Nyakio Grieco Wants You to Feel Seen

The Thirteen Lune co-founder discusses her new inclusive skincare brand, Relevant.

Nyakio Grieco Wants You to Feel Seen
Photo: Courtesy of Nyakio Grieco

If you thought Nyakio Grieco was done pushing the envelope, think again. Grieco, who co-founded Thirteen Lune—the beauty e-retailer that prioritizes POC-owned beauty brands—in 2020 is now launching her own skincare line, Relevant: Your Skin Seen. “My vision for Relevant is to take my two decades of experience in the beauty industry to find more ways to serve all people,” Grieco tells Coveteur from her Los Angeles home.

Grieco decided to create Relevant soon after Thirteen Lune launched. “[Through Thirteen Lune], I was able to understand where the gaps were in the market and fill those spaces,” Grieco explains. “I wanted to build a brand from the ground up with a skilled team that includes a diverse group of chemists to create a high-performance, science-led, and plant-based brand,” she adds. “I wanted to see products filled with ingredients that are safe for all skin tones.”

Relevant’s first launch is the One & Done Everyday Cream SPF 40—a lightweight moisturizer, mineral sunscreen, serum, and primer all-in-one. “It truly has everything that you need for daily care and is suitable on all skin tones without leaving a white cast,” Grieco explains. Additionally, it also contains their unique R-Rev Complex, “which protects and refines skin with a potent blend of antioxidant-rich superfruits and actives,” including plum oil, niacinamide, kigelia extract, buriti oil, sea buckthorn, and green tea. One also can’t forget to mention the squalane, hyaluronic acid, and apple and oat extracts equipped to “calm, nourish and moisturize all skin types.”

Below, Grieco shares more about what inspired her to develop this brand, the challenges she faced during the launch process, and more.

Photos: Courtesy of Relevant

How did you come up with the name "Relevant: Your Skin Seen?"

“The brand name speaks to ensuring that every person of every skin tone, age, background, and experience feels seen and relevant. I know as a Black woman beauty founder and consumer, we all deserve to see ourselves reflected on shelves for the beauty choices we seek. We’re here to make them feel welcome, included, and part of the narrative. Our innovation process was extraordinarily involved in terms of testing and revisions to ensure we’re being responsive to all needs.”

Why did you choose to launch with the Everyday Cream?

“I wanted to launch with the One & Done Everyday Cream SPF 40 because it truly has everything that you need for daily care being a 4-in-1 lightweight cream that can replace your daily moisturizer, serum, sunscreen, and primer. It provides mineral-based sun protection against UVA/UVB rays that is suitable on all skin tones—from the lightest to the darkest—without leaving a white cast.”

What were the biggest hurdles you faced during the launch process?

“For the first time in my 20-year career, I had the autonomy, runway, and support to create the brand of my dreams. Thanks to the support of my brilliant Thirteen Lune co-founder Patrick Herning and my creative team, I was given the runway to build a brand my way. I worked with a diverse mix of top chemists from Best Formulations, a genius group. I was able to go full stop with the ingredients and percentages necessary to make the products truly high-performance, cosmetically elegant, and suitable for all skin tones. We kept going until it was perfect. The whole process has been a joy!”

Photo: Courtesy of Relevant

What would you classify as the brand ethos?

“My vision for Relevant is to take my two decades of experience as a beauty founder and now a retailer to find ways to do better to serve all people. I wanted to do a deeper dive into ingredients that are safe for all skin tones and formulations don’t leave anyone out. Everyone has skin worthy of love and protection and we’re here to make everyone feel seen and cared for. The goal for the brand is making efficacious, multi-tasking products that work for everyone accessible. Care has been taken to ensure actives and percentages work for every skin tone. This is my passion—inclusive formulas that work beautifully for everyone. All skin should be seen, and Relevant is here to help do that.”

As a brand founder, what are some self-care practices that are important to you?

"Personal care is rooted in balance and focus. Making time with family and friends is paramount in my life. Dance recitals, school activities, game night, and playtime with our dogs. My husband started a vegetable garden in the backyard of our Los Angeles home during the earlier days of COVID. It’s now an oasis and the whole family has gotten in on it! My girlfriends are also the lights of my life, and I’m blessed to have such support from powerful, loving women.

I take time for gratitude each day. I’m blessed to have the love and support of so many people in my life and also take this time to focus on what I can do to support my community. Thirteen Lune was created to provide a platform and support for Black- and brown-founded brands while partnering with ally brands. To continue to elevate these founders while supporting young women is so important to me. Relevant: Your Skin Seen donates a portion of proceeds from purchases of our One & Done Everyday Cream with SPF 40 to Girls Inc. of Los Angeles, an organization that’s near and dear to my heart."

What is your hope for the future of the beauty industry?

“My hope is that the industry continues to celebrate people of all colors and skin tones. We saw a wave of change and recognition following the death of George Floyd and two years later this momentum continues. We’re eager to continue elevating Black- and brown-founded brands as well as ally brands.”

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