Tina Hedges had her light-bulb moment during a shopping trip in New York’s Chelsea Market. Eyeing the jugs of oil and vinegar on tap at The Filling Station, Hedges, a beauty industry veteran who cut her teeth at L’Oréal and The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., thought to herself, “Why can’t women experience beauty the way they experience food?”
Thus was born Loli Beauty — the online, direct-to-consumer beauty brand that allows customers to customize their own clean beauty products across the skin, hair and body categories. Loli stands for Living Organic Loving Ingredients.
Hedges, who is Loli’s founder and chief executive officer, officially launched the brand this month, after testing the model for more than a year and closing its Seed round of funding earlier this summer.
The Loli process works like this: Customers select one of three categories — hydrate, cleanse or treat. From there, they can choose an all-natural base formula, such as blue cornflower water for cleansing or matcha coconut paste for treating acne. Depending on what base a customer has chosen, a list of mix-ins is available, also all-natural ingredients — from royal manuka honey for revitalizing and aloe juice for calming. Customers are sent products separately, with instructions for blending themselves. The total assortment includes 10 pre-blended, ready-to-use bases and 20 mix-in ingredients. Prices range from $38 to $78 for a base and $8 to $58 for a mix-in — ingredients can be purchased separately as well.
Hedges is committed to making the brand as natural and sustainable as possible — all ingredients are food-grade, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, cruelty-free, fair trade and organic. Ingredients and bases are packaged in food-grade glass containers.
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She views Loli as a brand sitting at the intersection of four major beauty trends — organic, direct-to-consumer, personalization and experiential retail. Though there are no plans for a brick-and-mortar store just yet, Hedges said the concept translates perfect — during her test-launch last year, she watched scores of customers line up to create their own beauty products at a Loli Beauty pop-up inside the Urban Outfitters in Herald Square.
“The head of events and retail said this was the first time ever in the history of the store that sales associates clocked out and stayed in the store [after work hours] to wait an hour to [get] their own Loli product,” said Hedges. “[The beauty industry] has told women that they need to buy into a regimen of 20 ingredients, but the main ingredient is water — such a magic happens when you can create your own pure, potent and personalized product.”