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Make Beauty Acquired, Relaunch Set for 2021

Ben Bennett's The Center has acquired Make Beauty, and tapped Violet Grey alum Carrie Barber to lead the revamp.

Make Beauty is getting a new lease on life.

The makeup and skin-care line, originally launched in 2013 by Ariana Mouyiaris, daughter of Mana Cosmetics founder Nikos Mouyiaris, has been acquired by The Center, a beauty incubator and investor started by industry veteran Ben Bennett.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Bennett has teamed with Carrie Barber, formerly an art director at Violet Grey, on the brand. Barber is taking on a founder role for the brand’s new iteration, and has been given equity in the business.

Bennett and Barber declined to discuss financials with WWD, but industry sources estimate that Make, set to relaunch in the first quarter of 2021, could do $8 million in sales in its first year.

“Ben and I have been friendly for awhile, and last year we were talking about what brands we liked and projects we could collaborate on,” Barber said. “I mentioned one of my favorite brands was Make — it was one of the first brands to be very much like, universal, easy-to-use, no-makeup makeup skin-care and color. It was cool, graphic and felt very fresh.”

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Ariana Mouyaris launched the line of minimalist skin care and makeup at Barneys New York in 2013, ultimately expanding to other retailers including Net-a-porter, Revolve and Selfridges, but it never seemed to take off. Barber described the brand as “ahead of its time.”

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Make came up for sale after Nikos Mouyiaris’ death in 2019. The brand had been manufactured by Mana Cosmetics, which was acquired in September by Traub Capital.

Barber’s plan for Make is to keep some of what she considers to be its “cult items” — products such as The Universal Sticks, The Marine Salve, The Lash and Brow Gel, The Succulent Skin Gel. She also plans to release new products, with a focus on skin-care-makeup hybrids that appeal to a minimalist consumer looking for a true no-makeup-makeup look. Price points currently range from $12 to $55.

Barber left Violet Grey in February and has since worked on consulting projects for a variety of clients, including Augustinus Bader, U Beauty and Versed.

“I’m very much thinking about accessibility and price point, and making products feel like something you actually need and not something you put out there because everyone else has one,” Barber said. “I hope the products can be very utilitarian and uncomplicated and I feel like modern skin care and makeup.”

The plan is to relaunch Make as a direct-to-consumer brand before ultimately expanding into retail.

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