What if consumers could covertly check whether her drink had been spiked thanks to a device that also holds her lipstick? This is the premise behind ESOES, a new personal safety smart cosmetics brand founded by entrepreneur Joy Hoover. The brand's standard lipstick pack is housed in a refillable device along with drug testing strips and a panic button.
Based out of Las Vegas, personal safety smart cosmetics brand ESOES (pronounced “SOS”) was founded by entrepreneur Joy Hoover. It is her third entrepreneurial venture, but her first consumer product. Hoover, who has been a "safety activist" for 13 years, describes ESOES as “an ecosystem of solutions empowering women and lipstick wearers with safety, solidarity and sustainable resources.”
ESOES is currently launching its first product, a lipstick containing “multiple safety features.” How does it work? A standard liquid lipstick pack slots into a refillable device that also holds two drug testing strips and conceals a panic button connected via Bluetooth to a safety app. Users click open the bottom of the device to reveal the drug testing strips made to detect benzodiazepines. If the strip shows two lines after the drink is tested, it means it’s safe to drink. One line is unsafe. As for the accompanying app, “it can be pre-configured with a text message or phone call, can show the consumer's location, begin recording what’s going on or call emergency services,” she says.
ESOES works with a white label manufacturer for the liquid lipstick, whose packaging is made of PET and printed with BA Series Ink. The refillable, case-like device is made of black resin and is produced by Unlimited Custom Machining. The lipstick, device and two drug testing strips come in cardboard secondary packaging from Unlimited Custom Creations. Made using 16pt card stock, the box is adorned with illustrations of women by artist Madame Scissorhands.
It costs $49.95 for the device, one lipstick, two test strips, and basic access to the app. Consumers can purchase additional test strips and lip colors (there are currently five shades in the range).
ESOES sells its lipsticks via its website, although it also has partnerships with universities and is targeting distribution – potentially via vending machines – at casinos and airports.
“Our goal is to get our first 500 lipsticks into consumers’ hands for initial feedback. We’re very close to achieving this,” Hoover says.
And in terms of future product development? “We have an international patent for cosmetics with safety features so we intend to extend the line,” she says. A chapstick range is already in the works.
Joy Hoover is giving a keynote speech at luxury packaging trade show LUXE PACK New York next week. Entitled ‘Human Centered Design: The Future of Packaging’, the session will explore what millennials and gen Z are looking for in their packaging, and the importance of social impact and social responsibility.