Move over, there’s a new beauty brand in town

Jack Thompson and Millie Watson of MEMI.
Jack Thompson and Millie Watson of MEMI.
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This week sees the launch in Leeds of MEMI, an affordable luxury make-up brand. Stephanie Smith talks to the Yorkshire founders.

Naturally polished is a look that many of us aim for when applying our make-up. Increasingly, it is the preferred trend among younger women to wear neutral, luxe tones.

The Matte Muse Lip Palette, �22. Colours are created for a naturally polished look.

The Matte Muse Lip Palette, �22. Colours are created for a naturally polished look.

To capture this growing market, new make-up brand MEMI launches this week, in Leeds, founded by two young entrepreneurs.

“It’s all natural and neutral, versatile enough to translate from day-to-day to a night out,” says Millie Watson.

Aimed at the 16-22 age sector, MEMI is “for girls who want to look not too overdone but also as if they have made an effort,” says partner, Jack Thompson. “Millie has always had quite a passion for make-up. That’s where the initial idea came from.”

Now 21, they met at secondary school in Guiseley, after which they both went to Leeds City College, where Millie studied Business and Jack studied Business and Marketing. While there, they came up with the idea of setting up their own brand.

Millie felt that existing brands offering affordable luxury had quality formulas but the ackaging tended to be unenticing for a younger market. They set up their company in 2016, and impressed an investor with their idea and enthusiasm.

It took 18 months to get the products exactly as they wanted them to be, tracking down manufacturers, formulating ingredients and designing boxes.

Manufacturing is in China, where they found high quality and recognisable manufacturers. Care has been taken to ensure no animal testing and some of products are certified vegan. The prices range from a £10 lipgloss to a £45 brush set. Millie’s favourite product is the Matte Muse eye palette, £22.

After tonight’s launch in Leeds, MEMI will be sold first through local salons and from next week on their own website,, after which plans are to pitch to the large online beauty retailers and eventually to High Street giants such as Boots.