Name: Tina Hedges
Brand: LOLI Beauty
Established: Launched March 2018
Hometown: New York City
What motivated you to start LOLI Beauty?
At heart, I’m a beauty shaman – think of me as a combination of a magical herbalist meets former beauty industry executive inspired by pure, superfood ingredients and their potent effects for skin, hair + body. Of Cuban heritage, I grew up in Jamaica where I learned to use powerful botanicals harvested from the Caribbean sea and the Blue Mountain to help restore balance to both the body and the soul.
Then I ended up in the multinational beauty industry at companies like Estee Lauder and L’Oreal where I learned the science behind skin, hair, body and makeup products, before launching my entrepreneurial adventure with the first vegan, sulfate free hair care brand featured on Bravo TV’s reality show, Blowout, in 2005.
A few years and many start-ups later, it became apparent to me that I had unconsciously participated in the dirty business of beauty. It was at this moment, when I experienced simultaneously a crisis of health and a crisis of consciousness, that became the catalyst for my mission to make a clean + conscious change in beauty.
When the world is experiencing water scarcity and there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish for 2050, why are we encouraging consumers to purchase beauty products diluted with 80-95% water, polluted with toxic chemicals and synthetics and over-packaged in single use plastic? It’s so obvious that it’s time for a new, truly sustainable approach to beauty.
LOLI Beauty (www.lolibeauty.com) is my dharma. Even the name encompasses our mission – LOLI stands for Living Organic Loving Ingredients. I knew that I needed to create the world's first zero waste, superfood skincare brand. Our MADE SAFE® certified products are upcycled from organic food supply, waterless, vegan and cruelty free. Our packaging uses recyclable, reusable and garden compostable materials.
What would you consider your hero product from your brand?
Our Plum Elixir is truly unique – it’s a multitasking beauty oil that instantly hydrates skin, hair and lips, and restores suppleness. It’s upcycled from the kernel of a very rare, organic French plum called the Ente plum. Plum kernel oil is a superfood oil that’s even more powerful than argan or marula. Just a few drops is all you need and it even replaces both your serum or moisturizer. It’s also waterless, food grade, MADE SAFE® certified, vegan and cruelty free.
What standards/non-negotiables do you take into consideration when thinking about enhancing or developing new products?
For LOLI Beauty, our zero waste commitment is non-negotiable – we consider all our touchpoints. We source by upcycling pure and powerful ingredients from organic superfoods, we formulate without water and with minimal processing so our ingredients are raw and potent, and then we package using recycled, recyclable, refillable and garden compostable materials. We’re also plastic negative and offer carbon free shipping. If it’s diluted, toxic or polluting it’s not for us. Our philosophy is that we won’t build our happiness on someone else’s unhappiness.
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges for "beauty/wellness" brands today?
With the increased attention on clean beauty, it’s super easy for a brand to fall into “greenwashing” of ingredients or even “plastic washing” for packaging. Too many brands rely on their suppliers and vendors for the information on ingredient purity or packaging sustainability and they don’t do their own investigation. Everyone needs to educate themselves and take responsibility for the facts – like the debate on aluminum versus plastic. We looked long and hard into what was the best alternative and found that mining virgin aluminum was far worse and had a more negative impact on the planet than using recycled and reusable plastic for our caps. We only use aluminum if it’s recycled.
What has been one of your proudest moments since creating LOLI Beauty?
Wow. There have been so many, but truly for me it was when we won the CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) Beauty Award for Sustainability Excellence beating out several multinational and huge brands. That was our David & Goliath moment.
What can we expect in the future from LOLI Beauty?
Our focus is to bring the waterless, food grade and zero waste approach to categories like soap, deodorant, hair care and even some select color & lip care products.
For Spring 2021, we’ll be launching a super innovation in the anti-acne moisturizing space we’re super excited about too.
We’re also working with lots of cutting edge packaging companies to transform packaging into worm food and fertilizers.
What advice would you give customers who want to make the most out of your brand?
Less is always more. We develop our products so that they’re the ultimate multitaskers – you can use each product to replace 2-3 items in your beauty cabinet. And since we only use potent levels of our ingredients, and never dilute with water, a little goes a long way.