Like many people faced with a cancer diagnosis, Giuliana Rancic took a hard look at what she was eating and applying to her skin. “They couldn’t really explain what caused the breast cancer,” said Rancic, who just returned to cohost “E! News” after a three-year hiatus. “I was 36. I was healthy and [there was] no family history of breast cancer.”
She hit a roadblock in her quest to make her beauty routine less caustic. “The clean products did nothing for antiaging and crow’s feet — all those things that happen when you age. And the products I love had a lot of chemicals that I shouldn’t be using. There was a real white space for a clean line that was also antiaging,” and at an obtainable price, Rancic told WWD, while admitting she even dabbled in home-made concoctions sold on Etsy.
Fortunately Rancic, now 44 and the mother of six-year-old son Duke, had a hotline into one of the pioneers of organic and natural products — a connection to Irwin D. Simon, founder of Hain Celestial Group. Beyond its portfolio of healthy consumables such as Celestial Seasonings and Almond Dream, Hain plays in the beauty space with Jason, Avalon Organics, Alba Botanica and Live Clean. “I wanted to partner with people who have been doing this for a long time.”
For more than two years, Rancic brainstormed with Roseann Fernandez, director of marketing at Hain Celestial Personal Care who immediately understood the mission. Their efforts culminated in a collection called Fountain of Truth. The initial six items make their debut online at fountainoftruthbeauty.com with plans in the works for a retail rollout. Six more items will launch early next year. The company doesn’t rule out expansion into other beauty categories.
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Industry sources estimate direct sales could exceed $12 million in the first year, a sum that could double with expansion at physical stores.
Although Rancic didn’t brand her name on Fountain of Truth, her persona will undoubtedly be part of the appeal. She’s already proved she can move products — she has a successful apparel brand on HSN, an Italian sparkling wine called Giuliana Prosecco, which she co-owns with her husband Bill. The two also operate several restaurants under the RPM brand.
Rancic’s effort goes deeper than putting her face to the brand. “It wasn’t like she’s a celebrity who slaps her name on a product and says give me the check. She did everything from sitting with the fragrance house to selecting the packaging,” said Fernandez of the white bottles accented with rose gold. “And she can really proofread a document and catch where a comma is missing.”
During the process, Rancic wanted to ensure the products were as free of toxic chemicals, but still work. “I asked a lot about the chemists and their backgrounds. So, Roseann asked if I’d like to meet them. They were literally right down the hall. Their lab is right on the premise.”
The initial lineup features a Super Bio-Ferment Complex containing fermented botanicals and earth-derived ingredients of Zinc, Iron, Copper, Magnesium and Wakame Seaweed. The seaweed is said to achieve softer, smoother and more luminous skin with visibly more volume. Fountain of Truth does not contain SLS, Phthalates, Petrolatum, Silicones, Mineral Oil, DEA, Phosphates, Artificial Dyes, PEGs, or Synthetic Fragrances.
The hero product is The Truth Insta-Face Life Elixir, formulated to help skin fight visible signs of aging sans a medi-spa visit. It features Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, which helps to create smoother and tighter looking skin, as well as Black Cumin Seed Oil, with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and amino acids, to help create a look of plumpness and volume. The other items include the Dream Cream Overnight Repair Mask, Good Day Soufflé Hydrating Moisturizer SPF 15; a Honey Glow Mask, Take It Off Cleansing Balm and The Youth In Hand Cream. Prices range from $25 to $86. “I have friends who use similar products that are $160 versus my $60,” said Rancic. “Everything I do is to offer attainable luxury, that’s how I live my life — you can go to our restaurants and get the most delicious pasta for $12. I want women to be able to get products and not worry about what is in them — we’ve done the work.”
Hain pumped more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars into clinical research to support Fountain of Truth. In studies, 87 percent of participants said they felt immediate tightening, and 97 percent noted a decrease in crow’s feet fine lines and wrinkles after 24 hours, 100 percent said improvements after six weeks. Ninety-four percent of participants noted improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after four weeks of trying The Dream Cream Overnight Repair Mask.
Fountain of Truth also has partnered with two organizations Rancic supports, Fab-U-Wish and The Pink Agenda (a nonprofit organization committed to raising money for breast cancer research and care, as well as awareness of the disease), to make the fight against breast cancer part of its mission. The entire line is giving back a portion of sales to The Pink Agenda and Fab-U-Wish. “And, this one particular sku — The Youth In Hand Cream — was developed in limited quantities where 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $100,000, will be donated to Fab-U-Wish and The Pink Agenda,” said Fernandez.