Pomponne, the clean make-up brand with a difference

Pomponne, the clean make-up brand with a difference

Launched in 2020 with its limited range of ‘made in France’, highly pigmented make-up formulas with skincare properties, Pomponne is something of a success story.

The brand was founded by PharmD’s Agathe Ettori-Chadelas and Charline Robert based on the observation that for consumers, choosing make-up products free of controversial ingredients still means compromsing on hold and color. And yet: "More and more women are paying attention to what they eat, to what goes into their cosmetics," says Robert, "why should they give up in the make-up department?”

When Pomponne’s project launched in 2020 on crowdfunding platform Ulule, the start-up promising long-lasting clean make-up formulas reached 300% of its goal in 24 hours. And at the end of the crowdfunding campaign, the brand reached 759% of its target, proving that strong demand exists.

Formulas with skincare properties

The brand is now distributed at French department stores BHV and Printemps as well as in pharmacies. With record scores on dedicated apps (Yuka, Clean Beauty), Pomponne lipsticks and mascara are said to provide pigmented formulas that are long-lasting: "Our formulas are not labeled organic but they are natural - up to 100% for some products - and vegan as we use neither beeswax nor cochineal," affirms Robert. Formulas are packaged sunshine yellow, 100% recyclable and monomaterial packs, made from plant-based PP (Lumson) or FSC recycled paper. Products purchased online can also be personalized via an engraving service.

The range is small, but this seems to be the norm in clean make-up, where brands, for R&D funding reasons, first invest in a category before diversifying. In 2023, Pomponne will launch a BB Cream, and potentially a blush/lip multi-stick: "For an independent brand, launching a complete make-up range from the start is complicated. There are few product formulators in France and even fewer who will invest in an R&D project as challenging as clean make-up," explains Robert. "Our products are custom formulated in Brittany and manufactured in Normandy. The continual challenge is that the list of 'suspect' ingredients is constantly growing. It took us over a year and dozens and dozens of tests to create THE lipstick validated by our community - in terms of pigmentation, hold, coverage and hydration.”

Another unique point for the brand is that it develops its formulas with its followers (more than 31k on Instagram), who test the products and give their feedback. "For our communication campaigns, rather than models, we wanted the women who use our products to testify to the way they make them their own. We launched a "call for smiles" and our "Pomponnettes" responded.”

Pascale Brousse, Founder of trends forecasting agency Trend Sourcing, comments: "In the make-up segment, clean is no longer masstige, but affordable luxury. For a long time it was considered that clean and luxury did not go together, but things are changing. We see it with brands like Kjaer Weis or La Bouche Rouge where the packaging codes are joining those of the big luxury brands, while consumer awareness and the AGEC regulations are also moving the market towards more sobriety.”

Subscribe here to read our make-up report in the Winter 2022 issue of Formes de Luxe magazine.

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