This week’s Meet a Mom interview is with Chelsea Ali, Director in the Evaluation Intelligence Hair Care, Styling and Color department at L’Oréal USA in Clark.
Chelsea grew up in Northern New Jersey and currently lives locally in Westfield with her husband, Jaafar, and her 3 children (Liyana – 10, Aadam – 7, and Alina – 2). Her husband is originally from Trinidad who immigrated to the US when he was a teenager. Chelsea and Jaafar do all that they can to make sure their family visits Trinidad at least once a year to help keep the culture alive in their children.
In the busy family’s down time the Ali’s are extremely active around town. Evenings and weekends are spent at karate (Hands of Life), gymnastics (Surgent’s Elite School of Gymnastics), swim (YMCA), CrossFit (908 Athletics, which is a very supportive fitness community for adults and kids!), and they always make time to shop locally in the many small businesses of the nearby downtowns.
Chelsea has been with L’Oréal for almost 15 years, holding positions as a chemist, a hair stylist (she’s been a licensed cosmetologist for over 10 years) and has worked in L’Oréal’s Clark and New York City offices, helping to develop beauty products for many brands in L’Oréal’s extensive portfolio. Chelsea has played an integral role in developing beauty products for many brands including Kerastase, Redken, Biolage, and Carol’s Daughter.
Her current position at L’Oréal is to oversee all hair product evaluation that occurs in the three state-of-the-art hair salons at the L’Oréal facilities in Clark, leading a dynamic team of scientists and stylists. We had a chance to sit with her and ask her a few questions about her job and how consumers who join the L’Oréal VIP Testing Panel can help to develop the best in new beauty products.
IP Evaluation Panel and get compensated for your opinions, while helping to improve L’Oréal’s vast array of products, click here.
Q: What are some typical questions people ask you about your job?
A: I typically get questions like “What type of products do you work with?” “What are the studies like?” “Do you test on animals?” First, we absolutely do not test on animals! I work very closely with the chemists in the labs and almost all of the products that are evaluated before they go to market go through my team first. We are working on a huge initiative right now to ensure our products are as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible, while providing ingredients that are not only good for you but good for our planet. We are constantly working to optimize our formulas to make sure they deliver the highest quality while providing the most enjoyable and memorable experiences. We strive to understand through our evaluations what beauty tensions our consumers might have and how we can improve the performance of our products for everyone. We are always listening to our consumers’ voices – which includes hair stylists, too!
Q: What is one thing you enjoy about your job?
A: There are so many fascinating elements within the world of hair, from all of the different colors and textures. I enjoy being able to wear both a creative hat and a scientific hat at the same time. The ability to connect daily with consumers and stylists, and then make changes to our products based on what they are telling us, is so fulfilling. There’s a great feeling of satisfaction in knowing that I can work closely with my lab partners to make the changes that our consumers want and give them the products they desire.
Q: What is a challenge that you currently face?
A: Our biggest challenge is to ensure that the voice of every one of our consumers is heard. Consumers’ beauty needs can be so personal and specific, and we just want to make sure that we alleviate every tension that exists.
Q: Any fun projects coming up?
A: Improving and modernizing the way that we define and talk about curls. Our objective is to make sure that the “hair language” that we use is diverse, inclusive, and transcends all hair types and curl patterns.
Q: WHAT IS THE L’OREAL VIP EVALUATION PANEL? How does that help your job? Who can join?
A: The L’Oréal VIP evaluation panel is a database of local consumers who participate in cosmetics and hair product evaluations at L’Oréal’s Clark facility. When consumers participate, they play a critical role in helping us to develop best-in-class hair products.
Q: Why should consumers join the L’Oréal VIP Evaluation Panel?
A: We are using the most amazing hair products, state of the art technology, and an incredible library of ingredients. L’Oréal was the original creator of hair color, and we’re the experts in hair color with a huge portfolio. You can put your trust in our salon professionals and in our products. And most importantly, as a member of the panel, consumers can have their voices heard. They can be a part of the product development process right along with us!
Join the L’Oréal VIP Evaluation Panel and get compensated for your opinions, while helping to improve L’Oréal’s vast array of products, click here.