Behind the Brand: Glomance with Founder Sheena Iyer
Founder: Sheena Iyer
Founded in: 2018, New York, New York
After spending her 20s and 30s searching for the perfect skincare routine, Sheena Iyer felt moved to develop her own line of streamlined products that she hoped would be a solution for frustrated beauty junkies like herself. With 20 years of working in education under her belt, she spent four years becoming a student of skincare and formulation before finally launching three Glomance products in May of 2022. Sheena filled us in on all the newness Glomance has in store, what it was like going from consumer to brand founder, and how Madonna has influenced her beauty philosophy.
What are the words you live by?
I feel like my mantra changes daily depending on what I’m facing. There are so many quotes about getting up earlier, staying later and working harder than the next guy, rolling up your sleeves and just getting to it, no matter the task. One that has always stuck with me is from Mahatma Gandhi: “Learn as if you will live forever, live like you will die tomorrow.”
Who first taught you about beauty and what attracted you to the beauty industry?
I was a latch key kid growing up in NYC during the 80’s and 90’s and remember watching music videos that really shaped my viewpoint of fashion and beauty. There’s something so transformative about someone like Madonna who plays with beauty and style. Another stand out for me is the timeless beauty of George Michael’s Freedom music video and all of the supermodels in it. It’s just iconic.
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when you launched?
One of the biggest challenges we faced when launching the brand was dealing with the delays and shortages in raw materials and goods caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was incredibly frustrating to have everything ready to go but not be able to get the supplies needed to manufacture and package the products.
What was your proudest moment as a founder and what has been your biggest struggle?
I’m still waiting for the proudest moment that I’ve dreamed up in my head, but a wow moment was seeing our products hit the shelves at SHEN. Going to retail so early on and getting in front of such a sophisticated skincare audience is a mindblowing opportunity. Another is any time we have a repeat customer, that’s a huge triumph for me! It means we are doing something right.
What surprised you most about the beauty industry as you went from dedicated consumer to brand founder?
I was surprised by how collaborative the beauty industry is. From finding the right labs to partnering with makeup artists to try out your brand, collaboration is key. It's an interconnected and community-driven industry where working together can make all the difference.
Can you tell us the story behind your brand name?
Some of my favorite brands have names that really parallel well with the vibe of their product line and we wanted our name to embody those principles. The name Glomance captures the feelings that we wanted to create with our line of skincare. Relatable, accessible, playful, effortless and focused on getting that youthful glow.
What was the first product you developed and what was the most important thing you wanted it to have?
Overnight Star was our first product, and it checked so many boxes as a hero product. It’s a multipurpose night treatment that is so versatile. It gently exfoliates, is deeply hydrating and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It was the bedrock on which the other products in the line were built.
What is your best selling product? Why do you think that is?
FLTR18 is undeniably our most popular product. It is a lightweight but ultra nourishing oil, packed with unique ingredients like Spillanthes Acmella, a natural botox, and Bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol. It’s so effective and luxurious.
What product is a sleeper hit (maybe not the best seller, but you think it should be) and why?
We have a hand cream that is coming to market next year, and I predict that it’s going to be our unintended sleeper hit. I’m the girl that has a hand cream in her bag no matter what, so I needed to formulate the perfect one. It is rich and hydrating, absorbs so quickly and smells like heaven.
What beauty products are you loving right now?
I love The Rich Cream by Agustinus Bader when I’m looking for an extra blast of hydration. There’s something so luxurious and comforting about applying it. I’ve recently been getting into all things Westman Atelier. I’m currently loving the Face Trace Contour Stick because it’s buildable and blends well and the Beauty Butter Powder Bronzer. It’s so lightweight and gives a natural sunkissed glow.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received? The best?
The worst advice I ever received was to be realistic. The best advice is to always be kind and stay humble.
Who do you look up to in the beauty world?
I love Pat McGrath! She’s such an artist and I love how she had no formal training. Her products are edgy and create the most stunning looks.
If you could sneak a peek into anyones makeup bag, who would it be?
I honestly love going through my friends' makeup bags when we go on girls trips. Getting ready together is sometimes even more fun than going out because I get to see what they’re using and try it out!
What can we expect from the brand in the future? Any exciting news you can share?
We will be launching 3 new products next year! A hydrating brightening eye cream, a face moisturizer with peptides and a hand cream that I feel will be our new hero.