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Meet the Duo Behind Cult Skincare Label Summer Fridays

Summer Fridays

Lauren Gores and Marianna Hewitt. Courtesy of Summer Fridays

If you consider yourself part of the beauty set, then you’ll have heard the game-changing rumors surrounding Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask. You’ll then have read about its CC Me Serum that brings a new meaning to glow and maybe daydreamed about its R + R Mask that buffs skin to new levels of brightness. The founders behind the US-based skincare label, influencers Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores share their story as Summer Fridays is set to launch in the region with Apotehca Beauty next month.

How did you both enter the world of beauty?

MH: I really entered the world of beauty in 2012, when I started my Youtube channel at the same time I was working as a TV host. I was getting my hair and makeup done all the time to attend red carpets and work, and every time I would get my hair and make-up done, I would always pick up a few tips and tricks from professionals. I took all of those learnings that I got from all of these experts and translated that into my Youtube channel, my blog, and eventually on Instagram as well, and I feel like I’ve been a beauty junkie and have loved products my whole life growing up.

LG: Marianna and I spent several years blogging prior to creating Summer Fridays. We had tried and shared so many products! We knew what our community wanted, and what they were missing. For me personally, I became obsessed with ingredient lists and clean beauty while pregnant with my now three-year-old son. It was incredibly hard to find skincare products that were clean, effective and had a brand story that I connected with. That challenge always inspired us during formulation, and our first three products were created while I was pregnant. Marianna and I still follow a “no” list of ingredients you won’t find in our products.

Why did you decide to launch your own brand?

LG: We were fortunate to have a strong community prior to launching, and so we sensed the kinds of products and brand story they were craving. Summer Fridays was really built out of a love for wanting clean and effective skincare, with a deep sense of community around it. Our products are created for those on the go — juggling busy schedules, traveling, and multiple roles at home and at work. We want your experience with Summer Fridays to feel like your own mini-vacation, if even from your own home bathroom.

MH: Lauren and I really have a love and passion for product and for clean ingredients and we decided to launch a brand because we felt like when your skin looks and feels good, you feel more confident, and when your skin looks good your make up wears so much better. And we love skincare, and it was really something that all of our friends and family could use.

What is the ethos behind Summer Fridays?

MH: The ethos behind Summer Fridays is really like that escape into beauty. So, we really want to create these moments of effortless beauty in our modern lives, we are all so busy, but we think that self-care and a Summer Friday is an escape into these beauty products that we create.  We really tried to be trustworthy with our audience by creating this two-way relationship with them over so many years, while creating beautiful products that are really pretty for Instagram.

LG: Clean skincare that works, built for our community of people on-the-go. We want our products to feel like a mini getaway if even only for the 10-minutes you have a face mask on. We build trust with our community, and that relationship guides us in everything we do and create.

 How did you come up with the name?

LG: Summer Fridays is a feeling — of positivity, of optimism, of getting a break from the hustle. We wanted to give our community that freeing feeling of a Summer Friday all the time.

MH: We came up with the name Summer Fridays because we really wanted to evoke that escape of a Summer Fridays feeling because it’s something that you really look forward to and you enjoy it because it’s a little bit of time off for yourself – because we’re all so busy we deserve some self-care.

Why did you decide to launch with just one product?

MH: We decided to launch with one product because we are beauty influencers and we were so overwhelmed by the amount of choices that were out there. We really wanted to concentrate on one product with our launch – that’s definitely a high risk but also high reward. So thankfully it really worked out for us but I think creating something that looks really different than everything else in the market place with the really recognizable color of the blue tube, and with a product that so many people could use was something that we felt confident about in the launch strategy.

LG: It was a risk, and most people in the industry would probably advise against it. But Marianna and I felt strongly about this approach from the start. We wanted people to have time to really use and fall in love with a single product before introducing more. I think it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by trying to determine which product to try first when multiple products launch at once. Doing singular launches allows our community to slowly introduce our products into their routine, and it allows us to build trust.

Summer Fridays

Courtesy of Summer Fridays

What has been your most popular formula to date?

LG: Our Jet Lag mask will always be what we are most known for because it’s our first product and it’s truly synonymous with who we are as a brand. It’s versatile, easy to use on-the-go, and ultra-hydrating. Every launch is really exciting though, and now we have a number of favorite formulas!

MH: We have so many popular products right now it’s been so great to see what has happened over the last two years.  I would say Jet Lag because it’s our first product that we launched – It’s something that we’re the most known for but other products that people have been loving since then is our CC me serum. It’s our Vitamin C serum you can use in your skincare routine every single day to help with hyperpigmentation and dark spots. And another new product that people are loving is our Vanilla Lip Butter Balm.

Have you faced many obstacles?

MH: Of course, there are so many obstacles in business and every day it seems like there is a new thing to overcome no matter how small or how big it is; but Lauren and I really love being able to do it together, and it makes it all easier, going through all of the highs and lows together.

LG: Of course, starting a business comes with obstacles you don’t anticipate! But we always remain positive and we know how to pivot quickly. We are solutions-focused, and we always say there’s never a crisis. Marianna and I are very flexible, and we never allow our attachment to an idea stop us from pivoting. I’d say having the willingness to make changes has been key in our journey.

What has been your biggest achievement?

LG: I’m really proud of varying parts of our journey! Two moments really stand out: the first time we saw our products on store shelves at Sephora (it was a wild feeling)! Secondly, the feeling we had when we traveled outside the US for the first time to launch Summer Fridays internationally, and it was incredible to see how diverse and far-reaching our community was.

MH: Being able to see our product in-store is something we are so proud of, and also being able to build this community that we’ve had over the last two years, seeing all of these different people all around the world use our products is such a proud moment for us.

What are your personal skincare routines?

MH: My personal skincare routine in the morning is our Super Amino Gel Cleanser followed by CC me Serum, then I use Jet Lag mask as a moisturizer and eye cream, and I use Vanilla Lip Butter Bomb as my lip balm for the day and then I’ll always follow up with an SPF.

In my nighttime skincare routine, I use our Super Amino Gel Cleanser again and then I’ll go in with an anti-aging products, or depending on what my skin needs that day. So if I’m having some texture and I need a face mask I’ll go in with our Overtime mask first before cleansing.  I love to use retinols — my favorite is from Shani Darden — and then I’ll use a little bit of a heavier moisturizer in my nighttime skincare routine followed by an oil, and then I love beauty tools.

LG: In the morning I cleanse with Summer Fridays Super Amino Gel Cleanser, apply Summer Fridays CC Me Serum and our Jet Lag mask as moisturizer, then add a daily SPF and our Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm.  The evening is the same as the morning, except I add an overnight face oil and skip SPF.

What’s next for Summer Fridays? 

LG: We are currently working on a number of new formulations! We can’t share details, but everything we create comes directly from our community. We constantly ask them what they want next from us, and their answers always inspire our product launches!

MH: We are so excited to be able to launch in new regions and get our products to more people around the world, and we’re really listening so closely to our communities to create the products that they want next. So if there’s something that you want from Summer Fridays just be sure to DM us!

Summer Fridays will be available at Apotheca Beauty from June 1 

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