“Pro-aging” American beauty brand Flyte.70 co-founded by Greek-American Elena Frankel in 2021 has been creating innovative products targeting women who are 40-plus.
Frankel and Carolyn Barber were pioneers of the indie beauty boutique concept in Boston in the 1990s. Thirty years later, they feel proud that their creation, Flyte.70, is being recognized as a leader in make-up products that work with —not against— grown-up skin.
As they explain to Greek Reporter, visible changes that come with age reflect a woman’s evolution. It is something to be celebrated and enhanced, and not frowned upon as society and the media so often lead us to believe.
“We created this brand because a lot of women would come to us wanting to look better, feel better about themselves — but still being themselves,” Frankel says.
They named the brand in honor of how we “travel” through the different phases of life, combined with their birth year – 1970. They know firsthand the needs of 40+ women and how to “elevate” their skin and their appearance.
“Getting older, women still want to look youthful, healthier, more vibrant, and a better version of themselves, so we’re here to help elevate them, to help them feel better about themselves,” Frankel explains.
Beauty industry predominantly a market for the young
The two founders explain to Greek Reporter that the beauty industry is predominantly a market targeting the young, especially for makeup. They say that skincare is getting a bit better, but it’s always “anti-aging,” which has a very negative connotation.
“We align ourselves with “pro-aging,” which is to embrace who you are, embrace yourself in the skin you’re in. I have a young daughter — she’s 16 — and I want her to be able to not be fearful of getting older. You see on social media, there are so many filters and fillers and it’s almost like there’s shame in getting older,” Frankel says.
“It’s ageism, absolutely, and it is a form of discrimination.”
New beauty trends for 2022
Flyte.70’s range of products enhance the face, eyes, cheeks, and lips. Launching in January 2022 is a new eyeshadow for an elegant, everyday look or a smoky eye. Densely packed with pigments, this eyeshadow is smooth and buildable, thanks to squalane and fatty acids, which allow the powder to smooth itself effortlessly over the skin.
The owners of Flyte.70 say that the new trend regarding beauty products in the U.S. and beyond is “moderation.”
“I think people are starting to understand that fine line when you have too much makeup,” Barber notes.
“We have 14 different types of products and between one to four different shades of those products, where for a long time different brands had palettes of eyeshadows with 24 to 26 eye shadows in one palette. So there was excess to it, while I think now in 2022 people are starting to pare down their rituals.
“We’re not a minimalist brand, but we try to find that right balance,” she tells Greek Reporter.
Frankel adds that for aging skin the best solution is to elevate, but not in an obstructive way.
“We didn’t want to give too little or too much, and I think that the reality with women is that after a certain age, by nature, you start to lose your glow in your skin and you start to lose your healthy color, so with our line, our goal is to put those two things back into your life — but not in a very obtrusive way.”
The two businesswomen are proud that have created a brand which is vegan, cruelty-free, Leaping-Bunny Certified and fully EU Compliant. The founders say that their safe and highly effective formulas are made from responsibly-sourced natural and synthetic ingredients.
Coronavirus and the beauty industry
Barber explained to Greek Reporter how the coronavirus pandemic affected the beauty industry.
“In the beginning, people felt free not to wear makeup or not care about their hair color…But, after a year or so of the pandemic, a lot of women started to miss the ritual of applying a little bit of makeup.
“It started as a relief, sort of like being naked and free and not having to worry about makeup, but then there was an element of really missing it, and I think where we’re at now is that a lot of women are starting to find that right balance, where they don’t need to do quite as much as they were doing — but they still want to do something to elevate themselves and make themselves feel better.”
The two businesswomen are proud of their brand and are now in the process of expanding into Europe by starting selling their range of products most likely in the latter part of 2022.
Greek roots helped to bring success
Frankel, a second-generation Greek-American, says that her roots have helped her be successful in her business.
“Carolyn, who is is first-generation Chinese-American, and I have a work ethic that is inherent in both of us… I got it from my parents, who got it from their parents who came through Ellis Island. I wouldn’t say we’re workaholics, but there is a true desire and need to do well more for ourselves than for financial success.”
She notes the idea of eudaimonia, a Greek word literally translating to the state or condition of having a “good spirit,” and which is commonly translated as “happiness” or “welfare.”
“Our brand is very based on that idea — your life will have ups and downs, but the ultimate goal is to have a fulfilled, flourishing existence.
“That’s what we want our customers to understand and relate to, that as you get older you gain more appreciation for the now, while always remembering who you are and also understanding that you will be changing further because you really never stop growing up,” Frankel tells Greek Reporter.