What was once a tiny and mighty beauty blog called Into The Gloss has become a bona fide NYC startup: Glossier, with a ragtag team of 35+ jogging up and down the stairwell of our Soho office building, spread out across three floors. Why are we here? We're creating a new kind of beauty company from the ground up—one that acknowledges the hopes, dreams, and desires of women today, and gives them the tools (both digitally and physically) to take ownership over their beauty routines. Who are we? Well, a lot of us began like you: as readers. And we'd like for you to get to know us a little better—what we each do, where we come from, and what we're excited about. Meet our Social Media Manager, Casey Zhang:
'I'd been reading ITG for a while, but I actually found Glossier on Instagram right before the launch in September 2014. I remember being really excited to find out what it was going to be—and as someone who was working in the digital and social world, I remember thinking how clever it was to launch on Instagram. That’s so important for a brand now, because being a transparent brand now means building it with other people. A lot of companies ask ‘What do we do on social media? How do we do that?’ Whereas at Glossier, even before I joined, it always felt very natural and authentic and that's what contributes to its success.
And it makes sense—beauty is an industry that has a very heavy presence on social media already. There are all these bloggers who have insane followings, right? And super dedicated fans. It’s hard to communicate what beauty is without demonstrating it, which in turn creates these rich relationships between influencers and their followers over the internet. We're trying to build that same community with our audience—you can't do that with traditional marketing necessarily.”
Where are you from?
I'm always bad at answering this question because I've never lived in one city for more than 6 years. I was born in China and then moved to the heart of the Midwest when I was four. I went to part of high school and college in Texas though and I guess once a Texan, always a Texan?
What do you do at Glossier?
I oversee social media, which means working to develop, create, and curate content that goes out on our social channels. It's exciting to work for such a quickly growing brand in an equally quickly growing industry where there are no hard rules and you get to experiment and dream up completely new ideas. I look at social media for work in a similar way to how I look at it for myself personally: It's a way to express yourself, get inspired, and connect with others you might not be able to meet IRL. In that sense it's very real and very human. Our feed is a reflection of what we're into and what we're doing here at Glossier and if we find something we like on Instagram, we oftentimes share it with our community because we think other Glossier girls might be into it, too.
What emoji best represents you?
Which five products can you not live without?
Dr. Jart Ceramidin Liquid, Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara (really good for lazy girls who don't like to use makeup remover!), Glossier Boy Brow in Black (I wear it even under bangs), and Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry.
First thing you do in the morning?
I probably check Instagram in bed and then once I'm out of bed, the first thing I do is have coffee. My trick to a good cup—sorry, caffeine purists—is to add Half & Half until it matches my skin tone (so think Perfecting Skin Tint in Medium).
Who is your beauty icon?
Josie Packard in Twin Peaks
Current favorite song:
Rip it Up by Orange Juice. This video is a continual source of joy and inspiration.
What's your beauty secret?
I don't own a brush but I have a hair secret. My friend told me about the Japanese Air Wave after I complimented her on her perfectly messy undone hair, and I've been getting it done twice a year ever since. You have to suffer through a three-hour multi-step process but it's a super gentle perm which will leave you with zero-fuss tousled bedhead waves that you can literally roll out of bed with.
—as told to ITG
Casey Zhang photographed by Tom Newton.