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How a Newcomer to the U.S. Built a Wait-List for Its New Serum

Orglamic Pink Cactus Collection’s Serum Mist and Glass Face Mask sold out in its pre-sale last month.

There is a lot of noise in the skin-care market. With sales booming — NPD Group reported third quarter category sales soared 15 percent — there are a slew of launches.

In that crowded market, Starskin’s launch of its Orglamic Pink Cactus Collection’s Serum Mist and Glass Face Mask sold out in its pre-sale last month. Demand was generated in a category — serums — that was outside of Starskin’s heritage in sheet masks. The line is racking up similar success stories now that Orglamic Pink Cactus is available at Nordstrom, Bandier and Bloomingdale’s.

Here, Starskin cofounder Nicole Arnoldussen discusses how, without the benefits of mammoth marketing dollars, her company built demand behind the launch. A big part of the push was filling a gap she said existed in the premium segment.

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WWD: What was the strategy used behind launching Orglamic Pink Cactus?

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Nicole Arnoldussen: With the huge focus on health-conscious living, consumers’ demand for clean and natural beauty continues to rise. But, traditional natural skin-care products often lack the glamour and high-performance innovation of prestigious beauty brands. And so, in our passion to be at the forefront of beauty trends and consumer needs, we positioned Orglamic Natural as skin care with luxurious sensorial textures meets glamorous aesthetics and extraordinary results.

WWD: What do you attribute the eye-opening pre-sale sellout to?

N.A.: Reputation. While Starskin might be a relatively new brand to the U.S., it has spread like wildfire by word of mouth because it works and delivers results. When we announced the pre-sale of Orglamic, everyone was aware that we never compromise our quality and efficacy in formulas — so they knew what they were investing in ahead of time. We have a cult following who are constantly asking for more products in other categories to complete their regimen. Being natural and of the highest concentration, with non-water-based formulas was only an added plus. Also, the beauty consumer is more ingredient savvy and so our collection spiked an interest as it is formulated around Prickly Pear Cactus, deemed by skin-care manufacturers and  beauty editors to be a Fountain of Youth and the latest “It” skin-care ingredient.

WWD: How will you follow up on the initial demand?

N.A.: We are growing the collection. With the success of the launch of the initial four products, we very quickly realized that we were not only speaking to our loyal Starskin consumer but also to a new one. We want to offer our clients the Orglamic concept for every step of their regimen.

WWD: Skin care seems to be driving all of beauty growth — makeup seems to be slowing. Why does skin care keep growing?

N.A.: As consumers are becoming more educated through social media channels, they are learning that impeccable makeup starts with creating a perfect base or “canvas.” So, if you invest in a good skin care regime, your makeup results will be even better. Also, the market has changed. The consumer is getting savvier and more knowledgeable in understanding his or her beauty products from both an ingredient and efficacy level. Skin care is the first thing we put on in the morning and the last thing we put on at night, so it is no surprise that through this new transparency and understanding, skin care leads in growth.

WWD: What’s next for Starskin?

N.A.: We move at light speed. We do not have long lead times for product development as we always want to develop with the best ingredients and most innovative formulas, which are constantly changing or evolving — especially when all our products are made in [South] Korea. I am constantly researching, concepting and developing the formulas. We have amazing new products launching in 2019 that will not only reinforce our position as the sheet mask authority but also listen to the demands for more product categories.