When it comes to beauty retail platforms, there’s none so chic, so forward-thinking, so trusted, as Cult Beauty. Founded in 2008, over the past decade Cult Beauty has become the go-to destination for beauty fanatics around the world on the hunt for both classic staples and hidden gems alike.
The woman we have to thank for this is Alexia Inge. After studying Fashion Design at university, Alexia spent time as a model and then in fashion journalism and PR before cooking up the idea of Cult Beauty in 2007 with co-founder Jessica Deluca.
Tired of products that didn’t live up to their hype, Alexia and Jessica decided to create a beauty hall of fame full of hero products loved and trusted by industry insiders. Their beauty destination would be free of old-fashioned stereotypes and overly prescriptive attitudes, and would champion the best and the brightest with a particular focus on female-founded brands and sustainability.
This ethos resonated with consumers and over the last 13 years the small start-up has grown into a thriving business with over 300 employees, 1.6 million followers on Instagram, and hundreds of brands. In August, the company was bought in a £275m deal.
Alexia is also a passionate advocate for menopausal women. Cult Beauty is backing the campaign by Carolyn Harris MP to provide free HRT prescriptions for all women in England. (There are already no charges in Scotland and Wales).
In an open letter to the British Government, Alexia writes: “For some women, navigating this biological milestone is relatively smooth but for many, the loss of reproductive function is physically uncomfortable, exhausting and deeply confusing. Most women face a series of difficult mental gymnastics linked to losing their fertility, because it’s something society has always linked to femininity, female identity and social value. For trans men, non-binary and gender non-conforming people, the menopause can also be a sharp reminder that their biology doesn’t conform with their identity, which can cause dysphoria. It’s a time traditionally endured behind closed doors and the current lack of support, or even conversation, leaves many feeling invisible and alone.”
Women’s advocate, beauty connoisseur and all round inspirational midlifer, we can’t think of a better person to share their swear-by beauty buys. Over to you, Alexia.
Therapie Cherish Skin Repair Serum, £58
My daily physical and emotional body armour against the stresses of modern life. This product left me stretchmark-free post pregnancy (something my teenaged growth spirt did not!)
It smells like the garden of Eden of my imagination.
Monika Blunder Beauty Blunder Cover, £45
A beautiful product for what I call the ‘conceallation technique’ where one takes a really good mid-coverage concealer, apply it onto the areas that need coverage, then, using the excess on the brush/blender to buff the coverage out into the rest of your face for a really natural, elevated look.
Great for older skin and a natural elevated look, plus it lasts for AGES!
Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm, £37
Korean skincare 2.0, this is the most beautiful balm cleanser – in scent, in texture and in process. It allows for a really good facial massage. Makeup quakes in its presence and your skin purrs like a kitten!
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 30, £15
With the texture of a top-notch makeup primer, a hyper-inclusive transparent formula and the addition of innovative blue-light protection, Unseen is the vanguard of the current SPF revolution. It turns the ‘eating your green’ vibe of daily SPF into a delicious skin smoothie.
VIRTUE Recovery Conditioner, £38
If you are the proud owner of a Rapunzel-like cascade of hair, the sort of person who says things like, ‘My hairdresser hates me because I just have too much hair!’ I’m trying not to scowl in jealousy as I say, this probably isn’t for you. *heavy sigh* If you are the proud owner of a Rapunzel-like cascade of hair that’s had ‘too many princes’ up it… read on.
My hair was a Rumpelstiltskin-like bag of straw – lots of stress, bad diet, a bad dye job pre-getting married led to my hair breaking off and coming out in tufts. I had to cut it all off into a very short bob and start the long process of bringing it back to health.
I used the Restore Conditioner for a year and it strengthened the new growth (some of which wasn’t getting past baby hair stage before breaking off). The shine is came back and it’s so much thicker now, even as I approach menopause!
Escentric Molecules Molecule 01, £72
The first product we sold and still one of our top selling fragrances. It has such an alluring, pheromonic effect, that people even talk to you on the TUBE to ask what you are wearing!! Subtle, woody and fabulous.
Victoria Beckham Beauty Future Lash Mascara, £26
I love tubing mascaras because I have such deep-set eyes and they don’t smudge, they also come off super easily with warm water at night. But I don’t love washing plastic copolymers down the drain every night.
So I jumped in – conscious consumer – joy when I heard Beckham had managed to create the same effect with plant-based ingredients. It starts natural and layers a treat to build a good volume.
Natasha Denona Mini Palettes, £22
Some of the best pigment and colour combinations in the business. I don’t know about you but I definitely have multi-pan palette fatigue, and these high-quality 5-pans create some beautiful looks (just the right side of ‘creative’) and at £22 they represent great value too.
Saint Jane The C-Drops with 20% Vitamin C, £73
The much loved combo of Vitamin C and Ferulic acid now has a third musketeer in the battle for good (skin); it’s uber-anti-inflammatory, full spectrum CBD. It’s like having a micro-facial every morning
LifeBio Boost & Protect Patch, £16
Vitamin D3 and B12 loaded onto a transdermal sticky patch that you slap on your tummy in the morning while running out the door. It not only boosts your immunity, but also works like the Duracell bunny ads, giving you 20% more energy for the day.
I find it helps banish the 4pm droop, previously countered with coffee and a biccie!