Smashbox Liquid Pigment in Bad Apple.
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Special Issue
Digital Daily issue 03/03/2017


Smashbox has a new editor in chief.

Today, beauty influencer Vlada Haggerty, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist with 651,000 Instagram followers, will kick off her newly created role as the brand’s Lip Editor in Chief. Under her 18-month contract with Smashbox, 32-year-old Haggerty — known for her “liquid lip art” — will advise on “everything lip,” according to Beth Dinardo, brand president at Smashbox. This includes: deciding on colors for upcoming product, trend forecasting, how-to videos, creating lip looks, taking existing products and “showing them in their best light” and showing customers how to highlight a certain lip style.

This story first appeared in the March 3, 2017 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Haggerty’s deal is just the latest in a slew of successful influencer partnerships Smashbox has introduced over the past year.

“We’ve had a really aggressive season of trying out new approaches,” Dinardo said, noting the brand started working with Haggerty on a project basis about nine months ago. “It all started with Lilly Singh… There’s a real theme to who we collaborate with.”

For starters, the release last month of two highlighting palettes Smashbox cocreated with YouTuber Casey Holmes yielded more sales in its first day on Smashbox.com than Cyber Monday.

The $35 Casey Spotlight Palettes, available in two colorways that each contain three highlighters, went live exclusively on smashbox.com — and both sold out within 12 hours. The brand declined to give figures, but an industry source said first-day sales from the collaboration with Holmes drove well over $100,000 in revenue to Smashbox’s e-commerce site. Holmes’ collection has just been restocked on Smashbox.com and hits Sephora today, and expectations are high. Holmes, who has 1.3 million subscribers on her YouTube channel and 848,000 Instagram followers, teased the partnership through Instagram posts on Feb. 10 and Feb. 13 to generate buzz for the palette’s launch on Feb. 22.

In January, a collaboration with actress Shay Mitchell — who has 15.7 million followers on Instagram — became the largest launch in Smashbox history. Dinardo said the collection of seven Cover Shot: Eye Palettes quadrupled the brand’s eyeshadow business — in one month.

It was these two partnerships, as well as the liquid Bawse red lipstick Smashbox cocreated with Singh last summer, that gave the brand all the ammunition it needed to ink its first long-term deal with Haggerty.

For her first project as Lip Editor in Chief, Haggerty was instrumental in the launch of Smashbox’s new Legendary Liquid Metal and Legendary Liquid Pigment lip gels, which hit retailers and smashbox.com March 8. Haggerty helped the team bring the two products to life from the original inspiration of “car paint,” and she narrowed down the final shades and worked on all creative surrounding the lip gels. Dinardo was vague about future plans with Haggerty, but a source said that product cocreation à la Holmes and Mitchell is already in the works.

“We definitely took a very artistic approach with the campaign…[but] there are a lot of very wearable colors,” Haggerty said, admitting that when Smashbox first reached out to her, she had a “slight fear” that the lip color wouldn’t be as pigmented as she normally likes.

“At the first swatch I was like, ‘I will support this completely. I’m in.’ It combines what a makeup artist expects from product and what a regular woman expects from product. They are wearable but superpigmented,” Haggerty said.

Starting in April, Haggerty will headline a “Lip Art World Tour” with Refinery29 where she will make “stops” at Macy’s, Ulta and Sephora doors in top-performing markets in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Exact locations for global stops are still to be determined, but Haggerty will definitely make appearances in the U.K. and Canada.

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