What a difference a discount can make. Dallas socialite D’Andra Simmons launched Hard Night Good Morning three years ago with a single facial cocktail retailing for $155. It was the brink of the recession, a tricky time to launch a pricey cream.
Stanley Korshak and some spas, including the Ritz Carlton, picked up the serum, which promises to tighten and rejuvenate skin. By December 2008, Simmons had extended the brand with cleansers, toner, moisturizers and a mineral mask.
It was difficult to gain shelf space until last year, when Simmons slashed prices by 60 percent.
Now Hard Night Good Morning is sold at 10 southwest Whole Foods, where it meets the grocer’s mandate for products free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, genetically-modified organisms and triclosan. It’s also sold at Cedar Springs Road’s Nuvo. This month, all eight Texas Central Market stores will stock the line. Simmons is pitching other chain retailers, too.
“I haven’t compromised the ingredients or changed anything from the original formulations,” Simmons says. “Really, you are getting the same thing you would get at a department store for $200 or more. I can make a name for myself with luxury at an affordable price.”
Rooted in aloe vera with minerals and herbal extracts, the products retail from $19.99 for the detox toner to $69.99 for the original facial serum; moisturizers are $34.99 to $39.99.
“My product is anti-aging with serious actives in it,” she says. “The first product tells my whole story — Hard Night Good Morning. It’s a lifter and tightener. You can see it in 15 minutes, a light, toned luminous quality. It wakes up tired skin.”
Simmons admits she’s had a lot of late nights. She spent a couple of years in Hollywood acting, directing and climbing through the rafters of sets working as a grip. (“I’m very handy with tying knots,” she says.)
Her boyfriend, Colin Duchin, is the son of bandleader Peter Duchin and a member of the rock band Kevin Martin & the Hiwatts. Simmons also chaired the 2011 Junior League Ball, which she likened to “planning a wedding and asking everyone in the community to donate to it.”
“The facial cocktail makes you look like you had a full night’s rest,” she claims. “It’s for women who have kids home, one sick, a busy CEO on the red-eye — it covers a multitude of problems. From that, I built my line.”
The treatments fall under the umbrella of her mother Dee Simmons’ company, Ultimate Living, which specializes in nutritional supplements. It’s actually D’Andra’s second skin line — she first developed natural treatments 15 years ago for her mother, a breast cancer survivor. They are sold under her mother’s name on Ultimate Living’s website. Simmons promotes her products — and other area entrepreneurs — on a 30-minute weekday TV show, Ultimate Living with D’Andra and Dee, broadcast in the metro area on KTAQ (Channel 47).
“I thought she needed to avoid as many chemicals as possible so she didn’t have a relapse,” she says. “I go to the lab with the chemist and put everything together. I can make every product myself.”
Holly Haber is a Dallasbased freelance writer.
“It covers a multitude of problems,” D’Andra Simmons says of her Hard Night Good Morning skincare line, which will be available at Nuvo, Whole Foods and Central Market, along with a 60 percent price cut.