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Origins Reenters Makeup With New Lip Offerings

The natural prestige makeup category hit $1 billion in August, according to NPD.

Origins is strengthening its stake in the natural prestige makeup market.

Best known for its naturally based skin care, Origins is expanding its color cosmetics offerings with its first makeup launch in more than five years. The collection is a line of 24 Blooming Bold Lipsticks and eight Blooming Sheer Lip Balms with hydrating and long-wear properties that retail for $20 each. The products launch officially on Sept. 28 and will be available in-store and online at Origins, Macy’s, Dillard’s and Ulta.

“It’s true that Origins is known for its skin care, but we actually have loyal consumers to makeup,” said Julie Van Ongevalle, senior vice president and global general manager of Origins. “One consumer out of two [who] buys makeup comes back to the brand. The products are as high performing as our skin care.”

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“When we created Origins in 1990, it was a maverick in the industry,” said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, group president of The Estée Lauder Cos. “Modern and witty, Origins paved the way in natural beauty with high-performing beauty products with naturally derived ingredients and a passion for giving back. Today, this idea has become one of the most compelling beauty trends in our industry. It’s exciting to see Origins continue to embrace the unconventional and break new ground, attracting both Millennial and Gen Z consumers.”

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Origins’ Blooming Bold Lipsticks and Blooming Sheer Lip Balms, which retail for $20 each. Lexie Moreland/WWD

According to the NPD Group, the natural prestige makeup category reached $1 billion in the 12 months ending in August 2018, up 6 percent from the year prior. Van Ongevalle said Origins has had “an incredible year,” experiencing “double-digit growth” and “the highest growth in more than a decade” for the brand.

“Our success is coming from the mix of innovation and a simple reinterpretation of our hero products,” she said. “It’s not that we changed the brand completely, it’s that we are bringing back our roots with a modern twist.”

She declined to offer sales projections, but industry sources estimate the lip launch will do $10 million in global retail sales in its first 12 months.

The new lip line is formulated using recycled ingredients from 12 flowers that are commonly discarded by the perfume industry. This sustainable practice is directly in line with Origins’ values. To date, the brand has planted 820,000 saplings as part of its Plant-A-Tree initiative.

Origins’ best-selling makeup products are both in the eye category — the Fill in the Blanks eyebrow pencil and the Automagically eye lining pencil — but the brand is focusing on lips, which are what consumers deem the “most important category to be as clean as possible,” according to Van Ongevalle.

Julie Van Ongevalle
Julie Van Ongevalle, senior vice president and global general manager of Origins. Lexie Moreland/WWD

In June, Sephora unveiled its Clean at Sephora intiative, which includes Origins. Asked about the initiative, Van Ongevalle said, “We’re very proud to be part of it. It’s a way to reach new consumers, to tell the story [of] how clean we are. There’s no official definition, but we have our own definition — and we fit Sephora’s definition.”

On Sept. 27, Origins hosted its debut U.S. pop-up, which served as a first look at the new lip line for influencers and editors. In the past, the brand has worked mostly with micro-influencers, but it has since changed its strategy to include influencers of all tiers.

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