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New Color Brand Winky Lux To Launch Online, Targets Millennials

Winky Lux will launch exclusively online at winkylux.com, and for the foreseeable future will remain an online-only brand.

With a new color cosmetics brand set for a weekend launch, Natalie Mackey and Nathan Newman are reaching out to Millennial consumers where they live — online.

Their brand, Winky Lux, will launch exclusively online at winkylux.com, and for the foreseeable future will remain an online-only brand.

Mackey, who has a finance background, caught the beauty bug while arranging deals on Wall Street. “Of all the deals we did, the beauty ones were always the most interesting,” Mackey noted.

Determined to find untapped territory for their line, Mackey and Newman, an e-commerce and tech expert, undertook a massive research project, speaking with Millennials, and concluding that the most untapped market was a luxurious experience at a just-over-mass-market cost.

How to achieve this? “By cutting out the middleman, and therefore the large margin of markup on cosmetics,” said Mackey. “The markup in beauty is crazy. By cutting margins, we can offer Millennials a luxury makeup experience at a drugstore price.”

The collection consists of nine product categories so far: lipsticks, glosses, eye palettes, complexion powder, contour powder, brow sculpting, blush, illuminator and cream eye shadows. Each product is packaged in custom white lacquer, silver and gold and comes in a floral-printed box.

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Mackey and Newman have 40 stockkeeping units ready to launch now, and in the interest of always having something new to speak about, they will pulse them — and more to-be-announced items — out over the next several weeks.

The line includes Lip Velour, 15 highly pigmented matte shades packaged in a pill-shaped component, $13 each; the Glossy Boss, 18 shades of long-lasting gloss designed to be worn in pairs, for a contouring effect, or on top of Lip Velour for all-day shine, each priced at $14; Crushed Diamonds, three metallic shades of crushed alloy cream eyeshadow priced at $16; Quint Eye Palettes, which each have five full-size eyeshadows, a natural hair, artist-quality birch wood brush and step-by-step instruction card, each $23; #NoFilter Powder, three shades of pressed powder with a velvety texture, selling for $20; Brow Sculpt, a three-shade brow palette with nine potential color combinations, brow bone highlighter, shaping wax and a double-ended natural hair brow brush; priced at $24; Matte Contour Powder, a universal shade that can be worn with or without makeup, $19; Light Box Strobe Illuminator, three shades of incandescent illuminating cream priced at $15, and Pinktopia Blush, a universally flattering hot-pink blush with a six-pigment blend, priced at $14.

Mackey noted that the company is nimble enough to jump on trends quickly, with the capability of launching a new product from concept to execution in just eight weeks.

All of the Lip Velour shades have their own individual social media hashtags, which Mackey noted will allow both the brand and consumers to see what’s being said about the products. “This will help us in a lot of different ways, including getting honest feedback to act on and allowing consumers to see what their peers are saying,” said Mackey. “Millennials want that stamp of approval — but from bloggers and social media.”

Mackey has already arranged partnerships with a number of online influencers, which is also how the brand was developed; she test-marketed the brand with several of them. They are Orion Carloto, who has more than 300,000 Instagram followers and more than two million views on YouTube; Sam Fazz, who has close to 57,000 Instagram followers and more than four million views on YouTube, and Lily Lane, who has close to 11,000 Instagram followers and more than 700,000 views on YouTube.

As well, the brand will team with model Jessica White, who has modeled for Maybelline and Cover Girl, for charity. White’s nine-sku lipstick collection — bearing her new modeling moniker, Jypsy — will be launched in time for the holiday season and will benefit a to-be-announced charity.