The Glossy Beauty Podcast is the newest podcast from Glossy. Each 30-minute episode features candid conversations about how today’s trends, such as CBD and self-care, are shaping the future of the beauty and wellness industries. With a unique assortment of guests, The Glossy Beauty Podcast provides its listeners with a variety of insights and approaches to these categories, which are experiencing explosive growth. From new retail strategies on beauty floors to the importance of filtering skincare products through crystals, this show sets out to help listeners understand everything that is going on today, and prepare for what will show up in their feeds tomorrow.
Innovation over product proliferation: Olaplex CEO JuE Wong on her plans for the company
This past January, JuE Wong joined hair-care brand Olaplex as its CEO -- not because it had budding potential, but because of the strength of its existing assets.
For one, the demand is there. "What we are seeing is that, when people are looking at their hair, they look at it as an extension of their skin care," Wong said on this week's episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. And skin care, of course, has emerged as a major category in recent years.
Olaplex has also developed a strong reputation among stylists and other salon professionals, "which gave it a lot of credibility and authority," Wong said. "So when I joined I saw that equity."
Olaplex launched in 2014 and only developed a few products to start. "They knew that if they were going to launch anything else, it had to be best in class and best in category," Wong said. "And that is what I mandated myself to do. I told my team that we are not going to go for SKU proliferation, but we are going to hone in on innovation."
La Prairie Group's François Le Gloan on responding to the 'stress test' of the pandemic
For La Prairie Group regional vice president François Le Gloan, what the luxury beauty brand didn't do in response to the coronavirus pandemic is as important as what it did. Le Gloan is responsible for the company's operations in the Americas and Oceania.
"We have seen a flurry of promotions," he said about the larger beauty industry, on the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "With the help of our retail partners, we have managed to stay a bit away from this surge of promotional activity."
One front for change, however, is how the company sells product online. La Prairie organizes online events; participants receive samples in the mail in advance, so that they can mimic the typical learning and sampling experience that was the industry's bread and butter in-store before the crisis.
Le Gloan anticipates that many of La Prairie's digital pivots will stick around for the long haul. "Looking back maybe two or three years time, we will realize that it has enriched the palette of the way we are doing things," he said.
Luxury Brand Partners' Tev Finger on knowing and creating what beauty conglomerates want before they do
When Luxury Brand Partners founder and CEO Tev Finger pitched his idea to Estée Lauder Companies -- an in-house brand incubator that he would run after the company bought his brand Bumble & Bumble -- the company almost went for it.
"I give a lot of credit. It's hard for a company that buys brands that are profitable to even contemplate taking a risk on incubators," Finger said on the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "It ended up not happening."
That was around 2006, Finger recalled. But all these years later, he still sees Luxury Brand Partners, which he founded in 2012, as an incubator for beauty conglomerates in everything but name.
"I'm actually an arm of them," Finger said. "We kind of line it up for them to make an easy acquisition. We know the things they're looking for." Since the Bumble & Bumble acquisition, Finger has sold Becca to ELC, Pulp Riot to L'Oréal and Oribe to Kao Corporation. Other brands in the LBP portfolio include R+Co, Patrick Starrr's One/Size and Camila Coelho's Elaluz -- the latter two launched during the pandemic.
Which of the giant beauty companies ends up buying the small companies he sets up is beside the point, as long as one of them does. Not that it's easy.
"It has to be profitable, and it has to be well executed. And you have to have trademarks around the world and licenses -- so when they buy it it's seamless," Finger said. "If you can erase the roadblocks and put it to them on a platter, you're going to get a lot of buyers."
Acqua Di Parma's Laura Burdese on how the definition of luxury has changed
Fragrance isn't what it used to be, according to Acqua Di Parma CEO Laura Burdese.
"I don't wear a fragrance anymore to represent my personality to someone else," Burdese said on this week's episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "I do it because of myself, because it's part of my personal, intimate life."
That's partly due to the pandemic that is hitting with renewed strength, of course, both in the company's native Italy and around the world. If people are still wearing perfume, they're doing it for themselves.
"On top of fragrances, we've seen the rise of so many bath and body products and home fragrances like candles and diffusers," Burdese said of the self-care momentum. "This is a shift that was probably somehow already there, but the pandemic really accelerated it."
Acqua Di Parma's customer base is slowly skewing younger, Burdese added. For those generations and overall, the meaning of luxury has changed from being a simple price bracket to requiring an emotional resonance with customers, "something they believe in and feel is relevant to them," Burdese said. "To me, luxury is becoming something more personal." And that, she said, is oftentimes "more difficult."
Ipsy CEO Marcelo Camberos on pandemic-proofing: Make every offering 'worth it' for the customer
When Covid-19 hit the U.S. in March, Ipsy, like all beauty companies, had to rethink its year ahead. But CEO Marcelo Camberos said he hoped the larger economic and consumer changes would allow Ipsy, best known for its monthly subscription Glam Bags, to become "a bigger part of members' lives."
"In this world where they really need us, where it's much harder to go to physical retail and feel confident doing so, how can we provide more value?" said Camberos, on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "We thought that the key way we could do that was to give them more control."
Ipsy aims to give its customers more control by allowing them to choose the merchandise that they get in Ipsy's Glam Bags and to offer more personal care products in tandem with beauty. Camberos said the big question for his team when thinking of customers is always, "Was it worth it for me this month?" in regard to the monthly shipment of products.
And this line of thinking has been applied to all of Ipsy's franchises, including its events, which the company had previously gone heavy on in 2019, and incubation, as seen in its August launch of Item Beauty with TikTok star Addison Rae Easterling.
"We probably changed more than half of our business initiatives for the year," said Camberos of the company's pivot. "This is a new world; we need to act quickly."
Unfair, bonus episode: 'It was that moment of enough is enough'
Glossy is proud to present Unfair, a podcast about the global skin-lightening industry and everything it touches, from the demand for lighter skin to the beauty companies selling to it.
In this bonus episode, we share a live Q&A first hosted by Unfair host Priya Rao and its producer, Pierre Bienaimé. They were joined by a source from the series' first episode: activist and speaker Nina Davuluri. Together they discuss the industry and the podcast itself, and take audience questions.