September 2, 2019

Spotlight on a client: Shakeup Cosmetics

There’s a reason why we love working with entrepreneurs. Actually, many reasons – the innovative ideas, the drive to succeed, the courage to make difficult decisions, the energy to set out in new directions… entrepreneurs are exciting clients for all our teams. We enjoy working with business owners with an entrepreneurial mindset, helping them bring their vision to life and supporting them in achieving their companies’ potential.

This month, we were proud to support beauty start-up Shakeup Cosmetics on an equity investment as part of an initial funding round to launch their new business.

How did Shakeup Cosmetics come to be?

The entrepreneurial minds behind Shakeup Cosmetics are Shane Carnell-Xu and Jake Xu, and theirs is a brand with a mission – to provide men with a comprehensive range of cosmetic products specifically designed to suit their skin.

Shane and Jake are not new to the entrepreneurial game. Born in Beijing and living in the UK since their teens, the twin brothers already have a successful business venture on their books. Ready is a creative agency that works with a lot of FMCG brands, particularly within beauty and personal care.

Knowledge of the beauty sector, combined with the brothers’ personal experience, is what motivated Shane and Jake to create their own range of cosmetic products designed with men's skin type, skin concerns and specific needs in mind.

Makeup for men? Yes, and here’s why

The idea of men wearing makeup may seem unusual to some, but it has been happening for years. There just hasn’t been a well-known brand for men’s cosmetic needs – until now. With global brands such as Tom Ford and Chanel launching men’s ranges, and male models and influencers promoting beauty in magazines and on social media, the men’s beauty trend is set to grow even bigger.

Shane and Jake spotted a particular market gap – hybrid multi-functional products that combine proven long term skincare benefits with high performance cosmetic features – and spent a year investing in research to create formulas designed with the male skin type and concerns in mind.

What about the funding?

Shakeup Cosmetics has got the backing of the experienced entrepreneurs behind the UK’s fastest growing children’s food brand Kiddylicious, Sally Preston and Neil Mather. They have invested in the business and come on board to help with the development and establishment of the brand in the retail market.

The investors are no strangers to the twin founders, who had been supporting Kiddylicious’s growth over the past three years, under the capacity of their successful creative agency. So given the trust and rapport already built up between them, plus an instant understanding of the potential of the market Shakeup is launching into, the investors got on board after just two meetings.

Shane says: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured our seed funding from two incredible entrepreneurs who have built a successful global consumer brand from the ground up. The investment will allow us to proceed with the full production, and strengthen our marketing support for Shakeup Cosmetics’ imminent launch.”

The brand story

Quality products are just half the battle – Shane and Jake have put considerable care in developing the Shakeup brand. Their ambition is to create a global brand that challenges the damaging toxic masculinity and male gender stereotypes, and offers the male cosmetic users, who they believe are currently under-served, a clearer choice of quality products:

  • meticulously considered original formula specifically created for men;
  • visible results for instant gratification; and
  • all products are led by proven skincare benefits, multifunctional and easy to use.

Shakeup is set to launch in September 2019, supported by a comprehensive multi-channel marketing plan. The company is already in talks with The British Beauty Council to promote their launch event, and has gathered dozens of social influencers who expressed interest to collaborate with the brand when it’s launched. The products will be sold through the brand’s website,, and the brothers are in discussions with a few of the UK’s premium retailers about listing the products in store as well as online.

What does the future hold?

Recent research into the beauty sector suggests that it makes a bigger contribution to the UK’s GDP than even motor manufacturing or publishing. The Value of Beauty report, commissioned from Oxford Economics by the newly-formed British Beauty Council, cites figures from the Office for National Statistics showing that while motor manufacturing in the UK makes a direct contribution of £13.5 billion to the economy, the direct contribution of beauty retailers, manufacturers and advertisers was £14.2 billion last year.

Just like any other economy sector, the beauty industry is likely to be affected by a no deal Brexit. While the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA) is urging its members to step up their contingency planning, Shakeup’s positioning as a British brand in an overseas market is going to keep the start-up Brexit-proof.

It’s been very exciting to have supported Jake and Shane through the launch of Shakeup Cosmetics. It’s always enjoyable to work with entrepreneurs, who represent the bedrock of our economy, and we’ll be watching Shakeup Cosmetics on their journey.

And finally, are any Royds Withy King male lawyers going to buy the products?
We will have to wait and see! The products are so subtle, you will never know.


Share on:

Your Comments

Leave a comment

Thank you for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated. Please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name or it will be deleted.