Beauty Business News

Revlon is a brand that has struggled for some years now to find its place, with net sales falling 39% (we are still talking over $500 million though). But, many brands are seeing sharp downturns in fortune – Shiseido is recording a drop of 34.4% (although watch them branch out into devices to recoup), while LVMH’s (Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy, Fenty, Benefit) profits see a drop of 68% for the first half of the year. There’s still a lot of shuffling around going on – on-line sales are, of course, mitigating some of the dips.

Look out for Chrom Tooth Polish – a coloured (or glittered) coating to temporarily change your tooth colour. It’s proving a huge hit on social media channels – perhaps don’t chance it at Tesco. It’s not a new brand – it’s just having a moment, amplified by Tik Tok.

Another innovation to seek out is Alchemist Atelier – an at-home fragrance creating device called the Scent Creator. You load up your scent pods (up to 12 at a time) with the help of an app that guides you through your preferences – the Discovery Kit is your best bet for the complete experience, housing 36 sample size fragrances to best choose options for your Creator. The device is £350, the Discovery Kit £85, and a Starter Set, £55. I reckon this might be the Christmas beauty hit.

L’Oreal has caused a furore by reportedly requesting that those employees who wish to stay working from home instead of coming back into the office (the brand’s preference) to supply medical records. It’s a little more complex than first reported however (on Estee Laundry), with the specifics boiling down to employees requiring medical exemption from returning supplying, in most cases, nothing more than a doctor’s note. Apparently.

Unilever has swiftly brought Lifebuoy back to the UK, seeing a perfect, newly clean-obsessed market on their hands. Last spotted on shelves in the 90’s you can expect to buy hand wipes, sanitizer, handwash, soap and moisturisers. I can’t wait for a re-introduction – I can’t even remember what it smells like but do remember it being ever present. Unilever, by the way, is one of the few beauty giants doing well, off set by their cleaning and hygiene products. You can find it in Superdrug.

The Goop store premises in Westbourne Grove are available for rent. Maybe no surprise there as on-line seems to serve Goop better as a fast moving brand. It may be a timely end of lease or an indication that bricks and mortar aren’t necessary.

Something that has gone largely uncovered is the tricky question, in product development, of product testing. A COVID situation isn’t ideal to ask human testers to enter labs for the purpose of product testing and evaluation. So, the ‘tested on 100 women’ may well, for the foreseeable future turn into the altogether less impressive ‘self-assessed by 100 (eg) women’. Self-assessment relies on answers to questions that are phrased in such a way that there is only a positive response and are, in effect, meaningless. Clinical setting testing is more weighty. I’m keeping an eye on this one, just in case animal testing rears its ugly head.

Glossier has made the decision to cut all its store retail jobs and closing their three stores until at least next year. It has stores in London, New York and LA. The London store was initially a pop-up but stayed popped up for longer than most.

SpaceNK is apparently saying goodbye to 300 in-store brand reps – another horrible loss for the industry and one that doesn’t see to make any sense as the reps aren’t paid by SpaceNK anyway, they’re paid by the brands. Other than reducing head count in stores, everyone is baffled by this decision which isn’t supportive of an industry that’s suffering anyway. However, this could be the way back to impartial in-store advice instead of being unwittingly directed towards specific brands whose reps were in that day.

An interesting brand to watch is Black Girl Sunscreen which has just received $1 million in funding from a ‘female investor’. It’s been available in Target in the US for some time and is one of very few sunscreens specifically targeted for black skin. It’s vegan and reef-safe, white residue free and highly moisturising with cacao seed butter and avocado. I’m going to speculate that when the female private investor is revealed this brand will absolutely rocket to stardom.

E.l.f. is joining forces with Alicia Keys for what seems to be a skin care brand launching in 2021. Super interesting to see where the price point will lie, given that e.l.f. is known for it’s budget friendly products. There are a few clues to the nature of the launch in initial statements – such as ‘honouring ritual’ and ‘practicing intention’… sounds like yoga to me or at the least, affordable Goop.

Looks like Elemis is the first beauty brand to offer a no-touch facial to circumvent the close contact rules that are blighting the beauty industry. The facial relies on minimal contact device driven elements with tools that are easily sanitized. It doesn’t sound exactly like the full luxury facial experience but applause is necessary for leading the way and looking at viable alternatives that could suit all brands and all salons.

The last word for P&G’s Oral B ‘Guide’. A toothbrush with Alexa built in. Insert huge ‘scream’ emoji here.

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