THE NEW BEAUTY REGIME
On the Rise with JULIE MACKLOWE’s Growing Vbeauté Empire
By Eden Herbstman
With the countless brands that are now available in the ever-growing beauty industry, women know patience is a virtue when it comes to discovering successful products. What may feel like a never-ending search can thankfully come to an end thanks to Julie Macklowe’s Vbeauté luxury skincare line. Celebrating its one-year anniversary at Bergdorf Goodman December 12th, the brand delivers a curated line of skincare products that specifically target sensitive skin. Working closely with scientists in Switzerland, all Vbeauté products contain alpine rose, anti-aging botanical technology, and the finest of Swiss ingredients. They are also free of fragrance, gluten, nut, oat, and parabens. The founding philosophy behind its start-up was Macklowe’s intent to create a line that offered a simple, daily beauty regimen. “I wanted a curated line that was the best of the best, but was also easy and accessible to women,” says Macklowe.
The core of Vbeauté ‘s success lies in Macklowe’s understanding of women’s concerns, and what they hope to achieve from products. “It amazes me that women spend so much money on clothes, jewelry, handbags, and shoes, when it’s your face that’s the first thing people see,” says Macklowe. “A woman’s skin is what makes them go into a room and have confidence. For me, everyday fashion begins with the face. I think that is why I started with skincare.”
Having gone through skin issues of her own, making constant trips to the dermatologist, Macklowe was extremely hands-on at the start of the brand. She admits, “I must have gone through sixty iterations, so I was like the test monkey. I’m a perfectionist, and once I liked it I had friends test it. Even my dermatologist said there was a difference in my fine lines.”
Sticking to a mantra of quality over quantity, Vbeauté consists of six skincare regimens, including a daily foaming cleanser, an exfoliator, an anti-wrinkle serum, a brightening agent, and an eye repair creme, which can all be found in the brand’s trademarked It Kit–the quintessential travel savior. It’s a sleek housing kit, storing its products in five individual slots that can scan through airport security. “There are five elements of the It Kit, and in Chinese culture they have the five elements,” says Macklowe. “I had lived in Asia, so I was attune to that.” As the story goes, her toiletries were confiscated by the TSA en route to a wedding in Paris, forcing her to purchase all new products once she arrived there. The newly purchased products ended up leaving her face in hives. The silver lining, however, was Vbeauté, and specifically the It Kit’s innovative design.
Ironically enough, Macklowe transitioned into the predominately woman-led beauty industry after twelve years in the highly testosterone-driven world of finance, where she ran her own hedge fund. “It’s not an industry, generally speaking, that is super conducive to a luxurious lifestyle; it’s long hours, and one has to have a thick skin–no pun intended. If you’re in the industry long enough, and you manage to stay in it, that translates into having the ability to not care so much, and to take risks by trial and error.” Her confidence may stem from her years in finance, but it manifests itself in her bold fashion choices, making her style something of a photographer favorite. “In Patrick’s Glamour Girls book, I’m in this crazy, hand-painted, Balenciaga short dress, and I have a crazy hair style. I look back to those photos and I go, ‘What the hell was I thinking?’ You can’t take fashion too seriously. It is fun, experimental, and sometimes you will or will not have some winners. But that is true in finance as well. If you are trying to make money and take risks, you have to have conviction, and you have to do your research and make the best bet, even though that bet won’t always be right. Do I care if I’m on a ‘worst dressed’ list? Not really. It’s better than not being on any list at all.”
With a plan of incorporating haircare products into the fold at some point in the future, and a new line of lip glosses being released, Macklowe hopes the evolution of Vbeauté will lead to its becoming an overall lifestyle brand that always strives to curate and select the best of the best.
Written by Eden Herbstman
Edited by Jonathan Metzelaar
Photography Courtesy of Julie Macklowe
Design by Eden Herbstman
Julie Macklowe, Photography by Ben Fink Shapiro
Vbeauté Products, Photography Courtesy of Julie Macklowe
It Kit, Photography Courtesy of Julie Macklowe