One of these iconic beauty products is sold every 30 seconds. Here’s why the founders changed the formula

Can you improve on perfection? The makers of RevitaLash say yes

In 2006, physician Michael Brinkenhoff MD founded RevitaLash Cosmetics, bringing to market a game-changing beauty product that would set the standard for a new category of eyelash growth serums, and become a global beauty sensation. One sold every thirty seconds, and all that.

Buoyed by their obsession with research and innovation, and committed to honouring the legacy of Michael’s late wife Gayle, whose breast cancer battle was the impetus for a product that would make cancer patients feel beautiful amid brutal treatments, the beauty behemoth has just launched RevitaLash Advanced Pro – a professional-grade iteration of the original formula, only available through select professional beauty spots.

To celebrate Aotearoa being the first international market to get its hands on this next-level serum, we spoke exclusively to RevitaLash Cosmetics president and CEO Lori Jacobus about the enormous success of RevitaLash, and how the beauty of connection informs their business decisions.

The original RevitaLash could be called one of the first viral beauty products. To what extent has the digital space played a role in its success?

We like to think of RevitaLash Advanced as a cult classic; a trusted name in a sea of lash serums. To be honest, we wouldn’t describe it as a ‘viral’ success. The original RevitaLash serum was created almost 20 years ago – long before the days of social media. More crucial to its success story is that it was one of the first lash serums on the market. It essentially created an entirely new beauty category. To this day, it remains the only ophthalmologist developed lash serum available globally.

The inspiration behind the product – founder Michael’s late wife, Gayle – is almost as famous as the product itself. What are some memorable examples of consumers connecting with this story, and how has this idea of connection continued to drive you as you’ve diversified the business and product range?

Every day we receive customer testimonials from women going through cancer treatment. Cancer is hard on an emotional and physical level. Products like RevitaLash go a really long way in helping to restore a woman’s self-confidence as they grapple with the changes a difficult diagnosis brings.

As for connection, that’s absolutely what drives us to continue our longstanding philanthropic work. Notably, our many years of customer interactions have enabled us to better understand the connection between improved appearance and improved confidence – something that ultimately leads to improved overall emotional quality. And while we spend a lot of our energy and philanthropic dollars funding direct medical research, we also focus on quality of life organisations that utilise our products and donations in supporting the emotional and physical wellbeing of women all over the world. This work is paramount to fulfilling our mission and leaving a lasting legacy for Gayle.

Bear with us – there’s a phrase that came up in an interview we did recently with Levi’s chief design officer, Paul O’Neill. He was talking about the enduring appeal of the 501 jean, and he said, “When the cake is baked, you leave it alone.” Do you think the cake has finally baked with the RevitaLash Advanced Pro? Or do you believe there is always room to tweak and refine the recipes?

For some things, that phrase absolutely applies.

In terms of beauty products, we think there is always room to improve, and that’s because technology is always evolving. We are always researching and testing new and exciting ways to make all our products better – the formula, the application method, everything. We are never going to be a brand that launches 10 products a year, but we will always be a brand that brings forward new ingredients and cutting-edge technology in formulas that are rigorously safety tested, and perform as promised.

In formulating RevitaLash Advanced Pro, we really wanted to focus on the customer and what they were looking for in terms of ‘levelling up’ their lashes. We also wanted to create a product that would instil our professional partners with the confidence that they were delivering the best options for their guests and patients. RevitaLash Advanced Pro was created with innovation and science in mind, as well as the high expectations of a core clientele looking for results.

Speaking of evolving, what’s next for RevitaLash as a business?

We are committed to bringing our commitment to innovation to our philanthropic mission, moving away from a primarily donation-focused mindset to one of direct impact. By working directly with researchers to help fund critical research projects, we believe we have the potential to produce real change in the area of breast cancer – and all cancers, for that matter. We will never stop in our relentless pursuit of innovative new treatments for cancer patients and, dare we say, a cure. We can’t think of a more meaningful and valuable way to honour Gayle’s legacy than that.

Why did you choose New Zealand, a pocket-sized nation, as the first market outside of the US to launch RevitaLash Advanced Pro? 

New Zealand has been a very successful market for us for so many reasons.

First, it’s a market that closely mirrors the United States, so we felt confident knowing what works and what doesn’t. Second, our distributor, Kiara Cosmetics, understands our brand, mission, and customer very well and has done since day one, to the point that they’ve set a new standard in terms of distributor partnerships.

Lastly, New Zealand has a rapidly growing professional market, which is essential for the success of RevitaLash Advanced Pro. We are truly excited for this launch, and hope the beautiful women of New Zealand, as well as the aesthetic professionals in the market, love this breakthrough product as much as we do!

RevitaLash Advanced Pro is available at specialist stockists in New Zealand, including The Face Place, Clinic1 and KM Surgical.