How the Founders of Six Gldn Created Golden Hour in a Bottle
There’s arguably no better time to take a selfie than during golden hour, the periods of the day after sunrise and before sunset when your skin takes on a filtered-like glow. With skincare brand Six Gldn, co-founders Karima El-Hakkaoui, Diana Quarry and Linda Hampshire, set out to bottle that radiant look. The result is a range of five multitasking products with clean ingredient lists and sustainable packaging. Here, we chatted with the trio about how they joined forces to create the line.
You're all beauty industry veterans! Tell us a little bit about your individual backgrounds.
El-Hakkaoui: I started out doing TV and print advertising campaigns in the US, then moved to London and got into art direction for magazines. Eventually I was doing branding for beauty and fashion companies like Harrods and Space NK, and when I moved back to LA, I continued doing the same work.
Quarry: I started in advertising but quickly moved to teen fashion and beauty magazines. I loved working in an all-female environment and couldn’t believe I was getting paid to be in such a fun place where our goal was to improve women’s lives. From magazines, I caught the beauty bug and started working for a big cosmetics company. I worked my way up from newsletters and packaging to leading global campaigns.
Hampshire: I started out in London on magazines doing fashion, travel and beauty, and was eventually a travel editor. I moved from the UK to Italy and worked freelance so Karima and I could write a book for brides, The Wedding A to Z: Everything You Need to Know. Since then, I’ve worked on beauty branding projects.
How did you all decide to join forces?
El-Hakkaoui: I met Linda almost 20 years ago in London — she was a travel editor at a magazine where I got a job as art director. We travelled around the world trying out new hotels, and we’ve worked together ever since. I worked with Diana at a big beauty company in LA about five years ago, and then we all teamed up on lots of beauty projects. Forming Six Gldn together was a natural progression.
Did you know you wanted to launch with just five products? What was important to you in terms of formulation and branding?
El-Hakkaoui: Before we started formulating, we asked everyone we knew to send us photos of their bathroom cabinets. We got back pictures of tons of half-used products crammed onto shelves. Some people had up to 80 products, but we asked all of them how many they use on a daily basis and everyone we talked to only used four to five a day. We took that as our starting point. We wanted to keep the line minimal — less products, less waste, less time in front of the mirror and more benefits per product.
We asked our formulator, a renowned botanical expert, to make the very best collection of four to five products. We didn't give her a price limit but said that they needed to be the ultimate everyday essentials. Another stipulation was that they had to deliver instant results and long-term benefits to the skin.
How did you come up with the name for the brand?
El-Hakkaoui: We were thinking about golden hour and how everyone around the world posts photos of themselves at this time of day because of the way the skin looks in the light. We did some research and found out that golden hour occurs when the sun is six degrees above the horizon. That's why we chose the name Six Gldn. Plus, our skincare is all about giving you a radiant, healthy glow.
Is there a certain ethos that you try to keep at the core of the brand as it grows?
El-Hakkaoui: To spread kindness, joy and happiness in everything that we do. We want to give back to the world and enrich as many lives as we can with our charity initiatives and have the least impact on this beautiful earth with sustainable ingredients and eco-forward refillable packaging.
What's next for the brand?
El-Hakkaoui: We’re partnering with retailers right now, so soon you’ll be able to buy Six Gldn in lots of places. We also have more amazing products in the pipeline, so watch this space.
Fill in the blanks:
My favorite Six Gldn products are ...
El-Hakkaoui: Our Nourishing Face Oil.
Quarry: Our Botanical Cleansing Gel. It’s so gentle and leaves skin feeling refreshed and renewed.
Hampshire: Our Nourishing Face Oil. It’s an amazing all-rounder.
To me, beauty means...
El-Hakkaoui: Being your happiest, healthiest version of yourself of your own unique self.
Quarry: Feeling confident and happy!
Hampshire: Being happy in your own skin and just being yourself.
Photo: Six Gldn