My Process for Formulating HIGHR Lipstick
HIGHR exists to recreate the lip category to protect people and planet. We believe that your lip products are your most invasive beauty products (the only ones that you ingest) and that there is too much wastage in cosmetics. We set out to create HIGHR Lipstick with this in mind, focusing on using organic + plant ingredients for our formula and developing a process with the lightest impact on the planet.
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 shade 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 20 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.
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 pure vitamin E (Tocopherol), which is an effective and natural preservative for oil based products.
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.
This is beauty but HIGHR.