What prompted you to create your brand/product?
I had the misfortune of losing my eyelashes and a lot of my hair after the birth of my daughter. To try to grow my lashes back, I tried using a prostaglandin-based serum that, while effective in bringing my lashes back, also caused some major unwanted side effects including turning my eyelids purple. Needless to say I had to stop using that product, however after the effects wore off, I was back at square one with literally no lashes. This took me next to the good ol' glue-on false lashes which also turned out to be a fiasco. After getting the glue in my eye, I wound up with a pretty severe eye infection requiring a lengthy course of antibiotics (throw arms up in air). It was at that point that I decided to look for a way to address my eyelash situation naturally. With some research, I realized there wasn’t anything commercially available that was both natural and truly effective. So I started on the journey of inventing it myself! The project began with me compiling natural ingredients with known potential for hair and lash growth. Between my own experimentation and the expertise of a Master Cosmetic Chemist, it developed within two years from my little kitchen project to a full-blown product that is now shipping all over the world.
How long did it take you to create the very first product and what were the most challenging aspects of starting this business?
It took 18 months from when I first started working on the concept until we introduced NuvaLash (now Plume) into the market in August of 2015.
I would say that the most challenging aspect was the formal product development and getting to our final formulation that we introduced into the market. A ton of lab time and testing was required every step of the way to ensure we were able to 1) meet the most stringent international requirements for safety and stability and 2) not compromising the content or quality of our active ingredients. We were very fortunate to have one of the top natural & organic cosmetic formulators in the world become part of our company from very early on, and equally fortunate to have one of the only FDA/NHP site-licensed cosmetic production facilities literally minutes from where we live. Despite the tremendous challenges inherent in making a product like Plume, it really felt like serendipity having these key resources in our own backyard once we started upon this journey.
What ingredients are definitely not added to any of your products?
- Added Preservations*
- Hormones and Prostaglandins
- Artificial fragrances
- Artificial dyes
- Synthetic ingredients of any kind
*Plume is a self-preserving formula
What is the best beauty advice you have received?
I can't say that I have just one, but here are a pieces of advice that I adhere to every day;
- Never go to bed with make-up on
- Exfoliate at least once a week
- Wear sunscreen 365 days of the year
- Do not neglect your neck (i.e. include your neck in your face regimen)
- Drink a lot of water (hydration has a shockingly pronounced effect on your skin)
What sets you apart from your competitors?
In addition to being the only truly 100% natural lash serum on the market, Plume is actually one of the most effective available – natural or synthetic.
There have been other “mostly-natural” serums introduced that are far more healthy and safe than the synthetic-chemical based (toxic) products on the market, but unfortunately they don't necessarily deliver the kind of results that the synthetic chemical products do. As a result, serum users have often been forced to choose between products that have powerful effects but are composed of toxic ingredients on the one hand, or natural products that don't deliver satisfactory results on the other. Also, those 'natural' products still contain synthetic preservatives or other mildly toxic ingredients in some cases. We made Plume so that consumers no longer have to face this dilemma. For us it’s black and white; either a product is truly natural or it's not. Either a product is effective or it’s not.
The other key aspect of Plume that helps us stand apart is that our product is gentle on even the most sensitive eyes. Lash serums tend to sting if they get into a user’s eye – we’re proud to say that any stinging or discomfort with Plume is practically unheard of. This is important for contact lens wearers as well. In addition to that, our formula doesn't contain any ingredients that are considered unsafe for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, which may be a first in our category.
Finally, the huge popularity of lash extensions is something that can't be overlooked. We're proud to say that Plume is 100% safe for use with extensions and that it does not interact in any negative way with the glues/adhesives used to secure them.
What can new customers expect from using your product for the first time?
The first time a user applies Plume they will probably be pleasantly surprised by how gentle the product is. We've had users report that they experience a soothing sensation once they've applied the product. The serum goes on like a liquid eyeliner, so it’s a very easy product to use. In terms of results, we recommend allowing 6-8 weeks for Plume to deliver results but it's quite common for users to report noticeable results much sooner.
What would you say to those clients who are weary about trying your product?
Anyone who is concerned that Plume may not be something they'll love are still encouraged to give it a try with the peace of mind that we fully stand behind our product with a 100% happiness guarantee. If a user isn't happy with Plume for any reason, they can return it in the original packaging with proof of purchase and they will receive a full refund.
Journey to Long Lashes – with Plume Founder, Lauren Bilon
Posted on November 11 2015