Event Space: OpenSky Beauty Debuts Saturday 05 May, 2012
Want to know what your favorite beauty experts are using? With OpenSky’s new Beauty section, you can get recommendations from beauty industry greats like Orlando Pita, Dr. Frederic Brandt and Jerrod Blandino.
More than a few months back, a colleague invited me to become a member of OpenSky, a unique e-commerce site where industry experts, plus celebrities who are considered tastemakers, recommend items for you to buy that they personally love. The twist: You pick which experts you want to follow, and their curated list of favorites comes direct to your feed or inbox. The site had been largely centered around fashion and home goods, but now OpenSky has launched a Beauty section—and boy, are the experts plentiful. The partial list of the who’s who of beauty reads a little something like this: hairstylists Serge Normant and Orlando Pita; makeup artists Pati Dubroff, Jerrod Blandino and Sue Devitt; and skincare gurus Dr. Fredric Brandt and Dr. Neal Schultz. And not only are these heavyweights making recommendations, they’re also educating you on how to use the items, through video tutorials and step by steps—even answering member questions along the way.
I was invited to a sneak peek of the first beauty items selected for the site, as well as to talk to some of the beauty experts, at the gorgeous Museum of Art & Design overlooking Columbus Circle and Central Park. First up: Chatting with the always charismatic Jerrod Blandino, creator of Too Faced Cosmetics. “Think of all the choices out there for women. It can get so noisy in cosmetics, so it’s nice to talk about it,” he tells me. “What I love about this opportunity is that we get to choose this crazy mix of the items we love, and then explain and educate on how to use them. Education takes the scariness of makeup away, I think. I call it ’empowerment through glamour.'” Now, if you aren’t familiar, Jerrod is a pioneer of the “educate the consumer” movement. His Too Faced palettes have long included “How-to” tip cards—which, I’m going to tell you right now, are dang handy.
“What I really wanted when we started looking into OpenSky Beauty’s curators is people who are considered real industry experts and who are extremely trusted and well-respected, but who also have a live social outreach and a niche story,” OpenSky general manager of beauty, Allison Slater, shares. “When we start working with the curators, we ask them to tell us their top 50 products, and then we work from there. These items are authentically things they’ve chosen—they like them and they use them.”
Dr. Brandt, who tells me he missed his morning yoga (it’s 8 a.m. when we’re speaking, by the way)—but, will hit the mat tonight, as he is a six-day-a-week yoga devotee—isn’t merely going to focus on beauty. “A lot of my future recommendations are in other areas, particularly wellness and health. I like yoga, so my yoga mat will be on there, and vitamins. People always want to know what I’m doing to keep myself healthy and my skin clear. I also believe in nutrition and juicing. A lot of my recommendations will be from my own lifestyle,” he says.
Allison tells me the recommendations will update every two weeks, but that doesn’t mean old recommendations won’t be available. “And, eventually, members will be able to follow their friends on OpenSky, and see what they are buying too—but that’s not available yet,” she says.
What is available: All of the initial beauty recommendations, ranging from actress Alicia Silverstone‘s cherry-picked Rose Water Foundation to an initial exclusive to OpenSky Beauty, Serge Normant’s hair fragrance, which smells divine. Here, a look at some of the offerings and more…
(Clockwise from top left): Chick, a cute, vegan nail polish line, is a new find for many of the beauty editors on hand at the event; Too Faced founder and makeup artist Jerrod Blandino speaks animatedly about demystifying makeup for women (and also about his extensive line of bronzers, created, in part, for his sister, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma eight years ago, and is in good health); Former supermodel Frederique van der Wal recommends Embryolisse, which this beauty editor (me!) has personally fallen in love with after countless makeup artists told me it is an absolute must-have for EVERYONE; Secret to the stars, Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion, is recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow’s trainer, Tracy Anderson, and I’m told that this product made it on a lot of the curators’ lists for what they wanted to recommend (PS: Prrty Peaushun, for the record, is amazing at making you look more toned than you really are—just an FYI); Hairstylist Orlando Pita, he of the countless runway hair looks, hand-picks Leonor Greyl‘s line of hair care; The secret to former The Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky‘s golden glow: Lavish Tan.