How do you convey clean-conscious formulations, wellness, and sophistication along with a social mission of suicide prevention in a single packaging system for a prestige haircare brand that isn’t overwhelming? That was the challenge for Liv Luv Lab, a company founded by beauty entrepreneur and wellness advocate April Peck, when creating the packaging for Save Me From, a line of damage-specific hair-repair products with a sober social message.
With Save Me From, Peck says Liv Luv Lab harnessed the rich biodiversity of fenugreek seed—a medicinal spice used for centuries by Indian women for “amazing” hair—to formulate the brand’s patent-pending Fenugen technology, a concentrated blend of bioactive compounds proven to improve hair strength, shine, hydration, and scalp nourishment. The line’s six formulations each combat a different source of hair damage—these include pollution, chemical processing, age, thermal devices, sun and sweat, and product buildup—for a “Tip To Root Hair Reboot.”
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Peck’s mission in creating the product went much deeper than addressing damaged hair though. “After losing my sister to suicide, I was determined to find a way to save others from suffering the same fate,” she shares. “I created Save Me From to advocate for suicide prevention and personal empowerment. I believe a good hair day helps us feel comfortable with ourselves. This self-love enables us to do so much more.” In a more measurable way, Liv Luv Lab works to prevent suicide by donating 10% of its net income to suicide prevention programs.
In March 2017, Liv Luv Lab began working with beauty branding agency MSLK to create the brand elements and design the packaging structure and graphics for the line. Says Peck, the naming, logo, and architecture for the brand were inspired by the company’s commitment to suicide prevention. The brand voice, she adds, “is helpful with a touch of science,” illuminating the cause of hair damage with verbiage that is relatable.
For the packaging, Liv Luv Lab wanted a primary package that could provide precise dosing and hygienic access without contamination, and secondary packaging offering a disruptive unboxing experience. Visually, the package needed to communicate a consumer benefit-driven product experience and the brand’s clean-formulation, Ayurvedic ingredients, and larger social mission.
The outcome is a jar with airless pump and an outer carton with a metaphorical “zip strip” that together move from damage to repair and from dark to light.
The jar, in a 0.5- and 3.4-oz size, comprises a white inner bottle within a clear, silk-screened outer jar custom-embossed with the Liv Luv Lab logo. The jars are topped with chrome collars and caps in vibrant colors inspired by the Hindu festival of Holi, “a festival of colors that represents the opportunity to come together, forgive, and enjoy the connection with others,” says Liv Luv Lab. The optimistic theme of the holiday coupled with its Indian heritage connect back to both the product’s restorative nature and its Ayurvedic ingredients.
The secondary packaging, a paperboard carton, is designed to provide a cathartic and symbolic unboxing experience. “Early on in the process, MSLK and I conceptualized a box that would need to be physically broken apart to open as a metaphor for hair breakage and our mission,” says Peck. Midway on the front of the carton is a perforated tear strip decorated with lifestyle-inspired photography that depicts the source of damage addressed with each specific formulation. Opening the carton requires the consumer to “tear away the source of damage, revealing the healing product within,” says Peck.
The tear-strip graphics also serve a functional purpose: The dominant colors in the image coordinate with the color of the cap inside to help consumers navigate the various formulations.
With the exception of the tear strip, the carton is black with white lettering, striking a serious chord that underscores the brand’s commitment to suicide prevention. Explains Peck, “The darkness on the outside transitioning to the lighter-colored jar on the inside represents that there is hope for a better future.”
Keeping in mind the carton holds a luxury brand—products are priced at $30 for the 0.5-oz jar and $78 for the 3.4-oz size—a number of printing techniques are used to premiumize the experience. These include soft-touch lamination, spot foil stamping, and a spot UV-gloss coating on the tear strip.
Says Peck, since Save Me From was unveiled at beauty industry event Cosmoprof NA in mid-2019, consumers are loving the damage-specific formulas, the disruptive way in which the products have been categorized, and the benefits of the airless jar for hygienic access and precise dosing.