NEW YORK — Smoothies that double as face masks are the future of the beauty wellness movement — or so says Salma Hayek.
The actress, in town to promote her new movie “Beatriz” that hits theaters today, is here to launch her new brand of edible beauty: Blend It Yourself for Juice Generation, a new smoothie, face mask and bowl national delivery service she co-created with the company’s founder, Eric Helms.
The range — which includes 12 smoothies and three acai bowls that arrive prepped and portioned — include a selection of three “Beauty Blends” that could each be blended and used as a smoothie or topical mask.
Whether one decides to “slip or slather” (or a little of each) is at their discretion, said Hayek, who is for the first time bringing beauty to Juice Generation on a national scale. Helms, founder of Juice Generation, called this the most ambitious launch the 18-year-old juice and smoothie chain has had to date.
While still a niche subset of the green juice and smoothie movement, companies that deliver measured and precut ingredients for blending are a growing offshoot of the on-demand food space. Juice Generation isn’t first to market — Daily Harvest and GreenBlender have similar offerings — but it does have more scale and a clear point of differentiation with its two-for-one Beauty Blends. Hayek isn’t the only celebrity interested in backing a smoothie delivery service either. This week it was revealed that Gwyneth Paltrow and Serena Williams both invested in Daily Harvest.
“The things that work for your face really can also work from the inside-out. We combined some ingredients so if you don’t put it on your face and drink it, it’s still good for your skin,” Hayek told WWD Thursday morning before unveiling Beauty Blends at a penthouse on Bond Street in NoHo here.
For instance, “Aloe Greens” — which contains aloe vera, kale, spinach, pear, cucumber, avocado, nopal cactus and mint — is billed as a “repair” formula. The superfood smoothie-slash-face mask is packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin B by way of the kale and spinach it contains, Hayek explained, which fuel the production of collagen and help fight sun damage, respectively. “Watermelon Hibiscus” is full of antioxidant-rich hibiscus to fight stressed skin and watermelon and rosewater to hydrate and make the complexion radiant. When used as a mask, the “Papaya Avocado” blend is designed to “renew” through moisturizing avocado and organically exfoliate by way of the naturally occurring enzymes in papaya and lemon.
It’s hardly a new concept to her — it’s just the first time Hayek is monetizing it.
She’s been blending beauty products her whole life, a result of her grandmother using leftovers to make beauty concoctions, from masks to exfoliating, whitening scrubs.
“To me, beauty always started in the kitchen or in the bathroom.…She [my grandmother] would be at the breakfast table and take papaya and put orange juice in it and honey and stick it on her face. She would blend the nuts, stick it in there and scrub her face with it and leave it on as a mask. And that’s it. That’s how I grew up,” Hayek said.
The collection hits Juice Generation’s web site — juicegeneration.com — on Monday, where a preorder functionality will be available in advance of shipping on July 17. The subscription service has a monthly or bimonthly shipping option where customers can customize six, 12 or 24 smoothie or acai bowl deliveries. Depending on one’s plan, the products range in price from $7 to $8 an item. There is also a onetime sample option for first time buyers, Helms said.
“She started mixing up coconut with papaya and greens. She came over and slathered greens all over my face. This is something she’s been doing for years. She said, ‘Trust me, all of my friends do this. I give the recipes out,'” Helms said of the first time Hayek shared her vision for Beauty Blends with him.
About a year and a half ago, Hayek, who primarily lives in Europe but was in Los Angeles for 10 days, summoned Helms to fly out so she could show him the “greatest idea.” Upon his arrival, Hayek took him to Whole Foods, where the two proceeded to spend $1,500 on fruits and vegetables before returning to her home, where they would spend eight hours in her kitchen blending smoothies and masks.
“I came back to New York, and it was really tough because I wrestled with, ‘How does this work with Juice Generation?’ I thought that with what I do, this is such a radical departure,” continued Helms, who admitted that while he was impressed by Hayek’s idea, it took him about a year to figure out how he could incorporate the concept into his existing business. He’s well aware of the connection between juicing, wellness and beauty — now more than ever before — but for him it became a question of how to market Hayek’s blends as a “beauty product” within a retail food operation.
Hayek and Helms have been partners for almost a decade. The actress teamed with Juice Generation in 2008 after she approached Helms to co-create Cooler Cleanse, a range of fresh, raw juices that could be delivered to customers’ doors (that are also carried in all 18 Juice Generation locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island and Westchester).
“We’re the experts on smoothies and juices, [but I asked myself] how can we package this and really find this specialized niche in the beauty market with our expertise? And that’s what we’re really trying to do. We’re the experts on this blending. We’re doing all the work for you. You stick it in your freezer,” Helms said, calling the project “a huge departure” from what Juice Generation has traditionally done.
He has ambitious plans for this sector of the business, with products already in the pipeline through 2018. There are plans to roll out additional smoothies every three months and an expansion of the Beauty Blends range is slated for the fall.
Hayek acknowledged that the concept might sound unconventional to those hearing it for the first time, but she’s not concerned.
“Go stuff your face with chemicals. That’s fine, I’ll see you in 10 years, in 20 years,” she said to those who might be skeptical of a homemade fruit and vegetable mask. “Or go try it.”
She added: “I put the papaya avocado one on [before], and I’m putting makeup on and I’m not putting moisturizer on. No eye cream — nothing. My skin feels great; it’s not greasy and also because of the cold it feels tighter. Even if you think this is weird, it’s not something that [you say] ‘Oh, with time this will look great.’ No. You immediately feel the difference and see the difference.”