Tina Craig is quick to admit how entrenched she’s been in the beauty industry. For nearly two decades, she’s made her rounds as a beauty blogger, an editor at Vogue China, an influencer, and an ambassador—working with brands like Estée Lauder, Charlotte Tilbury, Clé de Peau, and La Prairie.
While Craig was happy at each job, she wasn’t satisfied with the industry. “It was the same B.S. all the time. Nothing was truly innovative. Nothing was really different except for the marketing and the packaging,” she explains.
That all changed when Craig was approached by her friend-turned-business-partner Katie Borghese. Through her work as a private labeller, Borghese had been introduced to a medical-grade lab in Italy that was developing a new technology. “It was so different than anything] I’d ever heard,” Craig recalls. “Everyone had an ingredient story, but this was a delivery system.”
That developed technology, now called the SIREN Capsule, is the cornerstone of Craig’s award-winning skincare brand. The proprietary patent-pending system is made up of molecules that target and neutralize free radicals, releasing ingredients—like hyaluronic acid and retinoids—strictly where skin is compromised or in need of visible rejuvenation.
U Beauty, which officially launched in 2019, was designed to be the solution—not just a solution—to an oversaturated and often underwhelming market. With its “do more with less” philosophy, U Beauty is built on the promise that you don’t need a 13-step routine to see results.
“The Resurfacing Compound [for example] replaces eight other serums,” says Craig. “It’s got antioxidants, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A, which I know seems like a lot but it’s very gentle because of the SIREN Capsule technology.”
“[U Beauty] always started with a vision that skin care could be truly innovative and truly do what it says it’s going to do.”Tina Craig
It’s clear Craig cares about science. She rattles off the results of U Beauty’s clinical studies and drops words like “acid molecules” and “unimolecular chains” effortlessly throughout our conversation. She’s dedicated to this work, and most importantly, to anything that guarantees results.
She laughs when she explains how many rounds (17), iterations (10), and formulations (200) her team has gone through while creating some of their product. She doesn’t apologize, though, and she never regrets it.
“The Return Eye Cream, for example, was ready to go. And then I got divorced,” Craig says. “And while I was crying every night with puffy eyes and dark circles, I realized the eye cream wasn’t going cut it, so I cancelled it because it wasn’t the best I thought we could do.”
By ensuring efficacy, U Beauty bucks against an industry overrun by excess. They don’t offer a serum for each skin concern—they offer one that promises to do it all. They keep the brand tight and in doing so reduce waste.
Each U Beauty product is certified with The Butterfly Mark, an industry-leading certification that highlights luxury businesses dedicated to making a positive impact on both nature and society. Its packaging is made of post-consumer recycled plastic. The lab is 100% CO2 free, lights are kept on with green energy, and bottles are refillable. U Beauty never uses single-use plastics and donates to reforestation efforts.
But that’s all table stakes to Craig. What gets her most excited is talking about what’s next. The brand just released more colourways of its best-selling PLASMA Lip Compound. And they have a big launch coming up that she’s not quite ready to speak about yet. But rest assured: it will be tested, it will work, and the results will be provable.
“[U Beauty] always started with a vision that skin care could be truly innovative and truly do what it says it’s going to do. That’s all I was thinking. Just do what you say you’re going to do.” She laughs, then adds, “That’s kind of how I’m looking for my boyfriend too, by the way!“