Hong Kong Madame - English

Diane - founder of Sponge

September 12th 2017

Diane - founder of Sponge
by Aude
September has only started, the holidays are behind and I already feel like I am running out of time. I need more than 24H in a day! Not you? Any idea that can save me some precious time, I’m in! So when I heard about Sponge I knew I will love this service: getting pampered wherever you want (home, office …) while being able to catch-up on your emails, whatsapp … God yes! And what about getting pampered while chatting with Diane, the founder, and discovering more about her, her company and exchanging some beauty tips? Sound like a nice plan right? 

Diane - founder of Sponge
Hey Diane! Can you tell me a little bit more about Sponge?
Sponge offers professional on-demand beauty services at your doorstep. In just a few clicks, you can have a Sponge makeup artist, hairstylist or eyelash technician come to your home, or any other location, to pamper you. We all lead busy lives, so Sponge is a convenient service that fits your beauty routine into your busy schedule. Our clients can catch up on emails, spend more time with their children or even sip a cocktail in front of their favourite movie while they get pampered by professionals in their home, their office, hotel room or any other location! And of course we do a lot of events and fashion photoshoots.
Tell us more about your background … How did you end-up launching Sponge here in Hong Kong?
I am French-Lebanese and moved to Hong Kong from New York last year. I’m a lawyer and I started my career in Investment Banking. When I moved to Hong Kong, I realised that myself and all the women I talked to were complaining about the same thing: how expensive beauty services are in Hong Kong. I figured out that salons and spas are charging high prices to customers because they have to pay rent, which is extremely high in Hong Kong. The beauty about Sponge – pun intended! - is that we don’t have to pay rent, since we send professionals to you. So our prices are less expensive than most salons and spas in Hong Kong – and of course we are more convenient since we come to your location! Booking and paying is all done online and only takes ten seconds.

Diane - founder of Sponge
Any specific knowledge of the beauty industry before launching Sponge? Were you a beauty addict?
I have always loved makeup, even as a child. I was obsessed with recreating my aunt’s makeup look every time I saw her. She was always so glamourous! And of course in New York, I had a weekly beauty routine that I wouldn’t deviate from: hair, makeup, eyelash extensions and nails. So it absolutely made sense to me that I would create a business in the beauty industry that would not only challenge me mentally but would also bring out my creative side.
What a typical day in your life looks like those days?
There is no typical day! That’s what makes running your own business so exciting. I do however always start my day by checking my phone and preparing my green tea. And my days always consist of a lot of emails, numerous meetings and me running from place-to-place. And I always try to go to the gym or a yoga class to wind down from my day.

Diane - founder of Sponge
How would you describe your style?
Minimalist with a touch of colour. However since moving to Hong Kong, I have started to wear more patterns. Maybe being in a creative industry is making me more creative when it comes to my style!
Where do you shop in Hong Kong? Any secret place that you can share with us?
I find Hong Kong to be a hard place to shop in for someone who is as tall and curvy as I am. So I have found my go-tos and I stick to them: REISS at the IFC and ASOS online. 

Diane - founder of Sponge
What are you fab beauty brands?
Benefit Cosmetics, Yves Saint Laurent and Make Up For Ever for makeup. And Amika for hair. Believe it or not, I find that coconut oil too is the best for your skin and hair.
Which beauty look(s) are you obsessed with at the moment?
Nowadays, I tend to look at Sponge’s Instagram to get inspiration from our clients and the looks they choose. I love how the Sponge experts customise each look! I used to be all about matte: matte skin, matte eyeshadow and matte lips. But I’m starting to incorporate more shimmer when it comes to my makeup; eyeshadow and highlighter especially. I tend to book ‘The Inspiration’ makeup look from our Menu. And with my hair, I’m rocking a blonde ombre style since I moved from New York, so I like to show it off with messy waves. I tend to book ‘The Weekender’ hair look from our Menu. And it’s actually one of our most popular styles with clients! 

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