Beyond beach

Beaches and sunshine, surfers and waves, but also sustainability and consciousness – 2022 found beauty brand Caliray translates the spirit of California into make-up products.
Their clean, vegan, and cruelty-free make-up is made with a blend of natural ingredients that are good for your skin and the planet.  The packaging is made of post-consumer recycled materials as much as possible and bioplastics like sugarcane eye pencil barrels and lip gloss tubes, for smaller carbon impact than petroleum-based plastic. The minimal decoration that allows for easy recycling, all prints are done with algae and vegetable print. The brand currently features nine products from mascara to a color palette, primer and setting spray as well as tint – all reflected the fun Cali vibe.

We talked to founder Wende Zomnir who is working with the Caliray team from a vintage beach house in California.

Surf Proof Setting Spray, CALIRAY

Come Hell Or High Water Mascara, Caliray

What made you create Caliray? 

Myself and my founding partner, Jenna Dover launched Caliray in January 2022 as part of Sephora’s selective Clean + Planet Positive program. The idea of Caliray came in the form of a lightning strike on the beach one Friday morning between two beach volleyball buddies who were throwing free-flowing, genuine ideas around – landing on the unprecedented idea of a California-inspired beauty brand with the goal of serving face and planet.

Caliray is a performance clean makeup & wellness brand developed to create laid back looks and joyride vibes with real sustainability innovation as a core pillar. With a sunny outlook and a Cali-weird vibe, the brand invites customers to participate in sustainability as an easy, joyful experience, while never having to compromise on products that work. The brand experiments with sustainable packaging solutions from upcycled ocean plastic, traditional PCR at high levels, bioplastics, bamboo, recycled cartons, non-treated glass, all-aluminum components, plastic alternatives, and carbon sequestration.

Which was the first product you had on your mind – and which is the next?

The first product was mascara that won’t smudge. The xext product is going to be socal superbloom hydrating lip + cheek soft stain. I’ve never developed a lip + cheek tint before, so I’m super excited for this launch.

So Blown Primer, Caliray

Do you have a “hero” product? If so, which one is it?

Our hero Come Hell or High Water Mascara is ready for anything – sweating, crying, getting caught in the rain etc. It features high performance waxes & film forming agents for water resistance, and it’s buildable texture contains 2% argan oil for lush lash conditioning. It’s all packaged in 100% ocean plastic tubing, featuring low impact decoration for easy recycling and a 100% PCR paper box – allowing you to serve face & planet. Also, the unique teddy-bear brush has multi-dimensional fibers that define lashes, while volumizing and curling without the clumping.

If Caliray was a song, which one would it be?

California Love by Tupac

What are you dreaming of creating with Caliray in the future?

For the future of caliray I dream of creating a real zero waste system for beauty packaging.. Because listen – The planet is fcking melting but I still want to look hot. One day, we’ll all have to answer that question “what did you do to protect the planet? and I want my answer to be totally reimagining the way we use beauty products.

Socal Superbloom Lip + Cheek Soft Stain, CALIRAY

Laura Dunkelmann
September 1, 2023
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