INSIDE SUMMER FRIDAYS: IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?
BY MARIA THATTIL
The perfect mask doesn’t exi – Cue: Summer Fridays.
There is much to be said about a brand that can enter a saturated market and captivate an audience the way SF has. Prior to hitting Aussie shores, I had seen SF featured in Vogue, the hands of major celebrities and on flights everywhere. Their first SKU took the beauty world by storm and my Insta-feed was flooded with images of perfectly imperfect crinkled tubes. The look and feel was cool and casual – and yet, just a little bit indulgent.
Months ago, the blue aluminium tube landed on my desk after coming to MECCA Cosmetica. As a beauty blogger, I’ve tried a lot in the skincare realm. As a sufferer of comedonal acne, I was seasoned in skincare scepticism. But upon trying the product – I immediately understood why very quickly, the tube garnered momentum worldwide and became a cult fave. At the Press Day to celebrate the launch of SF Overtime into MECCA Cosmetica, I got to hang out with the Founders of SF – Marianna Hewitt & Lauren Gores – for a morning of brunch, beauty & major life inspo in a pastel vision by Elizabeth Bay in Sydney. So obvi, I’m bringing it all to you:
Inspo for SF
Founded by renowned bloggers and media personalities Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores, SF was the lovechild of two successful careers in the beauty space and a desire to fill a gap in the skincare market. FYI – the skincare industry is not heavily regulated. The low barriers to entry mean that too many brands are able to slap words like “Vegan”, “Cruelty-Free”, “Organic” or “Natural” on their product and leverage the connotations associated with them – irrespective of whether the “natural” active ingredient is only a small constituent, and the rest of the product is made from unsafe, comedogenic or harmful ingredients.
This is something that both founders understood. With Marianna suffering from sensitive skin, and Lauren pregnant during development, the founders developed the formulation for all three products in their range over 2 years. What happens in the lab is heavily influenced by the founders’ personal experience, and conversations with their respective communities of followers. When you like, comment and direct message, they listen – and use your voice as data to inform what goes on in the lab.
The inspiration behind the brand was the ‘Friday’, day-off vibe – looking forward to taking time out from your busy life to indulge yourself and relax. The branding was born from trialling various looks & testing the “gram-worthiness” of the packaging. And the formula was perfected with good-for-you ingredients and a selfie-worthy glow.
The SF Range
Who? The OG.
For? Brightening, anti-aging, hydration, calming and ICYMI – it promotes wound healing.
Why? Nasties free: minimal to no-comedogenic ingredients, buh-bye parabens, sulfates, alcohol, silicone & its EU Allergen-Free.
Who? The pre-wash scrub.
For? Brightening, anti-aging and gentle, physical exfoliation.
Why? Rich in Vitamin A, K & C, and fruit enzymes. Fragrance-free yet a scented dream: the mask gets it’s pumpkin pie feels comes from small amounts of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove & pumpkin oil.
Who? The new kid on the block – Note: I’ve yet to sample this one.
For? Face oil meets face mask: A radiance boosting face mask that doubles as an oil.
Why? A 2-in-1 mask that buffs, brightens and exfoliates, but also quenches thirsty skin leaving Bulgarian rose oil behind for a lasting glow.
Career-spo for besties
Apart from being the sweetest women ever – the two are major career-spo for besties. As best-friends of ten years, the duo work so well together as business partners because of their long-winded history together. Giving new meaning to the words “work wife”, the two had mirroring careers initially starting out in media (Lauren – a News Anchor & Marianna – a TV Host) before starting their blogs at similar times. As the beauty industry evolved with the digital age, they both grew in social media before ultimately gifting skincare with SF. Now, they work well as business partners, friends & neighbours, and there is truly something to be said about two people who can successfully merge a friendship and personal life and with professional aspirations.
Why its so important to surround yourself with the right people
As a nice segue from the above, both Marianna and Lauren stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people. It’s clear to see why they advocate for this – being in partnership with each other has surmounted to new levels of “career goals” for them. Lauren talked about the importance of having people who you can bounce off to counter stress – she talked about how between them, even when things go wrong, they remain solutions-focused and “share the stress”. Limit your circle to people who you can have inspiring, passionate conversations with and that fuel your fire.
Work-ethic, time-management and staying connected to your ‘WHY’
Inimitable work-ethic, persistent faith in themselves and strong passion – the duo’s lengthy career as influencers laid the foundation for their success as skincare brand entrepreneurs. As an influencer, you wear many hats – you are your own photographer, videographer, content editor, brand manager, publicist, copy writer – the list goes on. Leveraging the skills derived from their blogging and social media careers was critical to nailing the launch of SF.
Marianna and Lauren also talked about the importance of time-management. Particularly, when you are self-employed, they stressed the importance of scheduling time in advance to do as much of it “all” as possible within a delegated time frame, and delegating that which you can’t do/is too lengthy. Work life balance is difficult – more so if you are your own boss – they talked about working 7 days a week and needing to just “do it”. This was something that resonated deeply with me, as I am so passionate about my work in the beauty space – but also juggle an exciting but busy corporate job. So I asked them – at what point does a solid work ethic turn into ‘too much’? And Lauren brilliantly noted that it all comes down to perspective, thinking about your goals and prioritising your time.
This was the biggest takeaway for me at this time in my life and career, and something I really want to share with my readers. Work-ethic & faith in yourself is essential – but what really carries you through challenges and road blocks is a deep connection to your “WHY”. Your WHY is your drive: it’s your fire and its your dream. It’s beyond your vision for your life and what you want to achieve – it’s the purpose behind that vision. WHY do you want to do this? What will this mean for you? Stay rooted in your WHY, and when you are faced with challenges, distractions or roadblocks, ask yourself if the challenge, distraction or roadblock is deviating from the big picture – your WHY – and use that as your guide. I know I certainly will.
So after a morning of beauty & brunching with girl bosses in a gram-worthy explosion of beautiful interiors, I leave you with my thoughts on the brand, the range & some words of wisdom from the Founders of Summer Fridays, direct to you. Quality, game-changing changing products is reason enough to support SF, but after meeting and getting a glimpse into how kind, humble, warm and grounded they are IRL, I’m that much more of a brand fangirl. Worth the hype? Completely.
Until next time,