Luna Nectar, the trailblazing all-natural, vegan, and cruelty-free beauty brand, has a powerful origin story rooted in its founder’s journey to holistic health and self-discovery. After witnessing her sister’s experience with a hormone-based chemical lash and brow-enhancing serum that caused harmful side effects, founder Mia Fiona Kut was inspired to create a clean, waterless formula that would provide safe and effective results for lashes and brows.
The brand garnered a lot of recognition and support for its beauty editor favorite, the Moon Boost Eyebrow and Lash Serum, which includes skin-loving ingredients such as vitamin E, aloe vera, and algae among others. It serves as the first-ever waterless lash serum with powerful adaptogenics, with reviews and skincare enthusiasts praising the product. Luna Nectar’s lineup also includes several other skin and haircare formulas, ranging from serums and oils to shampoo.
Elsewhere, the Atmosphere Hair Density & Scalp Serum enhances hair density and wellness from root to tip with the help of tripeptides and caffeine. The Renaissance Nourishing Pre-Wash Hair Oil blends shikikai, bhringraj, and amla to instantly boost and lock in moisture while working as a scalp massage oil or overnight treatment. These products can be used in combination with other formulas like the Obsidian Volumizing & Anti-Pollution Scalp Scrub Shampoo or Antarctic Hair Shine Glass Rinse.
We recently had the pleasure of talking with Mia about her personal journey, self-care, and creating formulas that work for sensitive and dry skin. Read on for our interview.
Can you tell us about the story behind Luna Nectar and what inspired you to start the brand?
When I was a kid, I had an embarrassing experience of thinning hair due to nutritional deficiencies and hormone-disrupting haircare that was prevalent on the market. It always haunted me, since it seemed like everyone else had healthy hair. The real catalyst was when my sister came home with eyelashes that doubled their length overnight.
She was using a very popular medicated lash-enhancing product in which the main product was supposed to be for treating glaucoma. The lash serum worked for her, but she also experienced adverse side effects, including chemical burns and eczema on her eyelids. I experimented for a year and a half and created an all-natural, vegan, water-free alternative of the lash-enhancing serum.
As a beauty founder, what does self-care mean to you and how much has that definition changed over the years?
To me, self-care means making time to rest, nurture yourself, ponder, and reflect – to recharge your energy before you can give back to others. I always make sure I carve out time each day to do this. Over the years, I’ve taken self-care much more seriously! I’ve burnt out quite in a bit in the past by doing too much. My wake-up call was in the past year, where I had a serious injury that resulted in post-concussion. Though it was difficult, it taught many important life lessons about energy management.
Let’s talk about one of your hero products, Moon Boost Eyebrow and Lash Serum. What can you tell us about the formula and how it works?
Moon Boost is our OG product! The formula is completely all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and hormone-free. It’s also water-free, meaning that there are no fillers, which lets the ingredients work more potently, culminating in quicker results. We use moisturizing ingredients such as argan, aloe, and castor to replenish fatty acids in the roots of your lashes and brows, as well as adaptogens that prolong the growth phase of the lash cycle such as horsetail, gotu kola, red clover, and burdock root. Our customers have reported seeing a difference in about 2.5 to 3 weeks, and full results in 6 to 8 weeks, which is on par or even better than traditional chemical and hormone-based, prostaglandin serums!
Previously, I read about your journey of revisiting the remedies of your ancestral roots and growing up with an emphasis on diet, mind, and exercise. What role, if at all, does your Eastern heritage play in your approach to product development?
I think it’s in my blood, and I can’t help it. I’ve always been someone who tries to keep things ‘balanced’. That’s why I love adaptogens because they bring your scalp and skin back to homeostasis. In product development, I make sure the ingredients work together synergistically to ensure the best results, with the ratios adjusted for ideal consistency and ease of use. I will take out anything that is unnecessary that I see in typical, outdated formulas on the market, for example – water, fragrance when the product is not needed (for example anything near the eyes), any irritating preservatives, sulphites, PEGs, etc.
Also, having had allergies and skin probs yourself, how do you make sure your products vibe with people who have sensitive skin or similar concerns?
I naturally have very sensitive, desert-dry skin. First, I test all the products on myself. Over time by using our natural products, my skin has become more resilient and I would categorize my skin type as more on the ‘balanced’ side now. We also test the products on our consumer perception panel. Lastly, we send the products for testing to a third-party lab on more humans. Our products are dermatologist-tested and trichologist-approved, which is super important!
Skincare can be really confusing for some people, but luckily Luna Nectar is incredibly transparent when it comes to keeping customers in the loop about ingredients and other deets. In your opinion, why is it so important to educate your consumer?
There are so many personal care brands out there, and so much greenwashing. It can be quite confusing – for example, what is ‘premium’? What is ‘sustainable’? At this time of writing, there’s really no compliancy standard in North America for cosmetics, which is why we want to do our due diligence in raising the standards in the personal care products industry.
From reading positive reviews and seeing your products transform people’s skin, what has been the most rewarding aspect of creating and growing Luna Nectar?
The most rewarding aspect is to be able to come up with tangible solutions to help women look and feel their best. Especially with hair loss – women’s hair loss is a bit of a taboo subject – it isn’t much talked about as men’s, and up until recently hair loss research was mostly done on men. More than 50% of women will encounter hair loss in their lifetimes, and it’s even more prevalent now with factors such as stress, the economy, and the environment.
Hair is so important to everyone in feeling their best, but unfortunately, the same chemical-based haircare formulas have been on the market for decades, and many of them cause even more hair loss. Our goal is to kick outdated products in the haircare sector, and we love doing it.