Bobbi Brown is tackling beauty from a new angle — the inside.
The makeup mogul is launching her new supplements line, Evolution_18, on air with QVC April 20. The line contains four products: Afternoon Chocolate, a chocolate whey protein powder, $60; Overnight Vanilla, a collagen, hyaluronic acid, coconut oil powder blend meant to be consumed in the evenings, $48; Probiotic, with 10 billion live cultures, $32; and Strengthen, a supplement with a new active ingredient, Cynatine, to give stronger hair, skin and nails, $33.
“They’re not supplements, they’re wellness products,” Brown said. “The chocolate is not really a supplement and it’s not really just a protein powder — it’s a blend, it’s a mix, it’s an infusion. It’s similar to what I did in my cosmetics [business] where I would create new formulas based on a makeup artist’s understanding texture, I’ve created some blends here as a foodie health nut, basically.”
Afternoon Chocolate, a version of a drink Brown has continually made for herself, is the star product, she said.
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“Every afternoon at work I got really tired,” Brown said. “Instead of eating dark chocolate or something to give me a boost, I started mixing these things in the kitchen, which was chocolate whey protein powder, some kind of a fiber, chia or flax to fill me up, coconut oil, cinnamon, red pepper, a little bit of black pepper, coconut oil and coconut milk, and I’d make this shake and it gave me amazing brain energy and also stopped me from eating the bread basket at dinner.”
The “second star product” is Overnight Vanilla, Brown said — it’s meant to be a soothing, calming, post-dinner treat. (It has 60 calories.) “You won’t need dessert,” Brown said. “It tastes like cake batter.”
Brown’s lemon-flavored probiotic comes in Pixi Stick form and is meant to be poured directly on the tongue. According to Dr. Amy Shah, who helped Brown with the formulations, the body has strong absorption under the tongue, while gut permeability varies.
The name Evolution_18 came from a combination of Beauty Evolution, Brown’s parent company for all her new lifestyle ventures, and her studio, 18 Label. (Plus 18 is good luck in the Jewish faith, she noted.)
The products were intended to be mixed into water but can also be used in food. “We’re working on a muffin
For Brown, Evolution_18 is a natural move after her exit from the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned makeup brand in 2016. “I’ve always considered myself a lifestyle expert because even when I was teaching women about makeup.…I was always talking about health and wellness, how to take care of yourself, how to fit exercise in,” Brown said.
Unlike the makeup brand, which now has a broad offering of makeup and skin-care products, Brown intends to keep the assortment for Evolution_18 relatively small. She also intends to keep it, period — “I did not create this to sell it,” Brown said.
In addition to QVC, Evolution_18 will sell direct-to-consumer online, and potentially eventually through other retailers. The target consumer is “anyone who is looking to be healthier,” Brown said. Industry sources said Evolution_18 is likely to do more than $3 million in sales in year one.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been on QVC,” Brown said. (She has appeared before, for the cosmetics line.) “I know they’re excited because they’re really building their wellness profile and they know their consumer knows me and likes me.”
“Everything we do here is about trust, but in this space, the nutraceutical, ingestible space, it’s amplified,” said Rich Yoegel, QVC’s vice president of merchandising. “Bobbi’s reputation has always been as a health conscious person.”
QVC is still a newcomer to the beauty-wellness universe, Yoegel acknowledged. “We haven’t done a lot in this space, with beauty people getting into the nutrition world,” Yoegel said. “We’re hoping it’s going to be the start of something big.”
Evolution_18 has three or four more products in the “hopper,” Brown noted. “There’s one in particular I’m excited about that we held for launch and we’ll release it in the near future.”
But those products don’t include topical ones, she said.
“There are no topical things,” Brown said. “I’m not creating a skin-care brand, I’m really doing it from the inside out. Yes, would I like nothing better than to put some Vitamin C cream on my body so that I don’t have to take it? But that doesn’t exist yet.”
So, would she make it? “Well, we’ll see,” Brown joked.