Smith & Cult is moving into the face category.
The brainchild of Hard Candy cofounders Dineh Mohajer and Jeanne Chavez, Smith & Cult launched in 2014 with nail lacquer and an emphasis on punchy, trend-driven color and glitter. The brand has since added lip and eye categories, and the face products — a highlighter and blush-bronzer duo — represent the next steps in Smith & Cult’s slow-burn growth strategy.
The Illumify Shimmering Highlight, priced at $36, and Book of Sun — the blush-bronzer, which retails for $40 — will launch next month in Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-a-porter, Space NK, Bluemercury and online at Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s. The products are also on Smith & Cult’s own e-commerce site and at C.O. Bigelow.
The formulas have been painstakingly worked on by Chavez, a trained cosmetics chemist, while Mohajer works on the overall creative direction, including packaging and art. Smith & Cult is Mohajer and Chavez’s third brand together after selling Hard Candy to LVMH and their second brand, Disney Couture, to Limited Brands.
The blush and bronzer, Chavez said, are formulated with a microfine powder, designed for a soft look and to feel like second skin, and the highlighter was developed with a small perimeter in order to ensure fool-proof application.“We’re really nailing it in terms of formulas, highly specialized and mindful so we don’t flood the market with unnecessary [product].”
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Mohajer noted that the aim with Smith & Cult is to make makeup application uncomplicated for women, particularly when it comes to fun, trend-driven items. “Way back when, there was no innovation relative to the way it is now — it made a space for [brands] like Hard Candy and Tony & Tina to exist,” said Mohajer, referencing the Indie beauty lines in the Nineties and early Aughts that made products like glitter eye pencils and lip gloss commonplace, paving the way for today’s wave of Indie makeup brands. Manufacturers, said Mohajer, are able to produce much more innovative product than they once were. “There’s so much that’s been developed. For us it’s now about fine-tuning and maintaining that whole mentality of doing new and different but in a brand new world where there’s more accessibility.”
Mohajer and Chave plan to release additional shades of the Illumify highlighter and blush-bronzer duo later this year.
“[We] sold Hard Candy a long time ago, and probably sooner than we would have in today’s time,” said Chavez. “A lot of what we do for Smith & Cult is unfinished business with Hard Candy. It’s the next chapter.”