Against all odds, the Kardashians have stuck around and so has their cosmetics brand.
Shaking off legal woes, Kardashian Beauty is back with a five-item collection called Fierce, upgraded packaging and rollout at Ulta Beauty next month. Inviting beauty shoppers to re-create signature Kardashian looks, the items priced from $8.99 to $16.99 are No Apologies Face Kit, No Apologies Koncealer, No Apologies Liquid Foundation, Lip Slayer Lipstick and Kontour Kase.
“The contour kit, liquid foundation and bullet lipstick were key components that were not in the line before that reflect where the Kardashian family is and where makeup is today,” said Erin Dwyer, senior vice president of global e-commerce and social for Kardashian Beauty licensee Haven Beauty. “When we started developing the collection, the first thing we all said was, ‘Why don’t we have our own contour palette?’ The Kardashians have owned that. The same thing for strobing. They’ve been big for that. Each of the palettes has a beautiful highlighter in it that’s really easy to use for a strobing and shimmering effect.”
The packaging shifts from Kardashian Beauty’s original white and rose gold color scheme to black and yellow gold. The letter ‘K’ is featured prominently and is accented by a stark diagonal. Dwyer noted the entire Kardashian Beauty assortment is eventually expected to transition to the updated packaging.
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“We want to give a prestige experience for an affordable, attainable price,” she said. “The family has really evolved through the years. They’re unbelievable megastars. They are in the front rows of every fashion show. They keep going up and up and up, and we were really inspired by that.”
Dwyer speculated Kontour Kase followed by No Apologies Face Kit and Lip Slayer Lipstick would be the strongest sellers in the collection. The Kontour Kase comes in two shades options to contour, conceal and highlight; No Apologies Face Kit is available in classic, nude and smoky varieties named Slay It, Werk It and Own It, respectively, containing eight eyeshadows, highlighter and blush; and the Lip Slayer Lipstick range includes nine opaque bold shades.
“The contour kit is a natural home run,” said Dwyer. “The face palette is also a contender because there is so much product in it, and the quality is really good. It’s a hefty product for what you get.”
With their reality show running for nearly nine years, the Kardashians have amassed a wide audience that’s translated to a broad demographic reach for Kardashian Beauty. Dwyer said the brand draws a “younger audience of 17 to 24, but we also have a buyer that’s over 50 and 45 is one of the top [ages] for buyers online. We actually appeal to a lot of people, which is a testament to the family, and that they’ve grown as an empire. A lot of people aspire to be like them and can relate to them.”
Kardashian Beauty customers are smartphone fanatics — mobile devices accounted for 87 percent of the traffic to kbeauty.com on Friday, when the website premiered the Fierce merchandise – and the brand is attempting to engage them with that in mind. The brand has partnered with Boost to offer purchases of Slay It, Werk It and Own It makeup bundles via hashtags for Boost account holders. In addition, the Fierce collection is integrated into the YouCam app for virtual makeup try-on and shopping.
The Fierce collection is a reset of sorts for Kardashian Beauty. Haven Beauty took over the license for the brand in 2014 after former licensee Boldface went into receivership. Haven Beauty’s management of Kardashian Beauty has been clouded by a lawsuit filed by its principal investor Hillair Capital Management in March accusing Kim, Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian of failing to support the brand and seeking damages up to $180 million. The legal proceedings were subsequently stayed, and the parties were compelled to arbitrate.
Dwyer suggested the lawsuit didn’t stop Haven Beauty from pushing forward with Kardashian Beauty. “If you met anyone that works at the company, we work hard everyday. That’s all we want to do. We work for our customers and for the brand to make sure what we offer has quality at a great price and is on trend. That’s what we focus on, and we just keep our heads down,” she said.
At this point, it doesn’t seem as if the Kardashians will be promoting the Fierce collection. Asked whether they would be making appearances on behalf of Kardashian Beauty, Dwyer said, “I can’t speak to anything specifically.” She elaborated, “The family is involved. They are aware of the license. They are aware of what we are doing.”