When it comes to beauty products, we come from two different camps. There are beauty enthusiasts who can't settle on just a few products and instead continually try every new and interesting offering that comes to market. Then there are the loyalists. The women (and men) who know what brands they like and stick to them. I fall somewhere in between, generally afraid of commitment until The One comes along, and then I'm in it for the long haul. When did my beauty routine begin to feel so much like my love life? A question for another day, I suppose.
In order to understand what new products I should get into and which are just a passing fad, I spoke with Jessica Richards, the California native who founded Shen Beauty—a boutique destination for all things lovely, undiscovered and organic—in Brooklyn. Then, she signed on as Free People's new beauty buyer as the brand began curating its beauty section. I asked her how she knew what products to buy—how trends come about and how she can so flawlessly stay ahead of the curve.
"I personally don't buy on trend," she responded, "but rather, I look for products from a truly great brand and then think about the direction I know the industry is moving. Meaning, I ask myself What is missing? or What are people craving in life?"
She expanded, "I think, in general, this new 'wellness' category has come about because it's relative to what we are all experiencing in the world." I agree with her, mentioning that even as an editor, it's evident we're at a crossroads in the industry—it's a time where we are all longing for something less manufactured and airbrushed. "We want something real to relate to and latch on to," she muses, nodding her head.
Richards continued, "I buy from my gut. I think that's what I do differently than almost all beauty buyers and why I started my company and continue to help others find their voice. For larger companies like Free People, it's What does our girl want? What does she like? What does she relate to? What does she need in her life that she doesn't know yet? My store (and the beauty category at Free People) is meant to be a place to learn and be educated." It seems the industry took notice.
Keep scrolling for the five products Jessica Richards recommends you buy before they sell out.
Richards cannot rave enough about this body powder. It's a mixture of plant proteins, superfruits, vegetables, alkalizing greens, spices, probiotics and green tea. Um, yes, please. "I think as the wellness trend continues to gain momentum, this product will be impossible to find," Richards says. "A protein shake with caffeine that is also healthy?! What more could you ask for?"
I walked into Shen Beauty for my annual lash and brow tint, a bit tired and hungover from the night before (oops). Immediately, I was offered one of these small green tablets, washed it down with water, and felt 100% better.
Richards explains the hype: "A serious must-have in everyone's bag for those of you who live life on the go—like me. Having this in your hand is the ultimate. The effervescent mixture includes eight daily greens you should be consuming, but without the added cost and inconvenience of picking up a juice every few hours."
"I am completely obsessed with these and wear every colour, in particular, Electra. I can't get enough! Each one is an easy-to-wear, just-bitten tone that reveals the best version of your lip colour. Easy and effortless," she says. And guess what? We heard from the buyers at The Dreslyn that these lipsticks are already a seriously hot commodity, so buy them ASAP before they're gone.
While the cold winter months begin to bring us down, customers at Shen have been reaching for this effective pink lip balm. "I think I probably have one of these in every jacket and bag I own. It's an organic, homemade ChapStick with a little sheen—it seems to put me (and everyone else) in a good mood."
This oil is finally gaining steam, Richards exclaims, and apparently, the demand has shown no sign of dying down. It's become so popular the store has trouble keeping it in stock. "It's great for every skin type," she says. "It's the ultimate multitasker. It needs to be in everyone's cabinet."
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