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MEET ZOE BRENNEKE – FOUNDER AND CEO OF ARRIVE BEAUTY

05-12-19 | Posted by


After five years of working in the beauty industry, Arrive Founder and CEO Zoe Brenneke saw a pattern of beauty brands overwhelming consumers with too many products, most of which were unnecessary or complicated. Arrive set out to simplify what it means to be a clean beauty brand, demystifying formulas in an approachable way. The aim is for products to be as natural as possible, but the bigger focuses are safety, biocompatibility, and efficacy, carving out a truly new niche in the beauty space.

Arrive provides a unique shopping experience with a pre-curated offering of modern essentials that are always flattering, very intuitive, and easy to use. The brand is launching with three hero products: Skin Boost, Bronzer, and a coordinating Bronzer Brush. More cosmetic and body care products will be added to the line in the coming months. Arrive products will be sold directly via Arrivehere.com.

BITB caught up with Zoe to chat about her inspo behind her new beauty brand.

Tell us about Arrive. Who or what inspired you to create the clean beauty brand?

I’ve always been very specific about beauty products out of necessity. My skin’s beyond sensitive, which was the main reason why I started working in beauty professionally, first as an editor, then as a consultant to brands. As an editor, your main job is to help the consumer cut through the noise in a very crowded market. It gives you a unique perspective as a sort of filter between brands and consumers, helping them decide what products were worth spending their time and money on. Even before I came up with the idea to start the line, I was really into the idea of a streamlined approach to makeup. There is such a proliferation of product these days, most of which are irritating, superfluous, aren’t user-friendly, or just don’t work. Plus, most people, myself included, already have cabinets and drawers full of products they don’t use, so we wanted to almost Marie Kondo your makeup routine by keeping our initial product offering small and pre-curated to just the essentials.

We landed on three hero products designed to be the backbone of your beauty routine – Skin Boost, Bronzer, and a coordinating Bronzer Brush – all of which are very intuitive to use, universally flattering, priced accessibly, and formulated with good ingredients that won’t cause reactions or breakouts – everything our team heard consumers asking for in one form or another, but hadn’t been delivered by other brands. Our goal was to create products that focus on the present. As much I love the results of committing to a good, long-term skincare routine, the products that really bring my team and I joy are ones that make you instantly look and feel like your best self so you can enjoy being here, now.

What are some of the challenges and greatest achievements you’ve experienced on your journey of developing and launching the brand?

Product development has been both the biggest challenge and greatest achievement. I have been really lucky to work with a super talented team who all have decades of experience in the beauty industry, but it still took us over two years to land on formulas we felt were as good or better than the best performing existing products on the market in these categories. Not only are we picky about performance, but we’re extremely selective with ingredients. All of the ingredients in our products are rated a 3 or lower by Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database rating system – 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest. Unlike a lot of clean products, our formulas don’t feel like you’re sacrificing. Developing products is such an emotional and creative roller coaster, but this brand is built on the belief that the consumer deserved better, safer, more affordable products, and it feels amazing that we were able to deliver on all fronts.

As a beauty expert, you surely take great care of your skin. What products are in your cosmetic bag and on your bathroom vanity? 

I’m very much of the less-is-more approach to skincare. My theory is more products = more ingredients that might potentially irritate me; plus, if I can see amazing results with a streamlined number of products, I’d rather spend that extra time doing practically anything else. Life is short!

I almost exclusively use Shani Darden‘s skincare line, and at this point, I might as well do also her PR. Between the results I’ve seen on my own skin – after years of being always irritated or broken out – it’s now consistently clear, and dare I say, radiant. For all the friends I’ve gotten hooked on her products with various skin types and the same amazing results, I have basically become a walking infomercial for her brand. If you’re lucky enough to snag a facial with her, go! She changes lives. My skin is combination and sensitive, but these products are like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants of skincare, and they work for everyone.

In the morning, I wash with her Daily Cleansing Serum, apply a few pumps of her Daily Toning Essence, smear on one pipette full of IS Clinical’s Super Serum (an anti-aging powerhouse that’s worth the investment) all over my face and neck, and finish with her Oil-Free Moisturizer and Supergoop’s City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30. I have such a love-hate relationship with sunscreen and avoided wearing it for years, which is borderline embarrassing considering I have naturally light skin. I was a beauty editor, and I’m fully aware the damage not wearing it causes. Most sunscreens are highly irritating on my skin, plus they often interfered with my makeup, either because of the chalky white-cast, or leaving a greasy film, but I’ve been completely blown away by this one from Supergoop. It doesn’t cause any reactions, sits perfectly under makeup, and has all those great longterm benefits, like blocking UVA, UVB, free radicals, pollution, and so on. I also started taking Heliocare, which, per my dermatologist, is a natural supplement that helps further protect against free radicals. It’s not a sunscreen replacement, but more of a booster to amplify the effects of daily sunscreen application. At this point, I’ll try anything to make up for lost time.

My evening routine is almost identical to my morning routine, except I add all my “active” products that you can’t use during the day since they make you more sensitive to the sun: Cleanser, Essence, alternate nightly between IS Clinical’s Active Serum and Shani Darden’s Texture Reform (a gentler alternative to her Retinol Reform that’s great for sensitive skin like mine), and finish with Moisturizer. Shani’s Retinol and Texture Reform are the real game-changers. If you take away only one thing from reading this, it should be to buy whichever of those is best suited for your skin. They’re both like a one-stop-shop for treating everything from acne, to dark spots, to aging, and the results are almost immediate. Your skin will literally, not figuratively, glow when you use it consistently.

For makeup, Arrive is pretty much all I’ve been wearing, both the products we’re launching with and future ones that are still in development. I like to wear everything we’re working on as much as possible to make sure the formulas really hold up, and it’s harder to know for sure if you start messing with too many other variables. Our first products – Skin Boost and Bronzer – are my uniform that I wear every day. I love the comfort of being able to get up and know at least partially what my routine is and how I’m going to look. Skin Boost is quite honestly a miracle in a tube. If you’re someone who has always liked the idea of a tinted moisturizer but is constantly disappointed by them being too thin, not buildable, and having virtually no wear-time, this is your product. It’s light, breathable, non-irritating, covers everything you want it to cover, and just evens everything else out. Living in L.A makes you a connoisseur of sorts when it comes to Bronzer, so when I say we painstakingly tested and retested the color, finish, and blendability to Frankenstein the perfect bronzer, know that I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. It’s warm-toned enough for a faux tan, cool-toned enough to sculpt and chisel, and has light reflecting particles (instead of full-blown shimmer) so you won’t ever look overly matte, or too disco-ball-y.

Some mornings, Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel and Eve Lom Kiss Mix is all I have time for, but if I can, I like to add our forthcoming blush and highlighter, and finish with the best mascara of all time, Charlotte Tilbury’s Full Fat Lashes. The “best” mascara is usually subjective depending on how you like your lashes to look, except in this case. This is the best mascara, ever – full stop.

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