Credo Beauty held its latest summit in Los Angeles on Saturday, bringing together 42 of its brand partners, as well as its in-house line, Exa. The focus was on skin care, followed by cosmetics, hair and fragrance.
“We love this community of brand founders, and we find that different activations can bring us new customers — even though we have a store here — that have never heard of Credo before and just a different way for the brands to express themselves,” said Credo cofounder Annie Jackson, who launched the company — a leader in “clean” beauty — in San Francisco in 2014.
“L.A. is a perfect market for it, because it feels like the lifestyle that people live here is very aligned with who we are,” she continued, alongside the company’s newly appointed chief executive officer Stuart Millar.
Credo is getting ready to expand in L.A., Millar said, noting that the retailer is “looking to accelerate a little bit form next year onward.” The business operates 10 brick-and-mortar doors in L.A., San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, New York and Plano, Tex.
“People are keen to discover new brands at Credo, and it’s harder to tell a new brand story online as the first interaction,” Millar said. In store, it’s easier to get introduced to a product or brand, he continued, noting, “And then you see people return to the website to replenish.”
Credo has decided to invest in education, bringing on a team of professional makeup artists (there are five) who will be in stores assisting customers and applying makeup, as well as representing the company where needed.
“It’s been very strong, really exponential growth, over even 2019, which is hugely encouraging,” Jackson said of in-store traffic. “Since the pandemic, we have had a real behavior shift in the way consumers are thinking about any kind of product. They’re very invested in learning more.”
At the summit, attendees were able to dive deeper, learn about the brand missions directly from the founders and try out the goods in person. The event had educational segments, Q&As with founders and a special fireside chat with actress Michelle Pfeiffer, founder of fragrance brand Henry Rose.
Here are the key takeaways — and notable products on display — from the day, held downtown at the City Market Social House:
Skinification of hair is here to stay.
“People are really getting into hair oiling,” said Ranavat founder Michelle Ranavat. “It really shares the philosophy of prevention for hair.”
It ties into the wellness category growth, she said, the bridging of science and tradition: “You used to be either a clinical brand or a wellness brand. The worlds are colliding, and I think that’s what the next frontier is.”
- Brand: Ranavat
Product: Mighty Majesty Fortifying Hair Serum, $70
- Brand: Ceremonia
Product: Guava Rescue Spray, $18
- Brand: Evolvh
Product: WonderBalm, $59
“Makeup is all about going out, seeing and meeting people,” said Fiona Chan, founder of Youthforia. “Everything in my makeup counter didn’t resonate with me. Everything was very black-and-white and put together. And I’m not always like that. I’m a girl that sleeps with her makeup all the time, and I wanted products that worked with my lifestyle.”
Her products — with unique textures and packaged in vibrant, eye-catching tubes — include a blush oil that changes color in reaction to skin pH.
“What I noticed with our consumer base is that they change their look depending on the day, depending on what they’re doing,” she said when asked about trends. “Some days it’s a no-makeup makeup look. Some days it’s a full face, graphic liner. We’re here for everything.”
Though skin care is the leading category at Credo, “color is catching up and really gaining a lot of market share, because product development finally caught up with clean brands,” Jackson said.
- Brand: Youthforia
Product: BYO Blush Green Color Changing Blush Oil, $36
- Brand: TooD Beauty
Product: Freestyle Color Cream, $24
- Brand: MOB Beauty
Product: Shimmer Eyeshadow Refill, $12
“Clean” makeup today has evolved to offer performance that rivals conventional formulas — foundation with higher coverage, mascara with better performance, lip colors with longer stay. “They now have lots to play with,” Jackson said of Credo’s professional makeup team.
- Brand: Kosas
Product: Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation SPF 25, $42
- Brand: Vapour
Product: Astral Volumizing Mascara, $28
- Brand: Exa
Product: High Fidelity Color Corrector, $27
Glowing faces, dewy skin
Skin care was the star category (with 21 brands on site), centered on offering “glow,” as was the majority of the makeup showcased (12 brands total).
In skin care:
- Brand: Alpyn Beauty
Product: Bearberry & Vitamin C Glow Serum, $59
- Brand: Bloomeffects
Product: Tulip Dew Drops, $55
- Brand: Pai
Product: The Impossible Glow, $39
- Brand: Westman Atelier
Product: Lit Up Highlight Stick, $48
- Brand: Live Tinted
Product: Hueglow, $34
- Brand: RMS Beauty
Product: “Un” Cover-Up, $36
Sourcing and Packaging
“The common themes are definitely around sustainability,” Jackson said of what unifies the brands showcased at the summit.
“The term clean, people tend to focus on ingredients,” she continued. “And certainly, we built our standards starting with the restricted substances, but then it completely evolved from there to have a standard that we wanted to make sure the brands we chose are considering the source of where they’re getting their ingredients, the overall sustainably profile of their brands, the investment that they’re making in better material for packaging and then also housekeeping stuff that the beauty industry doesn’t regulate, like following INCI guidelines on the packaging and not being a greenwasher and overstating your naturalness or putting a windmill on something when it’s not wind powered at all. It was things like that that we wanted to bring to life more.”