“Safe, Sustainable, Sensational,” Essentia Beauty's innovation credo

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As pioneers in full-service beauty solutions 25 years ago, what are our main strengths today?

Katia de Martino – From our earliest beginnings, Essentia Beauty has remained true to its mission: to develop distinct concepts aligned with the DNA of our clients’ brands while meeting the real expectations of consumers. For Essentia, this means investing upstream in R&D to anticipate innovations that can meet market expectations for each brand.

While packaging producers and formula manufacturers have more recently started offering full service, Essentia on the other hand was born as an authentic full-service provider. This means that we have adapted to handle all stages of development and guarantee quality and consistency at every step. One of our pillars is to involve the quality team at the beginning of development to ensure 360° compliance, anticipate potential quality risks, and maintain control of lead times.

Last but not least, our selected and qualified manufacturing network capabilities deliver responsive and flexible solutions, seamlessly scaling from low MOQs of 5K to high unit production runs of 500K+, according to customer demand.

Additionally, we co-invest with some of our manufacturing partners on processes, certifications, and product innovations based on our analysis of market needs. With our recent exclusive partnership with MAD, an Italian specialist in fashion accessory decoration, we leverage their exceptional know-how to propose special effects on cosmetic packaging, allowing us to offer amazing three-dimensional materials and textures that we’ve given an original name to: Metamorphosis, signifying a groundbreaking potential for transforming standard packaging.

What is your response to increasing demands for sustainability?

Katia de Martino – To optimize the environmental impact of a product, Essentia advocates for a global approach. Providing solutions with genuine ecological value requires consideration of both how the consumer uses a product and its life cycle.

Take makeup palettes as an example; they are increasingly popular but generate significant waste because once the consumer has used its favorite colors, these palettes quickly become unusable. That’s why we came up with the idea of our patent slide palette features, which have two refillable pans, each containing 3 to 5 eyeshadow colors. Consumers can easily refill the colors they use most and change out the products in line with trends. What’s essential is to bring added value to consumers who are concerned by ecology but are not willing to sacrifice functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Our positioning and extensive experience in full service allow us to deliver solutions considering the finished product and its manufacturing process, formula, packaging, and filling. The objective is to provide efficient solutions that meet consumer expectations while lowering the environmental impact of both content and containers.

Essentia has been an early promoter of refill systems. How do you continue to step up in this regard?

Katia de Martino – We still believe that refill systems are the best solution considering the low percentage of the current effective recycled parts of packaging. The success of refill depends on different equations for each product category and can be complex for brands to manage. Refill should be an easy best choice for makeup products, which unfortunately have one of the lowest recycling rates. Now that many kinds of packaging formats exist, the challenge is to encourage consumers to buy refills. This ethical positioning can help encourage brand loyalty in the long run.

To achieve this, we work on both functional solutions that are easily implemented as refills and on eco-desirability that transforms packaging into an object of desire, encouraging consumers to keep and refill it and thus giving it a second life. Our patented Slide palette, for example, has a removable lid that customers can choose when they purchase and renew as they wish, just like a cellphone case. The aim is to preserve the aesthetic appeal without having to change the whole palette, as well as to introduce personalization options, which has steadily become an important consumer expectation, especially in the luxury sector.

How do you foresee the future of beauty?

Katia de Martino – I believe that we have a duty to help evolve the mindset at all levels; a lot of players are willing and ready to change, but it is very complex because the market is fueled by a continuous flow of new products. We must preserve market dynamics but by responding more to consumer expectations. For this we should invert the development process, starting from their needs as the main driver of innovation. This is what we did for OZMEE, the brand incubated by Essentia, which addressed the need of consumers to identify the right mascara for their eye morphology based on real time, breakthrough digital technology. Indeed, personalization should be one of the main driver for conscious beauty as it has an undeniable positive impact on sustainability by reducing waste related to bad purchases.

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