The brand behind Cara Delevingne’s silver Met Gala hair is turning 90 years old.
Mehron, which got its start in theater makeup, has shifted its business more toward the real-life woman. “As formulas improve, as technology improves as raw materials improve as packaging improves, we’re turning beauty — beauty is finding us,” said Marty Melik, president of Mehron. To celebrate 90 years, Mehron is launching new products, including Brazen Mascara and 1927 liner.
The company’s theater background has given it the foundation to branch into everyday makeup, said Stephanie Koutikas, Mehron creative director — especially in the age of Instagram. “Theatrical makeup is known for its staying power, the pigment, the colors…for us to create a beauty line out of those attributes was easy,” she said.
“The everyday girl is performing…she’s taking a selfie, she’s out there running in her heels to get to a meeting. She needs to be perfect, her makeup needs to look great — it was to look great in person and last,” Koutikas said.
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In the theater world, Mehron is well known for its mixing liquid and loose pigments — the combination used on Delevingne’s hair, according to the company.
As the company looked to make its products more palatable to the average person, certain things — like foundation — which was thicker for theater purposes, required a reformulation to become more wearable in the age of high-definition technology. Koutikas set out to simplify and modernize that formula, as well as expand the shade range. (There are now 20 shades.) The brand makes the products itself, in addition to operating a small private-label business for makeup professionals. Fans include makeup artist Pat McGrath, for example, who included Mehron mixing liquid with her Gold 001 pigment launch.
“Everybody wants the products that the pros have been using for years,” Koutikas said.
The company’s core business is still with costume-type stores, which sell the products for movies, advertising, fashion shows and body painting, but recently, it’s partnered with e-commerce retail partners that sell on their own sites, as well as Amazon. Mehron also recently launched its own web site, where it sells performance makeup — think fake blood for Halloween costumes — or the beauty site, where it sells more traditional items, like lip and cheek palettes. The brand is also now being sold in select beauty boutiques, Melik said, where it will continue to ramp up.
Industry sources project the business is on track to do $10 million in sales for 2017. It is still privately owned.