Hailey Bieber was in London last night for the Rhode launch party. Justin was there with her along with a handful of other celebrities, including Lewis Hamilton in a black and tan animal print set under a long jacket.
He looks amazing, as usual.
Seeing these photos reminded me that I was at the Rhode launch in Toronto a few weeks ago and I’m not sure I’ve covered it yet. So if you’re interested, let’s start with the product.
I’m still not done my current serum and moisturiser but I am using the Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment which is the one that gets the most buzz and can confirm, it’s very good. And I don’t typically do gloss because I hate the way it feels – it’s either sticky or too watery and if it’s not sticky and watery enough it doesn’t show up. Rhode’s product doesn’t feel gross on the lip and you can see it. I don’t wear it for TV but I use it for real life when I’m not wearing much makeup and the effect is pretty and fresh, especially for this time of year.
As for the event itself and seeing Hailey – this was a small party, maybe about 50 people, tops, most of them influencers or beauty editors. What surprised me was that it was a sit-down dinner because that’s way more intimate than a cocktail where the celebrity can just breeze in, do the standard, and then bounce. A sit-down dinner requires a lot more time, and Hailey actually sat down for dinner…and stayed. For over two hours. And it wasn’t like she was barricaded away from people by security or handlers. There was a publicist with her but she was accessible, and made herself accessible.
In fact, that’s how we ended up talking to her, because she came up to us and hung out with us for a solid ten and the conversation was casual and spontaneous, and it wasn’t like she was a robot spewing planned talking points either. She’s quick, she knows how to run with a joke, she can handle and dish out harmless sarcasm, frankly a more interesting and engaging conversationalist than I actually gave her credit for, which is unfair of me, I know. And I came away from our exchanges (we ended up chatting quickly at the end) thinking that it would be fun to hang with her, something I really didn’t expect at the beginning of the night.
Also, the other thing that surprised me when we took a photo together for the house photographer was that she actually put her hand around my waist. This is notable because a lot of the time, celebrities when they stand next to you come off like if you’re not famous, you’re gross, and they don’t want to come near you. Hailey had me in a waist grip by comparison and it wasn’t unpleasant, I think I enjoyed it.
As for Justin, he wasn’t supposed to be there and came to surprise her. So that was a thing – he arrived ahead of her, dashed back into the kitchen, then came out when she showed up, but somehow he did it in a way where he didn’t make it all about himself? And it was like that the rest of the night too. Like he was there, and he took over the music after dessert when it turned into club vibes, and at one point I saw him kinda doing a dance-walk towards her while mouthing the words and she was laughing, but none of it felt like he was ME ME ME-ing and sucking up all the oxygen in the room.
Somehow he was low-key and was able to walk that balance of being JUSTIN BIEBER but also Hailey’s husband?! I don’t know if I’m describing it well but suffice to say, there was no Timberlake energy happening and I know, I’m a bit amazed myself at what I’ve just written.
The takeaway, then, at least for me is that she’s smart. Hailey was there to do business, her business, her skincare, and so the goal was connection, to make people feel like she was present, that she appreciated the interest in her product, and to leave them with a good impression, good enough to give her product a chance. Even if all of what I’ve just described was strategic, it’s still solid strategy. Hailey’s job was to sell herself…and she nailed it.