WHO: Linda Stephenson
WHAT: CEO/Founder Mèreadesso Inc.
WHERE: Toronto, Canada
Tell us about your background in the beauty industry
I am a chemist, microbiologist and botanist by profession and have worked in the health and beauty care industries for 26 years for companies such as Johnson + Johnson, Mary Kay Cosmetics, MAC and Estee Lauder Companies. I then left corporate life and started my own consultancy specializing in product development for corporate brands, entrepreneurs and private label companies before ultimately taking the plunge in developing my own brand Mèreadesso.
What compelled you to create an all in 1 skin care brand?
There has been this trend over the past few years of product segmentation that has just, in my humble opinion, gotten out of control. All of the day, night, eye creams, serums and primers are confusing to the consumer. In fairness to some brands, many years ago, you could not combine certain ingredients together, so the idea was to “layer” the different products on the skin to provide maximum benefits. But now we have the technology and grade of ingredients that this becomes possible.
So, for example, my All-In-One moisturizer replaces 5 different products (day cream, night cream, eye cream, serums and primer for makeup) and my cleanser replaces 4 products (facial cleanser, eye make-up remover, toner and masking step). I think the consumer is ready to cut out the “noise” of so many different products and save time and money in the process.
How did you come up with the name Mèreadesso?
“Mère” means “Mother” in French and “adesso” means “now” in Italian. So, it literally translated means “Mother-now” – paying homage to when I became a mom, I really found out what it meant to have absolutely NO time – which is part of what drove the need to simplify all my morning steps to get out the door, hopefully having had a shower and managing some sort of outfit that did not involve copious amounts of Lycra.
What are the key ingredients in Mèreadesso?
Well here is where I differ again from most companies. I don’t believe in the “magic bullet” theory. All of the products contain all the vitamins, minerals, extracts, and antioxidants that I have found add value. Most companies focus on 1 or 2 ‘key” ingredients; I have tried to create a “buffet” for your skin.
Why did you decide not to include SPF in your products?
SPF ingredients by their very nature are meant to block. Any of these types of active ingredient would actually hinder the absorption of some of the many special antioxidants that we have in formula, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the products. It is best to actually apply our All-In-One moisturizer first, then apply your desired sunscreen on top.
What are some of the mistakes women make when it comes to their skin regime?
There are a couple of common ones. First, believe it or not, there are a number of women that do not make it a regular habit to wash off their makeup at the end of the day. Beyond making your pillow a mess – that really is just not a good idea for your skin and immediately cuts the benefits of any skin care regimen in half.
Second, using products from different brands. This is quite common – where you have the cleanser that you have been using as a teenager, your mother’s moisturizer, the eye cream sample you got in the mail, the primer your girlfriend recommended, etc… Trust me when I say – I don’t regularly get on the phone with other brands and try to figure out if their cleanser works with my moisturizer. If you like a certain brand, they typically do have some sort of logic that makes their products go together. So, by having a collection of different products you really are not getting the most benefits – in addition, if you have a bad reaction – it is really hard to know where to start figuring out what the problem is.
What is your biggest pet peeve about the way beauty product are marketed?
I think the greatest disservice to customers is when companies make up weird ingredient names to make a product sound highly technical. If that “ingredient” is not listed in the ingredient listing on the back of the product, it just doesn’t exist and can confuse a consumer.
What lessons have you learnt from creating your own skin care line?
That sampling programs are the key to connecting to consumers – especially when I am creating a line that takes a completely different approach. Consumers need to get past their belief system and experience the “wow factor” when trying. Another big lesson we learnt was that our fastest growing demographic are men. So approximately two years ago we went gender-neutral and removed all female-focused references on the website we are slowly introducing that to the products as well.
What’s next for Mèreadesso?
Well, we are planning on launching two new products by the end of the year: 1) a new sleek travel pack with our resealable travel sachets including both our Cleanser and All-In-One, and 2) Tinted All-In-One moisturizers in 4 fabulous shades that will cover EVERY skin tone – pretty fantastic. Beyond that, there will always be something new at Mèreadesso, but the mantra will always be the same: unique, multi-functional, effective products that will solve a consumer need without any confusion.
Way to relax and unwind
Having 3 hours to cook a fabulous meal uninterrupted listening to my favorite music.
It’s chemistry you can eat!
Black and strong. Simple.
Beauty must have
Some sort of lipbalm – Mèreadesso Lip Treats of course!
Place to Vacation
Any place I can ski.
Mary Kay Ash and Estee Lauder, two women who started beauty empires at a time in history when very few people (aka men) thought that a woman could actually have a “head for business”.
To find out more about Mereadesso and where to purchase it, visit mereadesso.com