When you set a party at Beauty & Essex—a lavish resto-lounge tucked away behind a pawn shop façade in Hollywood—glamour is pretty much a given….after all, the place is known for flowing free bottomless sparkling Rosé inside the ladies’ room. On October 19, its 10,000 square-foot space provided the perfect ambiance to an exclusive event. The occasion? This year, Physicians Formula turned 80 years old and launched a limited edition 80th Anniversary Makeup Collection, which was a cause for celebration—and a big one at that.
Under the 20-foot oval skylight of the dining room area, guests swayed to the music blaring in the background, while others posed in front of a multiple-camera photo booth. Waiters weaved through the crowd with trays of finger food that were replenished with lightning speed. Taking in the scene were celebrity guests Kate Mara, Michelle Monaghan and Chloe Bennet along with beauty influencers.
To the right of the bar, Physicians Formula products—bronzers, foundations and mascaras, to name a few—stood in a gold-rimmed, glass display box under two spotlights. The collection was a sampling of products to come in 2018. But a walk down the hall was enough to prove that the occasion was every bit a celebration of the company’s past as it was about the future.
Under five rows of floating silver shelves holding Physicians Formula products, a series of frames told the story of the company, namely its origins. Back in 1937, when Dr. Crandall, a leading allergist in Los Angeles, took note of his wife’s sensitivity to cosmetics, he jumped at the chance to create products that wouldn’t irritate her skin. Flash forward 80 years— Physicians Formula became the kind of brand hailed for its hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and dermatologist-tested makeup. In that sense, it’s also the kind of brand that turns to its past to acknowledge progress and innovation.