Renton woman makes makeup for all shades of beauty

Kandice Townsend, owner of Spektra, now open at The Landing, has makeup for every shade of beauty. - Tracey Compton, Renton Reporter
Kandice Townsend, owner of Spektra, now open at The Landing, has makeup for every shade of beauty.
— image credit: Tracey Compton, Renton Reporter

When some people don’t see a solution anywhere, they create one. That’s what Renton business owner Kandice Townsend did when she created her cosmetics line, Spektra.

Townsend grew up not seeing cosmetics for African American women or any women of color in the marketplace. Her mother didn’t wear a lot of makeup and Townsend had to take her cues from what beauty products her friends used, hit or miss.

“I’m from Fairbanks, Alaska, and so growing up in a small town there wasn’t a lot of makeup for ethnic women or even colored women, and that could be Mexican or any olive-colored tone,” said Townsend.

With not a lot of beauty education available for her in Alaska, Townsend said she discovered the real world of makeup when she moved to Arizona. She was so inspired she decided to change careers and pursue a place in the beauty industry. Townsend had different jobs in retail previously and is a paralegal by trade, but has always enjoyed experimenting with makeup.

“You can go dramatic; you can do subtle and natural; you can go all black and white,” she said. “It’s amazing what makeup can do to one individual and make them feel beautiful.”

Townsend is a self-described geek and said she pored over books about how to start a business and others on the chemical components of beauty products. She established how she wanted to tweak brands like Bare Minerals to suit her conditions for natural makeup for women of color and eventually contacted a chemist.

“Once my dad passed away, in his will he basically told me to follow my dreams and don’t hold back anymore,” she said. “So that’s kind of where I started to think about actually doing my own business and formulating my own formulations for my own makeup line.”

Townsend took classes from RPM Makeup Academy, which is based in Las Vegas and was soon on her way to entrepreneurship. She learned makeup artistry and different techniques as well as how others communicate their beauty ideas and philosophies through makeup.

She opened her shop Spektra at The Landing in November. All of her makeup is natural-based, with ingredients like coconut oil, grapefruit extract, rosemary, golden sea root and shea butter, to name a few in different products.

So far her eye shadows have been popular as well as another line she sells, NYX Cosmetics. Townsend sells a full line of makeup, nail polishes, brushes, applicators, eyelash extensions, makeup accessories and services. She offers private lessons and party gatherings in a cute black and white shop with color accents.

Townsend picked the name of her line Spektra based on the philosophy her parents instilled in her that every shade of beauty is beautiful.

“I’ve been told that I’m not beautiful and I don’t want anybody else thinking that they’re not,” she said.

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