Brand Spotlight: Foile

For most businesses, a one-dimensional, top-down approach dictates the way of things: they make something, they market it to us, we buy it. Not Foile.

Words Hannah Cole
Photography Ellie Coker
Production & styling Alexandra Grima
Models Jade Hsu, Holly Rose Emery, Remy Faint (Priscillas Model Management)
Hair Madison Voloshin
MakeUp Cherry Cheung

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Look at the beauty industry — it seems every week there is a new ‘must-have’ product or skin saviour to add; our routines can’t keep up. What if, instead of breathlessly keeping up with the latest recommendations, there was room for a conversation? What would our beauty cabinets look like if they addressed our needs more than those Big Beauty perceived? 

We’re already fans of Foile and their game-changing approach to refillable beauty, but this idea of two-way dialogue promises to set the offering apart. 

Founders Su Tuttle and Alexandra Grima are quick to note the importance of being an approachable and considered beauty brand. As Tuttle mentions, “We want to change the approach to beauty to make it less complicated, more simple, and [offering] products that are more in line with nature, that make you feel good when you use them.” 

There is an overarching idea that beauty and skincare should be available and welcoming to every man, woman and non-binary identifying. Grima admits, “We’re total dags; we’re not these skincare and makeup junkies.” Whether low-key is your thing or you’re a bona fide skincare guru, Foile believes in marching to the beat of your own drum and doing what is best for your skin. The Foile Classics — a selection of four oils designed to nourish and hydrate — offer all customers this entry point. 

As evidenced through Foile’s recent concept store in Bondi Beach, the customer base is exceedingly diverse. The opportunity afforded a priceless introduction and insight into their consumer, many of whom identify as male. “I think there needs to be a sense of ownership for the male customer,” Grima notes and acknowledges that they “don’t have to play into the gender role that [skincare] is a feminine-dominated industry.” Little is heard of mens’ skin concerns, yet the pair found the store encouraged sharing of these vulnerabilities, which educated them on the issues at hand. Dark circles, red spots and dry patches are just as likely to plague our male counterparts — they simply talk about them less. 

Listening, learning and educating underpins the brand. “A business needs to be creating for what people’s needs and wants are in a way that is going to speak to them and fit into their lives,” continues Grima. “And how they perceive beauty or what they want their relationship with themselves and their skin to be.” We win via necessary, simple products, while Foile responds dynamically and grows in line with our needs. 

Evidently, waste is a key consideration for Foile as it navigates a fixture on the beauty lineup. “Beauty and skincare are consumable — it’s not like clothing that you resell,” notes Grima. The beautiful bottles are designed with longevity in mind, intended not for the bin but for reuse. With the release of fresh, custom-designed packaging (a long and much-anticipated wait for the pair), every millimetre was highly considered. The bottle speaks to the brand, as well as these connections and learnings from the varied customer base. 

As Foile transitions to an online-only store (for the moment), refills now arrive in recyclable pouches, intended to top up these precious branded bottles. Yes, the pouches are plastic but, as Tuttle and Grima point out, the importance here is making it accessible and recyclable. “We are such a convenience-based consumer now that the most impact is when it’s going to be the most accessible and convenient for people — otherwise they’re not going to adapt to the model,” they wisely state. 

Without the conversations — and the listening — can a brand genuinely address our needs and concerns regarding both skincare and environmental passion? Beauty brands, take heed, because there is competition for cabinet space. We’re looking for products that speak to us (and with us), that work and, importantly, take a well-considered approach in this overly wasteful world. 

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