Meet Blair Armstrong – The CEO Working To Reframe The Beauty Conversation With Her Luxury Skincare Brand Gilded

Gilded CEO Blair Armstrong

We love profiling entrepreneurs and business owners on GirlTalkHQ, because the way we see it, some of the best entrepreneurs are problem solvers combining personal experience with innovation to address an issue they believe needs some attention.

This is the case with CEO Blair Armstrong, whose skincare brand Gilded which came about after she saw a gap in the beauty and skincare industry. She didn’t originally begin her career in the beauty world, but as is often the case with entrepreneurs, she switched careers and utilized her background in a new way to create a product that she hopes will reframe the conversation around luxury skincare.

Leaving behind a successful career as a corporate accountant, Blair knew she had a greater mission in life to help others while combining her love for science and dermatology. She pushed through her professional and personal limitations in order to pursue her enthusiasm for dermatology. After graduating from Emory with a Masters of Medical Science, Blair began to study medicine, working at Atlanta Family Dermatology and Surgery Center. During her time caring for patients, encompassing dermatological needs, Blair discovered a growing dilemma that body care was an essential ritual for health and wellness prosperity that was often being neglected.

In 2015, Blair took off and launched Gilded the line of luxury skin care products to bring a new focus to body care in order to help transform lives. Gilded’s mission has stemmed from her first hand experience in the dermatological space and 4 years of R&D, where she recognized the need for individuals to re-focus their attention to body care. Combining her passion to put body care first with her love for art, history, travel and helping her community, Blair created a body care product line which introduces skin care as a rejuvenating, re-centering and restorative ritual.
The skin on our face accounts for only 3% of the skin on our bodies, and Gilded provides products for your entire body.

We spoke with Blair to learn more about her personal journey as an entrepreneur, what inspired her to create Gilded, and science and medicine go hand in hand when it comes to beauty and skincare.

Where did your passion for good skin care begin?

I’ve always used self care as a way of self discovery and awareness. Nothing excites me more than the study of the skin, and helping patients and customers feel good in their skin. It wakes me up early, keeps me up late. I studied the first dermatologists, their approach, the complete history of early pioneers, the latest studies, trends and developments. I’m fascinated by advances in technology, ingredient profiles and how we can help people ultimately feel good, to be the best version of themselves in their skin. 

Your career began in accounting, but after studying a Masters of Medical Science you switched paths to dermatology. What made you switch careers? 

I loved science and wanted to work in medicine. I believed I could make a positive and profound difference in how medical care is delivered and how people in my community  receive and experience care, I have a unique background and in order to solve the problem of how to provide care to all Americans I believed it would take a multidisciplinary approach,  a diverse set of skills, knowledge and abilities. I’ve found finance and medicine complementary.

How did the idea for Gilded come about initially? 

I find inspiration everywhere. I set out to make body skincare an experience we could look forward to and to make products I could confidently recommend to my patients. I want to encourage a balanced approach to skincare, one that includes caring for the body.  My approach to create meaningful and useful products that fit seamlessly within body skincare routines. 

Body care that is an experience people will be excited about and ultimately look forward to. I want to change the way we think about and experience Body care and ultimately how we care for ourselves. 

What are some of the best-selling items on Gilded today? 

Our Supreme Body Balm, the Marble Body Brush and Body Kit. 

How does your love of art, sculpture, travel and history play a role in how you created Gilded? 

I’m infinitely inspired by art, history and really love and enjoy the creative process. I like multifunctional and sustainable products, products that do double duty.  

As a beauty industry disrupter, how are you giving visibility to women of color entrepreneurs and ensuring more products are catered to all types of skin?

I set out to be a presence for women of color in body care, luxury categories, and an example that women of color create original and thoughtful products. 

Who are your entrepreneurial role models and mentors? 

Ashley Orfus of the Alab Group, Dianna Cohen of Crown Affair and Mindy Grossman.

Why is there so much focus on the facial skin, but not as much elsewhere on our bodies? 

Our faces are how we present ourselves to the world. so it’s natural that we focus there. However, I believe so much of it is also marketing.

You also help underserved and uninsured women get the dermatological care they need through various non-profits. Can you tell us more about this work you do? 

I am driven to find a way to provide free care for the many uninsured people in our communities. Healthy and whole people make a healthy and strong nation. I was fortunate to have the experience of seeing a dermatologist as a young girl and it was fundamental to my self esteem, growth and development. I want to provide that feeling and reassurance for as many people as I can. This is America, we can make this work. 

If someone is looking for the right skin product on Gilded, where would you recommend they begin their search? 

We’re available by email to help find the perfect product. I would suggest starting with the ultimate moisturizer, the Supreme Body Balm. It’s exceptional.

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