Lawless Beauty, the clean makeup brand, has received a minority investment from Cult Capital.
The firm, which has re-branded from JMK Consumer, funded Lawless’ series A round, founder Annie Lawless told WWD.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Cult generally invests up to $10 million per deal. Industry sources said Lawless is expected to reach $10 million in sales for 2020. Cult also backs Supergoop, and backed Babo Botanicals before its sale to Mustela.
Lawless Beauty occupies a differentiated space in the clean makeup world. While most clean makeup brands lean toward the no-makeup makeup or hippie-chic aesthetic, Lawless Beauty leans more toward full glam.
That done-up vibe is in line with Lawless, who said she started the brand after she couldn’t find clean makeup alternatives.
“I’m a makeup girl, but I also have a health and wellness background, and I’m really conscious of what I consume,” Lawless said. The idea for clean makeup hit her after she transitioned into clean skin care, she said.
“It was kind of crazy to me that I would be going out of my way to avoid certain ingredients and spending more on clean skin care and putting all those same ingredients back on my skin five minutes later with my makeup,” Lawless said.
“When I wanted to switch to clean makeup, it just wasn’t for my aesthetic. It was very much the no-makeup-makeup girl, the undone, wash-and-go vibe, which there’s definitely a place for, and I’m in no way knocking it. But it’s just not what I seek out when I’m purchasing my makeup,” Lawless said.
With the influx of capital, Lawless is planning to build out its team, add marketing and continue with product development, Lawless said. Specifically, the brand is hoping to hire a president to take over some of the behind-the-scenes business duties, while Annie, as chief executive officer, will focus more on the creative and marketing side of the operation.
Right now, Lawless is exclusive with Sephora, where it is sold in 458 doors via a clean beauty end cap, and with its own gondola in 56 doors.
The brand is launching lipsticks in January, which will be sold on its own web site and at Sephora, and also has plans to launch blush and primer in 2020, Lawless said. Mascara, which she said she’d been working on for years, still isn’t meeting her launch standards, she said.
“Until I develop a formula that I like more or just as much, where when I’m doing my makeup every day and no one is watching, I’m reaching for that [product] over my other conventional favorite that I’ve been using for years, then I’m not going to launch it,” Lawless said, speaking broadly about her product development process.
Aside from launches, next year the brand is hoping to expand internationally, to Europe and Australia. It has not yet nailed down retailers, Lawless said.
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