When Alisa Metzger and Jen Shane launched InnBeauty Project right before COVID hit, they were setting out to change the clean skin-care space for the better. For all its benefits, the clean market is rife with problems like scare tactics, elitist branding, and exorbitant prices—but if you ask us, Metzger and Shane delivered. Fast-forward to 2022, and the brand’s colorful products are stocked at Sephora, beloved by mega influencers like Tinx, and carry TikTok’s viral stamp of approval.
Metzger and Shane had spent their whole careers working for larger beauty brands like Tula and BareMinerals, in marketing and product development respectfully, when they saw the clean space exploding. They loved the innovation coming from the bigger brands but “quickly noticed that there were a couple of blatant things missing,” Metzger tells Glamour. The first glaring oversight was accessibility, which is why none of their brand’s products exceed $35.
Metzger points out that when the clean space first kicked off, prices were running from $50 to $80—and that was on the low end. “When you match that to the average salary in the United States, which is less than $45,000 a year, it becomes a proposition only affordable for the top earners,” she says. Not only did that completely leave out certain income brackets, it also cut Gen Z out of the conversation completely.
“We were like, ‘There’s got to be a way to do clean and efficacious skin care at a cheaper, more accessible price point,’” says Metzger. “The other thing was, if these companies are really only targeting that top earner, the woman that’s going to shell out $300 on a routine, then they’re really talking to a Caucasian woman who’s in her late 30s, plus. What about the next generation?”
In addition to the price point, InnBeauty Project’s formulations are also targeting that younger consumer, whose concerns were largely being ignored by legacy clean brands, which mostly focus on wrinkles and dryness and not tone and texture. Other than the lip oils, all of InnBeauty’s products include the brand’s Even Out Complex, which helps tackle redness, blotchiness, dark spots, sallowness, and dullness.
Finally, the brand wanted to reinvent the look of clean beauty, which is why you don’t see millennial pink on InnBeauty’s packaging. Instead, the brand’s components—most of which are sustainably made—have bright colors and zingy names. “There’s got to be room for something that’s bright and fun on the outside but serious on the inside—that was really our aha moment,” Metzger says.
Metzger says that while the cost and effectiveness make up the functional part of the brand, she’s most proud of the emotional competent. “People feel like they’re a part of the brand. It sparks joy—the colors, the packaging, the branding, the aesthetics. They want to share their skin journeys. They want to talk about their routines and why this has helped. It’s a community of people that are happy talking about whatever’s in their skin. It’s really that emotion of, ‘This is not only fun to buy and use, but it also worked.’ That is the key to this whole thing.”
Glamour staffers put the entire line to the test. Here are the best InnBeauty Project products to add to your shelf.