Never underestimate a beauty editor.
With access to the world’s leading experts, attending new product launches every single day (sometimes up to four times a day) and interviewing celebrities about their skincare must-haves, there’s no one that knows beauty trends, products, treatments, ingredients and what really bloody works better than a beauty editor.
So when they launch their own product, it usually has something important – and actually different – to add to the conversation. Here are six (yes, six!) of those brands created by the insiders who know best.
Founder: Bee Shapiro.
Previous roles: Beauty columnist for The New York Times (current), beauty contributor to Vogue, Vanity Fair, InStyle, Glamour and more, and author of upcoming release Skin Deep (2017).
The brand: During her eight years in the field, Shapiro noticed a gap in luxurious ‘green’ fragrances as natural beauty was starting to take off. She launched Ellis Brooklyn as a side project after the birth of her first child, partnering with Byredo perfumer Jerome Epinette to craft Ellis Brooklyn’s distinct, high-quality and nasty-free scents. She tells Gritty Pretty, “It was important to me that I wasn’t just coming out with another product. I love my job being a beauty columnist so it wasn’t as if I was looking for some sort of outlet or escape. I was really looking to solve a problem, which was to make beautiful fragrance options that were cleaner.” Made in small batches in upstate New York; now they are available for the first time abroad at MECCA. One to watch.
Founder: Emily Weiss.
Previous roles: Fashion assistant at US Vogue, W, Teen Vogue; freelance stylist; and founder of Into The Gloss.
The brand: In 2010, while she was still fashion assisting for the likes of Vogue (anyone remember those scenes in The Hills), Weiss started beauty website, Into The Gloss. Flash forward a few years, a few million dollars raised in venture capital and a loyal following and the website has now spawned its very own beauty line: Glossier. Weiss told Forbes in 2015, “The point of Glossier is to democratise beauty…to give everyone a voice about the products we use.” Each product is made after scrupulous crowdsourcing of feedback from readers, editorial staff and experts. While the coveted products are not available in Australia yet, Glossier recently expanded for the first time outside the U.S. into Europe, so there is hope. If all else, try a Shop Mate – an American parcel-forwarding service.
Founder: Kathy Phillips
Previous roles: Beauty director of Condé Naste Asia Pacific (current); health and beauty director of British Vogue; beauty columnist for Sunday Mail, The Financial Times, The Times, and The Sunday Times, the Saturday Telegraph Magazine, Sunday Telegraph, Psychologies magazine and more.
Launched in: 2004.
The brand: During her illustrious and award-winning 7-year career as resident beauty & health director at British Vogue, Phillips gained an awareness for what worked and what was superfluous and marketing-led dupes. Her own beauty brand, This Works! is a revolutionary, aromatherapy-based and science-backed range that spans a clinically-tested, best-selling sleeping spray; an anti-stress face mask;and a dry leg oil – just to name a few. For Phillips, her main priority with This Works! was ensuring it had integrity. She tells Gritty Pretty, “To produce something of quality for a fair price, to actually use natural ingredients at potent quantities as opposed to marketing speak and to have a product that could sit alongside some of the heroes of the beauty industry”.
Founder: Zoë Foster Blake.
Previous roles: Beauty director of Australian Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar; beauty editor/columnist for Mamamia and Primped; author of Textbook Romance (2009), The Wrong Girl (2014), Amazinger Face (2016) and more.
The brand: Teeming with ideas of products she wanted for herself, beauty journalist Foster Blake would pitch them to existing beauty bosses like Sodashi founder, Megan Larsen. Foster Blake tells Gritty Pretty magazine: “I would be like, ‘Oh Megan, what if you make an multipurpose body oil? That’s what the girls want, that’s what’s cool.’ And I think after a while she’d just had so much of a gutful she was like ‘Hey, why don’t you do it?’.” So that’s what Foster Blake did. In 2014, Go-To skincare launched with five essential skincare products capturing Foster Blake’s trademark sense of practicality, wit and beauty expertise. The skincare line has since added some more essentials including a hand cream, tinted lip balm and skincare spin-off for men, Bro-To Skincare.
Founder: Jasmine Garnsworthy.
Previous roles: Fashion editor at POPSUGAR Australia; editor at Stylecaster; fashion writer & social media at MyCatwalk.com; freelance contributor for POPSUGAR, Byrdie, Allure, Sporteluxe, Refinery29, News.com.au and more.
The brand: The avid lifestyle, fashion and beauty journalist made the jump from Sydney to New York in late 2014 and after working in full-time editor roles her whole career, decided to go freelance in 2016. Shortly after, she launched The Buff, a natural skincare option for adult-acne sufferers (like Garnsworthy, who suffered a bout of chronic acne a year before) and wanted a solution to recover their over-stripped skin that wouldn’t acerbate the problem. Armed with a diploma in skincare formulations, she also partnered with specialists to produce and blend her customised oils, which are now stocked at US retailer Urban Outfitters. Aussie done good.
The Beauty Chef
Founder: Carla Oates.
Previous roles: Natural beauty columnist at Wellbeing magazine (current); editor of The Wellbeing Beauty Book; author of Feeding Your Skin (2014) and The Beauty Chef Cookbook (2017) and D.I.Y beauty columnist at The Sunday Telegraph.
The brand: Little did you know that the brains behind natural beauty supplements line The Beauty Chef is a veteran beauty editor with over 17 years experience. As a long-time pioneer of fermented-probiotics and gut-healing superfoods for inner and outer beauty, Oates tells Gritty Pretty, “When I first started The Beauty Chef six years ago, the concepts of healing the gut for inner beauty were a bit left of field [and] I understood the idea of restoring gut health and improving gut microbiota for beauty is not a particularly desirable concept, but I truly believed in what I was doing and had worked out ways to help my own and my daughter’s skin issues…”. Keep you eyes out for the potent powder blends and liquid complexion boosters as they make their debut in SEPHORA Australia later this year.