It’s All About the Eyes

Lauren Hoffman’s makeup-as-skincare brand, Onomie, is focused on your eyes—and it’s clinically proven to work.

Lauren Hoffman has spent her career working alongside chemists in the beauty industry. She recently lifted the curtain on her latest project, Onomie, a brand she co-founded with a lofty goal: to harness unstable—but highly potent—ingredients and create a new beauty category, makeup that performs like skincare. Makeup as skincare is a tricky science in and of itself. Many cosmetic companies tout skincare-like benefits, but they lack the research to prove it. “Most brands use consumer results to substantiate their claims, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but consumer results only measure a user’s perception,” Lauren says. In addition to collecting consumer results, Lauren voluntarily subjected her products to a clinical study to validate that they perform. “Our products demonstrate a visible improvement in skin, and that’s actually been clinically proven.” Prior to co-founding Onomie, Lauren worked with the chemists at Kiehl’s to evolve the brand’s Dermatologist Solutions collection. When she set out to create her own line, she met with more than 100 women and talked to them about their daily struggles and routines. She found that universally, every woman wanted to look and feel less tired. And where does that begin? With the eyes. Lauren and her business partner, Kal Vepuri, hand-selected an elite group of chemists—one who was well-versed in skincare, and a team who was able to perfect the makeup aesthetics and pigment payoff. Combined, they built what Lauren considers to be two pretty perfect products. We sat with Lauren and asked her to fill us in on the brainy side of the beauty biz.

Dark circles are a common culprit

Dark circles are complicated, which is what makes them such a challenge to fix. They crop up because of lifestyle—lack of sleep, poor diet, alcohol consumption—but they’re also due to allergies, sun exposure and the aging process in general. The dark circle itself is a pool of blood that needs to be circulated to be diminished.

They’re actually bruises

The dark circle itself is a pool of blood that needs to be circulated to be diminished. It may also be the result of the skin around the eye becoming thinner. If you have dark circles and your skin is thinning due to age or UV exposure, the dark circle will appear more prominent. Lifestyle changes aside, to banish the dark circle, you need to circulate the blood and strengthen the skin around the eye. Our Bright Concealing Elixir was clinically tested to demonstrate a reduction in the dark circle and redness within 4 to 8 weeks.

Your skin is breaking down

Lines and wrinkles result as a breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, the skin’s connective tissue. It’s not actually a muscle, but it operates like one to keep the skin strong and flexible. Vitamin C is known to help promote the production of collagen, which keeps these building blocks intact and protected from the signs of aging. Pure Vitamin C is known to help produce collagen, prevent the transfer of melanin and fight the damage caused by free radicals.

To create a powerhouse product you need an all-star ingredient

Pure Vitamin C is known to help produce collagen, prevent the transfer of melanin and fight the damage caused by free radicals. In order for the skin to receive the most benefit, it needs a concentration level of at least 10%—anything higher could cause some serious sensitivity to your skin, so we deliberately chose a safe, yet effective, level of 10%.

The path to innovation isn't easy

Vitamin C is notoriously unstable. To work with it, we created a proprietary technology to help stabilize the ingredient and then addressed other factors that contribute to its instability through our packaging and application system. Vitamin C becomes unstable when it’s exposed to moisture and light. Our formula contains no water—a huge feat—and our packaging is fully opaque with an airless pump. As a result, the pure Vitamin C only becomes activated once it hits the moisture in your skin, allowing it to provide the full suite of amazing benefits. UV exposure creates an overproduction of melanin, which transfers to the surface of the skin as dark spots and uneven skintone.

Daily sun exposure adds up—even with sunscreen

The number one cause of damage to the skin is UV exposure. UV exposure creates an overproduction of melanin, which transfers to the surface of the skin as dark spots and uneven skintone. The goal is to prevent the damage from occurring, but also, block that transfer from happening. Wear sunglasses, use a daily sunscreen and feed your skin specific ingredients like Vitamins A, C and E (hence, A.C.E.) to provide it with powerful active ingredients that can counteract damage and protect your skin from future abuse.