Marla Beck is a skincare goddess. As co-founder of beauty giant and industry pioneer, Bluemercury, she truly is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to skincare and beauty, and it shows in everything she creates. It should come as no surprise that Marla is also behind Bluemercury’s incredibly successful in-house brands, Lune+Aster and M-61. M-61 especially is known for cult products that fly off the shelves (like the peel pads that sell once every 8 seconds!). Like any savvy business woman, Marla gets inspiration from her customers. We sat down with Marla to discuss her success and exciting new products on the horizon.
Congratulations on the new serum pads! What's the story behind this amazing new product!?
MARLA BECK: In 2012, I set out to create a clean, clinical skincare line. M-61 Powerful Skincare’s vegan and gluten-free formulas combine dermatologist-loved ingredients with vitamin-packed, high-performance naturals for maximum results in minimal time. Our clients—and I—are always on the go. I travel weekly, go to the gym each morning, it’s hard—especially the way I use products—to travel with 15 different jars and bottles. I had a dream to have an entire skincare routine in a pad format. I created the PowerGlow Peel, a one step, one-minute glycolic peel. Next came our clarifying acne pad Power Spot, but I saw that clients were addicted to serums. After four years of research and development, I have fulfilled my dream of launching both a moisturizer and a vitamin C serum in pads! I am excited to break new ground with the Vitablast C™ Serum Pad, as we stabilized a pure dose of 15% Vitamin C that does not oxidize. The Hydraboost HA Serum Pad is clinically proven to provide up to 48 hours of hydration after one use. We have created a new skincare category as we are the first brand to successfully put a serum in a pad!
You have a knack for creating cult products. Where do you find inspiration?
MB: I find inspiration from talking to our Bluemercury beauty experts and clients! I love to pop into one of our locations and ask, “What are you loving right now?” It tells you so much. They inspired me to create M-61 Powerful Skincare when I was hearing our clients were looking for a clean and clinical skincare line. They also inspired me to create a vegan, paraben-free mascara, which ultimately led to the launch of our Lune+Aster cosmetics line. Our conversations continue to be an inspiration for new products and innovation.
What is your favorite product you have ever created?
MB: Our PowerGlow Peel—and it is not just my favorite—we sell one every 8 seconds! It provides instant results, leaving you with an incredible glow in just one minute. We developed the product to be used on all skin types, even those with rosacea. I have clients stop me on the street to tell me how it has completely changed their skin. Hearing stories on how a product I created impacted someone’s life affirms that the hard work and long hours of product development are worth it!
If you could give the women of the world one beauty tip, what would it be?
MB: Exfoliate with glycolic and use a vitamin C serum! In the 19 years of Bluemercury, we have seen how these two ingredients are the best catalysts for creating glowing complexions.
Favorite spots in New York City and Washington D.C.?
MB: I am a coffee addict! I love Stumptown when I am in New York City and QuarterMaine at home in Bethesda. When in the office, Barry and I go to Dog Tag Bakery and support their incredible mission. Located steps away from our Georgetown HQ, their Fellowship Program offers education and job training for veterans and military families.
I also love to visit art museums for inspiration and ideation. I am drawn to disrupters; artists who have challenged the status quo and the way we conceptualize ideas. My favorite exhibits are Rauschenberg at MoMA and the Rothko Room at The Phillips Collection in DC.
I have been a vegetarian for 20 years. ABCV Restaurant in New York has unbelievable vegan food that even my non-vegetarian friends love! When home, I frequent Puree Juice bar and Sweetgreen for clean eating.
I am a book lover and enjoy browsing the shelves at independent bookstores. You will always find something unique and unexpected. When in NYC, I am often in the used books section at Codex or at the café in McNally Jackson. Many independent bookstores also bring in authors for events and book tours. Politics and Prose in D.C. is a favorite for book events.