NEW YORK — Makeup tutorials and in-store experts educate women about cosmetics, but shopping and applying makeup is still bewildering to many. That’s according to Greg Freihofner, chief executive officer of Emma New York, an independent cosmetics brand designed to streamline purchasing decisions and help consumers create hot looks at home.
The concept caught the interest of Macy’s, which added Emma’s latest collection Evening Glamour, to 30 doors late last year. Freihofner hopes that is just the beginning for the four-year-old brand that has its sights set on major U.S. expansion in 2016.
Industry sources estimate Emma could achieve sales of $3 million to $5 million by the end of this year.
The premise of Emma is that most women spend as much as $15,000 on makeup in their lifetime, yet a significant portion is tossed into vanities because the items are unnecessary or complicated.
“What we wanted to do was simplify the process by giving women the opportunity to accurately create looks we curated in collaboration with makeup artists,” Freihofner said. Teaming with makeup experts such as Ana Marie Rizzieri and Julio Sandino, Emma packages together the colors and items needed to duplicate current styles. The artists provide in-box print tutorials. “The idea is you don’t have to have 35 different eye shadows in your collection. You can have a limited number as long as someone is teaching you,” he said.
Emma plans to introduce between four to six new collections each year that can be collected as a trend “library.” The Evening Elegance kit is comprised of a four-shade eye palette, a blush, a retractable blush brush, lipstick and gloss retailing for $49. Beyond the collections, Emma consists of 48 stockkeeping units encompassing everything from single color items, BB creams and a cleansing water. The color palettes were created to work with all skin tones, Freihofner said.
Since the company works with several makeup artists, each collection can be very different. Next up, for example, is a very dramatic Bombshell Beauty kit. “We can pivot,” Freihofner said. “If a ‘Goth’ look gets big, we collaborate with the right makeup artist. And we aren’t tied to a celebrity.”
While Emma strives to offer value by presenting just the right products to get a look, Freihofner made a commitment to using a high concentration of natural ingredients and pigments as he has seen more women grow concerned about what they apply to their faces. Early acceptance in the discerning Asian market has buoyed his expectations for U.S. expansion.
“This is beauty made simple,” he said. “It is aspirational. Anybody can do and it anybody can achieve it.”