For Smith & Cult, eyes are the windows to further expansion into makeup.
The Luxury Brand Partners-owned nail polish brand is entering the eye category in the fall with B-Line Eye Pen eyeliners, Lash Dance mascara and four Book of Eyes eye-shadow quad to cover plum, neutral, bronze and smoky tones. The launches, priced from $26 to $44, follow Smith & Cult’s push into lip products with lip lacquers and lip stains, and portend additional color cosmetics introductions as it continues to diversify its merchandise mix.
“We always knew we would branch out to doing the eye. We go with whatever feels right in terms of extending categories, and it just felt right,” said Dineh Mohajer, cofounder and creative director of Smith & Cult and the founder of Hard Candy. “As long as it is not something that doesn’t dilute or put in jeopardy the brand identity, you can do pretty much anything. The eye collection was a perfect way to extend what we’re doing without violating the brand identity.”
Smith & Cult’s products are intertwined with the story of the brand relayed to shoppers and retailers through a beauty junkie’s diary entries penned by Mohajer. She explained the four eye-shadow quads, which are called Mannequin Moves, Interlewd, Noonsuite and Soft Shock, correspond with different moods she sought to evoke in the entries, and she wanted to develop shades that satisfied customers’ eye-shadow desires from subtle to strong.
You May Also Like
The plum shadows are Mohajer’s favorites, but she predicted the smoky quad would be the bestseller among the Book of Eyes options. “It’s very ‘of the moment’ and sexy, and it’s a staple,” she said of a deep smoky eye, elaborating about plums, “My eyes are brown, and I have a tiny bit of yellow in them. Any lightness that lives in them comes out with plum.”
The textures of the eye shadows were formed to be velvety and smooth, although not overly so. “I never want something that is on the dry side, but there is a threshold. If it is too creamy, it can have no lasting power. It doesn’t have any adherence,” Mohajer said. “It is about having the perfect balance of it being not too moist and not too dry or too rigid. That was really important to me, and I like that you can use them wet or dry.”
The B-Line Eye Pen comes in charcoal, steel and stable, and crescendos with a fine felt-tip applicator. “What’s wonderful about it is that it is buildable. When you are lining, you can go from a really thin to a much thicker line, and it’s very easy to do,” said Mohajer, who worked to make sure the formula stayed in place without caking. “There is nothing that sucks more than when you get a product you can apply really well and then the formula falls short. My objective was for there to be no weak links.”
Lash Dance mascara features a silicone applicator that’s tapered at the center. “The focal point to have a sleekness or sheen to it. I wanted to have almost a gloss or shine to the finish and also have this innovative, engineered brush that makes it easier to attain the look you want,” Mohajer said. “Mascara is necessary to round out the collection. It is something we felt is an essential that needs to be there.”
Smith & Cult is certainly not deserting the nail category as it stretches beyond it. Its latest nail releases are the forest green polish Darjeeling Darling, the rose gold foil 1972 and matte Flatte Top Coat. They are each priced at $18. Of the rich green, Mohajer said, “It’s England meets India. There is something regal about it, and I think it’s going to be great for fall.” Turning to 1972, she said, “It was super nostalgic to me. There were so many different memories that were conjured up when making that color. It ranged from my mom in the Seventies to cheesy Eighties roller derby discoes.”
Smith & Cult’s distribution network contains 651 salons, 139 apothecaries and 54 department stores and specialty retailers. Key retailers include Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Net-a-porter, C.O. Bigelow, Space NK and Bluemercury. Industry sources estimate the brand generated more than $4 million at retail last year.