The New Luxury: Sustainable Clean Makeup with MOB Beauty
Have you ever bought a makeup palette only to find that less than half of the shades are actually used? MOB Beauty solved that problem in 2021 when they debuted customizable, refillable palettes that can be filled with their clean, professional quality makeup.
Alisha Gallagher, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of MOB beauty, has a rich history in the beauty space. As a makeup artist and on the business side of brands like Laura Mercier, Briogeo and Cover FX, she knew the industry needed to make changes in order to be better for the planet and its customers. We had a chance to catch up with Alisha on what is next for MOB, the challenge of launching makeup during a pandemic, and her dream collaboration.
Brand name: MOB Beauty
Founder(s): Alisha Gallagher & Vic Casale
Date founded: 1/21/21
What is your current mantra?
The future is a field of infinite possibilities.
What attracted you to the beauty industry?
Infinite creativity and seeing pictures of Stevie Nicks from the 1970s.
What was the inspiration for the line?
To do beauty better for people, planet, and animals through clean, vegan, cruelty-free and biodegradable formulas and refillable, recyclable packaging made with post-consumer recycled materials.
What is your brand’s philosophy?
We are here to push beauty forward and challenge the industry’s existing approach to everything from formulas and packaging to transparency and knowledge sharing. We are unapologetically optimistic thinkers who believe in the future of beauty and our planet.
What was the first product you developed and why did you create it?
The first thing we worked on was packaging. There were no sustainable packaging options that met our standards, so we designed our own. We wanted refillable, mono-material, recyclable packaging that customers could fill with the products and shades they actually use.
What is your best selling product and why do you think that is?
Cream Clay Blush. It’s a super unique product. We infused the formula with clay for longer wear and a cushion-cloud texture, avocado for creamy playtime, and silica for beautiful light bounce.
What product is a sleeper hit (maybe not the best seller, but you think it should be) and why?
Cake Liner. If you know you know! It’s incredibly long wearing and versatile and beloved by artists and anyone who gives it a try.
What other makeup products are you loving right now?
I recently did a makeup tool refresh and am loving Jenny Patinkin’s brushes, lash curler, and makeup sponges. I cannot recommend her line enough.
What sets this brand apart from others on the market?
We offer high performance, artist approved makeup with the cleanest ingredients and earth-friendly packaging. We want to show that clean beauty can have incredible quality with the same or higher performance than conventional makeup formulas.
Can you explain what went into creating your unique packaging?
We had to push suppliers around the world to think outside the box with us. We used 50% or more post-consumer recycled material and materials like PET plastic for our primary components which are more eco-friendly than commonly used resins. Every element of our primary and secondary packaging was custom designed to create the least impact possible to the planet.
What would you love consumers to understand about the waste the beauty industry produces and how they can do their part?
The average person buys 27 units of personal care and beauty every year, and on average 90% or more of these packages end up in a landfill and can take hundreds of years to decompose. We have to think smarter and see sustainable packaging as the new luxury instead of traditional over-packaged, highly decorated beauty components. By joining the refill revolution you can lower your impact immediately by not buying packaging over and over. Buy only what you consume and look for minimal design!
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when you launched?
We launched during the pandemic when everyone was at home or wearing masks, and makeup was in a rapid decline. Plus, we are doing things differently with refillable packaging, which requires some consumer education. We certainly had our work cut out for us!
What was your proudest moment as a founder? What was your biggest struggle?
There have been many proud moments: seeing some of our favorite artists using MOB in their kits and receiving awards for our mascara and sustainable designs. But honestly, nothing beats a 5 star review from a client who bought our product and loves it. Our biggest struggle has been creating brand awareness post-ios privacy updates and generally getting the word out about the brand.
What’s the worst advice you have ever received? The best?
The worst advice I’ve ever received is anything that has cast doubt. It takes so much tenacity and a dose of crazy to launch a successful brand, so you have to shut out the doubts and just get it done. The best advice I have ever received is to trust your gut. I find that if I stop and listen, I always know when a direction is right or wrong for the brand and for myself personally.
Who do you look up to in the beauty world?
I have so much respect for the artists, founders, and retailers who are making a difference in clean and sustainable beauty.
Who would your dream collaboration be with?
What MOB products do you use for your daily makeup look?
So many of them, but my ride or die products are: M72 cream clay blush, cream clay eyeshadow, M41 cake liner, volumizing mascara, and our clear lip balm.
What is your “white whale” product (something you’d love to create but isn’t possible with current formula science)?
Rich red vegan eyeshadows [red cosmetics traditionally use carmine, an ingredient made from crushed cochineal insects]. We are working on that and finding some exciting work arounds using extracts from beets and potatoes, for example.
What can we expect from the brand in the future? Is there any exciting news you can share?
Complexion! We are working on a beautiful, high-performance complexion product incorporating exciting new technology that we’ll be launching in 2023.