For so many brands Sephora carries – and so many influencer brands that exist today – it’s surprising that only a few brands founded by influencers are present at the beauty retailer. A new addition, however, joins the ranks today. Refy Beauty is the creation of influencer Jess hunt, (1.4 million followers on Instagram) and its business partner Jenna Meek, already founder of the make-up and hairdressing brand Tomb. Refy launched as a consumer-oriented makeup brand just six months ago in November. The brand immediately caught the attention of celebrities and celebrity makeup artists – its fans include actress Shay Mitchell, influencer Desi Perkins, and makeup artists Patrick Ta and Hugo Vango, all of whom fueled the brand’s virality. The e-commerce stock ran out in six weeks.
“Jess Hunt is known for her feathered eyebrows… [and] Refy offers bold and powerful formulas that help promote and celebrate confidence, ”said Jennifer Cohen, vice president of makeup merchandising at Sephora, in a press release. The brand, with its minimal packaging – Hunt’s name is nowhere to be found – launched on Sephora.com on Tuesday. It will launch in 320 stores in the United States and Canada on June 11. Sephora is the British brand’s first international partnership.
Sephora has grown its assortment of influencer-focused brands. The retailer offers a large handful of traditional celebrity-founded brands including J.Lo Beauty, Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty, Fenty Beauty, and Fenty Skin. But the influence brands he’s stocked up so far have largely come from longtime influencers, like Summer Fridays by Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores, and One / Size by Patrick Starrr.
Hunt told Glossy that she always wanted to start something, but since her social content is split between fashion and beauty, she wasn’t sure whether to launch clothes or beauty products. She met Meek in a photoshoot and Meek immediately noticed her long brow routine. “It was something ridiculous, like five different eyebrow gels, several brushes, then a pomade and pencil to make my eyebrows everyday,” she said. Her followers also constantly asked her what she used on her eyebrows, so it made sense to create a streamlined yet comprehensive eyebrow collection.
Soft was able to use her contacts and experience to help build Refy.
“I never had a brand that I was very loyal to,” Hunt said. “After talking to Jenna, I realized there was a gap in the market for a brand for people like me who aren’t amazing makeup artists, but want to have these insane makeup artist results.”
The same day, the founding duo started to design their eyebrow gel-wax hybrid, Sculpting the eyebrows ($ 23), which has since sold over half a million units. It took over a year to define the formula, Hunt said. Because Hunt had previously used multiple brushes to make his eyebrows, and Brow Sculpt has three brushes in its one tube. The brand was launched with three products, sold both separately and at a price of $ 57 pencil case. It has just launched three other DTC products, including a three-shade cream blush, a three-shade bronzer and a universal highlighter. These have not been launched at Sephora.
The launch at Sephora is a dream come true, Hunt said – even though the store is not in the UK, where she is based. Months ago, before the brand even launched DTC, Hunt filmed a video she never released, saying. “Hey guys, so excited to tell you that Refy is now available from Sephora.”
“I am a big believer in the manifestation,” she said. Sephora then reached out, within two months of the brand’s launch. The buyers told him that they had in fact purchased the products themselves and they asked for a Zoom call. “As you can imagine, I was screaming in excitement. I couldn’t believe it,” Hunt said.