We asked Molly:
Why did you start HIGHR?
After I had children while working in beauty, I started rethinking everything. Like a lot of women, I was constantly screening products for safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I was shopping more consciously across the board and was looking for makeup that didn't exist. I wanted super clean, luxury products that didn't cost double what the product usually costs. I also became deeply concerned about the climate crisis and the environment to which we would leave our kids and was looking for ways to get involved.
When it was time to go back to work after my second maternity leave, I knew that if I had to leave my kids at home that I wanted to be doing something better with my time, and contributing to something positive. That’s when I set out to rebuild a beauty brand that had a higher purpose.
What is your approach to clean beauty?
Listening to women's comments about ingredients in beauty products while working in social media for the big beauty brands deeply affected me and started my own research into clean beauty.
For decades, the beauty industry has been opaquely formulating products, with many compromised ingredients only allowable at certain percentages in each formula. At HIGHR, we believe that the lip category is too invasive to not be clean. That is why we’re starting with lipstick - we believe that your lip products should be the first clean swaps you make.
It was also important for us to not make clean products for the sake of being clean. We wanted to use pure, organic ingredients blended with clean actives to not just create clean options, but to make them your favourite products because they perform better than traditional versions.
How is HIGHR doing anything different in terms of sustainability?
This is an important question. For HIGHR to exist, I knew we had to scrap the way this industry worked in order to drive real sustainable change. For us sustainability goes far beyond just how our products are packaged. We committed to redoing the way products are made completely - and focusing on one product at a time. We focused on reducing carbon emissions by using 100% solar energy to formulate HIGHR Lipstick. We then formulate with 100% vegan, plant-based ingredients, and extend our strict clean beauty rules to ban anything that can bioaccumulate or harm water, wildlife, or biodiversity. It's not widely known but there are microplastics in every top lipstick on the market (look for the ingredient Polyethylene on the side of the box). We banned your traditional silicones and all microplastic ingredients in our formulating process. We then use 100% upcycled and biodegradable boxing, printed with vegetable ink, for all single use packaging in our supply chain. Taking it then one step further, we track and offset all operational carbon in our supply chain to become 100% carbon neutral. To date we've saved and negated a total of 13.1 metric tons of carbon and our donations are helping fund clean water filters in developing countries who usually have to cut down trees to boil their water.
We still have some work to do in terms of investing in making HIGHR Lipstick a refillable solution, which we plan on doing as soon as we have enough revenue.
What's next for HIGHR?
We have big plans and some incredible products coming out. We believe in fewer, better products, ensuring we use ingredients in their purest form while delivering impactful results. Follow us on Instagram and sign up for our newsletter because we'll turn to our community to input into product development and give them first notice on releases!
How I wear HIGHR
This is the first shade we created. We added a touch of terracotta brown to it so its a wearable, 70s style red. It also photographs true to colour, instead of going bright under a flash.
Truest is a cool rose that's ultra flattering. This shade looks amazing blotted for an effortless wash of colour, or deepened with a couple swipes. If you feel like you have too many pink lipsticks, definitely try Truest (and let me know what you think!).
The white t-shirt red lipstick. For me this candy red is a fun daytime red, and I wear it with barely any other makeup. Definitely my go-to Zoom colour. Inspired by my favourite street in London.
A 90s supermodel nude with an added bit of warmth so that it never looks muddy. When we finally got this colour right I ran out of my tube within a few weeks. It's an everyday staple, and my out to dinner go-to when I do more of an eye.
Mercy is the grown-up pink. It has an equal balance of warm and cool tones, and is an amazing "my lips but better" lipstick. I wear all of these colours without much other makeup, but this one is an immediate pick me up on an otherwise bare face.