maven46 meets: Lucy McPhail, Founder of Fetch Beauty

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Words by Nicole Thomsen
August 29th, 2018

 

As a former womenswear buyer for Harrods, Lucy McPhail is no stranger to the luxury industry, but her latest venture is a step away from the world of fashion. After sidestepping into the beauty department at Harrods, McPhail spent five years as a beauty buyer before making the decision to branch out on her own and launch Fetch Beauty, an e-commerce site, earlier this year. Featuring an exclusive array of luxurious, results-driven brands from Lancer and Lixirskin to Perricone MD, Fetch Beauty is her edit of the best in global beauty.

On her background in beauty…

My background is actually heavily fashion based. I got a bit lost in the constant travelling and transient nature of fashion buying and ended up making a side move into beauty buying for no other reason other than it was always a passion of mine. I always invested in beauty products and treatments since my early 20’s and it wasn’t until a friend of mine suggested a career in beauty that I actually considered moving. Luckily enough I was able to move internally at Harrods and I can’t imagine not being in this industry now. I love the strategy that goes into building successful beauty brands. It’s less transient than fashion so you tend to make better professional connections and build great working relationships than other areas of the retail industry.

On the inspiration behind Fetch Beauty…

I was able to demonstrate a gap in the market for a luxury skincare platform that put content and education ahead of retail. Ireland is a fantastic place to start a business, there is amazing talent here in both the creative and tech worlds.

On the Fetch Beauty philosophy…

Our mission at Fetch Beauty is to promote great skincare habits for all. You may not buy from us today but our content and that of our followers should inspire you to take better care of your skin. We are a luxury business so there is no compromise on quality whether that’s our products, our logistics or our customer care.

On sourcing the best products…

Our customer is the influencer when it comes to new products and brands. I’m very lucky to have worked with some amazing doctors and dermatologists in the past so I rely on their expertise a lot when researching new ingredients and innovation. I find that most beauty industry leaders have different approaches to skin health whether that’s treatments or at-home products. Sometimes this is because of where they are in the world (we have brands from South Korea, Australia, Singapore, California); they are all correct but rely on different research and opinion, and I suppose we all have different opinions of what beauty is. I would never say that one product is ‘the best thing in the world’ and ‘you should never do this’ or ‘always do that’ because the research and innovation changes constantly. We are so lucky to work with the best brands globally but if something better comes along or customers are not seeing results from a product my job is to get out there and find something better that will exceed their expectations.

On her cult beauty products…

I love supplements for skin and you can’t ignore the importance of diet and lifestyle. As a minimum, I take Omega 3 capsules every day but I’ve been known to take up to 12 different beauty supplements daily. Lancer Sheer Fluid Sun Shield is a brilliant skin protector and it also sits perfectly under makeup. It’s expensive but it lasts for ages. I love undereye masks for a quick fix; we sell a couple of different ones at Fetch Beauty but these ones from Shangpree, which is an exclusive brand that I discovered on a trip to Seoul, are my favourite especially when put in the fridge.

 

On her travel essentials…

When I travel I always try and ensure I bring my body and hair products including my own hairdryer. There’s nothing worse than not feeling yourself when you have an important meeting. On a long haul flight I bring hydrating sheet masks (I don’t care what people think!), individual cleansing wipes from Lauren Napier, a spray toner (I usually take this one from Allies of Skin as it’s also anti-bacterial), a hyaluronic acid serum, undereye masks, and Dioralyte (you shouldn’t drink on a flight but I get very excited about my trips so often do). I have really bad circulation so I wear compression tights and use a jade roller to stop my face from puffing out. I love the de Mamiel Altitude Oil as a few drops really clears out your airways which makes it easier to sleep. A silk eyemask and good earplugs are also key.

On her holiday heroes…

A hyaluronic acid serum is the best thing for skin recovery after sun exposure, as well as a good lip balm and aloe vera.

On new brands and products…

As part of my job I’m constantly trying out new product. Just because something looks good on Instagram doesn’t mean it’s actually a good product that’s worth investing in, so it’s a long process to select new launches. We have some really exciting things up our sleeve at Fetch Beauty that are top secret. Some are just in the concept stage where we may have just tried lab samples while others are further along the pipeline in markets outside of Europe, going through registration.

On her favourite skincare ingredients…

There are so many great ingredients (and a lot of bad ones that are thrown in to bulk out cheaper products) but I think antioxidants are a great place to start especially if you live in a city, don’t have a great diet or spend a lot of time on laptops/looking at mobile phones.

On her favourite places to source new products…

Aesthetic beauty means different things in different cultures so that’s why travel is so important when looking for innovation. I love South East Asia for product innovation like Japan and South Korean but I also love the clean beauty movement coming out of California.

On her top skincare advice…

Don’t waste a penny on skincare until you start properly double cleansing and using broad-spectrum sun protection daily.


Want to know more? Lucy will be speaking at our inaugural Be summit on September 22nd, 2018, about the emerging beauty trends, launching an Irish-based beauty e-commerce site, and sharing her niche product recommendations. Get your tickets below!