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Peek Sparks a Makeup Revolt

The brand offers a multipurpose, easy-to-use approach.

If every trend has a countertrend, consider Peek the beauty converse of Kardashian mania. The new brand from former NYX chief creative officer and DuWop founder Cristina Bartolucci specializes in no-makeup-makeup, offering a lineup of multiuse products designed to subtly highlight features for a natural look — no filter necessary.

“I loved the style of makeup that was coming out of NYX. It was so much fun, but it wasn’t what I did,” Bartolucci said. “Peek is about making yourself beautiful without being obvious.”

Peek quietly entered SpaceNK a few months ago with just three stockkeeping units, including bestseller Brow Henna, a powder derived from coffee that stains for long-lasting brow color, Filter Feature, a Champagne pink translucent balm that acts as a primer and highlighter, and It’s Not, a black and white eye shadow primer duo — the dark side turns eye makeup smoky and smoldering, while the white makes bright color pop.

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Now, the brand is ready to make a bigger splash with a more robust product offering. Channeling her success with DuWop’s Lip Venom, Bartolucci will introduce Nom Nom, a natural lip plumper that amplifies pouts with ginger root, cinnamon and chili, and hydrates with shea, avocado and sesame oils. Another new addition is TBB, a combination BB cream-primer-blur balm that contains milled rice powder and cornstarch to absorb oil, leaving a satin finish.

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“It’s about enhancing every feature. For Millennials who are getting older, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers — all of us women who are out in the world trying to raise children and work — we want makeup that’s a no-brainer,” Bartolucci said of Peek’s multipurpose approach to products.

A key category at Peek is comprised of what Bartolucci called “link” products devised to augment the makeup people already have. “We don’t need 300 more lipsticks in the world,” Bartolucci said.

Peek’s products are packaged in handy tins and are priced at $22. “I want Peek makeup to be treats. They are little things that women carry and that give them confidence that they can look their very, very best,” she said. From a merchandising perspective, the tins also make Peek a fit for grab-and-go sections inside stores.

Su-Kyun Chung, former general manager and buyer at SpaceNK, said Peek’s portable, multipurpose and easy-to-apply approach appeals to the retailer’s customers. “The brand’s backbone is one that is rooted in both aesthetic and formula know-how.” Singling out Filter Feature, she continued, it’s a “great example of this: one universal shade that not only provides a radiant sheen but also a calms and soothes the skin.”

Although Peek is full of natural ingredients, Bartolucci described the brand as “natural enough.” For example, TBB contains synthetic beeswax. “It gives more of a finish,” Bartolucci said. “If something synthetic doesn’t hurt you and works better, we will make that choice.”

Sonia Summers, managing director of Peek, chief executive officer of consultancy Beauty Specialty Group and a former vice president at DuWop, said, “The biggest challenge in the industry is innovation, and I don’t think that’s going to be our problem. Our challenge is letting the customer know we are out there.”

Social media will play a big role in spreading Peek’s message. The brand doesn’t plan on making a splash with contouring and strobing-laden posts. Instead, Bartolucci said the brand’s Instagram account showcases understated makeovers “on real women.” To continue its social push, Peek is launching products with Ipsy by January.

Industry sources estimate the brand could reach $2 million in revenues next year.