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HFL Interview With CEO, Joy Chen, of H2O+Beauty

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H20 Beauty

Good Evening High Fashion Living readers! Keeping you all up to date on the latest trends in fashion is our forte, but HFL is taking it a step further and bringing to you the latest in skincare and cosmetics.

Fashion is our passion, but skincare to us is just as important, and what better way to incorporate this new venture than to meet with CEO, Joy Chen, of such an innovative and buzz worthy line; H2O+beauty.

Before meeting with Chen, I wanted to get the scoop not only on her big role in the success of the brand, but what makes H2O+beauty such a noteworthy skincare line. Reading up, a lot of what I was noticing between reviews and product descriptions was that the line builds around its ability to harness the hydrating power of pure water. It wasn’t until I was given the opportunity to try out these products for myself that I realized how true these reviews were.

The company background was very transparent about their goal of giving back the power to women to define beauty on their own terms as well which Chen was very passionate about in our sit down discussion. Between the revamp of their new site, and the little motivational lines they label the inside of their packaging with, Chen prioritizes the consumer in every aspect of the brand.

With Joy Chen’s push to success with H2O+beauty, we wanted to get a more in depth look into the brands growth, as well as Chen’s background as a successful business woman in the skincare world. Below is a look into my interview with Chen, along with links to my personal product favorites, and bonus information on the brands non-profit organization, “Making Waves;” an organization that works to increase access to opportunities for women and girls. (We may have also included a sneak peak photo from the brands contribution to Chicago’s Simply Stylist convention that took place this past Saturday!)


HFL: How has your business strategy for the brand help revive H2O+beauty’s brand equity?

Chen: “I think we have a lot more buzz and press since we re-launched the brand which is quite validating. We have done a lot of work with influencers and bloggers as well especially since the revamp of our website. There was quite a disconnect between what we were offering and how it was portrayed on our site which made it difficult for us to connect with press until our marketing team revamped the site which in turn made people interested in the brand. Perception is such a big thing.”

HFL: How does H2O+beauty interact with their consumer?

Chen: “We know our consumer is knowledgeable about skincare so we don’t talk down to her. We want to be her friend. ”

HFL: Do you foresee mobile marketing carrying H2O+beauty to reach your goal(s) for the brand?

Chen: “Yes. We really prioritized mobile because we know so much of what information is gathered is through mobile. You can be sitting in front of a store and be looking on your phone.”

HFL: Because the consumer is always looking to the reviews and product description to see what it could do for you.

Chen: “Absolutely. Consumers want that extra information. They want the best.”

HFL: What fuels your passion for skincare?

Chen: “Well, my first job was marketing kitty litter and I don’t even like cats so you could see how it would be difficult to market that when you don’t have much interest in it. But once you know how to market something you don’t really like, it becomes much easier to market something you do like such as skincare. Skincare is so fun because you can relate and actually try it out. It’s even more intriguing to work with trending products because consumers are always looking for something new and we are always working to make things better.”

HFL: It is very inspiring to sit down with a woman who is such a powerhouse in the business world. Do you remember a time where you felt defeated but were able to push through?

Chen: “When I was with Clorox, I was a brand manager and was given a plan that I needed to execute but I didn’t see the plan succeeding so I started to build my case as to why it wouldn’t work, and I took it to the CEO of the division and he was not happy being that he already had approved the plan. Once I finally convinced him to give me 15 minutes to explain why I saw this plan failing, he still wanted me out of his office and I didn’t hear from him until a week later. He finally decided to delay the launch and re-evaluate the plan which in turn, ended up being a success.”

HFL: Why did you feel it was best for you to switch over to a digital distribution model instead of Brick and mortar stores?

Chen: “I think the first thing for us was to try and make sure we had the right business model when turning a manufacturing company into an innovation company. With changing the business model, once you begin the process, it’s efficient for you to be able to invest in the growth of the brand, and shortly after changing the business model, we were able to start re-launching the brand. With changing the concept, we wanted to do this while sticking to the roots but also bring innovation back to the brand. A combination of this lead us to the launch of our 44 new products. Following this, we made our flagship store online which lead us to eliminate the brick and mortar store because our consumers are Omni-channel shoppers and we want to be there while she’s there which is online and digital.”

HFL: How do you see the growth of digital advertising and social influencers impacting the beauty industry moving forward?

Chen: “I think it all starts with your consumer. Generally, consumers are becoming Omni-channel shoppers but for us, our customer is even more skewed to online shopping especially in the skincare and cosmetic world. It is the best way for us to market what we have to offer.” 

HFL: What is your favorite skincare product from the H2O+beauty line?

Chen: “A lot of our products are quite innovative, and the cleansing stick is a perfect example of that. It has so much press weekly.”

HFL: Women who want the best of the best in skincare, but are shopping on a budget easily jump from product to product when trying to find something that fits both categories but are often left unsatisfied. H2O+beauty is an affordable line; what would you say H2O+beauty offers that other competitors in your price range may not offer?

Chen: “You know I think one of the most important things is staying current with innovation and our products are not only innovative but simple and affordable. I also think the brand is very approachable and its not over the top which is what the brand stands for.”

HFL: How important do you feel skincare is when it come to the application of makeup, long term?

Chen: “I think that skincare is the most important piece. Cosmetics give you that instant reward of feeling beautiful immediately, and skincare provides long term benefits that women are also looking for. I would never cut out that step. I think that’s why you even see cosmetics try to get into skincare. You see more and more cosmetics incorporate skincare additives while still giving that instant reward of covering something up.”


Here are a few products from the H2O+beauty line that I was able to go home with, and have since fallen in love with!

cleansing stick2

On the Move Cleansing Stick: $28

fresh powder exfoliatorFresh Powder Exfoliator: $28

Illuminating serum

Illuminating Serum: $56


H2O+beauty has since started their own initiative to support organizations that work to increase access to opportunities for women and girls called “Making Waves.” Their collaboration with Girls Inc. of Alameda County is bringing awareness and  empowering underserved girls and women by increasing access to opportunities that will help them realize their fullest potential. The H2O team had a heap of fun bringing light to the “Making Waves” organization by bringing along a selfie ball pit to Chicago’s “Simply Stylist” pictured below.

h2oPictured left to right:Sarah Boyd, Paolo Nieddu, Alaina Kaczmarski, Helen Berkun, Cat Sadler. 

-Jasmine Dunn

IG: @jasmine_dunn

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