“Melariche: Shop beauty curated for darker skin tones and curly hair”. Yes, that’s just the kind of shop I need.
I learned about Melariche through Keziah Connections, a monthly networking event I frequently blog, Snapchat and Instagram about. There I met Jackie Taiwo, the CEO of Melariche, before Melariche came into being and I have followed Melariche’s journey ever since. I know that Jackie fully researched the gap in the market and in my opinion has successfully filled it. She is living proof that taking a risk and working hard really pays off.
Straight hair has been in fashion for as long as I can remember. This has meant that products for curly hair have been difficult to find in the shops so I have always bought my (usually salon brand) curly hair products online. It is only very recently, within the last year or so that high street drugstores like Boots have really made an effort to stock brands specifically for curly hair. Superdrug has been doing it for longer period of time but more choice is always welcome. The usual brands have also now started formulating products for curly hair. I welcome this but what I’m trying to say in a rather convoluted way is that I am already accustomed to buying my hair products online and I will most likely continue to do so. If Melariche wants to make my hair type a priority, I am more than happy with that!
Now, the one thing I have never successfully bought online is foundation. Before last year, I had never even used a drugstore foundation, instead resigning myself to the fact that I would have to go to a beauty counter, get colour-matched then buy the £30-plus foundation. A purse-friendly foundation has never been an option for me and I know that many darker-skinned beauties will have experienced the same thing. I’ll not go into it here but in short, the British high street just doesn’t cater for us properly, although I acknowledge that this is changing.
If I couldn’t find a colour-match on the high street, there was no point in me trying to guess my shade online. I tried it once with Makeup Revolution because I love the brand and at their prices, it’s worth a try. I never used the foundations because it would have involved expert mixing as if I were Picasso! In the UK, if you order makeup online, once you open it you are stuck with it, unless it is faulty. The wrong shade is not “faulty”. As a result, buying foundation online was also not an option for me, unless I was repurchasing a shade that had already been colour-matched in-person.
That is, until Melariche launched the “Test It First” service. This is what I have been missing from my online shopping experience!
The Test It First collection consists of a selection of colour cosmetics and skincare by Yours Truly Organics, Zao, Maréna Beauté, Iman and MoMineral. Luckily for me the Iman stick foundation was in the collection. I have used Iman products before (and totally love them) so with a rough idea of my shade, and the security blanket of the Test It First Collection, I order two Second to None Stick Foundations in Clay 1 and Sand 4. Clay 1 is my summer shade. Sand 5 is my winter shade but this shade was not available but in this case there was not harm (to my purse at least) in trying a completely new shade. My order came quickly and was packaged in an ordinary white cardboard box. Inside, my order was beautifully wrapped in white tissue paper sealed with the Melariche “M” and nestled in vivid red shredded cardboard. It definitely brightened a gloomy evening and I love pretty things! Inside was a note on how the Test It First service works, a voucher code for 10% off my next order, the two foundation sticks and two testers.
Now, as if the availability of the service itself wasn’t good enough, the testers came with applicators! This is a brilliant touch and meant that I could just get on with testing the products straight away. What you do is test the product in the tester pot and if you find the product is not right for you, you return the unopened, full-sized product within 14 days for a refund. I didn’t return any of the sticks because my forehead and chin are a completely different shade to my cheeks so I kept them both, as I have done with my Bobbi Brown stick foundations.
I was very pleased with the service from beginning to end, from setting up my account which was very easy, to getting my order in my hands as delivered by Royal Mail (I still think this is the most reliable delivery service, even if I have to pay). There are a lot of online shops to choose from and one thing that sets Melariche apart is the customer service. I know I’ll be ordering from Melariche again!
Have you tried Melariche? Let me know in the comments below!