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Deck of Scarlet Shows Its Hand in the U.K.

Millennials and Gen X ignite growth of curated palette subscription service.

Deck of Scarlet is dealing its hand in more international markets. This week, the makeup palette subscription service adds the U.K. to its growing roster.

Launched by the same team as the perfume subscription service Scentbird in 2015, Deck of Scarlet helped its parent post sales growth of more than 400 percent last year, according to the company. Much of those gains were on the wings of Millennials and Gen X who like the subscription format.

“When we created the concept of Deck of Scarlet, we thought a lot about our own passion for YouTube beauty tutorials, and how much time Millennial women spend on social media, how deeply they aspire to re-create these looks,” explained Rachel ten Brink, chief marketing officer and cofounder of Scentbird and Deck of Scarlet. Gen X, she added, has followed that lead but gravitate toward the “coolness” factor of the makeup products.

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Deck of Scarlet’s limited-edition palettes are delivered every two months and priced at $29.95 for everything needed to create a curated look. “The world doesn’t need another me-too makeup subscription,” ten Brink said. “But we realized the amount of products and time it takes to create one look is too much for most Millennials.” She pointed to one video that required 37 products to achieve a perfect cat-eye. That’s what sparked the idea of the palettes created by YouTube experts.

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The U.K. was earmarked for growth after witnessing growing demand fueled by the makeup looks YouTubers, and Instagrammers created with its palettes. While many of Deck of Scarlet’s favorite bloggers are in the U.S., their channels are global, plus, there is a growing cadre of international faces.

“Scentbird was at the forefront of influencer marketing, and it takes it to a whole new level with Deck of Scarlet by involving the influencer with the product from development to tutorial,” explained ten Brink. “The creation of branded content amongst influencers provided a platform to organically amplify the brands message while seducing the influencer’s followers. We overlay paid media to maximize the reach of the content.”

She’s confident the power of influencers will balloon, but the use of them has evolved. “When we started our other company [Scentbird] we leveraged influencers to help us tell the story of our subscription service. With Deck of Scarlet, we have taken it to another level. For each palette release, we work with an influencer to be our ‘Artist in Chief.’ Their close connection with their audience brings invaluable insight, and we count on them for everything from product development to creating the official tutorial that accompanies the palette product pages on our website,” ten Brink said.