Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
The beauty box will begin with a June offering, available today, featuring 13 summer beauty products. That will be followed by a fall top picks box and then the final box for the holiday season. The products — in both travel and full sizes — will include selections across different beauty categories, such as makeup, nail lacquer, moisturizer and dry shampoo.
Rue said beauty is one of the site’s fastest-growing categories. Jeff Steeves, Rue’s senior vice president for marketing, said working with Allure helps give the site access to new and hot products.
Jill Friedson, vice president for marketing, Condé Nast Women’s Collection, said that in addition to the curated, editor-tested products, each box will include product reviews and tips. That makes the box comparable to Allure’s monthly subscription-based service, which also includes a special mini-magazine consisting of product reviews.
While this is the first outside partnership for Allure, it isn’t the first for Condé Nast. Sister publication Vogue did a similar partnership with Birchbox last month. Friedson declined to comment about the Vogue partnership, but did note that Allure has in the past worked on similar internal programs within the Condé Nast consumer magazine stable. Those include Brides, Teen Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler and GQ. The one with GQ was a men’s grooming box for Father’s Day, and there are now plans to do one on a quarterly basis, although details are still being worked out, according to Friedson.
“We talk to a lot of partners inside and outside [Condé Nast’s offices]. An overarching goal at the company and at Allure is how are we growing our audience footprint and diversifying revenues,” Friedson said.
She noted that while monetizing the brand and revenue building are important, as well as bringing in a new audience from channels that might not be familiar with Allure, there’s also a balancing act to make sure the existing Allure subscription box is not cannibalized. That’s why the larger boxes offered for the collaborations have been centered “around certain moments.” Friedson said future collaborations could include partnering with influencers, although that’s an idea still on the drawing board.
Similar to the Vogue and Birchbox partnership, there is a limited run for the June box collaboration with Rue La La, with plans to increase the number of boxes that will be produced for the fall and holiday boxes.
Each box is priced at $39.99 and purchasers who buy the June box will automatically be enrolled to buy the other two boxes in the series.
Fashion and accessories still dominate most purchases, although Rue has been growing its business in other sectors such as beauty and home. The core customer profile for Rue is an affluent female between her early 20s to late 40s.
Last year, the company sought to increase customer engagement with the site and began aggregating fashion and lifestyle content for a new online component called Rue Now.