Sparkle at any event from festivals to gameday with glitter from Danielle Smith’s makeup business, Elektra Cosmetics.
Smith moved to New Orleans from Michigan after visiting the city multiple times and growing tired of saying goodbye to its energetic atmosphere. The creativity of the New Orleans and the people there always made her feel free to fully express herself.
“It’s one of those cities that is very magical, so I always felt at home here.” Smith said. “I love that I can look out my window on a random day and see a clown riding down the street on a bicycle with a pig in the back in a baby carrier.”
“People are really themselves in this city.”
Smith previously worked in health care as a certified orthodontist in Detroit and found it hard to keep the materials she needed to see her patients organized in her bag. Smith decided to take materials from her lab and construct an organizer that she could keep in her bag.
Smith later realized that she had the same problem with her makeup bag. This inspired her to create a makeup organizer, the Beauty Butler, for which Smith just got a patent approved.
Being a fan of burlesque and having friends who were performance artists, Smith noticed they all had problems organizing their makeup. Smith found the early adopters of the Beauty Butler were people in the burlesque community.
As Smith sold her makeup organizer at burlesque conventions, she would get placed in a small area of the venue since she didn’t occupy a lot of space. She often would get paired with another business owner. At one particular event Smith got paired with someone special.
“I actually got paired with the former owner of Elektra Cosmetics and we became friends,” Smith said. “Four years ago, almost to the day, she called me and asked me if I wanted to buy a glitter company. She asked me if I wanted to buy Elektra.”
Glitter is small and hard to organize, but it was a perfect match with Smith’s Beauty Butler.
“I’m in the unofficial capital of glitter, so it made sense if I started glitter,” Smith said.
When Smith bought Elektra Cosmetics it only had fine glitter in 12 colors and a liquid transformer. Elektra now has 30 fine glitter colors available along with an array of other products.
After doing research, Smith noticed that people like glitter gels, so she started making Elektra Cosmetics’ bolt balms by hand blending colors. The bolt balm is a blend of chunky and fine glitters mixed in an aloe-gel base.
The product can be used for your hair, highlights or as body glitter. There’s even a black and gold bolt balm for Saints’ games and tiger stripes for LSU fans.
The bolt balms are Elektra’s most popular product and best seller.
“One of the things at Elektra that is important to us is we want to inspire you to be unapologetically creative, and if that means sparkling up for game day or representing your Mardi Gras crew, then I think that’s awesome,” Smith said.
With glitter being so messy and sometimes difficult, Smith advocates safe glitter use and has learned some good tips to take off glitter, which often seems impossible.
Tape, makeup wipes and lint rollers are ways Smith removes her glitter.
“I’ve gone to an event where I’m glittery where I couldn’t be glittery and used a lint roller and a little face powder, and I was good to go,” Smith said. Smith also promoted using the correct glitter, saying, “friends don’t let friends wear craft glitter.”
Smith wanted Elektra Cosmetics to be safe for the face as well as safe for the environment with her eco-friendly glitter line.
The EKO glitters are bioplastics made from plant-based films and manufactured from renewable resources. Along with her EKO glitters, Smith made lighting in a bottle, a cruelty free, vegan spray made in America. The product is used with sunscreen, moisturizer or hairspray to achieve an overall glow.
Smith and her sparkle specialists also work to better the community through the Glitter Buffet experience, where you can request for yourself and guests to get makeup done at a party or special event.
The Glitter Buffet works festivals and community events. After they finish a client, Elektra Cosmetics will collect tips and donate them to charity.
“I just feel like teamwork makes the dream work.” Smith said. “It’s really amazing to have the support of the community and be in the community too and employ people in the community.”
Smith is interested in growing her business, recently launching a lip line with nine different colors that can be worn with or without glitter. She also wants to inspire makeup lovers to express themselves and have fun with her products.
“I work a lot on our social media, and you know when I see someone post a look and tag Elektra, it’s so cool to see how they are using the product in a way I would have never dreamed of.” Smith said. “Even being able to walk around during Mardi Gras and see people in their costumes and recognize when they’re using Elektra Cosmetics for me is amazing.”