Caliray's Smudge-Proof Mascara Is Destined to Be a Cult-Classic
Growing up in the early 2000s, teens everywhere, including myself had a weird fascination with the California lifestyle. My favorite clothing brand in high school? Hollister. My favorite TV show? The OC. My favorite reality TV show? The Hills. You get the idea.
Fast forward 20 years later and the infatuation with The Golden State is still alive and well. In fact, it's what's inspired Urban Decay founder Wende Zomnir's new clean makeup brand, Caliray.
"I was traveling all around the world for Urban Decay and I would go to these different countries and they would all want to know about my life in California," says the Newport Beach-based entrepreneur. "They'd ask things like whether I really surf or drink kale smoothies. I think there's something about the freedom and entrepreneurship that Southern California really stands for, along with the weather."
Zomnir teamed up with friend Jenna Dover to get the brand off the ground, and in true SoCal fashion, their partnership was born at the beach. "I got to know Jenna just from playing beach volleyball every weekend," says Zomnir. "She's really creative and we would sit around and BS about different things and brainstorm makeup shade names. Then we got to the point about seriously considering launching a brand."
Caliray is launching with two products: the Come Hell or High Water Clean Mascara ($24) and Surfproof Easy Glider Eye Definer Clean Waterproof Pencil ($20), available exclusively at caliraybeauty.com. When deciding what products to make first, Zomnir went with what she's known for: eye makeup.
"One is I know how to do eye makeup and I'm known for that, between the 24/7 Pencils and Perversion Mascara," Zomnir says, calling out two of Urban Decay's fan-favorite products. "I wanted to create something that was clean and high performance because I think that's lacking in certain areas in the clean space."
The Come Hell or High Water Clean Mascara is a longwear tubing formula that despite not being waterproof, doesn't smudge or flake, thanks to nourishing ingredients like argan oil. (I can attest to this firsthand because I cried on the first day I took the mascara for a trial run). It lengthens and volumizes lashes, while separating them for definition, and stays on until you massage it off with your fingertips and a little bit of warm water.
To shop: $24; caliraybeauty.com
And the Surfproof Easy Ride Eye Definer offers long wear, too. The pencil glides on seamlessly and has a soft, velvet finish that doesn't melt or smudge. Zomnir has also added hydrating ceramides to the formula for bonus skincare benefits. It comes in three essential shades: jet back, chocolate brown, and cool navy.
To shop: $20 each; caliraybeauty.com
Along with the formula's ingredients, Zomnir is also focusing on using more sustainable options for packaging. The mascara tube, for example, is made from upcycled ocean plastic and printed with most vegetable dyes. The brand has partnered with Pact so customers can properly recycle the products when they're through with them.
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"I think the most thing to remember is that sustainability is a journey, not a destination," says Zomnir. "As more brands look for sustainable options, more suppliers are going to offer more options, and there will be more creativity with packaging and ingredients."
Caliray's first products are available now, exclusively at caliraybeauty.com.