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Glow Recipe Expands Skin-care Hybrid Category

The K-beauty brand is launching Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, $34, a highlighter with skin-care benefits.

Glow Recipe’s latest product further blurs the lines of skin care and makeup.

The K-beauty brand is launching Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, $34, a highlighter with skin-care benefits that was first worn by singer Lizzo at this year’s Billboard Music Awards. The product is meant to be used on bare skin, as a primer or over makeup as a highlighter. It joins Glow Recipe’s best-selling Watermelon family and will be sold direct-to-consumer via Glow Recipe’s web site and at Sephora as part of the retailer’s Clean at Sephora initiative.

“There’s this constant challenge of trying to blur the lines,” said Sarah Lee, Glow Recipe cofounder. “You don’t need to have one specific product to deliver one type of benefit. One product can give you multiple benefits. That’s our product development concept across the board.”

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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Glow Recipe has been in a growth period. E-commerce platform sales are up 200 percent versus last year, and the company expects the same growth rate for 2021. Retail sales are up 60 to 70 percent since 2019, and the business expects next year to be similar.

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Cofounder Christine Chang said Glow Recipe has had a “banner year,” outlining partnerships with TerraCycle, Animal Crossing and Project Beauty Share, which provides beauty products to women who are overcoming abuse, addiction, homelessness and poverty. This summer, Glow Recipe launched its Community Mentoring Initiative focused on Black-owned beauty and wellness start-ups. Most recently, the brand held its first virtual summit.

Sarah Lee Christine Change Glow Recipe
Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, cofounders of Glow Recipe Courtesy of Amanda Lopez / Glow Recipe

Speaking to top priorities for 2021, Chang said Glow Recipe is focused on how the brick-and-mortar shopping experience will continue to evolve as a result of the pandemic — including the much-talked-about issue of what to do with in-store beauty testers. Chang also referred to major retail partnerships such as Sephora and Kohl’s and Ulta and Target as examples of “cross-pollination” between the mass and prestige categories.

“Everyone shops everywhere — online, brick-and-mortar, across category, across prestige and mass,” Chang said. “Because of this, we’re seeing such interesting partnerships. We think this is going to continue to evolve in the sense that there will be more unique services in different spaces and different consultation experiences across different environments.”

Category-wise, Lee forecaste that body “is going to be huge” in 2021.

“Because of self-care and because the pandemic has pushed us to take better care of ourselves, body is becoming this category that was not really looked at in the past, but is becoming such a highlight,” Lee said.

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