Burt’s Bees makes the move into colour cosmetics; a whipped moisturizer with a light-as-air finish; three tinted lip balms for cold winter weather.
hen Burt’s Bees decided to expand into colour cosmetics, it looked into purchasing an existing natural line. But that idea was eventually shelved because the ingredient lists of potential contenders weren’t up to the brand’s standards. “So we thought: ‘You know what? Let’s start from scratch,’” says Abena Antwi, lead innovation scientist for Burt’s Bees. She and her colleagues spent the next three years developing the line but faced challenges because the two most difficult products to formulate were given top priority. “Our leadership team said, ‘If we can’t get foundation or mascara right, we’re not launching,’” she recalls. That’s when Antwi knew they’d need an advisory board that included makeup artists to provide feedback on the samples. To get the foundation’s texture without using silicone, they subbed in meadowfoam seed oil and sugarcane squalane. For the mascara, Antwi had read complaints online about natural mascara being flaky, irritating and not longlasting. To address these issues, the team replaced typical ingredients like polyurethanes, which promote long wear in regular mascaras, with beeswax. “It took a long time, but I think we got it,” says Antwi. The seven essentials ( from $10) in the colour cosmetics line include mattifying powder foundations, mascaras, blushes, eyeshadows, eyeliners, brow pencils and lipsticks—all benchmarked against their conventional counterparts. “We wanted them to be better than the other natural versions,” she says.