Charli Howard wants to squash — squish? — your beauty woes.
The body-positive model and author is launching Squish Beauty, a direct-to-consumer skin-care brand that takes a playful approach to acne and other skin issues. The brand makes its debut on Friday with three products: cherry eye and cheek masks, flower-shaped acne patches and a jelly lip gloss, all of which are priced under $25, with sets starting at $40.
“I wanted to take what I’ve learned from being in the makeup chair and from models that I know and incorporate that into day-to-day life,” Howard said. “No matter who you are, day-to-day issues can take a toll on your skin — whether that’s flying or being in [New York City] or going to the gym or drinking.”
Squish’s eye and cheek masks contain collagen, hyaluronic acid, lavender oil and aloe vera to both plump and calm skin. The acne patches are meant to be worn on whiteheads overnight, and the jelly gloss is made to be worn either on its own or on top of another lip color.
The brand is part of a rising crop of indies that are rethinking acne treatments in an unconventional way. Peace Out Acne, Mighty Patch and Zitsticka, which hired Tinder’s former director of marketing Josh Metz, are a few of the players in the space.
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Howard counts 179,000 Instagram followers, who are based primarily in the U.K., where she is from, and the U.S., where she is currently based. Her followers are aged 18 to 34, and 82 percent are women.
Squish’s packaging and design draws inspiration from Nineties and early Aughts teen magazines, as well as Seventies Playboys. The launch campaign features a diverse casting of 19 models — including Taija Kerr, Sophia Hadjipanteli, Munroe Bergdorf, Jillian Mercado and Seynabou — who pose in unretouched images.
“We live in a time where you have to be diverse in your branding otherwise consumers won’t buy from you,” Howard said. “I started the All Women Project in 2016, and we were one of the first people to put those images out that were unretouched. I’m really proud of that. I’ve been maintaining that and I always said if I ever had my own brand I would always be as diverse as possible, which is what I’ve tried to do on the budget I have.”
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