My morning was definitely spiced up by the news of William Lauder (executive chairman of ELC) being a sh*t by trying to evict his ex-lover and child from their home because their teenage daughter referred to her parents as ‘divorced’. It apparently violates the strict confidentiality terms of on-going support. This child is 13.
Shiseido is halting their entry level Waso brand in Japan to ‘re-focus’ on their premium lines. Although Waso will for now continue to be sold in other markets, this seems an interesting move and can only be financially motivated because brands don’t stop selling things that sell well. So, for me this brings up lots of questions around other brands, such as Clarins My Clarins, designed to bring in the younger consumer. I don’t hear anything from Clarins these days but never really see anything about My Clarins. In fact, Clarins in general is quiet and has just replaced their female Executive Vice President and GM of Clarins USA with a male one.
Medik8 has taken on investment (to be correct, the company that owns Medik8, Pangaea, has) from Inflexion, a private equity group that also has stakes in Jack Wills and YuMove, amongst many others. Inflexion has taken a majority stake with suggestions that Pangaea is valued at £150 million +.
Also in beauty brand shopping, Manzanita Capital has offloaded Eve Lom to Yatsen, named by Forbes as a ‘Chinese cosmetics unicorn’ founded in 2016 and parent of make-up brand, Perfect Diary, seen in main picture, a best-seller in China (and one to watch). Actually, something I think I missed at the time, last year, Manzanita also off-loaded Lipstick Queen to Forma Brands (Morphe, Jaclyn Cosmetics), retaining just a small stake. Yatsen is itself funded by Hillhouse Capital.
IT Cosmetics conducted a three year study into women’s confidence, finding British women see confident women as being self-assured (50%) and courageous (56%) but only 14% and 18% see themselves as having those qualities. Their research is thorough and global so you will see women from other countries with much higher self-esteem – we are near the bottom, if not at the very bottom on this particular topic. They’re putting their money where their mouth is and funding several confidence initiatives because the main upshot from the research is that everything is better with support networks. You can see their findings HERE but it’s notable that attitudes are so different around the world. I find it weird that IT Cosmetics places such value on confidence and yet their brand messaging is that looking younger and more beautiful is the key to everything. It’s a mixed message that gives with one hand and takes with the other. “IT Cosmetics believes that confidence comes from the inside and is cultivated when women have the self-assuredness and community networks to lift them up”. As far as I’m aware, nobody has questioned the messaging.
In a similar vein, Unilever has embarked upon a new Positive Beauty strategy, beginning with removing the word ‘normal’ from their packaging and advertising. They say, ‘We believe in Positive Beauty. A vision of beauty that’s equitable, inclusive and sustainable, with brands that only do less harm but also do more good for people and the planet. With more than 1 billion people using our beauty and personal care products every day, and even more seeing our advertising, we know our brands have the power to make a positive impact.’ Excellent, so now let’s remove the myriad of derogatory terms to describe women’s faces across their skin care brands. We could start with wrinkling, sagging and age-spots which are indeed the narrow beauty ideals they are committed to challenging. The Positive Beauty Strategy only seems to apply to their Personal Care brands such as Simple, Ponds and Dove (all doing a great job by the way) and not their Luxury Brands such as REN, Dermalogica or Hourglass, etc. It’s more mixed messaging and they’re right that their brands can make positive change – so let’s do it. Beauty is not one thing, it’s many things and you have your beauty all of your life. It’s not a thing that gets lost, it just changes with you.
Meanwhile, over in Class Action Land, Clinique has a case pending over their Redness Solution Skin Care whose marketing apparently claims to contain ‘probiotic technology’ but no actual probiotics.
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