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Sally Beauty Harnesses Power of Influencers for Exclusive Color Cosmetics Launch

Sally Beauty wants a bigger slice of the color cosmetics category. Collab could deliver as much as $30 million in sales to Sally's burgeoning beauty business.

Influencers build awareness of some of beauty’s highest wattage brands. Now, eight handpicked social media personalities have the chance to foster growth of an exclusive beauty collection they created for Sally Beauty.

Collab, a 203-stockkeeping unit cosmetics line, debuted on this week. The full assortment of lip, eye and facial products will be installed exclusively in 3,100 Sally Beauty stores in November.

“We developed it from scratch with influencers,” David Hutchinson, Maesa Group’s senior vice president, told WWD in a reveal of the lineup. The cohort convened in New York for color sessions that are documented in video diaries the influencers will share for a peek behind the scenes.

Cosmetics is an exploding category for the professional beauty retailer, which stocks color choices from Femme Couture, Palladio and Ardell. “Cosmetics is an extremely growing area for Sally’s,” confirmed Melissa Hoogendoorn, director of Own Brands at Sally Beauty. “We’re well known for our hair and we want to get to be known for our cosmetics, as well.”

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Industry sources estimate the addition of Collab can add as much as $30 million in retail sales. Maesa and Sally’s did not comment on sales projections.

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While many content providers have ventured into their own cosmetics brands — Zoe Sugg’s Zoella Beauty and Jeffree Star are two examples — this is believed to be the first designed by a cadre of social media figureheads.

“We knew there was a void [in the beauty market], and we wanted to see how we could partner better with influencers,” Hoogendoorn explained. “We have a strong social following and influencers we work with through a multitude of sampling, but the cosmetics [content] world was expanding and, partnering with Maesa, we found an influencer concept than resulted in the creation of Collab.”

Hutchinson views the meeting of the minds of the beauty innovators as the next generation in the cosmetics category. “This is a modern approach to developing a makeup brand by working with a new generation of experts in the category.”

The influencers, referred to as The Collective, are Raven Scott, Alicia Marie Collinge, Samantha Robinson, Dani Meza, Ashley Mitchell, Lizzy Gutierrez, Claire Hakim and Wesley Benjamin Carter. A diverse group, including a mom and a male, their total combined reach exceeds four million. Maesa zeroed in on micro influencers for their high levels of engagement, Hutchinson said.

The cadre fits Maesa and Sally’s vision to partner with of an assortment of influencers with different styles. The influencers were involved in every step of the process. Many of them were already Sally Beauty devotees, noted Hutchinson. “They love the brand and were excited to develop something for Sally Beauty.” The original eight could be supplemented with future influencers with different points of view to “keep things fresh,” Hutchinson said.

When Collab enters stores, it will have a specially created fixture in the color cosmetics area sporting the images and handles of the influencers. Those familiar with the program said it will help burnish Sally’s image in the competitive color cosmetics arena.

Sally Beauty's Cadre of Influencers Created
Collab delivers an upscale presentation to Sally Beauty.

Some of the hero products Hoogendoorn singled out include the Matte Addiction lip color, the About the Pout lip balm and the Palette Pro eye shadow palettes.

There are also of brushes, a sponge, a micellar water and micellear makeup removing wipes. The range includes many on-trend items such as primers, concealers, brow products, bold eye and glitter lip pigments. Colors were carefully selected by the diverse influencer team for all skin complexions. There will be color shade breaks around seasons along with limited edition collections.

The influencers will do heavy lifting to get the message out through their own video content across their channels combined with Sally’s social media platforms. A kickoff e-mail will blast out to Sally’s enthusiasts alerting them to the new offer. There will be in-store meet-ups with the Collab influencers in their local markets.  With its link to social media content providers, Collab is expected to court younger consumers to Sally’s doors.

The Collective Group of influencers will be paramount in all decisions, said Hoogendoorn, who explained the line has many prestige elements such as soft touch casings. “The influencers will work on future promotions and will come to our headquarters in Dallas for collaboration on the spring edition of palettes.” Collab joins a host of other Sally proprietary brands including those in hair and nail.

Hutchinson added Maesa has to capability to pounce on new trends, an advantage to Sally’s Collab as it seeks to keep up with emerging indie brands. Maesa’s other exclusive brands include Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty, P2 Cosmetics and Kristin Ess Hair.