U Beauty founder Tina Chen Craig aptly chose Casino, Aisa Shelley’s first restaurant after Chinatown’s Mr. After the nightlife success of Fong’s and Primo’s in Tribeca. Inside, the East Broadway space was packed with celebrities from all walks of life, including Oscar de la Renta and Monse co-creative directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, American Ballet Theater principal dancer James Whiteside, and Diet Prada’s Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler . “I’ve known Tina for a long time—she’s an OG blogger,” Liu said. “We started testing her product before launch.” Skyler agreed. “Oh yeah, we’re totally lab people.”
Guests like Tina Leung, Nicky Hilton Rothschild and Stacey Bendet were also Craig’s close friends “lab people” who tested samples Some of U Beauty’s products are months before launch. Word of mouth about the brand’s skincare techniques quickly gained a cult following. “Nicky gave it to me,” says Hilton Rothschild’s Olivia Palermo, passing the Plasma Lip Compound (also a favorite of actress Emma Roberts) as the two hang out on the balcony. “Overnight, my lips were completely rejuvenated—it was amazing.” At the bar, a bowl full of tubes of the best-selling drug was emptied (“My kids were literally fighting over lip balm,” says Bendet) ), Craig stands among the Monse creations in a black cage, encouraging guests from the tables and bathrooms where the product is stocked.
“I’ve never hosted a dinner party for myself and our brand, so I was really nervous,” Craig admits, once chef Kenny Addington Addington served a delicious pumpkin treviso salad and crepe. She credits Kim (whom she buys by the dozen and reportedly smears the eye concentrate all over her face) to her original client and spoke to Violet Gray founder Cassandra Gray to learn about the new Resurfacing Body’s the “laser in a bottle” inspiration Compound (released April19). “Tina didn’t build an empire that quietly,” Gray added. “She builds in a way that inspires others to build, and when she throws a party for herself, we’re all here.”