"Not beauty as usual." Vintner's Daughter's fresh tagline couldn't be more spot on—a perfect reflection of the way the industry-disrupting, award-winning, obsessed-over San Francisco skincare brand first came to be in 2013.
Now celebrating its second decade, the slow-beauty maker of the OG face oil continues to operate by a "radically different" philosophy and is marking the milestone in fabulous fashion.
Founder April Gargiulo at her family's vineyard in Oakville. (Sophie Berard)
How it Started
Founder April Gargiulo had absolutely no clue about the beauty biz before launching her debut product, the Active Botanical Serum. But growing up the daughter of a Napa winemaking family gave her plenty of insight into how to find and extract fine botanical ingredients. Plus, the tenacious entrepreneur was armed with a singular mission: to create category-defining, luxury skincare with unmatched performance, quality and safety.
"Everyone thinks I named Vintner's Daughter after myself, but it's actually named for my eldest daughter Kate. Because it was when I was pregnant with her that I started reading the labels. I started recognizing what I was putting on my skin and how important it was to have something better, something different," Gargiulo recalls.
From day one, the cruelty-free and vegan brand followed a no shortcuts rule. "Our formulation process takes a long time. We very lovingly refer to it as the 'speed of quality." In fact, every product takes at least 21 days to make, which is significantly longer than most brands.
The performance-driven wonder serum is a blend of more than 20 nutrient-rich botanicals, active ingredients, and essential oils: alfalfa, calendula, nettle, dandelion, sea buckthorn, and evening primrose among them. Superpowers include brightening, nourishing, rejuvenating, and hydrating. Really, it didn't take long until beauty editors, celebs, and skincare connoisseurs (including lots of locals) became hooked on the ABS glow.
In a world where new, next and more is the norm, it's a credit to the face oil's effectiveness that its rockstar status only continues to grow.
Gargiulo celebrating her brand's birthday with a lunch for brand loyalists including Freda Salvador cofounder Megan Papay (second from left).(Jessi Caparella)
Celebrating 10 Years
Over the last year, Vintner's Daughter has been in major celebration mode, holding various thank-you lunches for longtime friends and supporters, as well as hosting pop-ups around SF and in L.A. The most exciting thing for Bay Area folks—the recent launch of an exclusive facial at Halehouse, the spa at Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection in Napa.
The Vintner's Daughter Ultimate Facial is absolutely wowza. Suitable for all skin types, the 90-minute treatment combines the brand's nutritional whole-plant formulas and advanced technology with targeted facial massage, red light therapy, and micro-current. The result is glowing, plumped, evenly toned, ultra-hydrated skin. Even better: Along with a rejuvenated visage, guests are sure to leave with a quiet, nourished mind and stress-free body thanks to the spa's spectacularly serene environs.
And since it wouldn't be a legit party without favors, the company released a big (50ml), beautiful limited-edition bottle of its hero product. The gilded vessel features botanical imagery designed by artist MarSha Yi Robinson.
In other news, Vintner's Daughter recently launched its third product, the Active Renewal Cleanser. The gently foaming cream formula serves up an energizing and balancing double cleanse thanks to its water- and oil-soluble formula. (ICYMI: Middle child Active Treatment Essence arrived when the serum was five. It's a fermented mist that firms, brightens, plumps and deeply hydrates.)
Finally, if you're wondering how Gargiulo herself feels about her business turning 10, the short answer is verklempt.
"I feel grateful to be as passionate about our results-led, nutritional formulas today as I was 10 years ago. With more and more processed, generic brands hitting the market daily, our mission at Vintner’s Daughter feels more resonant than ever. We don't want to create anyone’s next product; we want to create your last product. The one you joyfully marry for life.”
Cheers to that and happy birthday, Vintner's Daughter. // vintnersdaughter.com