Entrepreneurs

Bethenny Frankel waxed Mark Cuban's arm on 'Shark Tank'—and it landed this beauty start-up a $100,000 investment

Bethenny Frankel
Photo by Noam Galai
Bethenny Frankel

As a star of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City," Bethenny Frankel has had plenty experience with cat fights. But Sunday night, as a guest investor on ABC's "Shark Tank," she experienced a new kind of reality TV moment: Shark fights.

When Jennifer Paschall and Gita Vasseghi pitched their idea for a product called No Mo-Stache, on-the-go wax strips for women sold in a portable tin, Frankel wasn't convinced the product was special.

"I really do think this is a gimmick," Frankel says on "Shark Tank." "It is what you buy on the way out of like the lingerie store. I don't get it." She also cited competition from brands like Sally Hansen and the fact that the wax strips themselves aren't proprietary.

Some Sharks are shocked when two ladies from Los Angeles, California, reveal that all women share a common hairy problem.
Michael Desmond | ABC | Getty Images
Some Sharks are shocked when two ladies from Los Angeles, California, reveal that all women share a common hairy problem.

The men on the show had some more basic questions about the product.

"I need to ask a very, very important question: You get that extra hair, why don't you just shave like the rest of us?" inquires investor Mark Cuban.

"It would grow in," Frankel explains. "You would have a Chia Pet on your lip by a week from Tuesday."

But after hearing the business's sales — $400,000 in two years — the mood in the tank began to change. To really get down to business, Frankel tried out the product on Cuban's arm.

"I just waxed Mark's arm, which I never thought I'd say in this lifetime," says Frankel, while holding up a strip covered in hair.

Her response to the product was positive: "All the competitors that I have used in the past, they are very sticky, they get gooey.... I just waxed his arm and it is very neat."

Other investors became interested. "Now that Mark has been waxed that changes everything," says investor Kevin O'Leary. He made an offer to invest in the business and be repaid with a royalty fee per product sold, but Frankel was right behind him with a different idea.

She pitched the entrepreneurs on adding their wax strips into a bigger product, a kit that women could buy that would include all types of necessities.

"I've thought that there needs to be a kit for women that has nipple covers, sticky tape, your hair removal thing," Frankel says. "No one has put it together in a compact way. You're going away for a girls' weekend, you're going to a wedding, you don't know what is going to happen until you get dressed."

But her terms to create the kit were steep: Frankel offered to invest $100,000 for a 40 percent stake, asking for more equity at a lower valuation than the initial $100,000 for 25 percent the founders proposed. She also suggested the kit would be branded under her own company's label, Skinnygirl.

"That is savage," O'Leary says.

Then, investor Lori Greiner jumped in. "I kind of like this idea because I think we could sell it," she says of the women's emergency kit.

Greiner and Frankel decide to make an offer together: a combined investment of $100,000 for a total 35 percent stake, with a $1 royalty fee that they would split on each kit. "Until we get our money back, and then we'll cut the royalty," Greiner says.

The founders countered, asking which sharks would be willing to do a deal to invest $100,000 for a 25 percent stake, plus a royalty of $1 per unit sold up to $200,000.

O'Leary snapped at the offer, "I'll take that deal," he says. But, Greiner was just as quick, "No! We'll take that deal, and no mo' negotiating," she says. In the end, she and Frankel won out on the investment.

As for O'Leary, Frankel had her own offer for him: "I'll wax your back as a thank you."

Don't miss: Why Barbara Corcoran invested $50,000 in a new kind of fidget spinner on 'Shark Tank'

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Disclaimer: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."