Why we decided to launch on Kickstarter

Photo Credit: Aline Vian

Photo Credit: Aline Vian

LISPKIT launched on Kickstarter on July 20th, 2021.

GoPlay Cosmetics was born out of a simple desire to declutter the massive piles of makeup that accumulate over time. The sight of boxes full of products that I would never use again was unnerving at best, and at worst left me feeling guilty about all the money and effort I had put into bringing them home over time.

It was this realisation of guilt and then the following decision to do something about it that has changed the course of my life. I spoke to many makeup lovers and found that this was a problem that resonated with a lot of people. While the love for makeup was not going anywhere, its simplification was what I set out to do. And thus GoPlay Cosmetics was born. 

Over the last three years I have spent countless hours researching and designing a product that would work. Spent more hours taking feedback on various iterations of the product I created, and then some more, ensuring that various manufacturers and suppliers across the globe were providing me with products and services that were of the best quality.

We started selling the GoPlay LIPSKIT in July of 2019. The first batch of products was 3D printed and cost more than the selling price! We kept selling it anyway and kept talking to users to get more feedback. Different parts of the product changed over time and the components kept getting better. We made a lot of improvements to the cosmetic product inside the LIPSKIT and finally were able to meet the customer promise we made by early 2020. But then COVID hit!

Covid came from nowhere and laid waste to a lot of work I had put in.

Unfortunately a few of the suppliers we had been working with went out of business, as did so many small businesses across the world. Our supply chain came to a complete halt and we had to take the difficult decision to stop selling the LIPSKIT for a while. We did however, use the downtime to change a few more things in the product to make it better. The packaging was redesigned and we found more suppliers who could work with a small business like ours.

Throughout the time we adhered to our vision of making high quality products that were vegan, cruelty free and were good for the customer and the planet. We finally were able to restart the business in July of 2020. 

As a small business, there were many constraints that we have faced over time. The biggest has been educating the customers on WHY and HOW they should use GoPlay products. The WHY is easy to answer, we are the only brand in the world that can guarantee consistent results in terms of creating the exact same colour, any colour, every time the product is used. Our customers have spoken to us and they love the flexibility that the LIPSKIT offers, even when compared to much higher priced products that are available and selling in hordes.

The HOW was slightly more complicated. Lipsticks in the swivel collapsible bullets have been sold in that form for almost 100 years, and even people who do not use them know how it works. With the LIPSKIT this system was turned on its head and users had to adapt to the new method offered by us. Everyone who bought the product learnt very quickly and then loved the process itself. Many came back and told us it was therapeutic. However, the people who had not bought it felt that it was not easy. And this customer education has been something we have worked hard on with the help of video tutorials, influencers and a lot of information exchanged over Whatsapp! 

The idea of taking this product to Kickstarter came about with our bid to delight our customers more.

We have now added hyper-personalisation to our product! Now every LIPSKIT can be personalised to each user’s skin tone and undertone. So, now the chances of any colour that is created looking mismatched is minimal. And to top it off we are building an app that functions as a blend library where you can choose any colour on the spectrum wheel and we will provide you with the formula for it.

The first rollout of the app also gives you the ability to choose any colour on an image, taken immediately or stored on your phone, and get the best match blend for that colour. So now you will be able to choose a colour that matches your outfit for the evening, and make a lipstick that best matches it. The new launch will be called LIPSKIT 2.0.

Now, a consumer goods business is expensive to operate.

One of the biggest constraints is managing the right amount of inventory in view of the minimum order quantities for components that we need to place with each supplier. To be able to place orders that give us access to the best quality products would mean working with some very established manufacturers, with very high MOQs. And to be able to provide the products to our consumers at a price that works for them is equally important to us. As a team we decided that the best way to go about bringing ourselves to the early adopters of the product, and to get them to commit to us a purchase because they love the idea and want to try it, is to go on Kickstarter.

Let me explain, Kickstarter is a community of creators and backers. Creators like us think up new ideas and products and put them out to backers of the idea who are happy to ‘pledge their support’ (purchase the product) and receive the product only after a few months have passed. The community is vibrant and full of tinkerers and experimenters who support each other. We decided that for a product as novel as the LIPSKIT, the right place to look for our first big group of international GoPlayers, who will be willing to wait for a little while before their products are delivered to them, is Kickstarter.

We have been hard at work for the last few months bringing the product and campaign to life. We have significantly upgraded the brand and packaging of the product. We have gone through many rewrites of the campaign story and visuals to make it most efficient and effective. Our goal from this campaign is simple, to find and delight the first wave of bold makeup lovers who are willing to try something new.

And Nelson Mandela once said “It always seems impossible until it's done”. 

I hope you are just as excited about the possibilities of makeup personalization, live recommendations and instant access to endless colours as we are. After all, why should personalization and on-demand be limited to entertainment (Netflix), information (Google), shopping (Amazon) or even your morning coffee (Nespresso). It's about time the cosmetics industry catches up.


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