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There’s no doubt that beauty brands are lining up for the chance to sign Scarlett Johansson as a brand ambassador. But now, the award-winning actress is all about The Outset, her new skin-care brand.
“For a long time, I was a brand ambassador for different luxury beauty brands and beauty brands. And right around I’d say my late 20s, I was just done representing someone else’s beauty ideal or beauty standard, and felt like I was confident enough to do something that really was true to me,” she said on this week’s episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast.
Five years in the making, The Outset was unveiled March 1 with six products. Johansson teamed up with fashion and beauty executive Kate Foster Lengyel to found the brand, which is available via DTC sales now and will launch with Sephora on April 26.
Lengyel oversees the day-to-day business operations of the brand, “and then I look after Kate,” said Johansson.
The marketing strategy is focused on Instagram and TikTok, but through the brand’s accounts, specifically — Johansson famously steers clear of having a personal Instagram account.
“My ego is far too fragile for me to have my own social media,” she said. While she said “never say never,” when it comes to starting her own account, she added, “I cannot imagine it happening anytime soon.”
On the podcast, the business partners went into more detail on the brand’s founding, including how it was inspired by Johansson’s straightforward approach to skin care, as well as consumer research. Below are a few highlights:
Johansson’s changing mindset on skin care:
“You would have your benchmark products that you swear by, and then you break down the ingredients, and it was like, ‘Wow, I’m putting all this petroleum and mineral oil on my face daily, for a decade. And it’s also $200.’ I was so shocked, actually, about what I was using and didn’t really like and kind of mindlessly saying yes to.”
Lengyel on product development:
“From the very beginning, we talked to consumers about what their pain points were, and they were looking for nourishing formulas that really preserved their skin for the future, rather than resurfacing or reinventing. Because most were generally happy with their skin, and in terms of the research we saw, a big pain point was finding that balance between clean and effective.”
Johansson on skinimalism:
“I’ve never had a 12-step routine. So, if that makes me a minimalist, I guess so. I am very dedicated to my skin care. So I don’t use a ton of products. I’ve been secretly using these six products for the last year.
I’m not a big facial person. I do my own at-home skin care, just because I’m afraid for other people to touch my face. I feel like I’m constantly poked and prodded at my job. The last thing I need is more people up in my face and skin, and I know what works for me.”
Lengyel on social media strategy:
“Scarlett is not currently on social media. It’s less for us about monetizing an existing audience and bringing them over to the brand. It’s more about building a community from the outset, from the beginning, from scratch.”