Have you ever searched the shelves for the right formula for you but end up empty-handed? Ever have a favorite product of your end up in the trash because of a formula change? Now you can skip the wishful thinking and do something about it—create your own with the help of Volition Beauty.
Inspired by the many gaps in the beauty market, founders Brandy Hoffman and Patricia Santos banded together to create a community of beauty buffs to craft the everyday essentials they couldn’t find at their local Sephora without waiting years for big brands to give them what they need. “I think when Brandy and I were coming up with the concept, we had an idea that this would work, and we thought, ‘We believe in democratizing beauty. We believe in empowering women. We believe women can solve their own problems. We believe they’re smart and creative.’ And that’s where all of the product ideas should start. But we had no idea what would happen when we built the platform,” Santos explained during the brand’s press event on Tuesday.
So what happened? It exploded! Not literally, but thousands of women signed up for the platform back in September to submit their ideas for cool and innovative products and shipped the first batch in November. Users can easily submit their ideas and, depending on the difficulty of the formula (and whether they have to patent new technologies), you could see your idea come to life in anywhere between three weeks to a year as a prototype that you and your friends can test-drive to ensure the formula is just right and safe to use. Next, the brand posts the product as a campaign on the website where it’s voted on by the community. If a campaign wins, it’s only 3 to 6 weeks to ship to you in small batches, instead of the two years it typically takes big brands to debut a new buy, always keeping the brand on the edge of the next discovery. “I think what’s key is that it’s not just trends, it’s innovation,” Santos said. “It’s not only an outlet for creative women. I think it’s been an outlet for the underserved in the beauty industry.”
It may be in its infancy, but the platform already boasts a dozen SKUs for skin and body with more coming down the pipeline soon. And you’ll be able to get your hands on them without leaving your couch, as the brand will debut on QVC in August, so keep a look out!
Though I got a preview of some of the skincare essentials that will hit shelves soon, the one item that blew me (and everyone else) away was the Pamona: Custom Gel Mask. It works like an Easy-Bake Oven but for your face. Simply add water with fruit juices that cater to your skin’s specific needs (like berries for added antioxidants, citrus for brightening, cucumber for hydration, etc.), drop in one of the gel tabs, push a button, and five minutes later you have a mask made fresh just for you. I know editors and beauty techies will snap this up super fast for their own use, but it could easily provide a bit of pampering with your pals (Hello, spa-worthy bachelorette weekend!). Needless to say, this is a brand I’ll be keeping a close eye on!