Dr. Melodie Davis-Bundrage of LUV + Co Cosmetics
Healthy Cosmetics by LUV + CO
There are thousands of beauty brands promising healthy cosmetics. With so many cosmetic brands in the market vying for your attention, it's a full-time job sorting through all the messaging and formulations to find the ones that works for you. More importantly, how do we find a healthy cosmetics brand made without harmful and toxic ingredients. What makes Luv + Co Mineral Cosmetics stand out among a sea of other clean, vegan, fragrance-free brands is the woman behind the vision.
Dr. Melodie Davis-Bundrage is the brains behind LUV+CO, a venture she started back in 2012. And her background is as diverse as it is impressive. She's been a makeup artist, a non-profit executive, and an associate professor, where she specialized in fashion and beauty merchandising, with a strong focus on sustainability.
What's LUV + CO. about?
LUV + Co is a doctor-developed, conscious color cosmetics. Formulated to conquer and conceal skin conditions, their mineral-based foundations, blushes, and lip glosses reveal your true confidence and make you love the skin you’re in. All products are luxuriously designed to soothe and tone sensitive skin, eyes, and lips of diverse shades.
They prioritize the health of all women and the environment by staying far away from:
- mineral oil
- synthetic fragrances
- any harmful toxins
After her daughter was diagnosed with autism, Melodie went down the rabbit hole of product ingredients and potential connections to her daughter's issues. Upon her findings, she noticed that there weren't enough clean beauty products tailored specifically for women of color. She decided to take matters into her own hands. Melodie also founded the LUV Beauty Business Academy, a school for eco-beauty enthusiasts who want to break into the clean beauty industry as entrepreneurs.
Melodie's mission then and now is about spreading love and educating women about making healthier choices when it comes to cosmetics. That means steering clear of toxic ingredients that could lead to all sorts of health issues. But it's not just about makeup – she's also committed to mentoring women and girls, teaching them to embrace their skin through beauty and wellness routines.
Her message has certainly resonated and in 2023, Melodie opened her first brick-and-mortar retail store in Atlanta, GA. Read on to learn more about Melodie's ethical and inspirational beauty brand she's been nurturing for more than a decade:
What does ethical beauty mean to you?
Ethical beauty makes sure that products are formulated with natural and organic ingredients that are not harmful to people, animals, or the planet. It is also inclusive of all ethnicities and skin tones so that everyone has access to conscious cosmetics.
What is your favorite product from your brand?
Our Natural Lift Mascara has been featured in numerous media publications, including InStyle magazine a couple of times, noting that it is one of the best natural mascaras in the clean market for sensitive eyes. My eyes used to constantly tear up when irritated from products, so it is a relief to not have to constantly wipe my eyes, keep tissues in my purse, and rebuild my eye makeup.
What healthy cosmetics does LUV + CO make?
- Melanin Match Liquid Foundation
- Moisturizing Lipstick
- Total Care Brow Pomade
- Face & Body Bronzer for Glowing Face
- LUV-U Moisturizing Lip Gloss
- Melanin Match Mineral Concealer Cream Foundation
- Eyeshadow Mineral Pigments
- Melanin Match 4-IN-1 Complexion Powder
- Satin Mineral Blush Pigments (Loose)
- Natural Lift Mascara
- Melanin Match Matte Setting Powder
- Pro Blending Sponge
- Matte Blush Mineral Pigments
- Chamomile Face & Eye Primer
- Rose Gold Colored Cream Highlighter
- Bristle Kabuki Make-up Brush
- Everlasting Gel Eye Liner
- Brow Liner & Lash PRO Brush Set
Has transparency and sustainability always been a priority for you as a brand founder?
Yes, when I first pitched my brand, we had three founding principles for the brand identity. They were stylish, safe, and sustainable. The combination of these three tenets was our unique value proposition because this was what was missing in a brand at that time.
What is it about the beauty industry that inspires you?
Giving women the confidence to show up in life as their full selves and loving every bit of their skin no matter the tone, condition, or complexion.
What is your personal beauty credo?
Unconditional beauty starts in the heart. I choose to love myself so I can see and feel confident in my skin and support others in their journey to do the same.
What are your hobbies?
I love short weekend trips, playing Pickleball, home decorating, sewing, and making jewelry.
Who or what influenced your thoughts on beauty growing up?
My mother was a fabulous interior decorator, so I learned an appreciation for color, pattern, and texture from her. That had a direct influence on my abilities as a former make-up artist and my current brand design skills.
How do you practice self-care?
- I disconnect from social and tech gadgets to explore a slower pace and peace.
- I visit family in various parts of the country to feed my soul with those who know me the best.
- I increase my water intake, eat wholesome foods, and participate in gentle sports to maintain heart health because I am a SCAD survivor.
What has been the biggest challenge in creating your brand so far?
Organic growth, brand awareness, and keeping up with changes in digital marketing on an indie budget are all big challenges.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to ingredient sourcing?
Fragrance disclosures and a reliable way to source unique ingredients in smaller batches through USA manufacturers.
How do you think the beauty industry could take better care of the ingredient producers and farmers responsible for many of the ingredients used in beauty products?
Listen to the researchers and thought leaders who have performed and documented peer-reviewed research on operations in that part of the industry and discuss and implement recommendations.