If you were thinking of launching a beauty brand, organic skincare wouldn’t be a bad
move – according to the Soil Association the market grew by 24 per cent in the UK
alone last year (its seventh consecutive year of growth), with sales of around £75.9 million. However, while organic skincare has been gaining ground and reputation, organic make-up has lagged behind a bit – in truth, the textures have left a lot to be desired.
Well, not any more. Earlier this year Dr Hauschka relaunched its offering and now The Organic Pharmacy has, too, hoping to up its cosmetic ante. The brand’s founder Margo Marrone has spent two years reformulating and repackaging the range, working hard to make everything as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible, with lipglosses and even mascaras coming in sleek glass tubes, while powders are housed in cardboard compacts slipped into envelopes (all the paper, by the way, is made from hemp, bamboo and bagasse). Marrone says: ‘I wanted to try to compete with the gold standard, but in an organic formula. I didn’t want someone to use the products [feel disappointed] and say, “Yes, well…it is organic” – and it’s been a challenge.’ The biggest issue is colour; organic offerings, explains Marrone, ‘can’t provide the wide shade choice of non-organic brands. Until recently, there really wasn’t a pink or red that you could get from nature – not one that would be stable – but we have managed to do it from plant pigments.’
The result is a simple collection built around the basic products most women use daily and, while the colour spectrum may not be vast – the Volumising Balm Gloss (£25) comes in red, pink, coral and clear sparkle; the Sheer Glow Liquid Blush (£19) in three shades – the textures are really impressive. Marrone’s personal favourite is the Skin Perfecting Highlighter (£19) – ‘It’s so dreamy, even my 20-year-old daughter wants some’. Meanwhile the Hydrating Bronzer (£39) can hold its own and the Hydrating Foundation (£45), which comes in four shades, is truly top notch. ‘While we can’t offer the vast choices of brands such as Fenty Beauty – it’s just not possible,’ says Marrone, ‘we’ve instead concentrated on the shades that are most popular with our customers.’ So, if you can find one that suits you, this is good – and feel-good – stuff.
The new Organic Pharmacy make-up collection launches on Thursday; there will be a waiting list operating online at theorganicpharmacy.com
Right up our street
Beauty offerings from the high street are gaining pace. First Marks & Spencer wowed us with its Lifeology skincare range: the Lemongrass & Thyme Fragranced 2-in-1 Body Lotion (£4, marksandspencer.com) absorbs quickly and smells fresh. Now Urban Outfitters has launched its beauty brand Ohii. Full marks to the Daydream Hand Cream in Almond (£8), which smells just like marzipan. Available at urbanoutfitters.com and in selected stores.
His and hers…
The rise of unisex beauty (products and packaging that can speak to anyone) continues with the launch of snipper-to-the-stars Larry King’s hairstyling brand. For his new range, this charming man, whose clients include supermodels David Gandy and Arizona Muse, has created a Velvet Texture Clay (£22, larryking.co.uk), Volumizing Hair Mist (£29) and, our favourite, A Social Life For Your Hair (£23), a satin finishing cream that tames and shines all hair types.
Meanwhile, the dapper environmentalist activist David de Rothschild has his The Lost Explorer Traveler’s Protection Balm (from £28) for all – a botanical salve to rub on chests and under nostrils to help prevent illness. All net profits from the balm go to projects that protect nature. Available from libertylondon.com and contentbeautywellbeing.com.
Feature by Edwina Ings-Chambers