested in trademark and copyright law, so I took the initiative and started asking for more of those cases. This was similar to asking my boss at FOREO to let me take on a bigger role. It’s important to voice your interests, and if you have a supportive leader they’ll take enthusiasm in allowing you to grow.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My parents played an instrumental role in my success. My dad is a lawyer and has always acted as a mentor to me. Throughout my entire life he’s been a great example of who I want to emulate. My mom is retired now but she had a great career in sales and was extremely tenacious. She served as a very energetic role model, and I can attribute my interest in the sales and marketing side of the industry to her.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

The most cutting edge technology we have at FOREO is definitely our UFO product. The smart masking device does a little bit of everything (advanced LED light therapy, cryotherapy, thermotherapy, and sonic pulsations), and replicates a trip to the spa or visit to an esthetician all from the comfort of your own home. For the price of a three hour treatment at the spa you can achieve a similar effect for the next ten years. FOREO is also attempting to break the mold in the beauty industry by authentically focusing on creating a story and evoking a feeling from our consumers. So many brands are so heavily product focused, and we believe people chase a feeling that’s being evoked. We are certainly a caring and quirky voice within the beauty community, and want our customers to be able to turn to us and our products for a special self care treatment after a long and stressful day.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

It’s important to note that we don’t want our devices to completely replace a traditional spa day. There is so much value in getting out of the house and allowing someone else to pamper you. Especially over the course of this past year, we have all come to really understand and appreciate the importance of interacting with others. Our products are a great long-term solution for those who aren’t financially able to afford regular spa visits, or rather a way to complement and enhance your professional treatments with effective tools at home.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

The first thing would have to be sustainability. Traditionally, the beauty industry is seen as wasteful due to packaging and replacement containers that consumers have to regularly purchase. FOREO was way ahead of its time by building products that last 10 years with no need to replace brush heads like our prior competitors. Our Luna series is particularly environmentally friendly, and I take comfort in the fact that we’re doing our part in keeping the planet safe.

The next benefit that excites me about the beauty-tech industry would have to be personalization, and our products are a great example of this. Users are able to completely customize their treatments based on their needs through our app. Additionally, the industry has embraced new technology which provides access to tutorials, reviews, and recommendations to teach people how to successfully use a product or create a look for themselves. Before this, the only option was to visit a makeup counter, but now the teaching element of beauty is much more accessible.

My last point would have to be the diversity within the industry now compared to several years ago. Diversity in the beauty industry is especially significant because we need to show that there’s no such thing as a “standard” to be beautiful, and it’s not just physical but encompasses a mental aspect as well. We no longer have to conform to narrow standards of beauty, and it’s really exciting to see how much this has evolved and is trending in the right direction.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

One of my concerns would have to be conglomeration within the industry. It’s common for independent brands to be eaten up by much larger entities, which can be damaging to the innovation of the beauty business as a whole. No matter how diverse these companies can be, we’re not going to get the same spark and imagination that you see without independent local and regional companies.

Another concern is oversaturation within the beauty realm. There’s a ton of options out there, and with the younger generation being hooked on social media and falling into a trap with apps, it can oftentimes be damaging. Unfortunately some brands continue to promote a false sense of reality and are using their platforms to promote the idea of being “Instagram worthy.”

From more of a legal standpoint, my last concern is the proliferation of the fake products we see coming from China. There’s about 15,000 counterfeit listings online each year for FOREO alone, which is so much worse than what we saw five years ago in terms of volume. If we have a consumer purchase one of these products by mistake, this greatly impacts the trust they have in our brand and consequently damages our reputation. Before the internet, counterfeit products were much easier to identify, but now these online listings can often look so legitimate that consumers are hardly able to tell the difference. Using a faulty skincare tool can be incredibly dangerous to consumers, so it’s always our top priority to combat these counterfeit products.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

My first suggestion is to make sure you’re practicing self care. All of our products are a great way to treat yourself and can be easily incorporated into any skincare regime, but I have to shout out our eye massager called IRIS. It’s the perfect example of a tool that allows you to reach the ultimate level of relaxation. Being mentally centered is a great way to feel beautiful. My next tip seems easy enough, but a lot of people don’t make it a priority to listen to the basic habits your body needs to function, like drinking enough water and making sure you’re getting enough sleep. Since we live in a society that prioritizes work and responsibilities over taking care of yourself, many people stay up all hours of the night and put pressure on themselves to finish work-related tasks. Doing simple things like making it a point to get at least eight hours of sleep and upping your water intake will make you feel better mentally, and in turn give you a more positive outlook overall. Additionally, I think taking time to meditate or simply unwind and reflect on your day is a great way to feel more beautiful internally, which also reflects externally. I always take time to be alone and self-analyze to make sure I’m moving ahead and growing. This brings me to my next tip, which is to make it a point to disconnect from social media. Social media can be deceiving in only showing the highlights of others’ lives, which can cause you to compare yourself to those you follow and lead to negative mental health consequences. This along with the unrealistic and unachievable beauty standards that are promoted through photo manipulation can lead to unrealistic standards, especially for teens, so I think it’s important to use social media sparingly. Lastly, I think it’s crucial to stay in touch with the people that are important to you, like your family and closest friends, in order to re-connect, keep yourself centered, and in turn lift your spirits and keep you feeling beautiful.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

While social media has many upsides, like allowing you to keep in touch with those in different cities, promoting powerful social causes, and giving people a sense of community, I think the negatives generally outweigh the positives. I would use my influence to erase the darker corners of social media in order to stop polarizing people and promoting a false sense of reality. This is especially relevant in America, where it seems like people who disagree with each other can’t civilly engage anymore. Social media also can cause a rapid spread of misinformation, further promoting the agendas of those who can be damaging to our society. I deleted my social media accounts years ago and never looked back. That being said, I don’t think all social media is negative and I especially see the positive community that’s created amongst our followers, I would simply like to get rid of the negatives that come with it.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One of my favorite quotes is from baseball player Mickey Rivers, which is “If you have no control over something, ain’t no sense worrying about it -you have no control over it anyway. If you do have control, why worry? So either way, there ain’t no sense worrying.”

When you grow in a company like FOREO, or any large business, there’s a constant fear of the unknown, and you spend a lot of time worrying about things you don’t have control over. When the pandemic started, I stayed up countless nights worrying about our future as a business, and whether or not our employees were going to be able to be safe and healthy. Our warehouse workers are essential workers, and I didn’t want any of them to get sick. I soon realized that as long as you have the correct processes and policies in place, and you believe that you’ve done everything in your power to counteract any problems you can anticipate, there’s not much more you can do. It’s more beneficial to focus on the things you can control instead of the things you can’t.

How can our readers follow you online?

Feel free to follow me on LinkedIn, just search Evan Feldstein.

The Future of Beauty: Evan Feldstein of FOREO On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.