When it comes to skincare, Formula Fig stands out as the ultimate destination to nurture your skin. With Fig Bars located in Vancouver, Toronto, and Los Angeles, Formula Fig has earned a reputation as a reliable authority in technology-driven treatments and ingredient-focused skincare. Their unique business model, combining services with retail, and fueled by community engagement, is revolutionizing the landscape of skincare hospitality. By providing transformative skincare solutions, Formula Fig elevates the everyday skincare experience.
Immersive, inclusive, and environmentally conscious, Formula Fig represents the future of the skincare industry. Their approach transcends traditional gender boundaries, offering a gender-neutral experience that resonates with a diverse clientele. The sustainable design of their establishments further underscores their commitment to responsible practices.
To gain deeper insights into the inspiration, origins, and innovative strides within the realm of skincare, we had the privilege of speaking with Jessica Walsh, the visionary founder behind Formula Fig.
How did the idea to start Formula Fig come about?
We founded Formula Fig because we didn’t like the status quo. The destination we wanted simply didn’t exist, so we created it.
Think about it - if you want to go somewhere for all your ‘essential' skincare needs, what are your options?
You must go to your Dermatologist for injectables, med-spa for facials, and a skincare retailer for your products. Most of these are uninspiring and intimidating! Getting an appointment is challenging and takes up too much of your day. Most of the time, they are located off the beaten track.
At Formula Fig - we change all of this. We combine a best-in-class skincare offering of high-tech facials, injectables, and skincare products. Fig locations are welcoming & inclusive spaces that transport you away from the world outside. All of our offerings are 45 mins or less, so you can head straight to a meeting afterward.
What gaps did you see in the skincare services industry that you wanted to fill with Formula Fig?
We combine a best-in-class curated skincare offering of high-tech facials, injectables, and high-quality skincare products. Not only is what we offer unique to what you can find elsewhere but how we offer it is, too: beautiful, welcoming, immersive destinations in your favorite neighborhoods. It is often hard to describe our experiential approach in words - the best way to fully understand what makes us different is to come in and experience it for yourself.
Can you talk about your unique and technology-driven approach to skincare?
I always come back to our name - Formula Fig - which came about as we wanted a name that spoke to both science and nature. A juxtaposition of hard and soft.
Fig speaks to the natural world. The Fig is an internal flower, where a female wasp crawls into the fig and fertilizes it. There, she dies and is broken down by enzymes (hence the naming convention Stingers). Figs are plump, juicy, and velvety. Once opened and pulled apart, they are luscious and vividly colored (pink like our bathrooms). What’s inside is the interesting part.
Formula speaks to our obsession with science and technology. We are committed to finding the right formula for your skin, whatever that might be, and we know that our elements of high-tech facials, neuromodulators, and advanced skincare products can help everyone achieve their skincare goals.
I like experimentation and creativity, but I also like routine. Ultimately it boils down to a formula. What I find exciting about skincare and skin treatments is you can experiment with the formula to suit your changing needs. I like finding formulas that have an impact and results across everything I do in life. And skincare is just that, the facial technology, skincare, how you layer it, what you layer it with, what you pair it with...there is huge scope for creativity and flexibility for the best outcomes.
If you had to describe Formula Fig in three words, what would they be?
Give A Fig.
When did you know it was time to expand to Los Angeles?
I didn’t; I do believe in grasping opportunities, though! LA is globally known as the center of wellness. I admire the West Coast approach to lifestyle, but I also love the efficiency and poise of the East Coast and Europe. LA felt like the perfect location to launch Formula Fig into the US with our unique blend of all these elements.
Community has always been essential to Fig and me personally. Moving to different cities/countries, I crave visiting inspirational destinations which embrace community. When we launched Formula Fig, it was critical that they were located in places with a thriving local community we could become a part of and add to. All our locations are where you would already be going to meet a friend, grab a coffee, and be inspired, and we hope that a visit to Formula Fig becomes a part of this routine!
The N Sycamore area in WeHo has all this in abundance, galleries (Jeffery Deitch), experiential retail (Just One Eye, Jacques Marie Mage), culture (Super Vinyl), wellness (Pause), and incredible dining and coffee shops (Tartine, Gigis, etc..). It also has adjacent businesses to cater to our guest's needs, Brella (drop your children and come for a facial) and Heimat (workspace - pop in for a facial before your work day starts - we open at 8 am).
Could you talk about the importance and significance of the unique aesthetic at the Fig Bars?
Our environments are otherworldly in their architecture and deeply experiential. As a service meets retail company, we pride ourselves in connecting with our community personally and making each experience transportive.
The local area’s history inspires the design of the Fig Bars. In Fig Bar WeHo, a striking color palette of textured greens and pinks and an elevated mix of industrial and luxurious materials. Interior elements are drawn from old Hollywood-era deco architecture combined with sleek, geometric forms.
At Formula Fig, we don’t have a traditional reception area. Instead, all our Fig Bars are anchored by a central multi-use island. In Fig Bar WeHo, our island is 12 ft of honed, faceted green marble around which you can try skincare products, learn about treatments, and host skincare masterclasses.
Other design highlights include a multifaceted perforated metal ceiling combining 17 different angles (a masterpiece in construction and engineering), suspended, lit columns impossibly sliced in the middle to showcase skincare discoveries, and an illusory modern take on Vaudeville hall of mirrors.
We always look to nature for inspiration, and the Fig Bar WeHo has many green shades and textures. Our interior garden is biologically diverse and literally brings the benefits of nature into our urban location.
How do you want your guests to feel when they get a service done?
We want our guests to feel good in their skin. As we are the most advanced facial bar, medical aesthetics, and science-forward skincare retailer - all rolled into one, beautifully designed location, where 30 minutes transforms both your skin and your mood - it should be a memorable feeling!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
In my early days in fashion (I worked for Condé Nast Britain for over a decade), I was Isabella Blow's assistant for four years. It was transformative, and Izzy taught me so much. There are two things that I have carried into Fig to this day.
1. Jolie Laide - there needs to be a juxtaposition in all you create - hard and soft. This is woven through the Fig Brand.
2. Experiences should be transportive. Inspiration is important. How can you find inspiration from art? The natural world?
How can your inspiration inspire others? How can it shape how you feel and make others feel?
I do look to the larger fashion houses in the path they have carved and why they are incredibly relevant decades on, with an appeal to a wide sector of consumers.
Plus, a fun fact, the uniform pants were designed in South Africa by an ex-Vogue editor Tammy Tinker and the SA designer Lukhanyo Mdingi (who won the Karl Lagerfeld LVMH Prize) using a 19th Century Fig botanical illustration from the V&A Museum.