"I worked my way up from the makeup counter to the board room, during a 15 year career spanning two continents - working for the biggest beauty brands on the planet. After having my two children, I set out to build a better future by creating a better way forward in an industry I love - beauty."
We asked Molly:
Why did you start HIGHR?
After I had children, 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 products in the makeup category 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?
While working in social media for all the big beauty brands, women were constantly asking questions about ingredients and safety. No matter how vocal they were, companies were always hesitant to share details. Once I had two children while working in the industry, the issue became personal to me. Like a lot of women, I was constantly screening products for safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding. When I started feeling hesitant to wear the products of the brands I was working for I knew there needed to be a better solution.
For decades, the beauty industry has been opaquely formulating products, with many compromised ingredients only allowable at certain percentages in each formula. At HIGHR, our argument is that categories like lip are ingested and skincare is absorbed - surely these categories make us more vulnerable and demand their own regulations. 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 favorite 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 manufacture 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, palm oils, and all microplastic ingredients in our formulating process. We then use an aluminium tube, and 100% recycled and biodegradable boxing, printed with vegetable ink. 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 offset a total of 12 metric tonnes 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 and plan to invest in our sustainability efforts further once we have more 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 color, 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. I also love it in the evening with a warmed up eye. Inspired by my favorite street in London.
A 90s supermodel nude with an added bit of warmth so that it never looks muddy. When we finally got this color right it was with me 24/7. 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 colors without much other makeup, but this one is an immediate pick me up on an otherwise bare face.