It seems extraordinarily positive to announce major new brand launches in such uncertain times for business, especially when household names are collapsing (RIP Commodities, beloved purveyors of lovely, affordable dresses with sleeves). But both Typology (skincare) and Il Makiage (makeup) are at best conceived for the moment.
Typology is the brainchild of Ning Li, founder of made.com. Having disrupted the furniture market, Ning is set on transmogrifying how we buy skincare. Every Typology product is vegan, ethically sourced and manufactured, comes direct to the consumer at under £15 and is combined in flat, rectangular bottles that post through the letterbox, to save on delivery (a lot like those new online florists). Covered up, they look exquisitely stylish on the bathroom shelf.
But what I love most about Typology is its simplicity. People click on their skin type or complaint for an entire routine, or pick from the easily understood lineup of underwrote products, containing dependable, compatible and mostly natural ingredients. There’s nothing here I wouldn’t recommend, but I very like the Vitamin C 11% serum (£11.80, 15ml) followed by the slightly tinted Macerated Organic Carrot Oil (£11.80, 100ml), which rat ons an instant sunny glow.
The world’s fastest-growing makeup brand, Il Makiage launched in the US because, its founders definite, “online beauty is broken”. They couldn’t understand why the market, which has such a huge and influential social avenue presence, sees only a tenth of its (mostly replenishment) products sold online. The solution is Il Makiage’s PowerMatch algorithm, which reliably matches online patrons to their ideal shade of Woke Up Like This foundation (£36) and F*ck I’m Flawless concealer (£24).
The only item that lets Il Makiage down is the packaging, which implies, in my view, a lower price tag (products start at £19). In relation with others in their lane (Glossier, Victoria Beckham, Bybi), there’s something very 10 years ago round a black plastic blusher the size of a mini hamburger, though I applaud the use of recyclable glass and metal elsewhere in the lineup.
The works within, though, are excellent, if surprising. Lip Service lipglosses (£18) – the last thing I’d normally buy – are just right for summer: low contribution, unsticky, vivid. The baked bronzer (£35) has more colour payoff than you’d expect, the flattering and sublimely blendable Dye Boss Squad eyeshadow palette, less. And somehow the better for it.