Growing up in Paris, I relished my mother’s visits to the pharmacy. While she took prescriptions, I browsed beauty products packaged in no-frills clinical boxes that promised radiant, healthy-looking skin. For me, they sum up the no-frills skincare regimen that so many French women practice.
Garance Doré, the French blogger, wants to bring this approach to the United States In May, she launched a new beauty brand called Doré, with her longtime business partner Emily Yeston, which focuses on creating versatile products. and multifunctional that use gentle and moisturizing ingredients. . At a time when the beauty industry is awash with dozens of flashy new brands, Doré thinks a clean, simple aesthetic will capture people’s attention.
Doré, 47, grew up in Corsica, an island off the coast of France. In 2011, she moved to New York and blogged about street style, did photo shoots for brands, created videos and wrote a monthly column for French. Vogue. She helped launch the kind of multi-hyphenate career that would eventually be copied by fashion and beauty influencers on Instagram and TikTok. But as the fashion influencer landscape grew increasingly crowded, Doré wanted to pursue a new adventure. Two years ago, she and Yeston decided to start a beauty brand.
The beauty industry is overcrowded: Currently worth $511 billion worldwide, it is expected to reach $716 billion by 2025. But even with so many competing brands, Doré thinks there are a lot of demand from consumers, who are eager to try new products. And while many brands try to capture people’s attention with elaborate packaging and big promises about how they’ll transform your skin, Doré wanted to do just the opposite. Her new line has austere containers and focuses on the basics of skincare: cleansing and moisturizing.
Doré was inspired by the French drugstore brands she saw growing up. “There was this feeling, among some French women, that they were too smart to give in to the over-the-top marketing of big beauty brands,” she says. “They knew the real secret was in these everyday products that were multifunctional and high performing.” She refers to simple lip balms like Labello that some women used to moisturize other dry areas of their bodies, or inexpensive creams like Nivea that are used as daily moisturizers.
Having spent years in the fashion industry, Doré has tried many beauty products on the market. Ten years ago, when she shared her beauty routine with the Into the Gloss blog, she mentioned everything from Murad’s Intensive Wrinkle Reducer eye cream to Kiehl’s Creme de Corps body lotion to the Fresh Sugar face scrub. But over the years, she’s found these products hard on her skin. “They contain too many ingredients which ultimately made my skin dry and irritated,” she says. “The thing about French drugstore brands is that they focus on the essentials, which really means keeping your skin hydrated. Most don’t even have a fragrance.
Doré and Yeston teamed up with a French lab to create three products to launch, none of which have added fragrance: a moisturizer ($36), a balm ($12), and a cleanser ($24). Doré wanted to create products that could do several things at once. The cleanser is an effective makeup remover and the balm can be used anywhere you need extra hydration. Yeston says she uses them on insect bites to reduce itching.
While the French drugstore brands of its childhood tended to use ingredients that were scientifically designed to be ultra-effective, nowadays consumers are looking for ingredients that are safe and non-toxic. As Doré and Yeston created their products, they partnered with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which certifies that the products are free of chemicals known to be toxic. “What we liked about the EWG Standard is that it doesn’t focus on natural or organic ingredients, but rather all ingredients known to be safe,” Yeston says. “Some synthetic ingredients are very safe and effective.”
Over the years, other fashion and beauty influencers have also launched beauty lines; most notably, Emily Weiss, who founded Into the Gloss in 2010 and then launched Glossier, a DTC beauty brand, a few years later. (While the company was valued at $1.8 billion last year, it recently laid off a third of its staff.) The brand has become iconic for its millennial pink packaging and marketing that has resonated with young consumers. Doré says his brand has notable differences from Glossier. “We’re focusing less on marketing to one generation,” she says. “Our products are designed to appeal to a wide range of beauty consumers, who might use our products alongside others they love.”
When it comes to design, Doré wanted to be as minimalistic as possible. The collection comes in recycled green tubes and pots. This contrasts with the elaborate packaging you might see at Sephora from brands like SK-II, whose latest collection comes in doll-like bottles, or Guerlain, with its glamorous gold bottles. “I really like having Guerlain bottles on my counter because they look so beautiful,” says Doré. “But for the products I use every day, I’m more interested in what’s inside the bottle.”