Among the array of investment programmes and funding ventures, a handful of beauty brands experienced some upset during the third quarter, resulting in either pulling out of various markets or calling in investigators to assess recent misfirings. Additionally, celebrities have continued to venture into the sector, largely through genderless brand launches or ambassadorships. FashionUnited has outlined some of the top beauty and cosmetic stories from over the recent months.
Debt and departures
While Revlon received confirmation of a 1.4 billion dollar bankruptcy loan, possibly giving it a light at the end of its Chapter 11 tunnel, there was a spot of trouble at Revolution Beauty, which had announced the suspension of its ordinary shares following a mishap in the posting of its financial results. According to the UK-based brand, auditors failed to complete its report on time due to “bad debt provisioning” and “accounting issues”. The company has now called in independent investigators to look into the failure.
There was also some headache over at Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), with the conglomerate announcing that two of its brands, Smashbox Cosmetics and Glamglow, were set to leave the UK market just one week after each other. Addressing both departures, a spokesperson for ELC said there was an “accumulation of challenges” the duo were faced with, resulting in the final decision. Bourjois, however, did return to the UK market following a 2019 exit, during which time it put its emphasis on the French market. US brand Proven Skincare also announced plans to enter the UK and the EU following an expansion in Canada.
Investments and funding
Many companies seemed to be heavily invested in the future of beauty, with an array of fundings, expansions and retail developments becoming a decisive part of the quarter. For start-ups and next generation brands, beauty giants Ulta and Estée Lauder were among those making significant investments. While the US retailer Ulta set out plans to invest 20 million dollars in tech start-ups, Estée Lauder partnered with omnichannel retailer Nykaa to support Indian beauty brands. Cosmetics company Lush also announced investment plans specifically centred around its UK, Ireland and European retail portfolio, which it is looking to support with 7.6 million pounds. Beauty conglomerates have also been expanding their portfolios, with the likes of L’Oréal acquiring American skincare brand Skinbetter Science and Shiseido Europe taking over microbiome-focused Gallinée.
Large scale US department stores are also seeing the positives behind retail beauty investments. JCPenney announced plans to roll out its beauty offer nationwide following an initial online launch and Walmart expanded its partnership with Mayvenn, bringing the company’s Beauty Lounges to 400 stores after the tech firm secured 40 million dollars in funding. Kohl’s also announced the expansion of its relationship with Sephora, adding the beauty retailer to its entire store presence throughout the US and targeting two billion dollars in sales by 2025. The LVMH-owned retailer also made some of its own moves in recent months, including selling its Russian subsidiary to the country’s local general manager, while, as reported by WWD, possibly planning a London store opening within the first quarter of 2023.
Celebrity-backed and luxury brands
Like previous months, celebrity-backed brands also didn’t falter this quarter, as a whole host of notable faces have either entered the beauty market or have established themselves in it. While Riverdale’s Cami Mendes took the role of creative director at Loops, rapper Lil Nas X became a brand ambassador for YSL Beauté. Others took on the genderless beauty trend with their own brand launches, including the likes of Brad Pitt, Idris and Sabrina Elba and Halsey, who dropped a second beauty brand with Walmart. Meanwhile, Kate Moss and Ariana Grande both dropped new body care lines.
Luxury brands are also getting in on the sector as a way to bring a wider premium offer to their shoppers. While Balmain announced it would be partnering with beauty conglomerate Estée Lauder Companies to launch Balmain Beauty, which is expected to drop in 2024, Stella McCartney entered the clean beauty market with the line ‘Skin’, developed in collaboration with LVMH. Additionally, Barneys, a former luxury department store which was acquired by Authentic Brands Group (ABG) after it fell into bankruptcy, was reincarnated into a beauty brand alongside Korean-based lifestyle company, Gloent Group.