For New Clean Brand Eighth Aura, Skincare Goes Far Beneath The Surface
Brie Wilde started developing her brand Eighth Aura three years ago, but it was only when her severe asthma led to hospitalization in January that her concept for it crystallized.
“It wasn’t just the physical that was weighing me down, but also the mental. You have to take care of yourself every single day. You are a priority. I was working 12-plus hours a day and not eating or even remembering to drink water,” says the global project manager who’s overseen product launches at Johnson & Johnson and Coty. “The one thing that I could do was take care of my skin, and that trickled down to other victories.”
The importance of skincare to health is at the core of Eighth Aura, which is centered on clean formulas, self-care and the environment. The brand’s products avoid formaldehyde, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, parabens, diethanolamine, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, drying alcohols and polyethylene glycols. It gives at least 1% of its sales to environmental causes as a member of 1% For The Planet.
“I believe that Eighth Aura is going to be a catalyst for change,” says Wilde. “It’s going to bridge the gap between beauty, and mind and body wellness to empower more conscious decisions for intentional living. We want consumers to be able to make intentional decisions for themselves and for the planet.”
Eighth Aura has kicked off with five products priced from $38 to $88: cleanser Ultracleanse, exfoliant Pro Powder, face serum Hydrasilk, eye serum Stacked and moisturizer HydraGel. Wilde singles out Stacked as a potential bestseller. The fast-absorbing eye treatment contains oligopeptide, sunflower seed oil, shea butter, kakadu plum and calendula extract.
“I believe that Eighth Aura is going to be a catalyst for change.”
“It has a texture that I’ve personally never used before,” she says. “It’s so soothing and really helps with dark circles. I have a lot of dark circles. I don’t sleep. So, this always helps me in the morning with circulation in the eye area. I really notice a difference.”
For customers confused about the right skincare solutions for them, Eighth Aura provides a so-called Skincierge that recommends a skincare routine after they fill out an online questionnaire. Next up for the brand on the product front is an ingestible item. Eighth Aura’s recyclable plastic packaging features earth tones to foster a sense of grounding. The brand is considering switching to glass packaging for ecological reasons.
Wilde named Eighth Aura for what she details are the eight pillars of wellness relating to people’s emotional, spiritual, occupational, physical, intellectual, financial and social states, and the vitality of the earth. The brand plans to produce events and content around each of the eight pillars. For example, it could publish a blog post about saving for retirement.
Prior to Eighth Aura, Wilde wasn’t attached to particular skincare and wellness brands because she didn’t feel they spoke to her. She’d try a brand’s products for three or four months and, then, leave them behind. Wilde hopes her brand can inspire repeat purchases from consumers connecting to its message. Its target consumers are women aged 18- to 35-years-old interested in better-for-you beauty and wellness brands with carefully-crafted merchandise that’s not exorbitant.
“The wellness space is more geared toward affluent white woman. Here in L.A., it’s hard to go to gym and find someone I relate to and look like. I’m African American, and I look a regular girl. I don’t look like a quote unquote L.A. girl.”
“The wellness space is more geared toward affluent white woman. Here in L.A., it’s hard to go to gym and find someone I relate to and look like. I’m African American, and I look a regular girl. I don’t look like a quote unquote L.A. girl,” says the 29-year-old Los Angeles transplant and native of Tinton Falls, N.J. “Really, you can have all the tools, but, if you are not motivated, you are not going to do it. There was a lot out there, but there wasn’t anything that motivated me.”
Early on, Wilde is concentrating on digital distribution for Eighth Aura. The brand took $10,000 to get off the ground, and her goal is for it to cross $100,000 in direct-to-consumer sales for its first year of product availability. Wilde’s aspiration for future distribution is to place it in clean beauty retailers such as The Detox Market and Credo.
In her role as a global project manager, she’s keenly aware that indie beauty is gaining ground in the beauty industry. “The little guys are shaking things up for the corporations and making them worry,” says Wilde, adding, “There’s something different about indie brands. When you buy from a corporation, usually, there isn’t a face or founder that people can relate to. Now more than ever, people want to support a company from a founder that’s like them. That’s what makes me loyal. If I love what a brand stands for, I continue to shop from it.”
So far, funding has been the biggest challenge for Eighth Aura. It certainly doesn’t have the million-dollar budgets that Wilde has been accustomed to inside conglomerates. She’s evaluating different wellness-focused investor options at the moment to facilitate Eighth Aura’s growth. Wilde says, “I’m not looking for someone to just give me money. I’m looking for someone to give guidance and be a partner to help build the brand.”