In a promotional video shared on Instagram for his long-awaited beauty brand debut, Patrick Starrr addresses the elephant in the room before anyone has the chance to type out a cynical comment: "Another beauty brand? You damn right." It's not lost on the longtime creator that there's a lot, and maybe even too much, on the beauty market today. But he's betting on himself — and the core values that have amassed him millions and millions of fans and subscribers — to be the big differentiator.
With that, Patrick Starrr's ONE/SIZE officially entered the beauty arena on July 17, committing to elevate and make space for everyone in the beauty community, leaning into Starrr's motto that, "makeup is a one/size fits all." While ONE/SIZE plans to release innovative formulas and products to keep consumers engaged, much like Starrr's content, the brand plans to leverage authentic, meaningful storytelling, too. It's with this in mind that the decision was made to something largely unconventional for a beauty creator turned brand founder — Starrr launched One/Size with not one makeup product for sale.
The brand's debut launch, available exclusively at both Sephora and OneSizeBeauty.com, includes two makeup removal products that make up the cheekily named Go Off collection: The Go Off Makeup Dissolving Mist ($24), a slippy, non-sticky mist that dissolves makeup off the skin seemingly instantly; and the Go Off Juiciest Makeup Remover Wipes ($15), double-sided, supersized (eight inches!), drip-less wipes that refresh and hydrate the skin as it removes everything on your face.
The reveal initially confused fans, which is understandable, given just how well Starrr works with color cosmetics in all of his work. But to launch his first big brand, the creator drew on one of his most formative moments in the beauty world for ONE/SIZE's first offering.
"Once upon a time working in retail, I was asked to take off my makeup because it was too much, not the standard," Starrr tells NYLON over the phone. "I remember crying that day at work quietly and removing my makeup to make a more normal look. As much as I am promoting makeup, I feel like I should be promoting makeup removals. You have a beautiful canvas to paint on every day that we're able to glam."
This personal experience has been weaved into every bit of ONE/SIZE, from the launch products to the campaign imagery, and it's this direction of the brand's honest narrative that Starrr believes will work in its favor — in the same way his candor has built such a supportive community around his work as an influencer.
"If you hear [someone say] 'taking up space' or making a space for my own, you would automatically think like pushing and carving out, almost like a sandlot to create a home, you know? Whereas my mind, which I learned from Momma Starrr, is instead of just carving out a space and putting up barriers in a sense for me to create my own landscape that is Patrick Starrr, I have allowed camaraderie and community to create a more beautiful ecosystem we can all thrive on," he says. "We're all putting on lipstick. We're all putting on lashes. It's a matter of how we shape our voice. And at the end of the day our audience is able to see that. And I think it's really cool and special when they're able to resonate with our sense of community and love being One Size."
Ahead, Starrr spoke with NYLON about his role in the development of ONE/SIZE, boys in beauty, and the pressure that comes with being known for embracing your insecurities.
What was your role in the product development for ONE/SIZE, from conception to formulation?
It was really understanding what I was already naturally doing in my routine. I was so frustrated and turned to this spray, this is our ONE/SIZE Go Off Makeup Dissolving Mist. I remember those [cleansing] balms were all the rage, but those balms would get stuck under my nails and in my eyes, and I would be blind like Velma in Scooby Doo trying to look for my glasses, and it was just a mess. So this is a hands-free, water-free, concentrated mist. And I was like, 'Oh my God, I just want something like that. But I don't want to touch my face, get under my nails.'
With the wipes, all my wipes would be so dry. And I just wanted one — I felt so wasteful using five wipes just to get all of my cake off. So I came up with the idea of the Go Off Juiciest Makeup Remover wipes. They're super large. I had the Drag Queens in mind. Double-sided, super plush, super juicy, not sopping wet. And the combination of the Go Off Juiciest Makeup wipes with a One Size Go Off Makeup Dissolving Mist kind of solved the problems for me. This is the ultimate duo for me, the iconic duo for me.
With so many other options on the market today, what do you ultimately want a ONE/SIZE customer to feel when engaging with the brand and products?
Beautiful. Beautiful. If I can stand in front of millions of people, bald-headed, coming out. Vulnerability is everything. And for many, many years, I have emphasized [that] life opens up when you do. Have courage and be kind. And as I've spoken about those things in the past, I continue to take that and the Patrick Starrr DNA to try and squeeze it into the ONE/SIZE DNA, because at ONE/SIZE we operate through kindness. That is something that I want people to understand. And when I say operate through kindness, I don't mean just for other people, but be kind to yourself because in this day and age, especially with COVID and quarantine, we're becoming more self-deprecating. We're questioning our decisions, we're questioning our self-worth.
But for me, I think with all of my blessings, with the utility of Sephora, as my exclusive partner and Luxury Brand Partners and my team at ONE/SIZE and the small team of eight on Patrick Starrr's team, I really want people to see themselves in the brand and just know that they're beautiful through their vulnerability, starting with themselves.
Do you ever feel a pressure to remain confident and vulnerable, or to maybe portray yourself in a certain way, because so many fans are looking to you as a role model and as an influence?
Yes and no. Pressure always all day every day. And that's why I created ONE/SIZE; it's great all day, everyday products, but [it's] beyond products. If you look at me as a founder at the end of the day, I don't go to bed like this. I wish I did. I don't wake up like this. I wake up as an overweight, bald, Asian-American man in a society that is deemed not by standard or not the norm, you know? So I surprise myself every time that people come up to me or if I get some sort of recognition because it's an insecurity of mine. But what I've done in the past is I've taken the insecurity and try and use that as my opportunity as our key player, to really iron out what I am to create with this brand, whether it's culturally or product facing. And so it's just exciting to me that I'm able to develop this community that hasn't been seen before. I mean before for people like me.
You have a lot of fun with your looks, going from a full-bodied bouncy wig and a full face, to no makeup, embracing your baldness, and giving us beard. Was there ever a time where you felt confined with the idea of gender identity?
No, I've always loved Patrick and Patrick Starrr. And the reason why I chose to express myself and from the outside gender-bending per se, would be to show women that they can do it too. I found in [beauty] retail when I worked there, a lot of women would be like, 'Oh, this is so beautiful, but I can never do that.' And I said, 'Sweetie, if I'm a man and I can live like this, so can you, you got it. You can do it.' I want to continue that sentiment by showing my range as a person. Like it's just so crazy, even down to my bald head, which you'll see in future photographs, from the campaign and Sephora, what founder is going to be bald and [is] Sephora's face?
There weren't a lot of men involved in the beauty space when you started, but that's changed, largely because of you and your work. How do you see perceptions changing about who can participate in beauty?
It's the power of social media. I'd like to read a text that I got from my friend, Manny MUA. If I may share, he texted me literally the other day, he said, 'Who would have thought low-key paving the way for boys in beauty and now having your own brands would be a thing? So crazy.' And this was a combination with his congratulations towards me and my launch and announcement as a brand. So that was something so cool to have started with him back in 2014, we're talking six years now. And to see the wave of traditional and linear media participate in highlighting a culture that has never before been seen. You see RuPaul's Drag Race, you see Pose, you see Legendary, you see, We're Here on HBO.
That's why as Patrick Starrr, I've really been so excited to collaborate with these celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Naomi Campbell, or Katy Perry, Miss Universe, to really leverage my visibility as a unique person in the LGBTQ community, to highlight that anything is possible.
It's just crazy that for the community, a little boy from Orlando, Florida is able to transcend beyond my means as a Filipino American first-generation in the U.S. to really showcase that it is possible. If you can take a peek, if I can give you a picture of what's in my DMS, the Philippines is going crazy. Like they're so proud. These people are so proud. The LGBTQ community is so proud. And with the color red of the brand, red stands for love. Red stands for being bold. It's a stop sign. I want you to stop in your freaking tracks and take notice to ONE/SIZE.