She's so Cult

She’s So Cult: Melanie Bender of Versed

A brand that is built around game-changing skin saviours, {Versed} boasts a host of results-driven hero ingredients as well as championing a loyal and well-informed beauty regime. A fan favourite, this skin care line is vegan, cruelty-free and clean while advocating for each Holy Grail product to be as safe as they are effective. Shelfie-worthy, no-fuss, low-waste packaging and now exclusively(!!) available at Cult Beauty – Versed is ready to help you seriously step up your 2020 skin care regime.

…and to celebrate Versed finally launching here at Cult Beauty, we sat down with the brand’s general manger, Melanie Bender to talk all things skin care and the importance of the beauty community.

{Cult Beauty} Hi! We’re so excited to have Versed finally launching here at Cult Beauty. First things first, can you tell us about the brand’s beginnings and ethos? What’s Versed story so far?

{Melanie Bender} Our mission is to make clean, results-driven skin care accessible for all. Our founder, Katherine Power, first founded Who What Wear to make style more accessible to everyone, and Versed was really launched to do the same in skin care. First and foremost, our community is at the heart of who we are. We’ve had over 13,000 people join in the development of our brand and products with us and everything we do, we do with them in mind. Because of them, we think formula first, prioritising investment in the ‘goop’ in the bottle so that good skin doesn’t need be ££££. We’re also proudly vegan, cruelty-free and committed to lessening the environmental impact of traditional beauty products.

{CB} Can you describe the brand in just three words?

{MB} Democratic. Informed. Damn good. (Sorry, that’s four!)

{CB} What sets Versed apart from the rest of the industry?

{MB} Our core values as a brand – accessibility, inclusivity, responsibility – are the values that our team lives and breathes every day. They aren’t a marketing gimmick to us.

{CB} And for those unfamiliar with Versed, what product is certain to kick-start an addiction?

{MB} Our {Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm} is a fan favourite on Instagram. I also highly recommend our {Shortcut Overnight Facial Peel} – it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin types, but still delivers those ‘baby skin’ results.

{CB} What were the main objectives when creating Versed?

{MB} We wanted to prove that skin care could be clean, be results-driven, be elevated and still be for everyone. That extends to educating consumers about the right ingredients for their skin needs and what ‘clean’ means to us, so they can use that information to make empowered choices.

{CB} Can you tell us more about Versed’s beauty community and how products get selected and developed?

{MB} We talk to them all day, every day! We average over 45,000 engagements per week across our channels – all of which bring us closer to the wants and needs of the people we serve. That includes hosting regular focus groups to test new formulas we’re liking, answering pressing questions in The Good Skin Crowd, a private Facebook Group we host. And responding to a lot of Direct Messages on Instagram!

{CB} How important is it that Versed is a ‘clean’, vegan, sustainable brand?

{MB} It’s our past, present and future – they’re at the core of who we are and drive every decision we. We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished on those fronts, but it’s really only day one for us. This year we’re really excited to be moving over to post-consumer recycled and FSC-certified materials, reducing the carbon footprint of our products, and making our ‘no list’ even more stringent.

{CB} There’s definitely been a lot of talk about more transparency needed in the beauty industry in regard to inkey lists, product mark ups and sustainability, how does Versed address these consumer concerns?

{MB} We see ourselves as being accountable to our community, and are committed to being as transparent as possible. A lot of our efforts around transparency play out on social media, because that’s where our community is. One example of this: we recently rolled out our Community Board Meetings where I talk about top-of-mind things like progress towards our sustainability goals and sneak peeks into plans – like opening our first shop! As with all things, we do it with our community in mind and are always looking for ways to grow the impact of what we’re doing.

{CB} What beauty rules do we all need to break?

{MB} Expensive = better

{CB} Can you tell us what ‘cult’ means to you?

{MB} Something for those in the know.

{CB} And if you could recommend one treatment that people should be incorporating into their wider routine, what would it be?

{MB} Everyone’s skin is different, but everyone should be taking off their make up and washing their skin properly. No excuses!

{CB} Finally, what’s next for Versed?

{MB} We have several **very** exciting new products launching this year. We can’t wait to share them with you!


Emmie Thornhill

Emmie Thornhill

Deputy Content Editor

Emmie is Cult Beauty’s Deputy Content Editor. Her love of skin care began in primary school when she first learned the term “hormonal acne” and has been in a love-hate relationship with tea tree oil ever since. She lives in East London – where you can normally find her baking, tending to her plant jungle or planning her next tattoo or hair cut/colour appointment – and is known to start DMCs with you about your birth chart placements, the importance of wearing SPF every day and the difference between a vagina and vulva.