Jody Pinson, Wal-Mart’s vice president of merchandising for beauty, is bullish on makeup brushes. During a recent tour of a burnished beauty department in Secaucus, N.J., she spotlighted brush collections that the chain will exclusively offer for holiday.
Pinson said the retailer is focused on providing beautiful brushes that rival prestige channels at value pricing. When she presented a collection of unicorn-style brushes to those attending the tour, they guessed the price to be $50. Wal-Mart will sell the brushes for less than $14.
Wal-Mart works in tandem with Moda Brushes to be on-trend with its brushes. With the color cosmetics business expanding, there is a halo effect on brush sales — both for makeup and bath. According to IRI data for the 52-week period ended Sept. 10 in multiunit doors, makeup applicator sales (including brushes) soared 17 percent. That exceeded other cosmetic category growth, which averaged less than 4 percent.
“Brushes are having a moment. People can’t buy enough of them,” confirmed Susan Kelly, director of sales and marketing at Moda Brushes, which is owned by Royal & Langnickel Brush Mfg. Inc. Moda entered the makeup brush business when it was observed that customers were going to craft or paint stores to buy its artist paint brushes. Twelve million brushes are manufactured by Royal & Langnickle Brush Mfg. Inc. a month.
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The company is vertically integrated so it can quickly design, create and bring a new brush to market to keep up with beauty industry trends, said Kelly. A case in point is the Moda Falsie Fan used to apply mascara and blend false lashes quickly, as seen in hundreds of tutorials.
“We make cute, eye-catching brushes that are as beautiful as the makeup they apply,” she said noting touches such as tri-colored hair on brushes, rose-gold handles and holographic cases. All brushes are 100 percent vegan and color coded to help consumers quickly select the right brush for the need.
Some of the looks rolling into stores this month include new Prismatic Kits and Moda Rosé Face Perfecting and Complete Kits. One exclusive to Wal-Mart is Moda Mythical Star Travel Kit with unicorn-inspired handles. Some specialty items include Moda Fan, which dusts off excess powder to efficiently apply highlights; Moda Quick Contour, allowing for application of highlighter and contour at the same time, and the Moda Complexion Brush, which can work with cream or powder foundation. Brushes, added Kelly, also are perfect for masking because they help avoid waste associated with applying by hand.
While brush sets will be big holiday sellers, Kelly said self-purchase drives volume, as well. “People buy them on impulse, especially if they are attractive or offer a need they don’t currently have a brush for,” she said. In addition to Wal-Mart, Moda brushes are sold on modabrush.com.