If you ever decide to take a peek into celebrities’ or influencers’ beauty routines, there’s a high chance that you might stumble across Sunday Riley. Harnessing the power of Green Technology, its products are highly loved by the beauty community worldwide. So, it is not surprising that the majority of Sunday Riley products attain cult-favourite status the moment they hit the shelves. Staying true to their brand’s DNA, Sunday Riley, the genius behind the eponymous brand, has always prioritised skin health over trends by incorporating a blend of biotechnology, science, and botanicals. Although founded only 11 years ago, Sunday Riley has achieved far beyond that, from being an award-winning brand to B Corp certified. Ahead, its founder, Sunday Riley, gives Beauty Insider an exclusive insight into her perspectives on skincare trends and her favourite Walt Disney quote.

1. Sunday Riley is a household brand with a catchy name. We heard that your dad gave it, in case you decided to venture into business. Is it true? 

It’s true, my dad named me. It was Austin, Texas and it was the hippie era. He said he wanted to give me a name that would be great for business if I wanted to go into business someday, which I think is quite funny now but I’m glad for it and I really love it.

2. The majority of the products managed to attain cult favourite status the moment they hit the market, is there any secret or formula that you practise when it comes to creating new products? 

It differs from product to product, but I always start with the skin and a problem to solve. I also really focus on texture and where it fits into someone’s routine. From there I look at ingredients. I have a database that’s broken down by botanicals and actives, and what they can do for the skin. From this point, I’ll start pulling everything together to suit the skin concern we’re working with – it’s a lengthy process! I’m a big believer that all our products have to be a blend of biotechnology, science and botanicals. I take a 360 degree approach when looking at skin health. 

3. The skincare trends are always evolving, what do you think is the next big thing that will take over the beauty industry? 

Oh wow, it’s hard to say! There are so many innovative ingredients but ultimately I don’t formulate products for trends, I put the skin first and ensure everything we put our is highly effective. We want instant long-lasting results without the downtime. 

In saying that, I think sustainability will continue to trend. It’s a big part of our brand DNA, we recently became B corp certified. This extends way beyond packaging and I hope brands continue to put sustainability at the forefront. 

4. Has the pandemic affected the business in any way? Have you noticed changes in terms of the beauty trends too? 

Masks are an obvious one and have caused so many people to experience acne again, so skin clarity has been a huge focus for us. We’re also paying more attention to the top halves of each other’s face. We’ve been wanting to innovate the eye category for years, and now feels like the right time. 

Since the pandemic, I think people are spending a lot more time on self-care and self-love and skincare really is a part of that. I think there’s been a slight shift in that skincare once felt like a chore, whereas now it’s a little luxury, or a moment you can take for yourself. 

5. What’s your thought on skincare-makeup hybrid products? Is the brand open to such a new spectrum?

Definitely! It makes sense for your makeup to support your skin health as well. If you’re putting so much into your skincare routine, you don’t want to undo it all each day with poor quality makeup formulas. 

6. We noticed that the name of the products is mostly inspired by outer space, are you a sci-fi enthusiast? 

U.F.O was actually inspired by my daughter. She had acne and it was really getting her down. I said to her one day “I’m going to create a product just like a little U.F.O that will come and zap those pimples right off your face” – and I did! That’s where the name U.F.O came from for our Ultra-Clarifying Oil. 

7. If you can only pick one product that best represents the brand, which one would you choose?

They all represent the brand and I make sure of that in each development. I’m proud of all of them, and if for some reason I lose my pride in one, then I cut the product from the line-up. If I did have to choose just one, it would be Good Genes. Good Genes is the one product that has remained with us throughout our evolution. It embodies our philosophy of ‘powered by science, balanced by botanicals’. It’s a great product where you see instant results, which is what Sunday Riley is all about. 

8. As a founder, how do you cope with criticism and overcome business challenges? Any advice for aspiring beauty founders? 

There is a Walt Disney quote that I love – “Keep moving forward”. I live by the rule of being in the now: living in the present and walking towards the future. It’s easy to overanalyse but people are counting on me and I just have to keep moving. Mistakes and failures happen, you have to drop your ego and keep going.