Set to launch across select retailers in the UK in the coming months, Monroe Skincare has been in ‘revamp’ since January 2019 when creative advertising specialist Tiger Savage, the woman behind the Lynx Effect, and husband Will King, founder of King of Shaves, took on the brand.
Initially a men’s grooming range launched by photographer Gareth Boden in 2016, Monroe Skincare had now been redesigned into a luxury range of six simple and genderless beauty products, including a cleanse and shave solution, matte styling clay and glycolic serum, after around 15 months of work. Each product was packaged in recyclable and refillable glass bottles and foil-free paper cartons.
Breaking the rules with a 'humanity-led' brand
Savage and King took on the project after a chance meet with Monroe’s original founder through a mutual friend.
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, King said the original men’s grooming range was extensive with “fantastic formulations”, but it just wasn’t “hitting the notes”.
“Look, obviously we’ve worked on so many brands, especially Tiger, and so we’re always thinking about what the trends are; what’s going on; what’s happening in terms of beauty, toiletries and cosmetics,” he said.
Savage added: “We thought, let’s break the rules and try and think about what we can do that will sort of answer quite a lot of the problems that are going on in the world; I suppose look at what we can stand for.”
King agreed: “This is a very humanity-led brand; inclusive for everyone. And I think that’s a great thing to do.”
Simple and shareable skin care
The revamped brand was anchored around a ‘buy less, choose well’ mentality, Savage said, that was rising in importance among consumers, as well as the concept of genderless beauty.
“We love the idea that whatever gender you are, there is a shareability. With 7.8 billion people in the world, the world has actually got smaller because there are so many people on the planet. So, the idea was that we could have a set of products, a basic selection of products, but products people could share,” she said.
“…I love the idea that things have a little bit more longevity, rather than just ‘buy it and get the next product’ – it’s too much consumerism.”
King said the range was about simplicity, built around multipurpose products – a concept that had worked 20 or 30 years ago for the likes of Dermalogica and Aveda.
Savage said: “I’ve worked on so many skin brands where there’s ‘this and this only’, and there was an opportunity where I wanted to encapsulate something that was actually for everybody, where the products could be multi-taskers. Like the clay, why can’t you use the clay for your eyebrows? You could also use it in your hair. So, it was about having less rules and more flexibility.”
Highly relevant given world events
King said the range had been developed late last year, with the initial launch scheduled for January 2020, but the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis had delayed the move. However, he said the skin care brand was now even more relevant than before.
“In recent weeks, we’ve had a lot of events that have come into our consciousness – the whole Black Lives Matter movement (…) and then more recently the whole fight online between JK Rowling and the transgender community.”
The humanity-led aspect of Monroe Skincare, therefore, felt “very relevant”, he said, and the shareability side would appeal as consumers came out of COVID-19 more conscious about spending.
King said Monroe Skincare would continue to innovate and expand its offering, with deodorant, lip balm and fragrance on the roadmap, but for the time being was focused on its six-product range.
Asked where they hoped the brand would be in the next 3-5 years, Savage said: “Pushing the envelope on the rules would be great – something that doesn’t tick a box. I’m just a bit fed up of seeing things that just tick boxes. …We’ve only just got through being able to talk about women and women’s rights and then we’re straight into talking about racial prejudice, and you kind of go: what’s next? Let’s just get rid of all those – no more boxes.”
King added: “We’ll be dangerously inclusive, shall we? And have some fun.”