The Under $22 Skincare Brand That Sells 1 Product Every 30 Seconds
Welcome to Off the Grid, our column that investigates the beauty products you're seeing slip into the Explore pages of your Instagram with their beautiful packaging and styling. We're spotlighting those (not-so) hidden gems of the beauty world to see if those growing brands on social media are really worth the hype.
Tracking the rising trend of high performance, accessible skincare brands such as The Ordinary and Beauty Pie, The Inkey List co-founders, Mark and Colette had an inkling that they were on to a good thing. However, they quickly realised there was one problem nobody else was focused on solving — beauty confusion.
Liken it to decision fatigue, beauty confusion is something we've all experienced, regardless of how engrossed in the beauty world we might be (sometimes the more you know the less you know, right?).
When asked if simplifying skincare is what sets the brand apart, Colette explained that solving beauty confusion is embedded in The Inkey Lists DNA.
"Being accessible was not unique anymore. We went off the insight that there's still one in five people in most markets that are not using high-end skincare, and the reason we think that is is that there is too much confusion, too much information, or too much misinformation and it's causing people to not engage. The reason we believe Inkey is different is that we're simplifying skincare to make it really easy to understand and to use, but still have that everyday price point."
But how is The Inkey List making all of this happen? According to the co-founders, it first starts with who you know. With Colette and Mark both having backgrounds in product development and beauty, they were able to leverage this as an asset, giving them a particular scope that not everyone would be privy to. However, Mark made it clear that at the end of the day it all comes down to being able to think differently to the rest of the pack.
"One thing to make clear is we're not a manufacturer, so that means going directly to the source of the ingredient and working with raw material suppliers, buying a bit smarter, being a bit more cheeky and giving them something that someone else can't. Our proposition for them is we can test the latest and greatest ingredients, that would take normal companies three to five years to sign off. So, when we do that, we get the traditional ingredients at a better price because we are doing other things for them."
It's this mentality that also allows the brand to cater to an additional consumer — the beauty junkie. The brand's nimble footprint keeps them at the forefront of innovation (and ingredients), allowing them to consistently deliver the newness that a more educated consumer is after — and still at a price point that allows for experimentation.
Additionally, you won't find any fancy packaging or marketing campaigns here. As far as The Inkey List are concerned, the juice inside the jar can speak for itself. "Every single tiny thing we do along the way, from transport to the packaging, it's really important to keep that as simple and intuitive as possible. Making sure the formula stays with integrity and is protected. That means you don't see double walls, you don't see droppers or drippers or what have you, you literally get what you pay for because in our products you pay for the formulation and you don't pay for anything else."
With the full range now having launched (apart from one product — their SPF, which is currently being re-formulated for the Australian market) into all Sephora Australia stores if you are wondering where to start with the brand, Colette and Mark have some advice on that too.
Keep reading to see the five products everyone should try from The Inkey List.