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Local Startup Gloss48 is Taking the Beauty World by Storm

All images courtesy of Gloss48
All images courtesy of Gloss48

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There are plenty of places to read about indie beauty brands, but where do you go when you actually want to by them? Gloss48 aims to answer that question. The start-up connects women to up-and-coming brands at a promotional rate. After one week, each new brand is added to the well-curated store at regular price.

Launched last fall by two of the women originally behind MiniLuxe, it's a concept that allows women test out new products without breaking the bank while giving indie labels an unprecedented level of exposure. We caught up with co-founder Laura Bronner to chat about her favorite products, the trend towards indie brands and why Gloss48 isn't a flash sale site.—Kara Weymouth

Did you know that you wanted Gloss48 to work with independent beauty brands from the start?
Jill [Kravetz] and I identified a gap in the market between women who were excited to discover and shop indie brands and the availability of those products. These indie brands used to compete for space in Sephora, but in recent years, those opportunities have dwindled.

The idea for Gloss48 grew out of our experience at MiniLuxe, where we worked with hundreds of amazing, indie beauty brands to create a unique retail selection. We learned two important things: that our customers loved new products they couldn't find at the mall and that the brand owners were struggling to get in front of a beauty audience. Creating an online platform to unite [them] made perfect sense.

What makes a product or brand a fit for Gloss48?
Our brands need to be doing something exciting and different—whether that's a unique skincare technology or a new, glittery nail color. Our members want a daily dose of newness.

Women (myself included) have lost faith in the big cosmetic companies over the years because they keep telling the same stories and re-naming the same skincare technology. An indie brand's products typically grow out of the owner's passion and experience— whether that's a mom creating a safe moisturizer for her child who suffers from eczema or a celebrity makeup artist who created his own brow products. That passion and experience tends to lead to exceptional products and a credible reason to believe in them.

There has been a lot of talk recently about the sustainability of so-called "flash sale" sites. How are you making this model work for Gloss48?
We don't see ourselves as a flash sale site, even though we do offer new sales every day around our brand and product launches. Flash sales are all about dumping excess inventory and getting a great deal on last season's big brands. As a rule, we don't take excess inventory. Our daily launches are about introducing the very best, newest, most exciting product from a brand. The discount we offer for the first week is meant to encourage our members to try products they have never heard of before.

What's on sale this week that you're absolutely in love with?
Two of my favorite nail polish lines are currently on sale: Mint Polish and Cult Nails. Mint has an amazing selection of gorgeous, creamy solids with just a hint of shimmer. I've been a fan of Cult Nails for years! The founder, Maria, consistently comes out with the coolest, craziest, must-have colors. I love Dance All Night. It's a deep, glittery turquoise that I want to swim in.

Spoiler alert: Two of my all-time favorite brands are coming up this Thursday and Friday: Vanitymark brow products and SW Basics skincare.
· Gloss48 [Official Site]