When developing HIGHR Lipstick, I started out with an unheard of budget for our cost of goods. I knew that I wanted to use organic ingredients, and innovative clean skincare ingredients to actually treat the lip - because I CARED what was in my lipstick, and I thought other women might as well.
Here I'll take you through my process of developing HIGHR Lipstick and how the best lipstick of your life... came to life. ⭐︎
TRADITIONAL BEAUTY FORMULATING
The way this industry usually works is that a brand creates a new product by partnering with a big factory that services hundreds of other brands. Those factories usually have stock formulas that they sell to brands. The brand can either take it as is, or make a few tweaks to it, like adding a fragrance or scent, or adding a minuscule amount of ingredients they want to use in their marketing claims. This way of working is called “white labelling”. This is why it’s hard to find really clean formulas, because these big factories aren’t good at clean beauty. They’re good at using cheap ingredients and producing huge, massive amounts of products. This way of working has made cheap, harmful ingredients incredibly pervasive in the beauty industry.
At HIGHR, we create custom clean beauty from scratch, one product at a time, so that our focus is on making each and every product the cleanest and most effective it can be. While it’s a longer process, I believe that we deserve better products. After 15 years of working in big beauty, I no longer felt comfortable using the products from the brands I was employed by, and I knew there were more women out there who cared about what was going on their skin.
WHY LIPSTICK NEEDS TO BE CLEAN
HIGHR believes that lipstick is the single most important product to buy clean. Anything on your lips is ingested with every wear. The main offender ingredients in traditional lipstick are Polyethylene (plastic), Petrochemicals (from petroleum), PEGs (more plastic), silicone (bioaccumulates), acetates (toxicant), BHT (toxicant, irritant and linked to cancer), and Carmine (ground up bugs).
Now these are either really bad for you... or just gross, and we were dead set on getting rid of ALL of it, because who wants a luxury lipstick with a side of endocrine disruption? NOBODY.
FORMULATING HIGHR LIPSTICK
So how did we do this? Lots of trial and error. We started by creating a base formula of vegan, organic plant-based oils that would nourish the skin, then thickened it with plant-based organic butters that could evenly distribute colour on the lip. The expensive part was using organics that were sourced sustainably from areas they are indigenous to, and then elevating the formula with clean skincare ingredients.
We blended in innovative Hyaluronic Filling Spheres to visibly plump the lip so that the colour laid flat and smoooth. This version of Hyaluronic Acid has a low molecular weight, so the ingredient actually penetrates the dermis and plumps the lip from the inside out. Next we added in Organic Rosehip Oil and extracts known to promote collagen production. We also added in Ashwaghanda - an adaptogen - to further soothe the lip.
The final step was choosing a preservative system strong enough to protect the product from mold, bacteria and fungi and be deemed acceptable by the European Union - who requires a recognised preservative in all products on the market. We chose an innovative combination of Sodium Benzoate and Gluconolactone meant to also strengthen organic ingredients. This preservative system has conformance with ECOCERT/COSMOS, NATRUE and the Soil Association as well.
It was a long process. It took us about 2 years to finally finish the lipstick. The result is a high impact, incredibly clean lipstick that works just as well if not better than those big beauty brands I used to work for.
I can't wait for you to try it.
Let's get HIGHR.