The grooming/skincare industry is scarcely tapped for male-specific companies. But Horace is doing things differently. While most mainstream beauty brands are tailored to the needs of women, Horace is prioritising natural grooming for guys and sees its products only as the first step. “Mainstream brands stop at products; we go beyond,” co-founder Marc Briant-Terlet says in an email interview. And truly, Horace does surpass partial market conventions. Alongside Kim Mazzilli, co-founder and longtime friend of Briant-Terlet, Horace operates by a framework that values the thoughts and opinions of its consumers above all. It’s an amicable approach and a direct-to-consumer commercial structure, but one that the duo have swayed to work in their favour. Consumers become actively involved in the development of the business and can clearly see the effects of whatever feedback they may have given. What’s more, the primping pair host weekly Q&As across social platforms and have a team of five people dedicated to responding to the thousands of online user messages received each month. They even provide advice to consumers through both online and France-based boutique advisors and engage in answering all queries. “Men have a lot of questions,” the twosome start to say, noting the disregard for men’s grooming that prevails. “All the more so that they rarely talk about beauty with each other.”
The pair share a remarkable bond, and it’s this enduring connection that eventually led to Horace. “One day, we were discussing the beauty products we use, and how much we would love a better brand for us and our friends. Then we decided to go for it,” they say. Initially attracted to the grooming business by their own self-proclaimed high maintenance beauty routines, the progression to build a business felt relatively ensuing. Since their teens, both men have adored beauty products and the pleasure and care that they can provide; why should they not? In the words of Briant-Terlet: “It feels good to take care of yourself.”
Horace is simple, affordable, accessible, and both economical and democratic in every sense, existing solely to help every man to feel comfortable in their skin. “We make sure to represent all men: ethnicity, age, body, hairiness; it’s important to feel seen,” the two beauty gurus say. “All men must be able to find products they can afford, they can understand and get results from.”
All Horace formulas are at least 95% naturally derived, manufactured entirely sans sulphates, mineral oils, silicones or any other harmful ingredients, which is not only admirable but imperative. This affinity for nature is also a core tenet for the brand, as it avoids ingredients from invasive plants so as to preserve our existing ecosystem, and it bids to fund nature preservation charities. “Nature is rich and powerful in terms of its ingredients,” Briant-Terlet and Mazzilli say. “We can extract hyaluronic acid from wheat; AHA from grapefruits; and it’s all biodegradable – it’s amazing.”
As the summer months slow their roll and the winter creeps upon us, Briant-Terlet and Mazzilli have dreams of traversing Horace’s French borders and to open a streamlined boutique in London. On top of this, they have just launched travel-sized versions of their best selling products so that they’re even more effortless to take with you when you head to the beach or get jet setting. Either way, Horace has got your back.
Photography courtesy of Horace.