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Rituals Adds Makeup to Its U.S. Lineup

The new gemstone-based collection was launched throughout Europe last year.

The Dutch beauty brand Rituals Cosmetics is diversifying its U.S. product offering by adding makeup to the mix this month.

The new gemstone-based collection was launched throughout Europe last year. “Though we are a fast-growing company in Europe, we only launched a year ago in the U.S.,” said Rituals chief executive officer and founder Raymond Cloosterman. “We wanted to focus first on the heart and soul of the brand which is home and body care.” Rituals, which launched in 2000 and has since become a popular body, skin care, home and loungewear name in Europe, just opened in the U.S. last year.

Key to the brand’s identity is the philosophy of changing everyday routines into “special little events.” Each body collection is inspired by an ancient ritual story. The Precious Mineral Makeup, a complete color range including gemstone-based foundations, concealer, mascaras, eye pencils, nail polish and lip color, is based on the preening of Cleopatra.  “[During development], we said ‘Let’s not dive into a laboratory, let’s dive into history.’ Together with anthropologists, we started studying ancient makeup rituals. We ended up with Cleopatra being the first woman in the world to use crushed gemstones for makeup. She used lapis lazuli for an eye pencil and a precious stone on her forehead, believing that the gem would prevent her skin from aging,” said Cloosterman.

For the modern Rituals consumer, Cloosterman says the minerals have benefits that are two-fold. The brand worked with doctors of Chinese medicine to include gemstones that reportedly have benefits for the skin. For example, the rubies present in the Sparkling Lip gloss are said to improve blood circulation. He says the mineral base is also mild on the skin and gives it a soft-focus look. The prices are $8 for nail-care SKUs, with makeup ranging from $15 for eye pencils to $29 for three foundation formulas and a bronzing power.

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The addition of a makeup collection is just the latest phase of the Rituals U.S. expansion. The company also plans to open five more stores in New York City. Makeup tends to be about 10 percent of the business in European Rituals retail locations, generating a total of $10 to 15 million in sales, says Cloosterman. Though he declined to comment on U.S. sales, industry sources estimate the collection could bring in $150,000 in sales. “We try to create a niche for ourselves with our own fan base. People fall in love with the brand through home. Then we take them to bath and body, skin care and then to makeup. We feel makeup is an important part of the total in-store Rituals experience,” says Cloosterman.