Cassandra Grey Can't Live Without These 12 Holy-Grail Beauty Products


(Image credit: Courtesy of Violet Grey)

Welcome to What I Buy From My Own Brand—a special series spotlighting our favorite female CEOs and beauty bosses. Here, they'll provide context regarding what they look for and value while shopping for top-notch beauty products in addition to providing a list of favorite formulas they'd personally purchase from their own brand. Up next, Cassandra Grey, Founder of Violet Grey. Enjoy! 

When it comes to the art of researching and investing in beauty products, Violet Grey is like a unique, highly covetable mash-up between a Bugatti dealership and Cinderella's fairy godmother. The retailer (which has just one brick-and-mortar store in the U.S. and is therefore fluent in online dealing) offers only the crème de la crème within the beauty and wellness spaces, all of which are tested, reviewed, and carefully chosen by the industry's most elite power players (translation: the makeup artists, dermatologists, estheticians, celebrity influencers, and hairstylists who cater to the glowing and gorgeous celebs we admire and screenshot on a daily basis). At the heart of the store's beauty pulse is Cassandra Grey, Violet Grey's very cool, very bad-ass founder.

"I have been trained by the Violet Grey committee to have a rigorous, OCD approach to my beauty routine," she explains to me. "Violet Grey is actually the Marie Kondo of beauty. We build our customers cosmetic wardrobes and maintain them. We don't think you should keep anything you aren't using, and we think you should be using only best-in-class products across your entire beauty wardrobe—skincare, makeup, haircare, bath and body, wellness, and fragrance."


(Image credit: Courtesy of Violet Grey)

The emphasis is placed on quality over quantity, a gem of a standard that feels few and far between within an industry which, quite frankly, is starting to feel overstuffed in unnecessariness. And while yes, the majority of Violet Grey's offerings are investment pieces as far as our bank accounts are concerned, the goal is actually to decrease spending in favor of fewer, truly special pieces you'll love and reap major bang for your buck.

"Before our customers let us take care of them, most of them are typically hoarding an average of 75 products they aren't using!" Grey continues. "Keeping a serum you bought but don't like doesn't make any sense. Cosmetics expire, and they are just there sucking out the joy in your medicine cabinet. It's not like keeping those Manolos you never wear. You can't leave an old serum to your children!"

That said, if Grey could leave a serum (or any holy-grail beauty product Violet Grey keeps stocked) to her children, we would most definitely want to know what it would be. Considering the innumerable beauty and wellness items Grey comes in contact with, reviews, and uses on a daily basis, we had to know which items she loves and, in a more dramatic sense, simply can't live without. Ahead, she's choosing her favorite Violet Grey product babies and sharing the 12 staple beauty products she absolutely requires as part of her own high-standard beauty MO.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Violet Grey)
Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.