Good call

The Dallas Morning News - - DALLAS BEAUTY ENTREPRENEUR D’ANDRA SIMMONS SLASHES - By HOLLY HABER

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.

Kye R. Lee/ Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher

“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.

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