This is an episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast, which features candid conversations about how today’s trends are shaping the future of the beauty and wellness industries. More from the series →
When Freck Beauty’s founder, who goes by Remi, first launched her brand on Kickstarter, her idea was a novel one: a makeup product that could recreate the look of freckles. Not everyone understood the idea, at first — Jimmy Kimmel even made fun of the brand on his show. But Remi is having the last laugh.
Freck Beauty launched at Sephora in February of 2021, after receiving VC investment in 2020 and widening its range of skin-care and makeup products. The brand’s freckle pen, called “Freck OG,” is a TikTok beauty darling. Its fans include a wide range of “it” girls, influencers and celebrities, including Emily Ratajokwski, Doja Cat and Lady Gaga.
On this week’s episode of the Glossy Beauty podcast, Remi discusses the history of the brand, including its founding story, as well as its organic rise on TikTok, where #FreckleTok has billions of views. She also went over the product lineup, which has expanded well beyond the “freckle franchise.” Her approach to edgy branding and her plans for upcoming product launches were also covered. Below are a few of the highlights, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
Being a freckle trailblazer
“When I launched Freck OG, or when I started the process of trying to figure out, ‘How would I make a freckle cosmetic?’ everyone thought I was crazy. I got dragged really hard for the Kickstarter [campaign], and publications that I really looked up to were like, ‘What is this crazy girl doing?’ Because at the time, the industry was very much about full-coverage foundation, and laser treatments were having a huge upsurge in removing skin “flaws” and texture. So I think there was just a curiosity and an excitement to try new things. The trendsetters and the community of the Freck fam all had that in common, even though they all have their own unique, beautiful independent style.”
Early community building
“I had no marketing budget. I didn’t even have a budget to do a photoshoot at all. Its first big spike was all user-generated content that people started tagging us in organically.
I call them the Freck Fam — the baddies that you see on our Instagram. [They have] an alt aesthetic or they’re just a little bit avant-garde and out-there in their makeup looks and their expression of themselves. [They] organically reached out to the brand.
The early stage of Freck OG was really this show-and-tell moment for people in the makeup community.”
Organic TikTok virality
“We were definitely late to the game on TikTok, as far as our brand profile, but we were being talked about on the platform organically.
I started having friends, younger cousins, my siblings saying, ‘Oh, yeah, I saw your product on TikTok.’ And I was like, ‘What is going on with TikTok? We’re not even on TikTok yet.’”
The Gen-Z beauty consumer
“First and foremost, everybody knows that they’re so brilliant, when it comes to their research, and their artistry is incredible. In previous generations and decades, the beauty industry was about presenting what is to aspire after versus now — makeup is a tool for self-expression. And even skin care is a tool for self-expression and identity and self-care. That’s a huge shift from older generations. It’s not” ‘Use these tools to put yourself in a box.’ It’s” ‘Use these tools to open the world as far as aesthetics and self-expression.’”