How does your flagship product, the In Your Face Water Tint, differ from a foundation?
in your face [water tint for face] is a skincare-first colour product. It’s infused with good-for-skin ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and aloe vera and chamomile to soothe redness. It also gives a super-sheer result, rather than fully caking your skin. So all the great things that make you, well…you can still shine through, like beauty marks and freckles, while gently blurring you out. And because it has a liquid-y texture (like water!) it applies and absorbs really smoothy and gives you comfort throughout the day.
Your shade range is fairly limited in comparison to brands like Fenty. Do you plan to expand?
Absolutely! I admit, we started small on our shade range to allow our community to challenge us with the right shade range. We want to hear about which tones are missing, so we can develop them. I wanted to create a line that truly works for people, and not just launch 50+ shades that might not be suitable.
Some people are wary about choosing a foundation online; how do you make the process easier for consumers?
We have a very simple shade finder quiz on our website that helps guide you to the right selection. We also offer a personal service if you’re still UN_sure – simply DM us a clear selfie and we’ll shade match for you. Plus, if it’s still not right once you’ve tried it out, we’ll exchange it free for the right shade. We are also about to launch a virtual try on to digitally try before you buy – more on that coming in the next few months!
Your dream is to move to a circular beauty economy - can you tell us more about what this means?
I love the concept of not producing any additional waste and using materials in the development process that otherwise would have gone to waste. Right now, I’ve focused on the packaging. The bottles are fully made from recycled materials, 30% from plastic waste that is littering the oceans just outside of Indonesia (one of the most polluted in the world). All other cardboard packaging is made from recycled materials too and come from FSC certified companies. We’ve also joined an eco-packaging alliance, so we plant a tree in areas of need for every batch of packaging for shipping we produce. Next, I want to focus on the ingredients that actually go into making our products.
UN_DID’s Instagram bio talks about undoing old beauty norms, biases & stereotypes. Why is this important to you on a personal level?
I’ve worked in the beauty industry for about 10 years now at some powerhouse brands and super disruptive challenger brands. I was starting to get what I call “beauty fatigue”. I’m part of the Asian and LGBTQ+ communities myself, and I never really felt like I was represented authentically or truly included in any beauty brands. I wanted to create a positive space where different communities could feel like they were part of beauty and were being portrayed in something they previously has been left out from. I don’t want to tell anyone how they should look or how to behave, because I felt trapped when that happened to me. I want to celebrate individual flair and personal panache everyday – that’s our everyday norm.
Having a gender neutral beauty brand is a great step forward, but is it more difficult to market as you have such a wide target audience?
I actually find being a gender inclusive brand opens up so many more opportunities to speak to people. For the launch of UN_DID, we went out on the streets and photographed just over 30 unique, different people. By focusing on real people (and not typical models), we were able to capture a range of faces that I think speak to a wide audience. It’s definitely something I want to continue into 2021.
Do you think that the beauty community is doing all it can to be diverse and inclusive?
There have been huge steps forward and it’s been amazing to see the change compared to 10 years ago. Having a good, diverse shade representation is important and since Fenty Beauty launched, many brands are almost trying to “outdo” each other by bringing out 50, 60 or even 100 different shades. For me, it’s not only about shade range. It’s also making sure that inclusivity is part of the DNA of beauty, that all communities feel they are represented and can emotionally connect to beauty ideals. For example, championing diversity on social media and profiling faces and stories of people from all walks of life. It’s my dream that UN_DID is authentically inclusive, and not tokenistic.
Your packaging is 100% recyclable - that’s incredible! What was the biggest challenge in this process?
Thank you! I won’t lie – it was really tough creating each individual piece of packaging in one material only. We had to do this to make sure it would be accepted in most local recycling programmes easily. We also had to balance this with making sure it looked great and did the job it is supposed to do. It took a lot of time to get it just right, and I had to educate myself very quickly on different materials!
What are your plans for UN_DID in 2021?
We’ve only just launched and are so excited for this year! There are 3 more products we’ve nearly finished developing – two in hand and body care and another skincare/colour multi-use product. We’ll also be focusing on developing our community by getting to know what they want or need, and bringing them closer to the brand development and content opportunities. It’s one of the best parts about running a small business – we can listen and learn from our community and make sure we adapt quickly for them.
Visit UN_DID at https://www.theundid.com/