What was once a vision for a minimalist skincare routine is now an independently-owned beauty brand with a trailblazing nine-in-one product. We sit down with alila founder and CEO, Sara Majane, to recount her exciting journey building her business.
Where did your inspiration for alila come from?
My passion for beauty and skincare started at a young age and has always been something that I turn to in my free time. After working at a major beauty company for eight years and spending hours backstage with makeup artists at fashion shows learning their tips and tricks, I started creating a skincare product at home to satisfy a gap I saw in the beauty landscape. I was mixing many products together to create something that did not exist -- an all-in-one face cream that combined multiple steps in my morning routine, made my skin look beautiful while being good for it, and did NOT have makeup or foundation in it. I wanted something that would enhance my skin, not cover it up.
In early 2020, I decided it was time to turn my passion for beauty into something real to formally make this product and start my own beauty brand. I worked with a chemist and research team to reverse-engineer my homemade mixture, adding beneficial ingredients, and removing controversial ones which have been shown to compromise skin health. After countless rounds of revisions, feedback from trusted friends and family, and a lot of selfies in the name of wear-testing, we were able to create this dream, signature product, Omnia All-In-One Skin Perfector.
What makes alila special?
alila’s signature product, Omnia All-In-One Skin Perfector, is a hybrid skincare and beauty product that allows you to take a ‘skinimalist’ approach to skincare while enhancing your natural beauty and delivering major skin benefits. It is a complexion-enhancing face cream that combines nine steps into one to instantly bring out the best in your skin and can be worn alone for beautiful, radiant skin that glows from within, or as a prep step for long-lasting, flawless makeup. It is packed with nine power ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, bisabolol, and ceramide complex, which have been ethically sourced in the USA. It is also completely free of fragrance, sulfates, parabens, makeup, and phthalates.
As a small business, what values are important to you?
It’s extremely important to me that the products for alila are ethically made and formulated without a range of controversial ingredients which have been shown to be toxic, carcinogenic, or irritants that compromise the health of your skin. It’s also important to me that alila be admired for excellence, innovation, and sustainable value creation in everything we do. alila’s bottles are recyclable and all packaging materials are made from partial post-consumer recycled content. One of the main pillars of alila is to minimize consumption, so while asking people to buy another product might seem counter-intuitive, the goal is that by using this all-in-one face cream that combines nine steps into one, they can stop buying those other nine products that were previously on their beauty shelf. I think retailers, brands, and consumers all have a responsibility to seek ways to reduce their waste footprint and evolve their sustainability, so hopefully alila can be a brand that is part of that evolution.
What can we look forward to as far as new products?
Omnia All-In-One Skin Perfector is currently the hero product of alila, but the hope is to create a version of it with SPF included as well. I would also love to look to alila’s customers and followers for inspiration and feedback for dream products they wish existed. My ambition is to continually create products with real people and real beauty routines in mind.
What is your favorite part about being a founder?
I love the creativity that I have gotten to explore throughout this journey of creating a product and starting a brand. Using my passion to build something and continue growing it every day is incredibly fulfilling. I also love that alila helps people feel confident and celebrate their unique and individual beauty. It brings me joy to hear that alila has helped someone feel better about their skin or has changed their routine in a positive way.