2 Dec 2021 --- Me Cosmetics was born from a personal struggle with a specific beauty concern. After developing androgenetic alopecia - more commonly known as female pattern hair loss - in her early 20s, CEO Camille Barreto explains: “I really struggled emotionally and was very self-conscious when people would gaze up at my scalp.”
She adds: “I saw a lot of doctors and searched high and low for ways to conceal the hair loss but always came up empty-handed, so I reluctantly accepted the situation.” Fortunately, new treatments became available to women over the following decade which helped regrow enough of the lost hair. This, as Barreto shares, meant she didn’t feel quite as self-conscious anymore.
“Unfortunately, I experienced significant postpartum hair loss after my second child and was constantly anxious and depressed about the way I looked,” Barreto expresses. “But this time around I stubbornly refused to ‘accept’ the situation and decided to get creative.” She dyed her hair brown and jerry-rigged a concealer out of dark eye shadows and makeup brushes, which she calls “a bumbly fix that I used for some time.”
“It was very impractical, however, and required a lot of time to apply and blend over my entire scalp,” says Barreto. “I always tried new products that cropped up such as hair fibers, sprays, etc., but each one had significant shortcomings. I knew there had to be a much better solution.”
Aware that 50% of women in America experienced hair loss, Barreto explains: “I recognized that there was a tremendous opportunity to create an elegant cosmetic solution that actually works and makes a truly meaningful impact on women’s lives.”
Developing a foundation for the scalp
Just as Barreto saw herself doing for many years, hairstylists and makeup artists often use products intended for a different use, including eyeshadows and root covers, to conceal thinning hair in their clients. “However, my own experience with this type of jerry-rigged system made it apparent that this is akin to trying to use an eyeshadow as a face foundation.”
Click to EnlargeWhen workarounds weren’t enough, Camille Barreto turned innovative. Source: Me Cosmetics.Me Cosmetics created its round pressed powder, Can't Stop Me Now Ultimate Coverage Scalp Foundation; the first pressed powder scalp foundation system. Its formula is infused with ten active ingredients selected for their benefits and applicability to the hair and skin.
Available in six different shades, with three more currently in development, the innovative formula delivers lightweight, highly pigmented, buildable coverage designed to blend with hair and skin. The foundation features color that reflects hair to give the appearance of thicker, fuller hair, and to conceal small bald spots.
“Unlike other types of products, Can’t Stop Me Now is designed with shades, color payoff and ample reflectiveness to seamlessly match our hair,” says Barreto. Efficiently and effectively concealing large areas of fine or thinning hair requires a product specifically for this purpose, Me Cosmetics found. The product must accurately, consistently and reliably be able to achieve coverage in this way.
“Using other products instead of a dedicated scalp foundation is quite impractical,” shares Barreto. “The small, often square, pan sizes of other products also makes them difficult to apply product on to an appropriately sized foundation brush. Sourcing enough product was also a constant challenge when I used eyeshadow as I would also go through at least one or two small eyeshadows per week in order to cover the large surface of the scalp.”
Can’t Stop Me Now Ultimate Coverage Scalp Foundation is richly-pigmented and reflective to match the natural depth of our own hair. “It is buildable, very blendable, and virtually undetectable,” confirms Barreto. As part of the launch of what Me Cosmetics refers to as a “category-creator”, the brand has also launched its Anything Can Happen Luxury Foundation Brush, designed for a quick and effortless application while ensuring a natural-looking finish. The brand’s Take A Brow Precision Eyebrow Brush will complete the scalp foundation brand’s trio of inaugural products. The brush is a luxury dual-sided tool with an angled finish. “In short, it works because it was thoughtfully designed for this purpose,” details Barreto.
Creating the category
Beauty aisles and websites don’t have a dedicated area for products specifically designed to conceal hair loss, simply because those products don’t exist. That’s what Me Cosmetics saw when exploring potential solutions. “I genuinely applaud every effort made to improve people’s lives, but my journey with hair loss brought to the surface the urgent need for our industry to create cosmetics solutions specifically designed to address this common beauty concern,” details Barreto.
What are often seen are products intended for a particular use that say they can also be used to conceal thinning hair. For example, pressed powder root concealers. While these may be useful for covering very small areas of hair loss, they can be less effective for covering large areas of thinning or fine hair. “With the launch of our scalp foundation, Me Cosmetics is truly establishing a new product category,” Barreto emphasizes.
Click to EnlargeHair loss affects more than just the outward appearance.Today, there are a number of products on the market that are designed to cover hair thinning, including loose powder, spray root concealers and sponge applicators. However, after experience and research, Me Cosmetics believes these solutions to be imperfect and, for the most part, lacking nourishing ingredients for the hair and skin.
“Loose powder and spray root concealers that also claim to conceal thinning are not up to the task because they are imprecise to apply and not blendable,” says Barreto. “The same can be said about expensive hair fiber products, as these are meant to enhance existing hair but don’t serve as a comprehensive foundation for the scalp. Hair loss concealers with sponge applicators are not a comprehensive solution like our foundation because they lay color down in small dots, can’t really be built up, nor are they blendable across large areas with a truly natural finish.”
At the heart of the brand is a determination to help build confidence among its clients. “Can’t Stop Me Now is a life-changing solution that instantly gives the appearance of fuller and thicker hair and is, quite literally, confidence ‘in the palm of your hand’,” says Barreto. “Hair loss can take an emotional toll on women, weigh heavily on self-confidence, cause anxiety and often impacts the choices we make in our day-to-day lives.”
Countless women have shared that hair loss makes them self-conscious all day, every day. Beach or pool visits and getting your hair wet (which makes the thinning very apparent) can be stressful rather than fun. “Many of us have avoided social activities when we feel particularly down about our hair loss,” Barreto notes. “And postpartum hair loss can make an already emotional time very stressful.”
“I love that the cosmetics industry is incredibly progressive and constantly proactive in finding ways to enhance consumers’ lives,” comments Berrato, “but like everything, there is always room for improvement.”
By defining this new product category and creating a product line that solves a common beauty concern, Me Cosmetics is hoping to play an important role in continuing to evolve the market. “It will be so exciting to one day see a section of the beauty aisles dedicated to scalp foundations,” enthuses Berrato.
By Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe, BPC Insights Senior Journalist