By Amy Sciaretto

Minna Ha founded UNII Cosmetics and the UNII Palette, that latter of which is an innovative, re-usable, chic makeup case that eliminates clutter with a green way of thinking. It is a forward-thinking design, one that makes “green” and “eco” fashionable. Ha designed the palette with do-it-yourself, eco-friendly makeup enthusiasts in mind. Users can consolidate makeup into one multi-brand palette, which is refillable and customizable to your desires, trends and makeup whims. Say it isn’t so!

Well it is true! We had a chance to chat with the avid makeup user herself about her design and its compatibility in the cosmetic world. Turns out, with the UNII Palette, necessity was the mother of this invention! Here’s a little tip: the UNII Palette is not only universal. It also helps eliminate makeup crumbs from the bottom of your handbag. Read on to find out more.

BN: What is your background in the green and makeup worlds?
MH: I’m an avid makeup user, and using something gives you ideas. I wanted to consolidate my makeup and was also tired of throwing away all of my empty plastic makeup cases. I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t I use reusable palettes the way I use reusable bags at Trader Joe’s?’ I saw an opportunity to introduce an innovative way to use and carry makeup products that are both more convenient and good for the environment. My background in design gave me a user-friendly perspective when designing the UNII Palette. While I’m new to the makeup industry, as a lifelong consumer and user of makeup products, I’ve experienced how much plastic packaging was wasted, and how much could be saved if we made a few simple changes.

BN: Do you think some beauty mavens might eschew green types of products or packaging because it is often seen as not fashionable?
MH: I think green is now in! More green products are available to consumers these days that don’t compromise fashion, functionality or cost. I wanted to design a smart and stylish product that has more to offer to both the user and the environment.

BN: What makes your palette so usable for women?
MH: I designed the UNII Palette to simplify women’s beauty routines, and reduce plastic consumption. The UNII Palette allows women to store all of their makeup products such as eye shadows, blushes and eye pencils, from all different brands into one stylish and durable case. By encouraging the use of refills, the UNII Palette saves its users money and reduces the waste associated with conventional packaging.

BN: Do you design or create products at all?
MH: Yes – I came up of the idea for the UNII Palette, designed it and got it custom manufactured. It actually started about seven years ago when I modified a big name brand makeup palette so that it could accommodate refills and products from all brands. My friends would always peek into my makeup bag would ask, ‘How’d you do that?’ I showed them how, and over the years, I kept getting more requests. I finally designed and created the UNII Palette that includes many features I could not find in other palettes on the market.

BN: What is your favorite beauty product of all time, high end and drugstore?
MH: One of my favorite high end beauty product is MAC’s LiquidLast Liner. It is waterproof and smudge-proof and I can rely on it to stay put despite my oily skin. My favorite drugstore product that I have been using forever is Amlactin’s body moisturizer. It really does a great job to make my skin soft and smooth.

BN: What product can’t you live without?
MH: I love my Clairsonic Skin Cleansing System! It quickly yet gently exfoliates my skin and it’s so easy to use with very little maintenance.

BN: Anything else you would like to say about your palette, please do!
MH: I want to mention three features that make the UNII Palette unique – a movable thumb grip, rubber gasket and a large mirror. The movable thumb grip provides your thumb with a spot to securely hold the palette, the rubber gasket keeps your purse clean from any makeup crumbs and the large mirror is great for travel. The UNII Palette is currently available at at $29 each with free shipping – and international shipping options are available too.

Originally published June 2010
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