From Long-Time K-Beauty Merchants, WYLYS Taps French Manufacturing To Bring Luxury Skincare Formulas To The K-Beauty Realm

From operating nearly 8-year-old K-Beauty e-tailer Ohlolly, sisters Sue Greene and Herra Namhie spotted a gap in the market based on their professional and personal perspectives.

“We are getting into our 50s, and we’re feeling that what we want in our skincare journey is something that will actually make some changes, a little bit more than just preventative or maintenance if you will,” says Greene. “So, as we were trying different formulations to bring to Ohlolly, we ended up deciding to create our own formulations that will actually work for our skin because we knew our customers would respond to that.”

She adds, “We also saw an opportunity to serve the community within the K-Beauty industry. We really don’t see independent, luxury brands coming out of Korea, it’s totally lacking. So, we thought that would be very special to bring that to the beauty world.”

WYLYS is starting with three topical skincare products: $188 Double Rose Luminizer, $195 Liquid V-Lift and $215 Nightinol Cream. LilyGlassPhotography

Creating their own formulations wasn’t as easy as picking up third-party formulations for Ohlolly. Greene and Namhie started developing WYLYS, their new luxury skincare brand, in 2019 and vetted at least 20 manufacturers to produce its products. A global pandemic intervened to slow the vetting process, but they ultimately chose a French manufacturer with the highest quality formulas they could find, but that came at a price, both to them and consumers.

Greene and Namhie poured roughly $250,000 into finalizing WYLYS, which stands for “when you love your skin” and is pronounced will-ess. The brand is kicking off with three topical skincare items—$188 Double Rose Luminizer, $195 Liquid V-Lift and $215 Nightinol Cream—and three skincare tool products: $25 Rose Quartz Spatula Facial Tool, $25 Jade Spatula Facial Tool and $60 Black Obsidian Gua Sha + Face Roller Set.

“What better than the spirit of K-Beauty with French wisdom?”

Greene and Namhie thought long and hard before choosing a French manufacturer for WYLYS and concluded it helped the brand’s positioning stand out as well as its products. “Because of our background in K-Beauty and us being Korean Americans, it made sense for us to continue down the K-Beauty lane, but we thought there were a lot of brands doing that. How do we bring something different and special to customers?” says Greene. “We ended up marrying the two best skincare worlds together. What better than the spirit of K-Beauty with French wisdom?”

The rich Nightinol Cream has 2% retinol. Diving into the ingredient deck, it contains three different kinds of vitamin A plus algae and ceramides to even skin tone and combat fine lines and wrinkles. Treatment serum Liquid V-Lift has a combination of vegan collagen and elastin, peptides, omega-3 fatty acids and baobab and licorice root extracts to boost firmness and vibrancy. Facial oil Double Rose Luminizer has rose and cold-pressed essential oils, including rose hip, lavender and geranium, to hydrate the skin.

WYLYS and Ohlolly co-founders Sue Greene and Herra Namhie

Namhie emphasizes WYLYS is interested in tried-and-true skincare ingredients over trendy flashes in the pan. She says the goal isn’t “poreless, no blemish so-called porcelain skin, but really the best skin that you love and feel comfortable in.” She continues the brand “really does represent the way we want to take care of our skin. It’s luxurious, and it’s about taking time for yourself.”

Next up for WYLYS’s assortment are the $89 brightening cream New Day Glow and $85 cleanser Complete Cleansing Balm. Further treatment skincare products are in the pipeline as are haircare and body care products. Not every topical product will be manufactured in France in the future, and Greene and Namhie expect to manufacture WYLYS in South Korea along with France.

“It’s luxurious, and it’s about taking time for yourself.”

WYLYS sells on Ohlolly’s website, and it has a website of its own. While Ohlolly’s core customers are in their late 20s to early 30s, Greene and Namhie envision WYLYS’s core customers to be in their mid-30s to early 40s. Last year, Ohlolly’s sales grew 26%. The e-tailer carries around 40 brands, and a few of its top-selling brands are Cosrx, Haruharu Wonder, Dr. Ceuracle, Beauty of Joseon and Mediheal.

Although WYLYS’s core customers are slightly older than Ohlolly’s core customers, Greene and Namhie introduced the brand first to a group of Ohlolly customers, specifically those that are loyal to it (they’ve purchased up to 80 times since the e-commerce site began) and gravitate to natural, cruelty-free beauty products. Clean, vegan and cruelty-free, WYLYS adheres to European cosmetic ingredient standards.

WYLYS combines French skincare manufacturing prowess with a K-Beauty understanding of the segment. For K-Beauty customers used to brands focused on prevention, its purpose is to offer powerful skincare based on tried-and-true ingredients to boost firmness and address the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

To spread the word beyond Ohlolly customers, the brand is reaching out to influencers focused on luxury. Already, Renée Chow, the influencer known as Gothamista, selected WYLYS’s Double Rose Luminizer for a box she curated for subscription box service Boxwalla last month. The selection led to customers quickly scooping up about 2,000 units of the product.

In a video highlighting the products in the box she curated for Boxwalla, Chow says of Double Rose Luminizer, “I’ve tried and love a lot of oil serums. This is probably the most unique and elegant texture I’ve experienced. It’s an oil serum that does not feel like one, if anything it feels like a hydrating serum texturally…The way this smells is really delicate, it’s subtle, and it’s not really flowery, it’s not overly earthy, it’s just a very balanced hint of scent.”

Greene and Namhie plan to expand WYLYS’s distribution beyond Ohlolly and the brand’s site. They peg upscale beauty retailers such as Violet Grey as a good fit for WYLYS initially and eventually hope to place the brand in Sephora. Spas are on their distribution roadmap, too. Namhie says, “We really stand behind these formulas and feel that people who deal with skin will know how effective they are.”