With almost a decade in the beauty industry, Erika Geraerts was left feeling tired and slightly jaded. So, she decided to take all she’d learned – as well as her ethical and conscious principles – to create Fluff: a makeup brand for a younger generation being raised by the internet.
We talked to Erika about her goal for Fluff to provide an alternative narrative to the beauty industry, why it’s time to walk away from Millennial Pink and Instagram filters and why a makeunder is the new makeover.
You are the Founder and Director of natural and sustainable makeup brand, Fluff. Tell us about the brand.
I am very conscious of words like natural and sustainable, because in cosmetics, natural is a very abused word, and sustainable is a debatable term. We can be better, yes – we can be more responsible, definitely, but in my mind the most sustainable thing we could all do is stop producing.
The next best thing is committing to responsible practices and processes and producing products that encourage more conscious consumption. In our mind, slower is faster. Fluff is committed to better products: refillable, no single-use plastic, vegan, cruelty-free formulas, and finding alternatives to palm oil.
And better messaging: we think it’s ok to feel more with makeup, so long as you don’t feel less without it.
What was your initial inspiration behind starting Fluff?
I knew there was a market opportunity (both locally and internationally) for a brand that connected to a younger generation that was growing up on the internet. I wanted to provide an alternative narrative in the beauty industry – moving away from Millennial Pink and Instagram filters towards a more low-fi aesthetic and awareness that beauty is more than makeup. We exist to discuss this very fact.
Any top products from the Fluff range you’d recommend?
The Foundation Set (which doesn’t include a foundation product). It’s simply Fluff: Face Oil #1, Refillable Bronzing Powder & Kabuki Brush. It’s all you need. Also, actually – everyone in the world should own a Fluff Lip Oil. 100% Vegan, Cruelty-free, no Palm Oil – and refillable. Something we’re very proud of.
You’ve spent seven years in the beauty industry. Tell us about that journey so far.
It’s been long. And tiring. And aged me, ironically. It’s also been a fascinating experience to see how different people grow up and view themselves over time, in relation to beauty. My career started in writing, which led me to working with beauty brands, to co-founding a skincare company (frank body) and then leaving to start Fluff.
We hear you’re a big fan of Boody. What is it about our everyday essentials you love?
I have realised that I cannot wear clothes that aren’t comfortable. Which sounds obvious, but I have spent years in clothes that don’t feel like me, or don’t fit me properly, because I was trying to construct an idea of myself, through someone else. I also love bamboo – it really does feel different.
Any top picks from our ranges?
I love to wear the Downtime Lounge Top, Downtime Lounge Pants and Everyday Slip. I love basics that I can dress up and down – that I can go out to dinner in and then literally collapse into bed if I feel so inclined. I also have a fear of visible panty lines. I think they are lazy.
Sustainability is incredibly important to us at Boody. In what ways are Fluff products eco-friendly?
Our efforts towards sustainability include our weighted metal, refillable compacts – across our Lip Oils and Bronzing Powders. We’re really proud of these not only because they’re so different and visually beautiful, but because they’re pretty indestructible. We based the design of a cloud shape and Art Deco vanity cases, in which makeup was like jewellery – you can refill these again and again.
We are about to rollout refills for our glass, liquid skincare products, too. And we’re constantly looking at ways to improve our packaging, including working with Grounded and their compostable, secondary packaging and poly mailers. This is a long journey and process to replace outdated models, but one we’re committed to.
Fluff is also joining 1% for the Planet this month, in addition to our goal of becoming a BCorp by the end of the year.
Any top tips on how people can live a more sustainable lifestyle?
Read and start with the small things: your toothbrush, your coffee cup, compost, shopping bags, etc. Then start reading about the companies/brands you buy from, and what they stand for. If they don’t talk about it, that’s their answer.
Tell us about the Makeunders you guys run at Fluff.
Makeunders are our answer to Makeovers. Where you might pay $90 to have 50 products applied to your face, and walk out feeling like someone else, at Fluff Studio, you pay $20 to have less than 5 products applied, and you leave looking like you: pretty. We’re more interested in chatting to you than selling to you. And that’s what makes Fluff different.
What’s next? Anything exciting on the horizon you’d like to mention?
A few more products, a few more shades, and a lot more challenging conversations for the beauty industry.