Prestige Makeup: Shiseido Makeup
When Shiseido revamped its entire color cosmetics line, the brand didn’t just rethink its approach to makeup, it rethought the entire category itself. Out went traditional classifications like eyes, lips and cheek, replaced instead by textural classifications: Dews, Gels, Powders and Inks, that tap into the consumer penchant for play. Another first was where the line was developed—in New York rather than the Japanese giant’s Tokyo headquarters, under the auspices of Jill Scalamandre, president of Shiseido’s Makeup Center of Excellence. “The U.S. is the biggest color market in the world,” the exec said. “That’s where the expertise is. We did it in strict collaboration with Tokyo. They were so open to everything.” That global spirit is indicative of chief executive officer Masahiko Uotani’s over-arching ambitions for the company. Shiseido makeup is expected to reach the $500 million mark at retail in the next three years; some markets are reporting their sales have already increased by 30 percent. In other words, the perfect blend of art and commerce.
Prestige Skin Care: Beauty Bio
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Beauty Bio’s micro-needling tool, GloPro, has brought new energy and interest to the beauty tools category since its launch. Founder and ceo Jamie O’Banion first developed the tool with her father, Dr. Terry James, in 2011 and introduced it to medical spas and other professional businesses. In 2016, she rolled it out to retail distribution, where it reportedly earned $1 million during its first month on the market. Since then, O’Banion has successfully expanded the business, achieving the difficult feat of taking a device business into topical products with the launch of a 10-product skin-care line and a collection of targeted facial and body masks. She’s also kept building the device business with extensions like a rose quartz roller. Now with distribution at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Sephora in the U.S. and Selfridge’s, Douglas and Space NK internationally, the brand is expected to exceed $100 million in sales by the end of this year. Sharp as a tack, indeed.
Prestige Hair Care: Hair Rituel by Sisley Paris
Sisley Paris doesn’t introduce new brands often—the last time was in 1976, when the luxe skin-care brand was first launched. But this year, the company released an entirely new category with Hair Rituel, a six-piece lineup designed to treat the hair and scalp with the same actives used to treat skin. The timing was impeccable—hair care is the fastest-growing category in the prestige market in the U.S., according to The NPD Group, and the global picture is equally as rosy, with Euromonitor predicting sales will reach $10.4 billion by 2021. Hair Rituel is well positioned to capitalize on that momentum, with shampoos, conditioners and an oil that claim to restructure and revitalize the hair and scalp. The line resonated with Sisley’s upscale customer-base, who eagerly snapped up items such as the $75 Revitalizing Volumizing Shampoo and $195 Revitalizing Fortifying Serum for the Scalp. While the launch may have been a long time coming, it was worth the wait. “It’s a rather emotional moment,” said Philippe d’Ornano, president of Sisley. A successful one, as well: Industry sources report Hair Rituel exceeded expectations, rising to 10 percent of overall company sales in year one, or almost $80 million.
Prestige Fragrance: KKW Fragrance
With 119 million Instagram followers and counting, it’s no surprise that Kim Kardashian has been able to crack the code of selling fragrance over the Internet—scent unseen. The reality TV star’s debut scent, KKW Fragrance, launched in November 2017 with a trio of scents that sold out immediately, bringing in a reported $14.3 million. She solidified her brand’s positioning this year with a quick drop launch strategy referencing things she’s become known for, like her downloadable “Kimojis” and her famous figure. In February, she launched three limited-edition Valentine’s Day-themed “Kimoji Heart” fragrances, then extended the range in July with three more scents. In April, she sent Instagram into a frenzy with the release of KKW Body, a peach and rose scent housed in a flacon created from a mold of her own body. Kardashian is keeping up the momentum, with two new iterations of Body. In November, she revealed her top four sellers will launch at Ulta, paving the way for brick-and-mortar distribution and giving traditional fragrances a run for their holiday money.
Mass Makeup: Maybelline New York Tattoo Studio
When it comes to parlaying an Instagram trend into an innovative product franchise with booming sales—despite a lackluster mass market retail environment—Maybelline gets the gold star. While 2018 was a year of newness for mass market makeup in general, true innovation was hard to come by in a sea of strobing, glitter and contour launches. Enter Maybelline’s TattooStudio franchise, sculpting and defining brow products inspired by microblading, a form of semipermanent tattooing (and one of the Internet’s hottest beauty trends) in which tiny, hairlike strokes are etched onto the skin. In its 10 months on shelves, TattooStudio has generated about $15.2 million in retail sales, according to IRI, and that’s just at drug and mass, not counting Amazon or e-commerce. The results? Maybelline’s eyebrow business is up 2.5 percent year-over-year, versus a 1 percent decline in the eye makeup category overall. Next up is a rollout of more TattooStudio products for 2019, including a pomade, and expansion into the greater eye category.
Mass Skin Care: C&C by Clean & Clear
What do you do when you’re a 62-year-old acne brand looking to update your aesthetic to appeal to the Instagram generation? Call in the twinfluencers. Johnson & Johnson did just that when creating a modern interpretation of Clean & Clear, tapping 18-year-old YouTubers and identical twins Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight as creative consultants on the new line, called C&C. With C&C, J&J proved it can move with the times, incubating a new-to-market brand in under a year, complete with a digital-first marketing strategy and distribution via Ulta Beauty and Amazon. C&C’s products, priced from $8 to $16, are more Instagram-friendly than Clean & Clear’s clinical base of items, and incorporates many K-beauty trends such as hydrocolloid patches and rubber masks, as well as natural ingredients like tea tree and lavender. Packaging is sleek, too: Think matte black with pops of neon and a genderless appeal. While sales data is not publicly available for C&C specifically, the overall business at Clean & Clear is booming, surging close to 300 percent this year, according to IRI.
Mass Hair: Tresemmé Compressed Micro Mist
Hairstyling products had a breakout year in 2018 after several years of limp growth. Driving volume was a new breed of items aimed at younger consumers who don’t want their mother’s hairsprays. At the forefront: TRESemmé’s Compressed Micro Mist—singled out for eradicating the image of old-school stiff products, while also appealing to consumers looking to curb packaging waste. Reviews praised the formula for providing hold without “crunchiness.” Moreover, the can uses 50 percent less gas than average sprays and contains the same number of sprays in a package half the size. The Unilever-owned brand also updated its marketing mix significantly, tapping key influencers such as Marianna Hewitt and Paola Alberdi to act as correspondents at New York Fashion Week, which the brand sponsors. Retailers noted that the updated take on industry standards, such as styling products, coupled with the social push is helping TRESemmé move the needle with younger consumers. Call it a brand with the wind behind its back.