Inspirational discussions on diversity and personal branding, DIY manicure hacks, expert gua sha tips, and an interview with an editor-in-chief – these are just a few of the iconic moments that took place this weekend at our virtual Glow Together Summit!
Did somebody say “swag bags”?
If you were one of the 500 lucky Glow Gang members to get your hands on a Tier 1 ticket, then you received a swag bag (or, technically, “swag box”) stuffed full of self-care goodies to add to your beauty stash, including a few Glow Recipe products, a chic pouch from Dagne Dover, a fizzy Healthade Booch Pop, hair care from Aquis, plus a discount to get your shop on at Rebecca Minkoff.
Let’s talk about it
Our co-founders and co-CEOs Sarah and Christine kicked off the day with a welcome message, and then we dove right in to our first panel discussion: Growing a Beauty Business. Here, moderator Alexa Tietjan of WWD monitored a raw and honest chat on how the founders of indie brands Supergoop!, Kosas, Golde and Otherland have been navigating the choppy waters of this past year.
Sheena Yaitanes, founder of clean makeup brand Kosas, spoke about how she and the team had to think on their feet, and after planning for months in advance decided to pivot when their main retailer shut down. Holly Thaggard, founder of Supergoop!, shared how important it was to her to foster a feeling of connectivity within her small team while they all transitioned to working remotely.
On the other end of the spectrum, Otherland founder Abigail Stone Cook saw an opportunity when people started to spend most of their indoors to really establish her candle brand as “interio-ential” (a term she coined that means where interior moments meet experiences). As the co-founder of wellness brand Golde, Trinity Mouzon-Wofford said her team experienced a completely unprecedented boom that was only spurred forward by the initiatives this past June to support Black-owned independent businesses.
Next, we joined a discussion about diversity and inclusivity within the beauty space, featuring members of Glow Recipe’s Diversity Advisory Board and moderated by PureWow beauty director Jenny Jin. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Elyse Love spoke about how when she was growing up, she felt excluded and uninformed when it came to beauty, and she hopes to be a resource for other young Black women on their self-care journey.
Jess Chia, a contributing beauty editor, shared the ways her personal experience led her to advocate for more representation in the world of beauty editorial, especially for people who come from multi-cultural upbringings like herself.
We also heard from Glow Gang member Celeste Taylor, who reminded us that there’s room for us all to grow in the ways we choose to define femininity as it relates to content around beauty: “Oftentimes, the presentation of womxn is so boxed in that it makes it hard to explore different strokes of our gender, our expression.”
Later in the day, we joined an insightful panel of content creators who shared their viewpoints on how to build your personal brand in the online age. Rowena Tsai, co-host of the popular YouTube channel Beauty Within, told us why her team decided to pivot to focus on skincare after launch, and how “it does take a village to put out a video – or two videos – on a weekly basis.”
Both Aysha Harun and Sarah Bryant noted that over everything else, authenticity and staying true to yourself is one of the keys to building a passionate and engaged audience. Harun recalled that she saw no one who looked like her, not just on YouTube but across the entire social media beauty community, and if she was yearning for representation then she knew other people were, too.
Learning from the best
Things got interactive, too, when the founder of Olive & June, Sarah Gibson Tuttle, shared her at-home mani expertise and handed out some game-changing tips: water is enemy of your DIY manicure, only file in a single direction, and the trick to that flawless nail polish application (hint: it’s has to do with not flooding your cuticle).
After a few hours of active listening, we got out of our seats to *really* get active thanks to an endorphin-boosting cardio sweat sesh from DanceBody. Later in the day, attendees got to break away and choose from an at-home yoga session led by yoga instructor and licensed esthetician Patricia San Pedro, or a gua sha tutorial from Stephanie Zheng, founder of Mount Lai.
Angel Merino, who you may know as @mac_daddyy on Instagram, gave us a crash course on highlighting and contouring (using highlighters from his brand Artist Couture, of course.) And speaking of expertise, our co-founders Sarah and Christine returned for a Q&A on skincare mixology and ingredient education.
A few more introspective moments from the day included a group tarot and energy reading from diviner Amber Finney. Poet and author Fariha Róisín read a selection of poems from her 2019 book How To Cure A Ghost, and Glow team members Laura and Jackie joined us for a lighting round career Q&A on working in the beauty space.
Boss Babes, live!
Finally, we closed out our day of events with the one-and-only Michelle Lee, editor of Allure, in conversation with our co-founders. When Lee arrived at the beauty glossy, she had been in publishing for years and brought with her a fresh perspective and appetite for change. Those years of experience didn’t mean she was without doubts, but she knew she would prove the naysayers wrong. “What we were doing was so different…and there were loud voices around me, too, that were doubting was I was doing. And that doubt definitely makes those successes feel even sweeter.”
She made waves when she chose to ban the word “anti-aging” from the pages of the magazine, and she was the first to put three Asian models on the cover. Lee made is part of her personal mission to continue to champion diversity and representation in the magazine world, and her that meant being intentional.
Being the beauty expert she is, she shared her prediction for the next big thing: bath culture. She never cared about taking baths before this year, Lee said, but now she can’t get enough. The same thing goes for sharing the attention you give to your face with the skin on the rest of your body, likely a result of us all spending more time at home getting to know our bodies a little better.
Thank you to our sponsors, our speakers, and most of all, you – our Glow Gang – for making our first virtual summit an absolute success! Not to mention, all of the net proceeds raised through ticket sales will be donated to our charitable partners at Project Beauty Share, who serve women and families overcoming abuse, addiction, homelessness and poverty by providing them with personal hygiene and beauty products. Learn more about our charitable initiatives here, and catch up on highlights by checking out our Twitter feed.