The global fashion magazine May 29, 2024 

Representatives of N8iV Beauty show their brand, created by Ruth-Ann Thorn (at right)

Ideas, innovation, and self-care come of age

Elyse Glickman attends 2024’s Adit show and finds that independent beauty brands are delivering what today’s consumers want
Event photographs by the author



Omni Osmosis Prime Prometics Sybil


Whenever we cover the annual Adit show in Los Angeles, we always expect a theme or two to rise to the surface. However, the most striking theme among the emergent, independently owned brands on display at this year’s show was that the meaning of inclusiveness was taken to the next level. While diversity has been a common factor among Adit participants over the past few years, that definition has boldly extended to include beauty enthusiasts who are of a certain age but think and live young.

The floor also reflected that creators were going deeper into their cultural heritage to create things that did more than look good on the vanity table and become a healthy part of the users’ routines. Hair care lines, whether broad (with a range of products for different people) or deep (fewer products addressing many user needs), seemed to hybridize those two themes.

On a personal level, I felt I was heard, and that the entrepreneurs and creators on the floor had their fingers on the pulse of potential customers from all walks of life and the retailers serving them. While there were fewer colour cosmetics’ lines, what was there neatly bridged function and fashion. The participating Adit exhibitors this year also spoke directly to the attendees, clearly proud of products where results got priority over arbitrary age and other numbers.

And there was a lot to like.


Coming of age
Phoenix-based Jane Christensen, co-founder and president of Omni Bio (, radiated warmth when she was demonstrating her medical-grade skin care and hair care as well as wellness-driven medical practices such as Omni Medical Imaging, a spa-like outpatient radiology centre; Omni Wellness Center; and Integrated Laser Solutions. She is equally committed to her son, who is on the autism spectrum, and charities (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center and First Place Arizona), ensuring he and others like him have opportunities to thrive, succeed, and have access to services.

The philosophy of Osmosis Skincare, created by Ben Johnson, MD in 2016, is based on analysing the skin and body as a whole, and treating skin conditions at the source, providing the tools required to achieve real results, and teaching users the most common causes of skin decline to ensure self-care becomes proactive.

While it’s common wisdom that women should adopt a simple make-up routine as life moves faster, Prime Prometics has developed user-friendly but effective beauty products based on the feedback of 10,000-plus mature women in the company database, and perfected with its focus group of 1,200 Prime ambassadors. The goals include achieving better skin, more lashes, and great brows with every application.

Real life was the inspiration behind Molly Blasier founding Sybil Wellness. In the wake of accidents that limited her motion, she was determined to challenge the limits her doctors placed on her healing. With her background in dance, she was ‘in tune with my body and knew it needed more—something that a traditional approach to healing wasn’t offering me. This began my lifelong journey into exploring the limitless possibilities that exist in the realm of alternative self-care and wellness.’

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TreCeuticals, founded by Sharon Skaar and Erin Dodd in 2019 in Scottsdale, Ariz., began with a conversation over a glass of wine about possible ways they could disrupt the skin care industry by providing simple, uncompromising, gender-neutral products for all skin types. Drawing expertise from both of their careers (Skaar a former Wall Street banker, and Dodd a fashion industry veteran), they determined that critical and creative thinking were required to develop a line rooted in science with nature. ‘We’ve taken three essential scientifically proven active ingredients—retinol, hydroxy acids and antioxidants, formulated at pharmaceutical-grade levels—and supercharged them with a calming plant-powered oil to give women and men the results they want in three simple steps, three minutes a day,’ says Skaar.

With Morpheus8 and other outpatient æsthetic and anti-ageing procedures gaining popularity and influence, Frens of Frens Æsthetic Aftercare focuses on taking the guesswork out of picking the right products for healing and maintenance. As the founders want users to embrace their ‘tweakments’ without worry, they formulate each product to be cooling, soothing, hands-free with hygienic properties in mind while generating the conversation about what constitutes attainable beauty standards.

While South Korea is regarded as the birthplace of beauty sheet masks, Spain-based Iroha entered the market in 2004 to introduce a European sensibility to the still-evolving skin care trend. Today, Iroha offers masks covering everyday maintenance as well as more specialized skin care formulas addressing needs for customers of all ages. ‘In my 15 years of experience in the beauty industry, I came across the Asian skin care routine,’ says Puri Martínez, founder and ceo at Sensalia Labs. ‘I immediately saw an opportunity to bring the sheet masks, a whole new category of products, to the European market, making Iroha Nature the referent brand for this category and Sensalia Labs an expert company in innovative skin care treatments.’ She points out that while the sheet is the delivery system, her firm’s proprietary concentrated formulas is where the line stands out.


Beyond conventional wisdom

The Mānuka Health collection, established in 2006 in the community of Te Awamutu in Aotearoa, are powered by MGO, or methylglyoxal, the naturally occurring compound responsible for many of the properties of mānuka honey, sourced from New Zealand. ‘Over the past decade, we have developed MGO into an internationally recognized guide to help people buy mānuka honey based on reliable science,’ says CEO Alex Turnbull, about the current international popularity of mānuka-based wellness solutions.

N8iV Beauty is the first skin care brand created by a Native American woman and the first to be infused with acorn oil sourced from tribal land. Ruth-Ann Thorn, founder and an enrolled tribal member of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, stresses that the small line of products are developed from ancestral knowledge passed down through generations, using plants from the tribes’ sacred grounds. ‘Our ancestors’ skin care secrets and wisdom in nature taught us how to nurture and beautify,’ she explains. ‘The acorn’s use in native–indigenous medicine dates back over 14,000 years. As it is difficult to source and only harvested once a year, we keep the line and individual items small in numbers but big on results.’

Lulaav was born in the valleys of the Fertile Crescent, a region known for its mineral-rich soil, abundant harvests, and penetrating, nutrient-dense botanics. However, it was New York City-bred Shira Tabib’s experiences visiting with her Persian grandmother in a small farming village in Israel that led to her formulating and bottling her heritage-based beauty secrets, passing on timeless beauty secrets to their daughters. Skin care recipes blending the most exquisite and potent botanicals, and time-honoured beauty rituals to regenerate and glorify complexions, give skin its optimal vitality.

Oakland, Calif.-based Fablerune is focused on ethical production standards to result in a line of sustainable products for all people, targeting and addressing users’ ever-changing skin and lifestyle concerns. ‘Our product line was born from our daily practice of traditional rituals and studies in evidence-based interventions to offer clean products made from potent and biocompatible ingredients while maintaining the highest quality,’ says Jeriel Sydney, who holds a degree in women’s studies, is trained in aromatherapy and Ayurvedic massage, and has a deep passion for community activism and enrichment.

Botanicary is an artisanal eco-luxe apothecary specializing in wild-crafted and bio-active skin care. The company is women-, veteran-, disability- and BIPOC-owned and PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free. These intentionally formulated products reflect the founders’ holistic approach to skin care, nourishing mind, body, and spirit, with positive affirmations on each label. They can be mixed and matched for the user’s personalized daily routine, age, and specific concerns, with the aide of an on-website questionnaire.


Doing the strands

While Laini Reeves is proud of her 30-plus years’ worth of accomplishments as a celebrity hairdresser, she also understands true beauty and perfect hair styles come from within. While her clientèle has benefited from her knowledge, her Burgeon Botanicals vitamins and growth treatment allow any busy person interested in undoing the effects of stress, the environment and life changes on their scalp and hair. ‘I see it with my clients because hair doesn’t lie—it reflects what’s going on inside. And there’s no mousse, spray, product, or treatment that can cure unhealthy hair—only cover up the damage.’

Like many young women through the decades, Julissa Prado struggled with her natural curls, hiding it in a gelled-down ponytail, wearing it “crunchy” with extra hair spray, and even straightening it with a clothes iron. Although she saved money to buy every curl product on the market to embrace her natural style, she found nothing worked except her resolve to invent natural products that would make curls look their best, no matter what the individual’s texture. Today, the dream exists as Rizos Curls, a multi-product line designed to help people with naturally curly hair get ‘defined, bouncy, shiny, frizz-free, soft, voluminous curls.’

On a similar front, from concept to creation, all Voir Haircare products are proudly crafted in Canada using natural ingredients to achieve clean, salon-quality formulas. Rated Green Cosmetics (, meanwhile, offers a whole host of possibilities within its line of hair and hair care products for all hair types: dry, coloured, greasy, etc. The many hair product ranges are must-haves in the world of hair care. Sugarlash Society (, founded in 2015, has grown organically through word-of-mouth endorsements from make-up artists, models, photographers and journalists in 35 countries. The extensive range of eyelash extensions, lash lift products, academy courses and tools lead the industry with authority, creativity and jaw-dropping impact.

France Luxe may be located in North Bend, Wash., near Seattle, but the flair of the collection is universal in more ways than one. When Laurie Erickson couldn’t find a scrunchie to properly hold her thick, curly hair, she set out to create her own high-quality, customized solution. Twenty-five years later, under her direction, there are numerous, glamorous solutions for all hair types including the best selling Grab & Go Pony, clips, and barettes in a variety of mouth-watering colours. The company also offers candles, soaps, and cleaning products that make the home beautiful from the inside out.


And a bit of colour
Montréal-based Wonderblush was the outgrowth of Melanie Hachey’s dream to shift from her Fortune 500 job to follow her bliss as a professional full-time make-up artist and gravitated toward bridal make-up as she felt it offered the highest level of gratification and human connection. From there, she discovered that her signature approach to the fresh “make-up, no make-up” look worked for a variety of occasions, complexions and lifestyles. However, her dream took another turn when she caught daughter Victoria playing with her make-up, examined the labels and realized that many of the ingredients in her favourite products were shockingly unsafe. From there, her objective was to create a line of high-quality beauty products that would also be safe, healthy, effective and sustainable.

Former London-based beauty editor and best selling author Maria Hatzistefanis launched Rodial in 1999 after identifying a gap in the market for targeted products that deliver both instant and long-lasting benefits. With success in creating them, and its growing cachet among its celebrity clientèle, it was inevitable the line would expand.

According to Los Angeles-based founder Tamara Bakir, Manifest Beauty empowers women to unleash their best beautiful selves through clean beauty that promotes self-love and high vibrations. ‘In the era of attracting what you want, women do not just want to looking good … they need to feel good,’ she says. ‘The ultimate power and beauty of a woman shines brightest when she’s happy, confident, and lives in high vibration. Manifesting beauty is not about perfection, it’s about having relentless wholeness, resilient passion, and unwavering purpose.’

And speaking of which, Swiss company Aurezzi, led by Alexander Ruckemann and Joakim Grip, chose Adit as the perfect place to release its collection of 24 ct gold-plated toothbrush, gold-infused toothpaste, and mouthwash. Although this product reads as an ultimate luxury, there is a purpose to the gold plating and inclusion in dental care products in taking dental hygiene to a new level. •



Elyse Glickman is US west coast editor of Lucire and co-founder of Lucire Rouge.





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