Nathan Halsey never saw himself getting into the skin-care business. The Park Cities resident, originally from Corpus Christi, got his degree from Texas A&M and took a job in finance and investments.
“Learning the biology and science behind it has been a learning curve, for sure,” he said. “That’s been a continuing education process.”
A few things had to happen before he could become the CEO of Bellatorra Skin Care: the Ernst and Young alum first broke away from finance in 2008 with a “nutriceuticals” company that mainly focused on sleep aids and nutritional supplements. That gave him a first taste of the medicine.
“I had this light-bulb moment when I said, ‘God, no one’s really doing that with skin care,’” he said. “That’s what kind of started it — bringing a different way to deliver the ingredients to skin care that no one had really done before.”
Here’s the pitch: Bellatorra products release key ingredients deep into the skin over a 48-hour period.
The time-release element is meant to achieve greater absorption, and therefore better results. Halsey believes it to be the differentiating factor for the products.
“We spent about two years on [research and design] perfecting this nanotechnology, which is like a microscopic, encapsulated method of getting the key ingredients seven to nine layers deep,” he said.
Halsey brought in skin-care experts, had aestheticians test the products, and launched the products online in January.
The company’s dream retailers are Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New York, and Bergdorf Goodman. They’ve already secured a 12-month exclusive commitment with Barney’s, which will start in August, and the products will be featured in a similar store in Australia.
Right now, the line includes four key products: a cleanser, an “uplifting mist,” a moisturizer, and an eye cream.
Halsey plans to release a new product each quarter once the company goes brick-and-mortar.
“There are a lot of skincare brands out there,” he said. “It was a unique story that the retailers hadn’t heard before.”
Even though the products are not yet in stores, Bellatorra already has some devotees.
Kelly Sexton, a Houston resident who has a longstanding friendship with Halsey’s parents, began using the products when she was diagnosed with skin cancer in her lower eyelid in 2013.
“I had to have surgery … and I was having these itching complications,” she said. “So I quit using what the doctor told me to use and started using Bellatorra. I went back for a checkup, and he said ‘What are you doing, because it’s healing so much faster?’”
The flight attendant has since kept up her orders online and spread the word with friends.
“You can’t even tell I had a scar on my eye,” she said. “I try to do the more natural products, whether in vitamins or skin care, and this fit right in with that.”
And for Halsey, that’s the whole point.
“I like being knowledgeable about what products we can take that help longevity and just feeling good,” he said. “Skin care is a rewarding space because if a you take something and you feel younger and look better, it transforms you on the inside, too.”