Cassandra Grey gives us an inside look at her Violet Code–approved beauty routine.
Now a beauty retail mainstay frequented by A-listers around the globe, Violet Grey launched in 2014 as the result of Grey seeking a trusted source for product suggestions online. “I was a confused consumer and I was discovering products in magazines—this was prior to Instagram—ripping out pages, and schlepping to Barney’s in New York to find them. Then I read an article about Net-a-Porter and the company’s founder, Natalie Massenet—whom I worshipped—which described her strategy of combining two addictive activities: shopping and perusing a magazine. I then wrote a business plan and did what any entrepreneur with a dream would do: I set out to do it on my own. At the same time, I met my late husband, Brad Grey, who at his core loved the art of storytelling and championing the greatest talent in entertainment. He inspired the name ‘Grey’ and the distinct artistic point of view that I articulated.”
“I think beauty is the one category where, as customers, we don’t value our own opinion and we’d prefer the professionals tell us exactly what to buy and exactly how to use it. While I now know more about this category than the average person, I still rely on our committee of influential beauty experts to vet the products against the exacting standards of ‘The Violet Code’ before I recommend them to our customers, or buy them myself.” Though the retailer is known for carrying many trending brands, Grey says she isn’t excited by trends. “I get excited about legacy brand founders like Mme. Gabrielle Chanel and the original beauty boss Estée Lauder, and new founders that have what it takes to make a best-in-class product with the potential to become a legacy.”
Who doesn’t appreciate a well-organized beauty shelfie? Grey uses a labeling system that she and her team originally made for their “Violet at Your Service” beauty concierge customers “to organize and serve as sort of instructions on how to use the world-class routines that our editors have prescribed to them.”
Cult-favorite C & The Moon Malibu Made Body Scrub ($64) is one of Grey’s must-haves. “The one and only Kimmy K called it ‘the body scrub to end all body scrubs,’ and I couldn’t have said it better myself. It was created by Carson Meyer, who was one of our first Violet Grey interns, which makes it very special to my heart!” Necessaire Body Wash ($25) is another essential Grey keeps stocked: “We use it as a bubble bath for Jules, my five-year-old—he likes to call it a ‘spa bath.’ I am a shower person, only because I don’t have a bathtub in my bedroom in our little glass house on the hill—but he has a bath.”
As far as her favorite product in her current routine, Grey says it’s Royal Fern Essence ($85). “My skin craves it—like I’m addicted to this product! I use it every day, multiple times a day because it hydrates and preps my skin to take in additional serums and creams.
Though not part of her daily routine, Grey loves using sheet masks from Tatcha ($12) and 111Skin ($135). “I don’t use them often enough, but the best version of myself uses one of these every morning during my 20-minute guiding light meditation.” She also keeps a black Slip Sleep Mask ($50) within reach, but she only uses it when she travels. “I do sleep on a pearly white Slip Silk Pillowcase ($89) every night though.”
One of Grey’s tools of choice is ZIIP ($495), which uses microcurrent to sculpt the contours of the face. “This is what the Upper East Side ladies do to avoid facelifts for as long as possible. It used to be that you’d have to spend $500 to book a microcurrent facial. However, now we can do it at home thanks to this invention by celebrity facialist Melanie Simon. She recommends using it at least three times a week.