Vbeaute: New York hedge-fund manager turned natural beauty entrepreneur
It’s not everyday that a woman leaves a high-powered career managing her own $250 million hedge fund to play with beauty lotions and potions. But after a TSA mishap, that’s just what New Yorker Julie Macklowe did.
Three years ago her toiletries were confiscated by security while jetting off to Deauville and the pricy replacements she bought when she landed in France left her covered in hives.
“Clearly I had an awful reaction, says Macklowe, who is now 34. “I was determined that this was not going to ever happen to me—or anyone I knew—again.” So, on her flight home, the sensitive-skinned power mom sketched out a luxury, travel-friendly toiletry kit, that could get past the TSA, complete with packaging inspired by one of her favorite Calvin Klein clutches.
Fast-forward a few years and the It Kit was born.
Macklowe’s business savvy served her well when developing the line, and she capitalized on her researching and networking skills to partner with one of the world’s most respected manufacturing labs in Switzerland.
Together they worked to formulate her five-piece skin-care line that features a powerful botanical technology—namely stem cells from the Alpine Rose.
Macklowe calls these “longevity botanicals,” because these antioxidant-loaded molecules are what’s helped the plant endure punitive conditions, including extreme cold, relentless UV rays, and severe dryness in the High Alps—the idea being that your skin can benefit from the plant’s resiliency in an anti-aging capacity.
Stocked with all the everyday essentials (minus an SPF, which is in the works), the It Kit contains a cleanser, exfoliator, protecting serum, moisturizing cream, and an eye cream, all housed in refillable TSA-friendly containers—and the aforementioned stylish gunmetal clutch. At $165, the It Kit is not cheap. But then the alpine stem-cell extracts and biocellular plant tri-peptides don’t exactly grow on trees.
At the suggestion of Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, who recently scooped up the line, Macklowe also developed full-size versions ($48–165), along with an additional brightening serum called Lite Up. The entire Vbeaute range is fragrance-, gluten-, paraben-, and nut-free.
So what does the V stand for? “Victory,” explains the affable Macklowe. And given that the seven-month-old line is already sold in discerning beauty meccas like Bergdorf Goodman in New York (next to Tata Harper, no less), we don’t think the moniker is premature. —Sharon Feiereisen