It all started with a stolen razor. Well, several really. “I would always use my boyfriend’s razor,” says Lui co-founder Rebecca Harding, whose partner happens to be radio star Andy Lee. “Men’s products are just so much simpler and better designed than what’s available in the women’s category. We grew up using those very plasticky, very pink, very gendered razors. It was hard to find a more beautiful alternative that really worked”.
Launching today, Melbourne-based Lui is a body-care brand that wants to elevate your everyday routine. For the past three years, Harding has worked alongside beauty writer and brand expert Ingrid Kesa to bring two products to life: the razor and shave cream.
“A lot of the products on the market are actually owned by male-led shaving brands. But obviously men hold a razor and shave their face very differently – we were really keen to make sure that this product was created for the way female-identifying users shave, how they hold it and what parts of their body they might be shaving,” Harding says.
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The razor’s weighted white handle will feel foreign to anyone who is used to disposable alternatives. But this is intentional. “It’s really functional. The weight helps with control, as well as the rotating head,” Kesa says. And it’s more sustainable, too. You can purchase packs of four refill blade sets – with a subscription option based on how often you shave – but keep the handle for years to come.
The duo worked with local chemists to develop a PH-balanced shaving cream that’s not fake-floral scented or profusely foamy. “It was really important for us to create a shave cream that gives back to the skin. It’s got really beautiful skincare ingredients that calm and soothe and hydrate,” Harding says. Shea butter, aloe vera and chamomile, as well as macadamia, sweet almond, jojoba and olive oils, are credited on the brand’s website.
In the age of Barbiemania, the brand has deliberately shied away from “classic” colours. “When you stand in the supermarket aisle, all you see is pink and blue and purple. We wanted to move away from that kind of visual language and create something that felt a bit more contemporary and gender-neutral. Also something beautiful to have in your bathroom,” Kesa says.
Lui translates to “him” in Latin languages like French and Italian. The name is a nod to the beginning of the brand, as well the founders’ desire to own a space that has historically overlooked their needs. “As women who shave, we feel like we’ve been an afterthought in the category since we decided to shave our legs way back when. If they choose to shave, women are usually shaving a larger surface area of their body than men, but our options are so limited – so we had to change that,” Harding says.