Four-year-old luxury skin-care brand Lumavera is looking to grow substantially this year via new distribution markets, an expansion into cosmetics, the addition of tinted moisturizers and entrance into the growing supplements category.The company uses botanical extracts in its lines. All of the products are based on Lumavera’s core premise of using “superfoods” for skin care. The veggie blend includes tomatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts and onion. The fruit blend includes citrus extracts, argan oil, green tea and aloe leaf extracts, licorice root and sunflower seed oil, among other ingredients.The brand was founded by David Vargas, a former farmer and rancher, whose mantra is “cultivating beauty from the ground up.”According to Vargas, his dad was a farmer and his mom would use prickly pear cactus and aloe, as well as food from the farm, to feed the family and take care of their skin-care needs. Vargas said plant extracts such as lycopene can protect one from UVB rays when applied to the skin, while spinach and kale help with detoxification.The company is currently self-funded. And while he’s not actively looking for funding, Vargas said he potentially might be open to funding down the road. He said the products are made in the U.S., and a portion of his farm in California is sectioned off to grow the botanicals and plant extracts used in the product line. “The line has a high profit margin,” he said, adding that the skin care has over $3 million in annual volume.The core collection has been sold primarily at spas and resorts, on the company’s web site and in parts of Eastern Europe, primarily in Prague, Moscow, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Armenia, as well as parts of the Middle East. Vargas said the brand is about to enter the Baltics and in August will enter Beirut before expanding into the markets of Dubai and Saudi Arabia.Vargas said he worked with a chemist to determine the right configuration of superfoods, acids and enzymes for each product, and the line relies on QuSome technology to deliver the active ingredients onto the skin. Lumavera’s Skin Perfection Peel uses a mushroom extract that is a natural cell exfoliator, which deactivates when the PH level of the skin reaches a certain level. The Power Glow Resurfacer contains a blend of superfoods, botanicals and plant stem cells, as well as alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids.
The core skin-care line can be used by both men and women, and for many products in the line aloe leaf extract is listed as the first ingredient. Vargas said he insisted on that based on firsthand experience: “Everybody ate and drank aloe vera; we ate the plant superfoods. These were the skin-care remedies my mom used kid.“I wanted to use aloe vera because 99 percent of skin-care companies for the first ingredient water. The molecular structure of water is too large and it doesn’t penetrate the skin. Skin is waterproof, so water doesn’t absorb into the skin. You can ingest water, but externally it does nothing,” he said.In April, the brand made its initial foray into cosmetics with a lipstick line, and last month launched a lip gloss collection. Upcoming around late summer and early fall is an eyeshadow palette comprised of six shades. On the horizon is a foundation line, also in six shades.The company didn’t forget its roots in skin care, and earlier this month expanded its four-year-old skin-care line to include its new Stem Cell 24 tinted moisturizers. The line contains the same stem cells, acids and peptide formulations as the original moisturizer, but adds tints for three shades in light, medium and dark.Vargas said the company has in the pipeline a 24K moisturizer that combines the stem cells with “24-karat gold flecks for a luminous glow.” The stem cell line will also include an antiaging body cream. The company hasn’t yet finalized a drop-ship date for the line, although the next two to three months is the current working timeline.Upcoming are product launches in the supplements business, with plans for vitamins that include a superfoods blend, an organic greens drink and specific supplements that target skin, hair and nails. The entry into the supplements category will likely be toward the end of the year.The colors in the lipstick and lip gloss lines are identified by name, representing the featured ingredient in that particular shade. The fig shade contains fig extracts, while the dragonfruit shade features extracts from the fruit. And each “color” stick would also provide the inherent vitamin found in that particular fruit or vegetable. Plum would provide pigmentation, as well as vitamins C and K.Price points range from $30 to $130 for the skin-care products, $65 for the tinted stem cell moisturizers, $28 for the lipsticks and $24 for each lip gloss. For more on WWD:Bergdorf’s Next President: Shopbop’s Darcy Penick
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