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Bettina Cosmetics celebrates 40 years with $125K investment, new products

Bettina Cosmetics, a purely Puerto Rican brand known for some of the best-selling makeup products on the island, is investing $125,000 in the development of new products and activities related to its 40th anniversary.

“We are releasing new products and improving the quality of our best sellers. Additionally, we are unveiling new packaging with a futuristic style that will attract younger audiences while also appealing to our loyal generational audience,” said Bettina Mercado, president of Bettina Cosmetics.

As part of its new packaging, Bettina invested $75,000 in a laser marking machine, enabling it to print the company brand and shades uniquely and innovatively directly on plastic.

“Thanks to this new machine, no matter how you hold the product in your hand, you can read it effectively. Now we have also included the names of our shades in English and Spanish. So, regardless of whether it’s for the Puerto Rican or the United States market, the person can read the name of the color immediately,” said Mercado. 

One of the newest products announced is a fast-dry enamel called Velocious Nail Lacquer. This nail polish is designed to appeal to working women who are always on the go and need something that will dry quickly. The product advertises a 60-second drying period between layers.

“We made sure that every product that is launched is exactly what our clients are looking for: quality, durability and a variety of shades at an affordable price. Our new products entering the market will showcase a completely different and innovative Bettina that our consumers are not used to seeing on the shelf,” added Mercado.

The Bettina Cosmetics brand was officially registered in 1983. However, MJ Incorporated, Bettina’s parent company, was established in 1963. 

“Next year we’re going to be introducing more products that have other innovations too. During this year until October of next year, we’re going to have the opportunity to continue expanding the brand to properly celebrate 60 years of history,” said Mercado.

40th anniversary celebration
Bettina’s parent company, MJ Inc., was founded in 1963 and therefore celebrates 60 years in business. 

“One of the first products sold was nail polishes. These were named after the women in my family and the family of the original partners, who were some American Jews who established the business with my parents,” said Mercado. “But when the products arrived, the names were Italianized. Julia became Julieta, Jacqueline became Jackelina, Maritza became Marisa, and finally, Betty became Bettina. The shade Bettina became the best-selling color in the collection, later inspiring the official registration of the cosmetics brand.”

In 2008, when Mercado became the company’s president, Bettina expanded by reducing imports and manufacturing its products locally. The company’s mission was to offer all the products a woman needs to feel confident.

“After nail polish, we started with skin color [products] because, at that time, Latinas did not have representation. We started to define Bettina as a brand designed by Latinos and for Latinos, that could then occupy a space that other brands did not have at that time,” said Mercado.

The company invested in its own machinery, created jobs and, toward the end of 2014, opened its headquarters in Dorado, Puerto Rico.

“We began opening sales points, and the numbers spoke for themselves. It was like a reverse process where … store managers who were Puerto Ricans and knew of Bettina, wanted to have the brand in their stores. We later received a call from the United States letting us know that they had a brand that they didn’t know but had impressive sales numbers, and so they opened doors for us in Florida. Bettina now has over 1,300 points of sale between Puerto Rico and Florida,” added Mercado.

While Bettina has launched a new line of products for the anniversary, the company has remained true to its core values: products for various skin tones, offering color variety, quality and affordable prices.

“Now we are being approached by other brands abroad that need people who already have the capacity ready to package private brands, and those are other opportunities that we have for business development. We also plan on expanding our product reach in the U.S. Currently, exports are only about 10 or 12 percent of our sales, so we still have a lot of room for growth in exports, adding other states, other locations and other new chains,” concluded Mercado. 

Author Details
Author Details
Kiara S. Visbal is a 20-year-old student in her senior year at Sacred Heart University in Santurce. She is majoring in journalism and film and plans to expand her education by beginning a master’s in public relations and integrated communication. Writing is her number one passion, and she strongly believes that authentic media coverage is vital for the well-being of the public.

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