PaperCity Magazine

January 2017 - Houston

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26 I t might be only five minutes from Tiffany Masterson's expansive home in West University to her office above Armandos on the edge of River Oaks, yet that two-mile jour- ney transports this skincare entrepreneur between two distinct worlds — that of wife and mother of four and that of beauty mogul. Her Drunk Elephant skincare line, founded only two years ago, is already the top-selling growth brand at Sephora nationally and was launched earlier this fall in Australia and Canada. Europe is on the expansion map as well. At the same time, Women's Wear Daily projected that the brand should hit $20 to $30 million in retail sales this year. It all started so simply. Several years ago, Masterson was in partnership with a friend who had discovered a bar cleanser from Malaysia. She sold the bars from the trunk of her car. It proved to be crazily popular due to the fresh, glowing skin it delivered, although it also promised wrinkle reduction, pore shrinkage, and other benefits. Masterson quit selling it after realizing the bar could provide only a fraction of what it promised. "It came to me one day when I was walking around West U," she says. "It was what was not in the bar that was working. The reason people's skin appeared so fresh was because the skin was given a break of sorts. A cleanse." What wasn't in the bar? Essential oils, fragrance, silicones, dyes, and chemicals. None of those elements are in the Drunk Elephant collection of skincare products. Rather, the magic is achieved through virgin marula oil from marula trees in Africa. Elephants have a penchant for the tasty fruit, which ferments in their stomachs and makes them tipsy. Thus, the name. Masterson developed Drunk Elephant through years of personal research and partnering with a chemist in Los Angeles. The magical marula oil was one of the first ingredients that she came upon in her quest for purity. Masterson is married to metal sculp- tor Charles Masterson, a progeny of the Houston clan and the great nephew of charismatic Harris and Carroll Masterson, who gave their home, Rienzi, to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in 1991. Philanthropic family legends aside, Masterson is the antithesis of a social arbi- ter or high-powered skincare magnate. As she welcomes guests into her home, she apologizes for her yoga pants, T-shirt, and lack of makeup. "This is my life," the 48-year-old says. "I'm a mess all the time. I don't even know how to put on makeup." In fact, the only thing in her line approaching makeup is a bronzing cream that will be introduced later this year. Otherwise, her skincare routine revolves around her original products: two types of cleansing bars, a vitamin C product, zinc-based sunscreen, TLC glycolic night serum (her best seller), and the Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. In 2015, Drunk Elephant won the Allure Best of Beauty award for sunscreen, as well as this year's Best of Beauty Award for Lala Retro, a whipped silicone-free cream composed of six African oils. Drunk Elephant skincare, $28 to $90, at Sephora, FROM TIPSY PACHYDERM TO BEAUTY ROCKET TIFFANY MASTERSON'S DRUNK ELEPHANT SKINCARE GOES INTERNATIONAL. BY SHELBY HODGE. PRODUCED BY MICHELLE AVIÑA. PORTRAIT MAX BURKHALTER. with DRUNK PASSION Tiffany Masterson

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