New beauty brand Lilah B. is bringing conscious consumerism to cosmetics.
“It’s a cluttered market, and women are always encouraged to buy more and use more products, but there’s definitely a change, not only in the beauty industry, but in the fashion industry, toward simplifying your purchases and buying high performing products, so you need fewer products to achieve a finished look,” said Lilah B. founder Cheryl Yannotti Foland. “That is where the whole idea of coming up with this simple, healthy, high-performance luxury brand came about.”
Foland didn’t always have entrepreneurial aspirations, but a friend named Lilah encouraged her to draw upon her lifestyle to start a brand. A long-time consultant with Arcade Marketing, where she advised brands such as CoverGirl, Olay, Benefit, Urban Decay and Bare Escentuals on their sampling programs, Foland changed when she moved from the East Coast to Northern California eight years ago. She cleaned up her beauty stash and her diet, and added a fitness regimen that included yoga, trail running and cycling.
“It was a much healthier lifestyle and that ended up trickling down to almost everything in my life, including my beauty routine,” said Foland. “That, coupled with the fact that I was working with big brands and seeing a lot of success when they took my advice, I wondered why wouldn’t I just try to do this myself.”
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When she did do it herself, Foland focused on packaging, formulation and functionality. Launching in April on Lilah B.’s Web site, the brand’s initial collection contains 13 stockkeeping units priced from $42 to $48 that Foland asserted handles the majority of women’s makeup needs. For example, there’s a lip and cheek duo in five shades that can create day or night looks. A bronzer duo has a light shade for a gentle glow as well as darker shade for a tanner tone.
Lilah B.’s pressed powder foundation comes in five shades ranging from light to dark. Foland explained, “Women have commented on what amazing coverage they give while feeling light and airy. They are buildable. They can cover certain blemishes by being concealer-like, or they can be very simple foundations for a simple palette.”
The product formulations feature aloe and sea algae to moisturize the skin. They are free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and phthalates, and employ natural preservatives. “We believe our formulations are healthy and good for you, while still maintaining high performance and being long wearing,” said Foland.
Foland worked with Lilah B. chief creative officer Gary McNatton, owner of the firm Through Smoke Creative and formerly senior vice president of personal care at Gap Inc., to develop the brand’s packaging. Inspired by pebbles blanketing the beaches of Southern Italy, most of Lilah B.’s products are encased in weighty white stones made from a blend of zinc, aluminum, magnesium and carbon.
“Women can’t put them down,” said Foland. “I wanted to achieve this very substantial, beautiful component that woman would covet. You pick them up, touch them, hold them and maybe collect them.” She added, “I think it is going to be giftable. I remember getting amazing gifts for different milestones from brands like Elsa Peretti and Tiffany. I am hoping that Lilah B. will give girls that feeling.”
For Lilah B.’s distribution, Foland is targeting spas and boutiques. In May, the brand will be available at Ron Robinson stores in Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Industry sources estimate Lilah B. will generate $3 million in first-year retail sales.