Swift’s first venture into the ingestible beauty space — two dietary supplements, including digestive enzymes and a probiotic enhanced with prebiotics — is set to launch exclusively in 122 Free People doors on Jan. 15, as well as the retailer’s web site.
“I’ve been in the business a long time working with all the models, and one of the biggest things I’m always hearing is that people can’t go to the bathroom,” Swift said. A celebrity makeup artist by trade, Swift’s RMS Beauty brand she founded in 2009 has developed a cult following for its natural formulas and sleek, stylish packaging. She is also a staunch believer in wellness and the idea that what is ingested affects one’s outside appearance. “My big thing is, I believe skin is a mirror to your gut. When your gut is screwed up, your skin is going to be screwed up.”
RMS Beauty Within is not the first supplement launch from an organic makeup line — Jane Iredale launched skin-care supplements last year, though her approach was focused on fish oil and antioxidants, not probiotics and digestive health.
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Another thing Swift is known for her? Her direct, outspoken take on the beauty industry. And the supplement industry gets the same treatment.
“You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again — everybody thinks one size fits all,” Swift said. “But [probiotics] are exactly like the cocaine industry — there’s s–tty cocaine, s–tty acidophilus. And then there’s movie star cocaine, Hollywood movie star acidophilus.”
In other words: Despite the influx of dietary supplements marketed as beauty pills on the market, Swift is unconvinced of their quality and efficacy.
“A lot of brands aren’t strong enough to make it past the stomach acid, because of the quality of the strains and the amount of them,” Swift said. “No one wants to put the good stuff in.”
Her probiotics, she says, are of the movie star acidophilus variety.
Quality doesn’t come cheap — the probiotics and the digestive enzymes each are priced at $64 retail for a 60 and 90 capsule supply or a month’s worth of supplements, respectively.
“I found a lab and told them money was no object,” Swift said. “I wanted to have a probiotic that is super strong, [because] our guts have a lot of damage. How many of us are revitalizing our gut flora with fermented foods and kefir? We’re not — we’re eating meat and potato chips, all the stuff that’s acidic and ruining our gut.”
Swift’s approach to beauty and wellness is a perfect fit for the ethos of Free People’s beauty business, said the retailer’s head of beauty Jessica Richards. Richards is also the owner of clean beauty boutique Shen in Brooklyn.
“Our girls are very interested in not only clean beauty but taking care of themselves,” said Richards, who has pioneered Free People’s FP Movement shops in New York and Los Angeles, which merchandise the retailer’s ath-leisure offerings alongside its clean beauty and sizable wellness assortment, as well as hosting community workshops and classes. Richards’s “girls” are the brand’s target customer base — late twentysomethings who came of age in the Goop era and are tuned into the latest upscale wellness trends. “Wellness for us has been our way to differentiate ourselves in the market against all the other [retailers] selling beauty. We’re a lifestyle brand, and beauty and wellness is what makes this a full 360 holistic approach….We’re not in the market of just selling a product but having our girls believe us and trust us.”