So it would seem the last few years have seen an upswing in financing for beauty startups, with funding rounds steadily increasing since 2012.
By last September, various new beauty companies and blogs had already snagged more than 74 rounds of funding in 2016, according to CB Insights, which predicted the industry was on track to clock $424 million in financing during 2016 and a record number of funding deals.
DID YOU KNOW ➡️ MAKEUPANDTHECITY started with glazed eyes as a relationship of mine came to an end – as he was leaving and in the days to come I poured myself into an outlet for frustration, happiness, lost feelings and colours.
As investors have helped fuel its growth, the beauty sector has become more personal and accessible. On one hand, there’s the pared-down aesthetic of companies like Glossier, which offers a basic lineup of beauty and skincare necessities, or Milk, which takes a no-fuss, one-swipe approach to its pigmented eye and lip products. Then there are the companies democratizing beauty and catering to consumers who wish to customize, say, their foundation or shampoo, rather than relying on products stocked by mainstream brands. Here are some of the beauty startups that a lot of you might not have known about (or) didn’t know were taking the beauty market by storm.
1 | GLOSSIER
• helmed by Into the Gloss founder Emily Weiss, Glossier made its debut in 2014 as an extension of the blog that also inspired its name. Glossier has since amassed a legion of loyal followers – in no small part due to the popularity of Into the Gloss – and most recently, picked up $24 million in Series B funding. (to those who aren’t well versed in the field of entrepreneurship and early stage investing, Series A, Series B, and Series C might seem like confusing terms. Fortunately, the terms are easy to understand. Series A, B, and C have nothing to do with the alphabet, rather with the development stage of the companies that are raising capital) the company plans to use that money to introduce international shipping and release new products Glossier fans have been clamoring for, like sunscreen and a heavy-duty moisturizer.
2 | MILK MAKEUP
• Milk Makeup is Glossier’s more colorful cousin. Launched in February 2016 by the minds behind the creative agency Milk Studios, the line has a similar minimalist approach to its branding and collection. As with Glossier, Milk products don’t require application brushes, though they are splashier and far more varied, especially in terms of eye and lip products. As of now Milk Makeup is only I believe an 85 piece line and FUN FACT did you know that their oil-sheets can double as a rolling paper.
• With $160 million in total funding, Korean beauty box company Memebox has topped even Ipsy, which led the well-heeled beauty box space until Memebox closed a $60 million funding round in December. The Y Combinator-backed startup exclusively features Korean beauty products and has, in part, capitalized on the rising popularity of K-beauty abroad (though Korea still leads Memebox sales). Memebox may have started out as a beauty box service, but the company has expanded to boast a thriving online store and brick-and-mortar presence, with annual sales of more than $100 million. A beauty box is typically a subscription where you are sent monthly or even every six (6) months full of on trend makeup and makeup accessories.
4 | SEED BEAUTY
• Chances are, you’ve heard of at least one (1) of the two (2) brands incubated by the Los Angeles-based company Seed Beauty: cult beauty brand Colourpop and Kylie Cosmetics, the eponymous line started by the youngest member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Colourpop first appeared on the scene in 2014 and made its mark by courting prominent beauty bloggers and jumping on the liquid lipstick bandwagon. (which is now a dying trend or going back to what it was before always there and popular but not so over produced) The brand’s rock-bottom prices certainly helped, too – most products range from $5 to $8 as did the rate at which Colourpop managed to churn out new lip and eye products.
Seed Beauty grew out of a family-owned manufacturing lab that created products for major brands, which explains why Colourpop can conceive of and launch new products in just days. Coupled with the added success of Kylie Cosmetics, whose new product releases continue to sell out within minutes – this is one to watch, especially since Seed Beauty claims to be working on new brands.
5 | MATCHCO
• Though a number of brands have expanded their shade ranges in recent years, few have offered full customization as an option. Enter MatchCo, a beauty startup whose iPhone app can scan your skin and create a foundation specific to your skin tone for $49. This means MatchCo, which launched in January last year, mixes up a foundation exclusively for you, rather than matching your skin to an existing range of shades. As of last October, MatchCo’s app had been downloaded more than 100,000 times, and the service has found an unexpected user base in women who are in their 40s and older.
SIDE NOTE ➡️ Lancôme was the first to offer a service like this (I personally experienced what they literally call an experience) you get a full consultation, skin mapping and scanning then watch as the foundation is made to your exact skin tone – scanned by a tone detector – with a unique barcode that fits only your shade to repurchase FOR close to the same as MATCHCO (see below for blog post)
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