The skin-care brand Sunday Riley has a unique formula that was created by Sunday Riley herself, who is a “cosmetic chemist and product formulator”. Riley started the brand after finding other products to be ineffective. Within her formula is a substance called retinol, which can seem scary to people who are familiar with its effects in other formulas, as it can cause dry, red skin, but to detract from the ingredient list, Riley’s formulas are given names like Martian, Good Genes, and Luna.
The price of Sunday Riley products is more expensive than that of other skincare formulas, excluding luxury products. A one-ounce bottle of Luna Oil costs $105, with a one-ounce bottle of Good Genes at $105 as well. Since Riley does her own formulating, there isn’t the added cost of research. Sunday Riley was first picked up by Barneys New York in 2009, and the lead buyer suggested Riley use her own name for the brand. Riley’s brand didn’t have a large budget for advertising, so they used social media influencers to promote their products to their followers. The brand even shared samples with social media users who had a smaller following, capitalizing on those people sharing their success with the brand with their friends and followers.
Riley also takes note of what products are successful and which are not, in 2011, she expanded her company to include many cosmetic products. She noticed those products weren’t selling as well as the skincare products, so she removed them from stores after two years. Riley often has her friends and family test out her products to get their feedback before beginning to sell those products. At the moment, Riley is working on a vitamin C-focused collection, continuing to expand her skincare brand. Though her makeup products didn’t do well before, Riley sees herself expanding into that field, and others, again in the future.