Text Yasmeen Kaoosji Photography Gelcream
In this day and age, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone in your circle who isn’t on Instagram. The social network has become an indispensable part of our everyday life. Whether you’re a casual user or a serious one who does it for the ‘gram and goes to great lengths for #content, you probably use the app at least once a day.
While we all have our favourite accounts, you have to admit that some feeds are just nicer to look at than others. One such beauty account is Gelcream. And it’s shrouded in a bit of mystery, so we had a look around to see who, or what, Gelcream is.
On 20th May, 2016, a user called Gelcream made their first post on Instagram of a graceful hand holding a bottle of perfume oil. This was followed quickly by two more posts with the same set up, showing Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Oil (with a dribble of the algae-coloured oil on the hand’s wrist) and Fresh’s Seaberry Moisturising Face Oil. Each post is accompanied by a caption that includes the product’s name, a review, the price, and a rating on a scale of 1 – 5.
But who, or what, is Gelcream? And why do they seem to have the beauty collection of our dreams? Their Instagram bio, “Gelcream is a texture,” and is categorised as a magazine. Some digging led us to a Fashionista.com article, where it was revealed that Gelcream is run by Yana Sheptovetskaya, who used to be a stylist at AnOther magazine and a fashion editor at Vogue Russia! She’s based in California now, and started Gelcream in 2016 to write about her experiences with beauty products. In fact, her instagram handle is derived from a Clé de Peau gel-cream perfume.
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@cledepeaubeauteus — Parfum Gel-crème! Yes, gel-cream perfume. Why? I don’t know but I am super into this idea. You apply it behind your ears, around your neck and on the wrists. It claims to adapt to your body temperature and this technology allows it to be active for 8 hours. Much luxury! They should send a box of mini Champaign bottles with it so you get the full experience: at least that’s how I want to use it: 🥂👸🏽. Would you buy a gelcream perfume? 3 or 4/5 — $300, I don’t know how to rate it. It’s kinda cool because this particular one is so over the top. You get a golden spatula. *remember Cle De Peau allows its products to be tested on animals in order to sell in countries where it’s required by law. UPDATE: Scent is still here after 5 hours! I don’t notice it but I asked around and it’s here and people say it’s nice! 🙂
The one that started it all!
IT’S A MOOD
A scroll through the feed shows a strong identity – each caption follows a similar format and the beauty product being reviewed is also almost always held in Sheptovetskaya’s hand, except for a number of special series, which have featured products in transparent packaging, soaps, and beauty oils.
The #gelcream_travel series is a spin on the usual setup, with the products shown against an airplane window. While Sheptovetskaya encourages her followers to use the hashtag and often reposts their snaps, she has not been shy about calling out brands that have imitated this concept without proper credit.
Gelcream also produces Instastory-based series such as Gelcream History, Gelcream Handbook, Gelcream Research, sound reviews (of the sounds different sprayed products make) and a ‘reminder’ highlight that shows dreamy videos of glasses of water, reminding followers to hydrate; after all, that’s one of the secrets to good skin. We especially love how thorough the Shiseido history one is!
Aside from Instagram, Sheptovetskaya also produces commissioned editorial pieces for beauty outlets such as Into The Gloss and British Vogue. In these, we see that the Gelcream aesthetic is always present but adapts to suit the project. As hands are often the only human element in the Gelcream pictures, a number of outlets have featured Gelcream hand care guides.
Scrolling through her feed, it’s easy to see why Gelcream has taken off with beauty lovers. The feed is well curated, beautiful, and uncluttered, and gives off a calm, soothing vibe. The minimal setup is familiar and grounding in an age of clutter and overstimulation. It’s also quite refreshing to visit a beauty portal that doesn’t feature any selfies or images of faces, as we’re all too familiar with the desire to nitpik or compare ourselves to perfect-looking models. In fact, we don’t even see a picture of Sheptovetskaya’s face, but we’re intimately familiar with her hands.
When asked about her beauty philosophy, Sheptovetskaya told Into The Gloss:
“I must say, though, that my focus is health. You only look radiant when you’re mentally and physically happy. I don’t buy beauty products to contour and change my appearance or hide bad skin… I buy them to have some fun, right?”
This is definitely a refreshing take on beauty, and we can’t wait to see more from Gelcream land!