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Beauty and cosmetics news round-up for Q2 2022

By Rachel Douglass

Jul 4, 2022


Image: Unsplash

Big leaders in the beauty industry were at the forefront of investments and acquisitions this quarter, while a handful also saw some significant reshuffling in their leadership teams. Meanwhile, the sector welcomed some new, yet well-known faces to its line up and brands began to implement a much needed sustainable mindset to their strategies.

Inclusivity and sustainability

A cohort of sustainable initiatives led the way for this quarter as many brands were faced with the increasing consumer desire to shop more responsibly. While The Body Shop expanded its in-store refill programme throughout the US, clinical skincare brand Murad launched a partnership with TerraCycle, allowing customers to recycle branded product packaging to earn charitable donations. Luxury cosmetics label YSL Beauty also followed a sustainable approach, launching a new partnership with NGO Re:wild set with the goal of protecting and restoring 100,000 hectares of land by 2030.

Other brands used the month to promote inclusive practices, such as Vaseline’s launch of ‘See My Skin’, a platform dedicated to diversifying internet searches of skin conditions. Farfetch joined the beauty arena via its new online beauty destination through which it offers more than 100 gender-neutral brands, providing “beauty beyond boundaries”.

Acquisitions and investments

A number of independent brands and start-ups were the subject of substantial investments over the last quarter, including bee-based hair care brand Gisou, India’s Sugar Cosmetics and wellness company Ever/body, each of which said they will use the funds to accelerate their global expansion. Meanwhile, beauty leaders also made some big moves during the past months. A subsidiary of Helen of Troy acquired Curlsmith in a significant 150 million dollar deal, while L’Oréal made a minority investment in Tokyo-based Sparty and simultaneously launched a fund dedicated to supporting female-led start-ups.

Alongside the onslaught of fund launches, companies also turned their attention to ingredient-focused investments. Unilever made a joint investment with Geno to scale plant-based alternatives to fossil fuels, while Chanel-backed Evolved by Nature closed a 120 million dollar funding round to expand its activated silk production.

Brand launches

Celebrity beauty brand launches were once again prominent over this quarter, with many taking to the beauty industry to cash in on its fast growth. Kim Kardashian, Hailey Bieber and Scarlett Johansson were among those joining the industry with fresh new brands, while the likes of Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty each either launched into new markets or relaunched entirely.

Meanwhile, big name global brands also ventured into new horizons. Japan’s Shiseido announced the launch of Europe-based Ulé, centred around locally produce products, membership platform Soho House revealed a genderless collection exclusively for its members, and popular luxury brand Off-White took to the sector with its first beauty launch, Paperwork, offering a selection of fragrances, nail polishes and body “crayons”.

Appointments, resignations and bankruptcy

A number of notable leaders in the industry announced sudden departures over the quarter, including Sephora CEO, Martin Brok, who unexpectedly resigned from the beauty chain, citing “a divergence of views”. Estée Lauder-owned Too Faced also said farewell to its co-founders, Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson, who launched the company in 1998. Meanwhile, Glossier welcomed new chief executive officer Kyle Leahy after its founder Emily Weiss stepped down from the position to become executive chairwoman.

In another turn of events, Revlon announced that it had filed for voluntary petitions for reorganisation in the US Bankruptcy Court, alongside some of its UK subsidiaries. The company said it is hoping to improve its long-term outlook through strategic reorganisation.

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