No-makeup makeup has a brand to call its very own: Nudestix.
Created by beauty industry veteran Jenny Frankel with her teenage daughters Ally and Taylor, Nudestix is banking on the unassuming aesthetic signaling a generational shift in beauty habits rather than being a fleeting runway fad. Retailers are buying into that premise: The brand will premiere in May on QVC after making its debut at Space NK in the U.K. last May and entering Sephora in September.
Nudestix crystallized during a two-year break Frankel took from the beauty business following private equity firm Catterton Partners’ 2011 purchase of CoverFX, the brand Frankel cofounded in 2000, to decompress and spend time with Ally and Taylor. “They were my sources of inspiration,” she said. “They have no interest in being makeup artists and using tools. They have no interest in precision lines or in spending more than 5 minutes. They would rather scroll Instagram.”
Taylor and Ally were an in-house focus group for Frankel. Here are the insights Taylor gave her mother on the beauty preferences of members of the Millennial and Z generations or, in other words, her peers: “For my friends and me, brushes were extremely intimidating. None of my friends know how to use them. We couldn’t do a smoky eye to save our lives. We wanted to look like ourselves, only better. Even going to school, we didn’t want to look like we had a lot on. We want to look effortless and like we just got out of bed. It’s that barely there, nude-but-better look.” Ally and Taylor embody the lifestyle Nudestix conveys. Ally is in charge of the brand’s Twitter account, and Taylor reigns over Instagram.
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Nudestix delivers that simple look with simple products: The makeup comes in pencils or pens, and every item is priced at $24.
Bestsellers in the assortment of 41 stockkeeping units heavy on neutral shades are the lip/cheek pencil, the concealer pencil and magnetic eye color. Even skin care, which arrives this month, will be housed in pencils. Bronzers will be introduced in pencil form in May. “In most brands, you have an 80/20 rule where the neutrals make up 80 percent [of the sales.] Because we are all neutrals, the rule doesn’t apply,” said Frankel.
Ellen Lennon, QVC’s director of beauty merchandising, is bullish on the no-fuss brand. She said, “We were drawn to Nudestix because of the minimalistic approach of the brand and the easy-to-use nature of its products. We believe the concept that women don’t need a lot of makeup to look their best will resonate with our customers, and they’ll realize a little bit of color in the right places can highlight their best features to give a natural look.”
Industry sources estimate Nudestix will generate in excess of $5 million at retail this year. Aside from QVC, Space NK and Sephora in the U.S. and Canada, where Nudestix is based in Toronto, the brand’s distribution includes or will soon include Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, forever21.com, the Hut Group’s online properties and Sephora in Australia.