The beauty world collectively gasped last week when an email made the rounds proclaiming that GLAMGLOW’s iconic YOUTHMUD mask was made for Keanu Reeves after he “complained that he couldn’t find a product to get his skin on-camera ready in minutes.”
While the skin-care story with a very A-List connection hadn’t exactly been under lock-and-key since the product launched (GLAMGLOW co-founder Shannon Dellimore shared with Los Angeles magazine in a 2017 interview that “Keanu was talking about getting older and being up late reading scripts, and how to make his skin camera-ready…It was this all-in-one thing: ‘I have ten minutes, and I want to look like I just had a facial’”), it was a fun reminder that the 55-year-old actor may want to consider adding “beauty influencer” to his resume—especially as the cult-classic turns ten.
As Dellimore, who’s still pretty hush-hush on the specific Hollywood connection, told us, the whole thing “really happened by accident.”
“We were at a party when a few actor friends told us they couldn’t find a fast-acting product to help their skin look camera-ready in minutes,” she says. “My mom had worked in beauty retail for years so as a favor to them, I said I would I find one. I didn’t think it would be hard, but it turns out it was, so my partner and I started researching ingredients.”
One of the ingredients she knew she wanted to use was green tea “because it has so many great benefits for skin, but most products contain green tea extract, which isn’t as effective. We decided to steep real pieces of green tea leaf into our mask so it would be more efficacious. You see those real pieces of green tea leaf in YOUTHMUD and the first time I put the mask on I wasn’t sure I liked them, so I picked them all off and put them on the side of the sink. Then, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized the leaves really are a crucial part of the experience, so I put them all back on.”
“We still laugh about that.”
An $80 investment and an at-home office setup straight from the coffee table later, Dellimore and her partner were soon hand-filling and hand-delivering their mask concoction to studios on a silver platter.
“The hardest part was keeping up with demand. We had no intention of creating or selling a skin-care product. We made the formula and handed it out to our actor friends as a favor to them. They started passing it out to their friends who kept asking for the ‘magic mud’ and it grew organically from there. We were just trying to keep our friends supplied, the mask didn’t have a name we weren’t looking at retail partnerships. Then, one night the vice president of a luxury retailer called and said they wanted to sell the mask, so we had to sit down and give it a name.”
“All of a sudden, I was supposed to be an expert in supply chain, manufacturing and packaging and it was overwhelming. There were so many times I said ‘sure we can do that’ when I had no idea whether we could.”
“We always did though; I just didn’t sleep for the first three years!”
While the brand has since been acquired by Estée Lauder, Dellimore is still a big part of the creative team and continues to wears the “inventor” hat proudly, taking cues from other skin-care companies in the space.
“I like SiO Beauty. They make the best medical-grade silicone patches. I use their décolleté patches religiously; they really work to keep those chest wrinkles at bay especially if you are a side sleeper like I am. Those wrinkles are real and if you have them, you know. I haven’t found anything that works better. It is definitely a product I wish I would have come up with.”
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