On Sept. 28 in New York, a first-time conference called Beauty & Money will be held. In anticipation of the event, a panel of industry leaders have made their picks for the beauty-related businesses they believe are the most innovative, and those companies will be presenting at the conference.
I have met with most of those companies, and I think they’re pretty interesting. Many of them are very young; some are just starting up right now.
In most industries, being new and small is a disadvantage. But today’s beauty consumers are looking for what’s next, and that gives these companies an advantage. The larger players in the industry are also looking; they have made a lot of acquisitions in the last several years and are still on the hunt. All these young companies have a new idea that has gotten traction. Which of these endure and succeed will depend a lot on how they execute their plans.
The winners are being announced this morning, and here they are:
Trestique: I met this company earlier this year and wrote about them in a previous post. Their hero idea is to make beauty products easy to be used anywhere by simplifying the makeup routine for real women everyday with key essentials . Now that Instagram makes everyone photographable at any time or place, that’s important and Trestique makes it easy. Trestique is practical, functional and good. Full sized 2-in-1 products are easy to use and have refillable tools & magnetic sealing caps for easy-to-access open and close. One of the interesting things about Trestique is that women who didn’t previously wear makeup like it because it’s so intutive to use & apply and easy to carry around (Their Eessential 8 Set is a 5-minute routine that fits in a makeup bag the size of a coffee cup). Trestique is among the more established and larger in the group of awardees.
Nannette de Gaspe, a luxury beauty and lifestyle skincare brand, launched on the beauty scene in May 2016 introducing a new category in skincare, the dry masque. What makes Nannette de Gaspé so unique is that its dry masques infuse active ingredients deep into the epidermis through a revolutionary delivery system resulting in significant clinical results in a condensed time. Where wet masks are on average 85% water and glycerin and 5-7% actives, Nannette de Gaspé masques boast 87% actives and emollients. Through its groundbreaking ingredient delivery system, waterless technology, and high concentration of active ingredients, the skin continues to be repaired and nourished for 6 to 8 hours following its use. In 2017, the brand was awarded Cosmetic Design’s Beauty Industry Awards for Best Global Indie Beauty Brand and Beauty Industry Woman of the Year. One year post its launch, Nannette de Gaspé is expanding into other skincare categories, in addition to its masque innovations. It will also launch a second brand addressing skin care issues for consumers who are millennial-aged.
OLIKA is a hand sanitizer product that comes in an adorable, nature-inspired container shaped like a small bird. The Birdie also holds 10 dry wipes with aloe vera in addition to the sanitizer. The sanitizer is 95% natural and it’s easy to use and easy to carry. OLIKS is positioned to offer a better, more natural product for your hands and skin, with access that is more convenient and fun. OLIKA’s strategy is to take a product people want and make it into a better experience for them with convenience and aesthetics. The Birdie is just their first iteration, OLIKA wants to reinvent personal care and household staples. OLIKA is planning to introduce bigger and smaller sizes of the Birdie as well as different products over time.
Pulpriot started their business in 2016 and had about the best first-year performance any company could have. They make hair color for salon professionals. David Thurston, their president, told me Pulp Riot’s product “is more vibrant, lasts longer, and fades more beautifully than any other semi-permanent hair color. Our packaging is designed to inspire artists, and make them feel as excited as when they bought their first iPhone.” That sounds overly ambitious but it seems to be working. In only a year, Pulp Riot has more Instagram followers than virtually every major hair color brand, has set up distribution throughout North America, and is now expanding their riotousness around the world. They’re also expanding their product range to reach a broader market, and if they perform as well as their first products, this will be a very big company.
“Minimal Ingredients, Maximum Results.” That’s the tagline for Dr. Roebucks, and the clinical data says they deliver just that. The brand originated in Australia where the founders, two twins sisters named Zoe and Kim Devin, were raised by parents who were MD’s and believed in a healthy lifestyle in their food, habits and products based on science and natural ingredients. Their father created the formulas which are effective even for the most sensitive skin. Now, Zoe and Kim are sharing their lifestyle with consumers, starting with the proprietary skin care products. Although the brand is very young, it’s available in Sephora, Selfridge’s (UK), Holt Renfrew (Canada) and other great, high-end retailers. The ingredients are all natural, proprietary and not animal-tested. The brand is developing an image of fitness and health in everyday life that its products are created to enhance.
ZIIP Beauty is the first-ever facial skincare device that operates through a smartphone app. Users can download any of the six custom treatments that target very specific skincare issues including acne, sensitive skin, fine lines and wrinkles. New treatments are added to the app on an ongoing basis without additional cost to users. Ziip Beauty was founded by a very well-known esthetician, Melanie Simon. Simon developed the at-home device after she realized she could never meet demand for all the in-office treatments her patients wanted. She also dreamed about making effective electrical treatments more accessible to consumers worldwide. The ZIIP uses tiny electrical currents to stimulate naturally-occurring chemicals in the body to repair damaged skin cells. It’s a high-end product available at ZIIPBeauty.com, Net-A-Porter, Barney’s, and other high-end retailers.
AllWork is a software company focused on the management of hourly workers. As you can see from the above slide, hourly workers are a market of 77 million people and the biggest component of that market is retail. They have started their business with a focus on the beauty industry by helping brands and retailers find, manage and pay on-demand, hourly workers, particularly in-store sales talent that is critical to driving sales and consumer engagement. Allwork replaces budgeting spreadsheets, time sheets, scheduling, training software, reporting tools and messaging applications, making it all electronic in one end-to-end desktop and mobile application. The system adapts to time and attendance changes that happen normally in retail like people calling in sick, weather that affects sales help needs, and other on-the-fly changes that are impossible to handle without the flexibility of a dynamic program. Allwork can manage human capital even if it’s geographically diverse or involves employees with personalized scheduling needs.
Beauty Bakerie is a lifestyle-based cosmetics company, built on the character and outlook of its founder and CEO, Cashmere Nicole. Nicole was a single mother who successfully fought breast cancer and took on the aphorism to “be better, not bitter” in everything she does. She brings that outlook to the Company’s products and culture in every way and presents it to consumers with a values-based product offering that is not only effective but made to encourage women to overcome their most challenging obstacles. As of this writing, the brand is available on ASOS and Cult Beauty but not in Sephora or Ulta. I would be very surprised if those two don’t pick it up soon since sales are exploding on the Company’s website. Beauty Bakerie also has its own store in San Diego that is performing well and I would be surprised if there aren’t more of those in other places as the company grows.
Tracie Martyn began as a spa, delivering a new technology to improve skin. The Company has a proprietary device it uses in its Fifth Avenue spa in New York that sends a proprietary microcurrent through customers’ affected areas to make their skin firmer and more youthful-looking. The business developed a huge celebrity following and created skin care products that are scientifically formulated for results yet completely petrochemical-free and all natural. Tracie Martyn has pioneered a number of new product categories including a nutraceutical in the past and now offers a skin care product powered by a concept it trademarked Gemceuticals, which is made with malachite crystal in a base of organic aloe vera, and other anti-oxidant ingredients. The eco-luxe, safe, and clean products are sold on Amazon.com, Net-A-Porter.com, TracieMartyn.com and in Bergdorf Goodman, Space NK, Blue Mercury and other high-end retailers.
“Dermaflash is a breakthrough in at-home facial technology…a highly effective way to exfoliate…[and remove] facial hair.” So says Dr. Nicholas Perricone, the well-known dermatologist. The clinical information in the image above this paragraph confirms that users agree. Dermaflash is a device for women of all ages, skin types, colors and tones that can be bought in Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom’s and many other retailers starting at $189 that removes debris and dead skin. The founder, Dara Levy, had a spa in the Chicago area in 2009 when she realized she needed to create an at-home device to emulate the treatments she was giving in her spa. Her goal is to allow women to have better looking skin in ten minutes a week. As she explained it to me, Dermaflash removes debris and old skin cells from a woman’s skin. It eliminates buildup of cellular debris that absorbs light. After using Dermaflash only once, users have a complexion that reflects more light, requires less makeup than before and looks younger.
Surratt Beauty creator Troy Surratt was an illustrator and makeup artist. When he visited Japan for the first time, he fell in love with the materials and formulas there and developed his own line of products. The brand is focused on allowing women to express their individuality by using bright and sumptuous-looking colors. As he put it to me, his goal is to give a consumer “more than she’s accustomed to being given. ” The products are made in Japan by producers who strive for “Otaku,” obsessive mastery, and his best days are when consumers say to him, “the makeup feels beautiful to wear,” and “you’ve thought of everything.” Consumers can feel beautiful in Surratt at Barneys, Sephora and many other retailers.
Scentbird is a subscription service for fragrances. Or as they put it, a company that lets you “date perfumes before marrying them.” For $14.95 per month, they will send you your choice of over 450 designer and niche fragrances in a ¼-ounce (approx.), travel-friendly spray container. The products are guaranteed authentic and come in a reusable case.