Page 68 - S Summer 2024
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Ahead of the Curve
Saie founder Laney Crowell is turning cult popularity into a sustainability revolution.
By Randi Bergman
I n today’s crowded beauty market, founders often fear copycats infringing on their careful innovations. On the contrary, Laney Crowell welcomes
them. Her brand, Saie, was one of the first to do makeup that is clean, cool, and packed with ingredients that act like skincare. The brand’s non-toxic alternatives to things like lip gloss, mascara, and bronzer are created without using any of the more than 2,000 harmful ingredients that can be found in other brands. Meanwhile, its packaging is recyclable or biodegradable, and certified climate neutral. “Every decision we make is through the lens of: how is this going to have the smallest footprint possible?” says Crowell. That approach is something she hopes becomes mainstream. “We have huge goals, and we can’t get there alone,” she says.
Crowell is patching in from Saie’s New York headquarters, where
her team is busy photographing the latest products in the brand’s buzzy lineup: the Slip Tint Radiant All Over Concealer, a formula that features hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and rice bran peptides; and more shades
of Dew Blush, a liquid blush that uses elderberry, evening primrose, and mulberry extract in its pop of colour. Both products give a dewy, “your skin but better” effect, which is key to the brand’s appeal. “I want my skin to feel effortless,” says Crowell, who prefers a lighter, more natural coverage that melts in naturally (formula-wise, Saie does this with a fatty acid complex that took years to perfect).
Crowell’s minimalist preferences are shared by her fans, whom she regularly consults when developing products. The brand, which launched in 2019, was the result of conversations she was having about the dearth of clean makeup with readers of her clean beauty blog, The Moment. “That’s where our name comes from—you say it, we create it,” she says. From there, came a mascara made from beeswax and shea butter, a lip gloss made with jojoba oil, and Sunvisor, a serum, moisturizer, and SPF all in one. “I go back to that conversation all the time; what does our community want? What makes them feel good?” she says.
Before running her blog, Crowell worked at some of the biggest beauty brands, which she says was like getting a master’s degree in the industry. She was struck, however, by the lack of dialogue about things that were affecting her directly as a consumer, from toxic ingredients to marketing imagery that negatively impacted her self-image. “To me, beauty is an industry that is so much more than just a product and I believe that beauty should be serving the community that’s purchasing it,” she says. To that end, Saie has always been outspoken about issues that affect its community, from women’s rights to climate change. This winter, Saie launched the second edition of the Every Body Campaign, the beauty industry’s largest human rights campaign to raise funds for SisterSong, an organization fighting for reproductive justice for marginalized communities.

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