Allure + Undefined Beauty
Undefined Beauty's CBD Skin-Care Line Donates to Formerly Incarcerated Women
Read all about why the founder, Dorian Morris, takes social justice so seriously as an entrepreneur.
April 20, 2019
As Dorian Morris and I talk at a crowded coffee shop, her visible excitement for her latest venture eliminates the excess noise that surrounds us. It quickly becomes clear that she’s a founder on a mission: to democratize beauty, debunk stigmas surrounding the consumption of cannabis, provide education on how skin-care products impact our internal well-being, and empower all individuals across her supply chain ecosystem.
Morris recalls a childhood spent reading ingredient lists and having multiple businesses as early as age six, so it’s fitting that her story now converges at the intersection of beauty and social entrepreneurship. A beauty veteran, Morris obtained knowledge of the ins-and-outs of the beauty sphere and gained an understanding of how to build consumer relationships at industry titans such as Kendo, Sundial, Madam C.J. Walker, and CoverGirl. Now, she’s using that varied skillset to alter consumer perception of clean beauty and focusing on providing access to high-quality products in a cost-effective way through her own brand, Undefined Beauty.
Through her debut collection, Indigo Rose, she's seeking to disrupt the CBD beauty industry, one that’s projected to hit $22 billion in three years yet has continually criminalized Black and Brown bodies for consumption. As a Black woman herself, this is a lot to take on — but she’s unafraid, and she wants to represent “that there are strong, independent Black women who are leaders and bosses in this space.”
The line’s first product, Glow Elixir, combines 16 natural botanicals that are free of silicones, parabens, preservatives, artificial colors, and fragrances. Amongst rosehip, jojoba, argan, moringa squalane, grape seed, and camellia, the Glow Elixir also contains phytocannabinoid rich hemp extract, or CBD.
CBD is a buzzy powerhouse ingredient that provides quite a few primary benefits. Topically, it is believed to possess more antioxidants than vitamin C, E, and A and balances skin by stopping cells from creating too much sebum; it also works internally as a highly powerful anti-inflammatory. Morris tells Allure, “Inflammation is at the heart of what’s wrong with your body and your skin, from wrinkles to acne.” Overall, CBD is just a conduit for bioavailability, which means it also helps other ingredients in a product work better, as well.
"I’m not going to shrink back and be this delicate flower, I’m going to go for what I want."
The Glow Elixir is a multitasking product by nature. It can replace your usual face serum or be used as the last step in your skin-care regimen. Additionally, it can be used on the ends of hair or as a beard oil, as a midday makeup refresher, or as a subtle fragrance oil, as it’s naturally scented with geranium and lemon peel.
Additionally, offering an affordable price point to accompany a high-quality product was vital to Morris while developing Undefined Beauty. She believes that all communities should have access to such efficacious formulas as hers. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of products in the beauty space that are super expensive, and they don’t need to be. For me, it’s about finding ways to cut out a lot of these costs and pass the savings on to the consumer.” Therefore, the 30 mL primary bottle retails for $42 and the 9mL bottle — which is perfect for beauty on the go — sells for $18 (both of which are made of recyclable glass).
After receiving enthusiastic reviews of Glow Elixir throughout her soft launch, Morris expanded the Indigo Rose collection with Glow Gelee — a collagen-based firming serum, which provides instant toning and tightening and is now a staple in her own skin-care regimen.
However, much more impressive than her formulations is that Morris is dedicated to incorporating a unique social component into all of her forthcoming collections. In fact, this intentionality is the foundation of Undefined Beauty and as a solo founder and Black woman with a platform to cultivate positive change, she takes it very seriously. Morris advises consumers to “be very strategic in how you spend your money — it’s almost like a form of resistance.”
As the daughter of one of California Highway Patrol’s first female Black Sergeants who grew up witnessing loved ones become incarcerated for cannabis, she’s experienced firsthand the effects of anti-cannabis legislation. Additionally, while in high school, she interned with a non-profit that engaged with the California Youth Authority to assist in policy reform. Due to her experiences, she has decided to work with formerly incarcerated women for her first collection. Throughout her soft launch, she’s been in discussion with partners on how to incorporate these social causes she cares deeply about directly into her supply chain for enduring sustainable impact, versus simply just donating to a charity. It is her hope that as Undefined Beauty evolves, so will the opportunities to continue to give back.
Moving forward, all collections will continue to “destigmatize the needs we have as women to take care of ourselves,” Morris tells Allure. She already has a few upcoming product lines in the works, including a natural deodorant that’s baking soda- and aluminum-free, and will also be expanding to feminine care.
Beginning in May 2019, Undefined Beauty will expand beyond its direct-to-consumer reach and align with Urban Outfitters to begin selling online and across their California and New York locations as well as online at Free People soon after. Additionally, she’s partnered with Svn space, Miss Grass, Hydro Kitty, and Come Back Daily within the e-commerce space to elevate and destigmatize use of CBD for women.
Ultimately, Morris is championing the clean beauty movement and empowering others during her journey — and isn’t taking no for an answer. She tells Allure, “It’s a bit of a sense of entitlement but I think that’s helped me progress — I’m not going to shrink back and be this delicate flower, I’m going to go for what I want. And if you tell me ‘no’ I’m going to force you to explain why because sometimes, nos are yeses in other ways.” She’s crafting an empire that strategically invests in sustainability, the lives of marginalized people, and is undefining preconceived standards of beauty and its products.