Skip to main content
MECCA Logo will take you to homepage on click

  • Book an appointment
Mecca Franchise Logo Behind The Beauty

How to build a beauty empire according to the founders of Morphe

January 1 | 5 minute read

Morphe Founders Interview Hero 16x9

Words by Kerri Gordon

Originally published on | December 12

Founded in 2008 by LA-based sibling duo, Chris and Linda Tawil, makeup mega-brand Morphe has rapidly evolved from its small beginnings as an affordable brush brand to the makeup brand of a generation. Seriously, we can almost guarantee that one of their jaw-dropping 35-pan eyeshadow palettes is behind about 90 percent of those bright, fearless eye looks on your feed right now. With high-performing pigments that blend like a dream, and ongoing praise, support and collaborations from the biggest and boldest beauty gurus on the planet, it’s no surprise that the brand has catapulted into the industry icon that it is today.

To say that the Memo is lucky to have spent time chatting to Chris and Linda about Morphe's evolution is a total and utter understatement. As we continue to fangirl, read on to discover the simple secrets to the duo's seemingly unfathomable success.

The vision for Morphe has always been the create products that were very affordable and accessible to everybody.
Linda Tawil

Be inclusive and accessible

"The vision for Morphe has always been the same," Linda starts, "it was always to create products that were very affordable and accessible to everybody." Having "had a lot and then losing everything" during their early teens, this philosophy of accessibility and inclusivity was crucial when developing their brand, and continues to stand as the true essence of Morphe to this day.

"My dad always did what he could to put a roof over our heads and to feed us," Linda continues, "but I always had a passion for makeup and fashion and I never had the opportunity to study it or to buy makeup, because everything was so expensive. It sucked!" Linda and her brother, Chris, believed there was room for a brand that made killer products that weren't expensive, and they ran with it.

"It's just about having options, and having options for everyone," shares Linda. "If you have a sensitive face, great, we have synthetic brushes. But not only just a few brushes, we have practically every single shape in a synthetic fibre that we have in a natural fibre, and we can pretty much accommodate for every person, product or look, whether it's the brush length, fibre, shape, density or size... I could go on! No one had provided so many options before, so it was scary for us. It was a lot of money to invest, but that's what people love - options."

Morphe Founders Interview Hero 16x9 1

Calling for support isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength

"A lot didn’t come to life until we took on partners, because we just didn't have the knowledge or resources," the duo speaks of their 2017 investor partnership with Elevate Brandpartners. "But as soon as we did take them on, we were able to make products we had always dreamed of, like foundation, face powders and lip colours."

According to the duo, the same went for packaging: "We always had a vision to create amazing packaging and killer aesthetics, but we just couldn’t do it ourselves - we didn't have the resources, we didn’t have the know-how. Chris came from the automotive industry, I came from education, and we were just trying to navigate through the beauty world with the least possible experience. Being able to have partners who knew what they were doing changed everything."

It's not about the profit, it's about the people

While the brand's success has been nothing but incredible, the high demand for their iconic palettes and affordable brushes has caused some hiccups for the duo: "We'll never sell ourselves or our customer short. We just won't. But it’s been challenging," shares Chris.

"The most difficult thing for us has been managing stock," revealed Linda. "It really just doesn't stop. We’d launch a product, and then it would sell out instantly, and people would just start attacking us. They'd want makeup and they'd want brushes, and we'd cultivated these relationships that we really believed in and wanted to uphold." Thinking back, Linda adds, "Oh my gosh, we would spend thousands of dollars in air-shipping new stock. We weren't making as much of a profit on our products, but we were like, if we can just keep our customers happy at this point in time, then that's all we've got to worry about right now."

Dream big. and then dream even bigger

While Chris was always “a risk taker and a hustler” according to his sister, Linda never aspired to own her own business. “I wanted to work for someone and have a guaranteed income and benefits, to just live my life in comfort and not take risks.” Much to her own surprise she did the exact opposite, and looking back on the incredible journey and success of Morphe, it worked out. Big time. “Oh my god,” she exclaims with genuine disbelief in her voice, “honestly I just don’t even know how this has all come to be! It’s so crazy! I can’t even wrap my head around it, but now I can only imagine it getting bigger and better.”

The co-founder speaks of her initial discovery of affordable mega-palettes and how they’ve inspired her to dream, create and hustle, expanding the range into a Morphe skincare line. “We were at a trade show, and this girl was walking by our booth, opening an 88-pan rainbow palette she had just bought. And I was like ‘we need that!’, so I ran from our booth, hunted her down and asked her where she got it from. The girl said it was only 20 bucks, and I so clearly remember thinking ‘how the hell…? That’s crazy!’. So I went and bought the palette, Chris and I did our research and figured it all out, and not long after that we were able to bring our very own to market. They sold like hotcakes.”

“It’s like art to me,” Linda speaks of creating new palettes. “I don’t know why I enjoy it so much, because, well, I say I’m not creative but I know that I am, but I don’t know… it just comes to life so easily. I sit at my desk and look at all these shades and shadows, and next thing you know I will have created two palettes in an afternoon. I’ll put together the colours, swatch them on my arm, and then I’ll bring girls in with different skin tones to swatch on them. You’ve gotta be in a vibe, in a mood, and dive in. It’s really taught me to embrace my creativity.”

More beauty news

Skip to content below carousel
Best Morphe Products Hero 16x9

Our top 5 makeup picks from Morphe

May 22

Skip to content above carousel