Beauty Features

The Creative Minds Propelling Press-On Nails

The Creative Minds Propelling Press-On Nails

A new generation of nail artists is harnessing social media to independently commodify their talent, offering custom press-on nail sets in addition to traditional appointment bookings. For many of them, pandemic lockdowns were the catalyst that propelled them into nail artistry, and their social media savvy has since allowed them to primp the nails of clients around the world — often from the comfort of their own homes. Here, six nail artists who are breaking barriers to entry while playing by nobody’s rules but their own.

Emilio Pucci handbag-inspired set by Naji.

courtesy of rayah naji

Rayah Naji

photo courtesy of Rayah Naji

Rayah Naji, @frosteddtipss (Boston, Massachusetts)

Boston-based creative Rayah Naji made her first foray into nail art at the age of 10, following her family’s move to Lebanon, their motherland. “I was like, ‘Oh, I can’t move to a new country without starting a business,” recalls Naji, mid-laugh. Even as a fifth grader, Naji worked meticulously to perfect her craft, so it was par for the course when she later obtained her bachelor’s degree in graphic design, wielding her dexterity in both competencies for the inception of her business, Frosted Tips, in 2020. 

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A longtime lover of fashion and streetwear, Naji sources much of her inspiration from archival runway looks and accessories — but even the most unsuspecting sources can spark an idea. Says Naji, “Since I’ve been doing nails, my brain just sees things and thinks, ‘Ok, how can I put this on nails?”

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On average, Naji spends around four hours crafting each hand-painted set, which usually cost around $150 or more. Clients can book her via Instagram DM, or through her newly launched web site, frostedtips.com. 

Natali’s mussel shell set.

photo courtesy of Clémentine Natali

Clémentine Natali

photo courtesy of Clémentine Natali

2. Clémentine Natali, @badgirlsgoodnails (Paris, France)
When a bout of COVID-19-induced boredom prompted Paris-based Clémentine Natali to place an order for an at-home nail kit, it didn’t take long for her to realize nail art was precisely the creative outlet she had long been seeking.
Pivoting from her web design background, Natali began booking appointments at her apartment once lockdown measures eased in Paris, and her skills flourished from there.  
Now 18 years old, Natali only takes requests for what she describes as “complex” nail art, spending between three to six hours on average per set, which range in price from 80 to 180 euros. Upon being asked about her most fantastical creation, Natali replies with a grin, “They are all fantastical.” 
No request is too outlandish for the entrepreneur, who said one of her favorite creations is a set of decked-out mussel shells she devised in April, adorning each carapace with faux pearls and other embellishments at a client’s behest. 
While Natali is fully booked through August, clients can book her for September and onward through Instagram DM. 

Press-on set by Sabellico.

photo courtesy of olivia sabellico

Olivia Sabellico

photo courtesy of olivia sabellico

3. Olivia Sabellico, @nailedbyliv___ (Detroit, Michigan)
The daughter of an artist, it wasn’t until she was in college that Olivia Sabellico realized unlocking her creative prowess was merely a matter of finding the right canvas. “I always kind of knew something was in me, I just never really liked painting, drawing, charcoal — stuff like that,” says Sabellico. 

Shelling out for an Aprés Gel-X Nail Extension Kit that she stumbled upon during one fateful TikTok scroll, Sabellico began trying her hand (or, more accurately, her friends’ hands) at nail art in 2020. It was love at first polish swipe. 
Sourcing inspiration from album covers, paintings and sculptures, Sabellico describes her design style as “girly, edgy and kind of funky.” In addition to having a chair at Faness Nail Salon in Detroit, she also offers press-ons on a made-to-order basis. 
Sabellico spends between an hour and a half to two and a half hours per set, which cost between $40 to $120. She can be booked via the Acuity Scheduling link in her Instagram bio. 

Press-ons by Volbert.

photo courtesy of camilla inge volbert

Camilla Inge Volbert

Photo courtesy of Camilla Inge Volbert/Hyesoo Chung

4. Camilla Inge Volbert, @nailsvoninge (Berlin, Germany)
When her college closed its workshops once the pandemic hit, fashion design student Camilla Inge Volbert knew she’d need to find new stomping grounds to get her creative fix. 
Thankfully, she had just the persistent itch to indulge when the time came. “I always loved having long nails,” says Volbert. “At first, I didn’t have any intention behind that, but when I tried [nail art] for the first time, I immediately became obsessed.”  
As her own first client, Volbert describes her design M.O. as “organized chaos,” and says when it comes to just how much detail she’ll interpose onto a single nail — the limit does not exist. “My style is a little bit of everything mixed together,” Volbert says. “The more I do nails, the more layers I add to each design; there’s always a lot going on.”
On average, Volbert spends between three to five hours creating a set, which usually cost between 80 to 140 euros each. She can be booked via Instagram DM, or her email, nailsvoninge@gmail.com.

Sea-inspired press-ons by Sandoval.

photo courtesy of eddie sandoval

Eddie Sandoval

photo courtesy of Eddie Sandoval

5. Eddie Sandoval, @nailbb_ (West Covina, California)
When Eddie Sandoval first took up nail art as a hobby in 2020, he didn’t anticipate it would become the burgeoning passion of his that it is today. Practicing weekly on his best friend to cultivate his skills, Sandoval quickly began growing a client base by uploading photos of his extravagant sets to Instagram. 
“My style is very fun and crazy,” Sandoval says. “I like to think outside the box and always wow people.” 

While sparkles and gemstone-clad designs were his signature when he started out, the rising nail artist now produces sets ranging from hand-painted to 3D-embellished, adding his own flair to contemporary, Kawaii and space-age influences. 
On average, Sandoval spends between two to four hours per set, which range in price from $75 to $250 each. He can be booked via Instagram DM, and he uploads his monthly availability onto his Instagram Story Highlights.

Press-ons by Edwards.

photo courtesy of Katelyn Edwards

Katelyn Edwards

photo courtesy of katelyn edwards

6. Katelyn Edwards @nailsbykdxx (Fayetteville, Georgia)
Psycho Duckies, Bahama Mama, Cyber Fairy and Draculara — no, these aren’t comic book characters, but rather the names of Georgia-based nail artist Katelyn Edwards’ recent nail sets. 
Sourcing inspiration from anything from petri dishes to Kanye West’s “Graduation” album cover, Edwards’ designs turn the bare easels of her clients’ nail beds into multidimensional masterpieces. 
“I started the second week of quarantine, and it just really took off from there,” says Edwards. Most of her sets are a convergence of client recommendations and her own freestyling capabilities (she rarely creates the same set twice), and each takes between one-and-a-half to three hours to create. 
Edwards can be booked via the link in her Instagram bio, while clients can order press-ons from her through Instagram DM. Her creations range in cost from $55 and up for short sets, to $125 and up for extra-long sets. 

Susteau’s Kailey Bradt on Waterless Beauty’s Future

Susteau’s Kailey Bradt on Waterless Beauty’s Future

Kailey Bradt is ready for waterless beauty’s tipping point.The founder and chief executive officer of Susteau, a waterless hair care brand that nabbed a Beauty Inc award last year, has seen an uptick in adoption of her brand’s offerings, and she’s just getting started.
Bradt is a beauty newcomer, parlaying her chemical engineering degree into her passions for beauty and sustainability when the brand launched in 2017. Susteau sells four powdered hair care stock keeping units on its own website and online with Sephora (Bradt was a 2020 participant of the retail giant’s 2020 Accelerate program) — all powdered and mixed with water upon application, housed in recyclable plastic bottles fashioned after those that house liquid formulas.

“If you’re developing a product that already exists, make it seem really innovative and cool. If you’re developing a product that is really innovative and different, make it feel more familiar,” Bradt told WWD. “I’ve tried to keep as much of the experience exactly the same. When you see the bottle, it’s a bottle just like liquid shampoo, you flip open the top. You’re just squeezing out a powder instead of a liquid.”

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The brand’s proposition — efficacious, sulfate-free formulas without water — seems to be resonating, especially with Millennials and Gen Z. Industry sources expect the brand to pass the $10 million mark next year. Here, the entrepreneur talks driving adoption of new formats, where the brand is headed and how waterless products are expected to impact the industry.
How and why did you start Susteau?
Kailey Bradt: I was working at a start-up in Los Angeles, I wasn’t even a whole year out of college. I was traveling a lot, constantly putting little plastic bottles into a ziplock bag. I kept seeing water at the top of the ingredient lists, and, at the same time, my roommate was a beauty editor, so I was going to all of these events seeing the trend rising around “clean” beauty, but nothing around sustainability. I’ve always been interested in sustainability, I studied chemical engineering and I just wanted to make the world a better place. The concept of going waterless in personal care was like everything I was passionate about and interested in coming together.
How are consumers responding to a waterless product format?
K.B.: We’re still getting early adopters and beauty enthusiasts — we’re really at the beginning of the curve of customer acquisition. Not everyone even knows what waterless is, but if you follow beauty, and you’re in this space, you know our brand already.
In terms of customer experience and understanding the product, we’ve seen a lot more traction in the last year, especially since the Sephora.com launch. The biggest thing has been people curious to try it. I don’t think sustainability is the driving purchase behavior as much as we’d like to think — every brand needs a sustainability mission. We go back to product performance, and our reviews are really positive. Sampling programs are the biggest conversion tool we have, and we focus heavily on sampling.
How easy or difficult is it to really get people to adopt a new behavior?
K.B.: If you’re developing a product that already exists, make it seem really innovative and cool. If you’re developing a product that is really innovative and different, make it feel more familiar. I’ve tried to keep as much of the experience exactly the same. When you see the bottle, it’s a bottle just like liquid shampoo, you flip open the top. You’re just squeezing out a powder instead of a liquid.

When the shampoo lathers, it’s a really rich, creamy lather. People describe it as velvety or silky. That’s part of the experience people really buy into. Once they experience that, and they go back to a liquid, they’re missing the lather. The whole experience is really nice with our product.
Where do you see the most opportunity for Susteau? Where have the challenges been?
K.B.: The easiest way to get someone to purchase it without trying is the travel aspect. It’s an easy way for us to get people to buy it for the first time. Then, people end up continuing to use it. A lot of our reviews are people saying, “I bought this for vacation.”
The most challenging aspect has been getting people to try it who have very specific hair concerns. For example, if they’re used to being prescribed for a psoriasis issue or keratin-treated hair, they want something that says it’s specifically for keratin-treated hair or colored hair. If you have highlighted hair, it’s best to use a moisturizing, sulfate-free formula, which we are, but we don’t market ours that way.
Where do you see the most room for expansion?
K.B.: In hair care, shampoo and conditioner are 80 percent of the market, but that’s not necessarily true of prestige. I really have been focused on solids that are matte. Brands do shampoo, conditioner, body wash, maybe a face wash. We are solely focused on hair care at the moment, but we want to expand into treatment, and hopefully by the end of next year, go into styling.
Right now, we only have powdered formulas, but our formulas won’t only be powders. It’s going to be concentrated, everything’s going to be waterless. The mindset right now around what waterless looks like is a bar or powder. That’s not necessarily true of what we’ll be doing. With all of the concepts I have, I’d launch 200 products tomorrow. But I literally can only launch two this year.
How are you thinking about raising brand awareness?
K.B.: I incorporated Owa Haircare in 2017 and had been working on it for about a year. We launched our shampoo in June of 2019, which was just a soft launch to raise money. We rebranded to Susteau in March of 2021, and now this year, we’re launching more main skus.

On social, for us, what we do organically works if I’m on there telling my founder story. If I’m on TikTok, it does better than random trending sounds or influencers that we’ve hired to work with. It’s still so founder-driven. I’ve been trying to invest more in the founder story and sharing my vision, because that’s really what we’re going off of right now. We’re still really early, we don’t have that many products, which is why I’m still on camera for the brand.
As the industry talks about waterless beauty more and more, how does beauty’s footprint change?
K.B.: In my own routine, I’m not paring things down, but I’m investing more in things that last longer. We’ll be producing less volume and hopefully less waste, but really have products that do more for us. We saw it with makeup, these multifunctional products where your concealer starts to clear up your acne. With waterless, the products definitely last longer, and you realize you get the same performance.
For more from WWD.com, see:
EXCLUSIVE: Parfums Christian Dior Launches Sustainability Strategy
Can Couture Collections Lead the Way in Sustainability?
Patrick McDowell Designs Seductive and Sustainable Costumes With New English Ballet Theatre

Saks Fifth Avenue Brings Injectables In-store

Saks Fifth Avenue Brings Injectables In-store

Saks Fifth Avenue is going deeper into beauty services, starting with injectables.The retailer is rolling out a partnership with New York-based Skinney Medspa to bring medical-grade services to its Manhattan flagship, with the program expected to roll out to Bal Harbour in Miami, and Houston. The menu will include Botox, dermal fillers and AquaGold upon launch on May 19.
Prices will start at $300 per area for Botox, and filler starts at $450 per half-syringe, although new clients are being offered $50 off of their first Botox treatments, and a limited-time launch offer knocks $100 off the bill.
Currently, the medical spa’s satellite locations in Saks have two treatment rooms, with staffs ranging in size from two to four employees. Adriana Martino, one of the company’s cofounders, said that the satellite locations “did really, really well.” The company is also hiring nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to administer the injectable treatments.

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The locations currently offer body services, which are Skinney Medspa’s bread and butter. “We’re very known for body contouring, we’re the top provider in New York state and second in the country for Coolsculpting. We offer injectables, and we expanded more into them in the fourth quarter of last year,” said Lindsay Malachowski, Skinney Medspa’s chief operating officer. “We’re now approved to offer injectables in New York City and in Houston, and Miami will follow.”
Martino added that the partnership made sense given the client overlap between Skinney Medspa and Saks Fifth Avenue.
“You can go around the corner and buy a Tom Ford Lipstick after your treatment,” Martino said. “It’s convenient because Saks is an elevated brand, and we’re an elevated med spa, and we share the same client.”
A report from the Aesthetic Society noted that non-surgical procedures using neurotoxins such as Botox numbered over 3.4 million last year in women, and over 155,000 in men. Forty-one percent of those procedures were in clients aged 36 to 50.
Saks joins a growing list of retailers driving trips with beauty services. Last year, Nordstrom introduced injectables to its Beauty Haven offerings in New York, in partnership with Dr. Dennis Gross, as well as HydraFacial facials and Cowshed body services.
For more from WWD.com, see:
National Botox Cosmetic Day Returns for Third Year
Department Stores Ride the Wellness Wave
Bergdorf Goodman Goes Bigger on Beauty

Korres Opens New York Store With In-House Recycle Lab

Korres Opens New York Store With In-House Recycle Lab

Korres has opened a new store in New York featuring an in-house Recycle Lab. The store is the second of its kind for the Greek beauty brand, with its first in-store Recycle Lab having opened in Athens in 2020. 
The 750-square-foot shop located on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan’s NoLIta will allow consumers to not only shop Korres products, but also partake in immersive experiences including customized skin care consultations, master classes and other events throughout the year. 
“Sometimes, experiences are even more important than a product,” said Lena Philippou-Korres, cofounder and chief innovation officer of the brand. “At the end of the day, you can buy a product — but an experience, you cannot buy.” 

Executed in partnership with the New York City division of nonprofit organization Precious Plastics, the Recycle Lab will allow customers to bring plastic product empties from any brand to be reprocessed into new products, such as combs or tote bags, through an alternative plastic recycling system. 

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“They are the perfect partner for us to deliver this,” said Philippou-Korres of Precious Plastics, whom Korres also partnered with in 2020 for its first Recycle Lab in Athens.

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Korres’ new New York store.
Photo courtesy of Korres.

Korres has also enlisted the help of Parsons School of Design faculty, students and alumni such as professor of modeling and technology Dave Marin, who will be available on-site to guide visitors through the recycling process. 
The store will feature the largest collection of Korres products available at any of its locations to date, with the entire selection of Korres.com offerings available as well as some in-store exclusives. 
Within its first nine months of opening, the Athens Recycle Lab recycled over one ton of plastic. Because the New York Recycle Lab is smaller, located at the back of the store, the brand has not yet pinpointed a recycling volume goal but is focusing efforts on educating the public on the importance of recycling. 
“The primary purpose is not really to recycle tons of plastic,” said Philippou-Korres. “It’s to get people involved, educated and excited about recycling and giving a second opportunity to waste.”
FOR MORE FROM WWD.COM, SEE:
The Beauty of Recycling
What Today’s Sustainable Shopping Stories Are Looking For
Luna Rossa Helps Collect Waste From The Seas

What Today’s Sustainable Shoppers Are Looking For

What Today’s Sustainable Shoppers Are Looking For

Jhánneu Roberts took her first steps toward adopting a sustainable lifestyle by embracing a minimalist one. About three years ago, Roberts, 27, decided to become “intentional” with each object that entered her home. “You start to think about, ‘well, where did this product come from? Who made it? What’s the packaging?’” she said. 
Gradually, her minimalist intentions evolved into sustainable habits. Now, Austin, Texas-based Roberts works as a full-time content creator and influencer, with sustainability at the heart of her work. 
“I was so fascinated by how we are literally just digging holes in the ground to throw trash in,” Roberts said. “I was like, oh my goodness, this is crazy. It’s just so wasteful. If there are ways for you to prevent being wasteful, why would you not do it?”

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Roberts is one of an increasing number of consumers today who are thinking about sustainability in their lifestyles and purchasing decisions — and putting their money where their mind is.

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According to NielsenIQ, 78 percent of consumers say a sustainable lifestyle is important to them; 30 percent are more likely to buy products with sustainable credentials, and 53 percent believe companies should reduce the amount of plastic in packaging to be sustainable. 
Attitudes around sustainability are shifting to become more holistic, according to Sherry Frey, NielsenIQ’s Total Wellness Leader. For today’s sustainability-minded consumers, it’s not just about plastic packaging and carbon footprint, it’s also about fair pay for workers, ethical sourcing practices and cruelty-free ingredients. 
“Sustainability almost isn’t even the right word anymore,” Frey said. “The word itself or the semantics around it are kind of around minimizing your impact and we’re really seeing the industry evolving. From a consumer-interest standpoint, it’s almost more toward regeneration.
“Regeneration becomes a little more about, how is the world better because my company was here and my business was here,” Frey continued. “That’s resonating even more.” 
People today are searching for terms like “biodegradable,” up 222 percent from last year, or “eco friendly” skin care, up 54 percent, according to Spate. “Plastic free” has also seen search upticks, according to NielsenIQ. But, “sustainable,” “recycling,” “reusable” and “climate change” aren’t being searched as much compared to prior years, indicating they are not as top of mind for consumers as they were last year, according to Spate.
In the U.S., sustainability-minded shoppers overindex in the Northeast in the New York and New England regions, as well as on the West Coast, with California and the Pacific Northwest, said Ryu Yokoi, head of e-commerce and digital at Unilever and “sustainability champion” for its beauty and personal care division.
“You have pockets of passion throughout the country,” Yokoi said. “There’s a reason we have Whole Foods across the country.”
Yokoi sustainability trends often begin in food and trickle into other areas, a phenomenon underscored by the evolution of natural trade show Expo West, which has gone from being food-focused to including a broader variety of clean and sustainable businesses.

Yokoi and the Unilever team use data from Kantar to examine consumer sustainability habits. “Just over half the U.S. population … today is telling Kantar that they are considering sustainability when making a purchase decision. That’s up versus the prior year,” Yokoi said. 
Many consumer demographics, including Boomers, desire recyclability across purchasing segments, Yokoi said. Millennial shoppers tend to also consider ingredients, purchasing products that have “clean” ingredients. And Gen Z, Yokoi said, is “much stricter.”
“We start to see folks who are starting to consider that for something to truly be sustainable, that it should also be ethical,” Yokoi said.
Roberts, who occasionally buys ready-to-eat packaged bread or potato chips, said she looks for brands that are mindful of packaging and inclusivity, and if she has to buy something in plastic, she’ll try to buy a large size.
“A lot of times when you get vinegar it comes in a huge plastic bottles. I can use that for so many different things,” like pickling vegetables and DIY cleaner,” she said. “Instead of buying five different items, I just bought one,” she said. “So even though it is plastic, I’m still reducing my waste because I am using one product versus five.” 
With beauty products, she looks for ones that are packaged in glass or are refillable. For her hair, she uses shampoo and conditioner bars. “It definitely takes more work,” she said of the shampoos, and for the conditioner, she segments her hair and conditions piece by piece. 
For makeup, her favorites include Elate Cosmetics, Kjaer Weis and Salt New York. Roberts said she still has a hard time finding sunscreen that works on her skin tone, doesn’t leave a white cast and isn’t packaged in plastic. Currently, she’s using a product from Cocokind, which is packaged in sugarcane packaging. “It’s still not perfect,” she said. 
In addition to checking on a company’s sustainability efforts, Roberts will also investigate who is making the products, their ingredients, if workers are paid fairly and if they are casting diverse models when making purchasing decisions.
“If we want everyone to be sustainable, everyone needs to be represented,” she said. “When I was younger, there were the Greenpeace people … and the guy was like, ‘oh, don’t you want to save the polar bears?’ I’m from the South Side of Chicago so my response to him was like, ‘I mean, there’s people down the street that don’t have food to eat.’” 

Sometimes there is a “disconnect,” she said. “It’s really important to create products that are accessible.” She gave Dial, the soap brand of which she is a partner, as an example. The brand recently launched concentrated refills that can be recycled via Terracycle for less than $5. 
Outside of beauty, Roberts has swapped Ziploc bags for Stasher bags, and has a compost bin she keeps in her freezer to stave off mold and smells. 
“You realize when you’re putting things in a compost bin how much food waste you’re actually producing,” Roberts said. “Your average person thinks,  ‘when you put food in the trash or landfill it disintegrates,’ but it doesn’t because it requires a certain level of oxygen and all these things in order to actually biodegrade.” 
For clothing, she’ll shop secondhand, including from The RealReal, but generally isn’t a big clothes buyer. “Clothing that comes in the individual plastic bags drives me crazy,” she said.
“Even the products that are Clean at Sephora or whatever, still most of them come in plastic,” Roberts said, noting that she prefers brands that think about “the end of life of the product.” 
She advises her mostly Millennial female followers: “Stop buying stuff you don’t need.”
“What are the things you can say no to, even if it’s going to Sephora and they’re like, ‘do you want a free sample?’ It’s like, no, I don’t want the single-use plastic things that are going to end up in the trash,” she said.
FOR MORE FROM WWD.COM, SEE: 
Where Wellness Meets Pregnancy
Farfetch Goes Big on Beauty
Gisou Raises Series B Round With Eurazeo Brands

L’Oréal Launches Circular Innovation Fund

L’Oréal Launches Circular Innovation Fund

PARIS – L’Oréal has launched a Circular Innovation Fund with the aim of scaling circular innovation solutions from the world over.The world’s largest beauty company is the fund’s initiator and anchor investor, contributing 50 million euros as part of its L’Oréal for the Future Sustainability program.
The Circular Innovation Fund will be operated by Demeter and Cycle Capital, French and Canadian funds that are experts in clean tech-focused capital management. There are also strategic investor Axens, the Haltra and Claridge family offices, as well as other private investors and the managers.
“There is an urgent need to scale up breakthrough circular innovative solutions,” said Christophe Babule, executive vice president, chief financial officer of L’Oréal, who called the Circular Innovation Fund “the first sizable worldwide investment fund dedicated to circular solutions and endorsed by a corporation.”

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The Circular Innovation Fund was developed to support startups and companies in North America, Europe and Asia that are creating circular use of resources in a wide range of sectors – including new materials from the bioeconomy, circular solutions for packaging, recycling and waste, logistics and eco-efficient processes.

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The fund will target companies such as For Days, a circular fashion startup that recycles consumers’ old clothes with a “Take Back Bag” and has a catalog of wholly circular, recyclable and eco-design clothing. There is also Aphea.Bio, which has as its mission “applied nature for better agriculture.”
In May 2020, L’Oréal unveiled its new solidarity program, called L’Oréal for the Future, which supports vulnerable women and the environment with 150 million euros-worth of investments. As part of that initiative, the group is deploying 100 million euros for impact investing, in addition to its ongoing Sharing Beauty With All sustainable development program. That sum was to be evenly divided, with 50 million euros earmarked to help regenerate damaged natural ecosystems and 50 million euros budgeted for preventing climate change.
“Within the framework of these funds, the investments we make or contribute to are made with the intention of generating a positive return, with measurable social and environmental impact, while providing a financial return,” said Babule. “This is a perfect illustration of sustainable finance – that is to say, the ability to combine financial value creation with environmental and social value creation.”
“As organizations and individuals are feeling the pressure of climate change, sustainable investing strategies will continue to soar,” said Andrée-Lise Méthot, founder and managing partner of Cycle Capital, and Stéphane Villecroze, cofounder and managing partner of Demeter, jointly in a statement released by L’Oréal. “This strategic collaboration between impact investors and established institutions comes at a pivotal point, as we need to rethink how we consume goods globally.”
The executives said the Circular Innovation Fund could drastically redesign how goods and materials are extracted, manufactured, consumed and disposed.

“Together, we can deliver value to the market with returns and, most importantly, deliver purpose and new innovation-driven technologies developed by talented entrepreneurs that have the potential to mitigate the environmental crisis humanity faces,” they said.
“The latest IPCC report confirms that ‘it is now or never’ that we can act to stave off the worst impacts of global warming. As a leader, we want to act in two complementary and strategic ways: on the one hand, reduce the impact of our business by sourcing our ingredients in a sustainable way, using more materials from recycled origin, etc.,” said Alexandra Palt, chief corporate responsibility officer and chief executive officer of the Fondation L’Oréal, in the statement. “On the other hand, contribute to addressing some of the most pressing environmental challenges, such as waste management, plastic pollution and also biodiversity loss.”
L’Oréal’s first 50 million euro impact investing fund, the L’Oréal Fund for Nature Regeneration, was started in June 2020. For that, the group partnered with Mirova, an asset management concern focused on natural capital investment. This fund taps projects bolstering the restoration of forests, mangroves, marine areas and degraded lands.
Also last year, L’Oréal invested in Real Wild Estates Company, which works to restore up to 50,000 hectares of degraded landscapes across the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe.
In 2022, the company is investing in Rize, a French tech startup that has as its mission to ramp up the low-carbon agricultural transition by helping farmers gain access to carbon financing.
For more, see:
Beauty Giants, Including L’Oréal and Unilever, Join Russia Boycott
L’Oréal Files Trademarks for ‘Virtual Cosmetics‘
L’Oréal Again World’s Top Filer of Trademark Applications

PR Vet Dianne Vavra Opens ‘Vavra New York’ Boutique

PR Vet Dianne Vavra Opens ‘Vavra New York’ Boutique

Dianne Vavra may have had a decades-long career in beauty PR, most recently heading up efforts at Christian Dior, but her love of all things shiny — and vintage — started much younger.“Even as a kid, I dabbled in retail for summer jobs, and during high school, I worked at Sotheby’s,” she said. “I worked a lot of vintage jewelry auctions, and learned the value of things at a young age.”
Vavra is parlaying her penchant for the aged and exquisite into a new boutique, Vavra New York, which is opening this spring in Huntington, N.Y. The store will include 20 beauty brands, as well as vintage luxury goods from Vavra’s personal collection and pieces she has sourced for the store.
“There’s a lot of women here who love designer [pieces], but who also love vintage and are very into beauty,” Vavra said. “Everything in my shop has a story, so if someone buys it, I can tell them the story. There’s something for everyone, you can buy a $4 lip balm or a $4,000 Chanel bag.”

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The shop, on the north coast of Long Island, will cater to a cosmopolitan clientele, Vavra said. “If you think of the Great Gatsby, that’s how the town is,” she said. “We have an art museum, a cinema arts center. It’s a very culturally dynamic town, and very culturally diverse.”
In an effort to keep her assortment tightly edited, Vavra will cap her beauty brand partners at 20. The brands thus far include Aleph, Angela Caglia, Ashlie Johnson, Biography, Brett Brow, Cultivate Apothecary, Dark Rose Body Scrub, Dr. Elsa Jungman, Emilie Heathe, Flora Mirabilis, Graydon, Kari Gran, Klint, KVD, Le Verden, Nooki, Pigmint Arôme, R Brow, Soma Ayurvedic and Supergoop.
“When I decided to take the plunge, I wanted it to be like a little jewel box for people to come in and find things that they wouldn’t find in Sephora, Ulta, Bluemercury, Saks or Neiman’s,” she said. “It’s mostly indie brands I’m working with, or brands I use and love.”
Vavra, who grew up in Manhattan and spent almost two decades at Dior, thinks her product knowledge will also come in handy. “As the beauty person, everyone always asks me what they should do for different concerns,” she said. “I’ve worked with dermatologists, plastic surgeons and luxury brands, working with all these beautiful brands and research and development people,” she said. “It’s going to be very beneficial to the shop, it’s almost like people can get a prescription.
“I learned so much by observing makeup artists and traveling with them, even though I’m not a makeup myself, I know what works for people,” she continued, nodding to her time traveling with talents from Sharon Stone to Natalie Portman. “For that reason, beauty will sell very well.”
Vavra now works as the chief executive officer of Spotlight PR, and despite her robust résumé in the sector, her passion for vintage has always coexisted with her career.
“I always had this love while I was doing my full-time career as a beauty publicist,” she said. “I always was into finding new beauty brands and finding vintage shops.”
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What to Watch: The Next Post-lockdown Wellness Wave Hits the U.K.

What to Watch: The Next Post-lockdown Wellness Wave Hits the U.K.

LONDON — Wellness in the U.K. has been penetrating the mainstream and evolving far beyond matcha lattes, yoga — and Gwyneth Paltrow.In the post-lockdown era, with people having had the chance to slow down and to rethink their life priorities, spending time and money on taking care of oneself has become top of the agenda.
The definition of self care itself is also rapidly expanding to include sexual well-being, mental health and spirituality — moving far beyond the surface-level beauty products and green juices it started with.
It’s a lot more common to now talk about the power of manifesting, the healing powers of crystals or the sound bath hosted by one’s favorite activewear label without people rolling their eyes or dismissing any of the above as “woo woo.” And this isn’t just happening in markets like L.A., which have traditionally pioneered all things wellness, but across the world.

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In the U.K. — where the wellness conversation has traditionally been met with much skepticism — there’s a new wellness and fitness members club slated to open in Notting Hill, offering everything from dance cardio to manifesting workshops and face fitness classes, while Selfridges’ ground floor space just hosted a crystal pop-up, alongside buzzy accessories brands like Jacquemus and Amina Muaddi.

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“People are happy to speak more freely about how the pandemic has affected them. They took more time for themselves and looked to gaining new skills,” said Kirstie Gibbs, founder of jewelry brand Alkemistry which worked with Selfridges to transform part of its accessories hall into a “magical crystal apothecary.”
“We launched our Cinta collection to offer a wearable reminder for people to take time out of their day to practice manifestation. It’s positive to talk about the benefits that can come from healing stones, symbols and pieces that remind you to practice positive thoughts,” Gibbs added.
A host of social media influencers and content creators, who first became known in the fashion and beauty spaces, are also pivoting into wellness post-lockdown, sharing more personal content online, promoting products and stories with deeper meaning attached to them and launching new brands addressing different strands of wellness.

Estée Lalonde
Courtesy of Mirror Water

One of them is Estée Lalonde, a London-based creative who recently launched Mirror Water, a platform dedicated to all things self care, selling products ranging from journals to bath salts and publishing content on everything from burnout to hustle culture and therapy.
For Lalonde, there was a clear opportunity to create this new brand and an online space “where people feel heard and seen,” given this shift in perception about all things wellness.
“In my industry, I have noticed that there has been a huge shift in people’s attitudes toward self care. Generally, people do seem to be taking their personal well-being more seriously and finding interesting ways to do that from the comfort of their own home. The pandemic allowed time and space for us all to realize how fast we were going, and how beneficial it would be to slow down and become more in tune with ourselves,” Lalonde said.
On a personal note, focusing on the wellness space also meant an opportunity to create something she was truly passionate about; offer authentic content, and differentiate herself at a time when the influencer landscape was rapidly shifting.

“Since I began creating content over 10 years ago, I’ve always felt that it was my calling, in a sense, to discuss and share my mental health journey online.

Mirror Water products
Courtesy of Mirror Water

“The real reason I think my online community grew was because of how honest I was about the ebbs and flow of life — not necessarily because of my skin care tips,” said Lalonde, who has more than 694,000 followers on Instagram, as well as a popular YouTube channel. “One of the great things about the early days of YouTube was the authenticity, transparency and honesty. I think we’re heading back to content more like this.”
Responding to this new landscape, Lalonde created Mirror Water to provide a more “realistic approach” to wellness, one that doesn’t ask you to eat clean and work out all the time, through online articles; a “Monologues” video series where different personalities get to share their inner thoughts, and a debut product range that focuses on bathing as a self care ritual and includes a bath oil, bath salts and a body balm.
“Our products are there as a tool to help you on your journey and will hopefully help take the edge off a long day,” Lalonde added.
As the conversation around wellness evolves and new brands and concepts crop up, sexual wellness is seen as the last piece of the puzzle.
Kate Tikhomirova, an established London-based fashion influencer, founded Quanna alongside Dmitry Loktionov to address the subject by offering all-natural, CBD products.
As people open up to new definitions of self care, there’s immense opportunity in adding sexual well-being to the formula, according to Tikhomirova, as the market is filled with “subpar products and ingredients which contradict the meaning of intimacy.”
The company’s debut product, Oomf, is a water-based, natural lubricant that is sold online and at retailers like Selfridges. The idea is to expand distribution across Europe and the U.S. in 2022 and use the products as a tool to educate customers around sexual health and start open, stigma-free conversations.

A Quanna campaign image
Courtesy of Quanna

“Due to poor sex education either at school, or even the lack of guidance from primary physicians, many of us have disregarded this portion of our lives. But now we are all reevaluating our priorities and topics like intimate care are becoming less stigmatized because after two years of physical disconnection, we as humans are craving intimacy. So there’s immense potential in the intimate care space,” said Tikhomirova, foreseeing a future where the market offers better quality products and society offers less judgment and shame when it comes to shopping for such items.

As the market evolves, it will also become more common for creatives to talk about their latest Gucci bag alongside deeper conversations about their mental health, sexual experiences or spiritual practices.
“Often a conversation begins by talking about a red lipstick, for instance, and ends in discussing personal confidence. I love that connection and for me beauty, fashion and wellness have always been a type of connector for discussions about more personal experiences,” Lalonde said.
Tikhomirova concurred, arguing that it’s due time women explored all the different aspects of their personalities instead of overly curating their online brand identities.
“Fashion will always be a cornerstone of what I do, but it is not all of who I am. I’m also a sexual being and have a passion for plant power, so I intend to use my platform to educate about CBD while sporting a fashion-forward look, because why not? [We should] stop filtering according to what’s ‘on-brand’ and be allowed to evolve past those curated labels.”

Quanna cofounder Kate Tikhomirova
Courtesy of Quanna

Year in Review: Beauty M&A Recap 2021

Year in Review: Beauty M&A Recap 2021

Despite lingering uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, beauty M&A had another busy year in 2022. Buyers and investors gravitated toward hair care and skin care, as well as anything with a self care bent. Brands with close-knit communities and digital know-how remained in high demand, and some companies opted for SPAC deals or initial public offerings in lieu of selling to a strategic buyer. The year also saw big beauty companies realign and revamp their portfolios with a variety of acquisitions, brand closures and divestitures, while private equity firms continued to compete for deals. With all those options in the market, valuations remained high, but were not always predictable, experts said.

“It was quite an exceptional year for beauty and for the market as a whole in terms of deal activity,” said Lindsay Carlson, managing director with William Blair.

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“Across the board from a transaction standpoint spanning M&A, private placements, SPACs and IPOs, we saw all the key parties jump into the game — from strategics who had cash on their balance sheets to private equity firms with a lot of dry powder, VCs [who] are looking to get in early — and really everyone has some great deals to show for it,” Carlson said. “The activity was really robust across skin care and hair care.” 

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Foundations from The Ordinary, Deciem’s most popular brand.
Photo courtesy of Deciem

In skin care, there were several major deals. The Estée Lauder Cos. acquired a majority position in Deciem, parent company of The Ordinary, with plans to buy the rest in a few years. Unilever bought Paula’s Choice; L’Oréal acquired Youth to the People; Procter & Gamble signed a deal to buy Farmacy; L’Occitane bought Sol de Janeiro; Coty signed a licensing deal with Orveda; Yatsen acquired Eve Lom; the Waldencast SPAC inked a deal for Obagi, and Galderma said it plans to acquire Alastin. 
The skin care category also saw investments in growing brands, including Carlyle’s Beautycounter deal, Eurazeo Brands investment in Beekman 1802, and investments in Hero Cosmetics and 111Skin. There were many smaller VC investments in skin care, too. 
“As we’ve started to get vaccinated, everyone was talking about the Roaring ‘20s and color was going to come back strong, but when you look at the M&A deals, all the action has been in skin care,” said Ilya Seglin, managing director at Threadstone LP. “The skinification going into other categories like hair, like body, that continues to play on the consumer side, and that seems to be playing out on the acquisition side. The comeback of color is materializing not to the extent anybody thought.” 
Makeup, which many in the industry predicted would have a renaissance in 2021, was slower to pick up, deal-wise. There was Shiseido’s divestiture of Bare Minerals, Laura Mercier and Buxom to Advent International, which picked up all three brands for about $700 million. The Waldencast SPAC bought Milk Makeup; AS Beauty acquired Mally Beauty; Katherine Power’s Merit raised money from L Catterton, and Beauty Pie and Glossier raised big VC rounds.

Monique Rodriguez, founder of Mielle Organics
Shaun Andru

In hair care, there were also multiple notable deals, with P&G’s planned acquisition of Jen Atkin’s Ouai, and Berkshire Partners’ investment in Mielle, among them.

For P&G, the Ouai deal marks an entry into prestige hair that the company has never had, and links it with power influencer and hairstylist Atkin, who has built out the brand into a full lifestyle assortment with a digitally connected community.
Berkshire’s investment in Mielle was one of the largest ever deals in the textured hair category, and positions the brand and founder Monique Rodriguez — who also built up a major digital community for the brand — for further growth and expansion across hair and other categories. Other notable hair deals include Madison Reed’s $52 million fundraise, which has allowed the direct-to-consumer hair color brand to continue to scale, and General Atlantic’s investment in hair growth line Vegamour. 
The biggest deal in hair care in 2021 was the IPO of Olaplex, which valued the company at nearly $16 billion and indicated the viability of the public markets for certain stand-alone beauty brands.
Perhaps some of the biggest deals of the year were in retail: The Hut Group bought Cult Beauty, giving it access to many beauty brands it hadn’t sold before, and Sephora acquired Feelunique, giving it access to the U.K. market.
For a full list of the year’s beauty M&A deals, investments and fundraises, see: All the Beauty M&A Deals of 2021.
Michael Toure, founder and CEO of Toure Capital LLC, said the buyers of 2021 were looking for brands with products that were functional and efficacious, or indulgent, and companies with a wellness and self care tie in, with an omnichannel strategy.
The pandemic has created a drive from founders to de-risk themselves, he said. “Everybody has been in the mindset to find liquidity,” Toure said.
The companies that have been able to profitably weather the pandemic are the ones investors are going after, Toure said.
“COVID-19 really tested the flexibility and reactivity of the management team, the strength of your supply chain and your cost structure, because if you’ve been able to manage the last 24 months profitably with a gross margin that is up, you’ve become all of a sudden a very attractive deal or investment proposition,” Toure said.
Going forward, Toure predicts many companies — especially those that got private equity investments between 2015 and 2020 — coming to market. With not enough big strategic buyers to buy them all, he said that it’s likely new consolidating players, like the Waldencast SPAC or other aggregation-type platforms, could step up as acquirers. Or, he said, there’s always the public markets.

“People start to believe that they don’t want to wait for the strategic to show up anymore. They want to take destiny in their own hands,” Toure said.
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All the Beauty M&A Deals of 2021
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Updated: All the Beauty M&A Deals of 2021

Updated: All the Beauty M&A Deals of 2021

Updated: Nov. 24Beauty M&A deals have showed nearly no signs of slowing, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Just a few weeks into 2021, there have already been multiple billion-dollar beauty M&A deals, including the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.’s deal to acquire the rest of Deciem, parent company of The Ordinary, and Shiseido inking a deal to sell its personal care business to CVC Capital.
There have also been smaller deals, as venture capitalists continue to back beauty companies. 
Here is a list of the beauty M&A transactions so far in 2021:
January
Paper Cosmetics, a direct-to-consumer natural and sustainable deodorant brand, closed a funding round. Terms were not disclosed.

SuperOrdinary received a minority investment from Alliance Consumer Growth. SuperOrdinary helps U.S. beauty brands expand into China, and has worked with The Ordinary, Olaplex, Drunk Elephant and other brands.

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Coty Inc. closed on a minority investment in Kim Kardashian West’s beauty business, KKW Beauty. The $200 million investment gave Coty a 20 percent stake in the business.

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Perfect Corp. raised a $50 million Series C round led by Goldman Sachs. Perfect Corp. develops artificial reality and artificial intelligence technology used in virtual try-on apps for the beauty industry.
Curlsmith, a brand that specializes in textured hair, raised a Series A led by BFG Partners.
Hero Cosmetics got a minority investment from Aria Growth Partners, a new private equity firm. Hero is best known for its Mighty Patch line of hydrocolloid acne patches, but has also branched into other skin care products.
Cathay Capital took a minority stake in Juliette Has a Gun, a French fragrance business.
Reckitt Benckiser acquired feminine care brand Queen V, which makes vaginal health products for women.
Amyris Inc., the biotechnology company behind Biossance, said it will acquire Terasana, a clean CBD brand.
Gemma Labs, a data-driven hair care business, raised $2.75 million from PSL Ventures and other individual investors.
Thirteen Lune raised $1 million from friends and family, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Naomi Watts and Gregg Renfrew of Beautycounter.
San Francisco Equity Partners acquired natural beauty manufacturer Smith & Vandiver Corp.
February
Dame Products, which makes vibrators, raised $4 million in seed funding for women-run venture firms.
CVC Capital signed a deal to buy Shiseido’s personal care brands, including Tsubaki, Senka, Uno and Sea Breeze. The brands are expected to be transferred into a joint venture run by CVC in July.
L’Oréal finalized the acquisition of Takami, a Japanese skin care brand.
Skin Inc Supplement Bar, a skin care line focused on customization, raised $7 million from Singapore-based investment fund Mistletoe.
WellBiz Brands Inc. acquired the franchise rights for Drybar’s salon business, which includes 141 Drybar salons.
Givaudan is buying Myrissi, an AI business that translates fragrances into color patterns and images.
CBD wellness brand Beam raised $5 million in Series A funding. The business was launched by former athletes Matt Lombardi and Kevin Moran and is focused on topicals for pain relief.

Art of Sport — founded by Matthais Metternich, Brian Lee and the late Kobe Bryant — secured $6 million in funding led by entrepreneur Mark Cuban.
The Estée Lauder Cos. said it would acquire the rest of Deciem, the parent company of The Ordinary. Lauder is increasing its 29 percent stake in the business to 76 percent, valuing Deciem at $2.2 billion, and in three years, Lauder plans to buy the rest of the company at a to-be-determined valuation.
Madison Reed, which specializes in clean, at-home hair color, has raised $52 million with plans to launch more products, open more Color Bars and ramp up technology.
111Skin, the high-end skin care line from London plastic surgeon Yannis Alexandrides, has received an investment from Vaultier7.
Inflection has invested in Pangaea Laboratories, the owner of Medik8 skin care.
March 
Amyris said it plans to buy clean Costa Brazil, a clean skin care business. Founder Francisco Costa will join Amyris as chief creative officer.
Yatsen Holding, the parent company of Perfect Diary, has signed a deal to acquire Eve Lom from Manzanita Capital.
Fueguia 1833 has gotten a minority equity investment from Ilwaddi WLL. The plan is to accelerate distribution for the niche fragrance line, and to expand manufacturing abilities.
AS Beauty, the owner of Julep and Laura Geller, has acquired Mally Beauty, the beauty brand of celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal. Mally Beauty is sold on QVC, Amazon, Tmall and on its own website.
Curls, a hair care line for people with textured hair, has gotten a minority investment from Beauty By Imagination, which also owns WetBrush, Goody, Ouidad and Bio Ionic. Mahisha Dellinger, the founder of Curls, will remain Curls’ majority and controlling owner, and will continue to lead the brand. She will continue to focus on innovation and expand the company’s give-back programs, which focus on developing the next generation of Black female entrepreneurs. She will also join the BBI board. Under BBI, Curls plans to expand distribution.
Core Equity Holdings has taken a majority stake in Franck Provost’s hair care empire, Provalliance.
American Securities, a private equity firm, has agreed to acquire Conair, which owns the Cuisinart, Conair, Babyliss, Scunci and Waring brands. Members of the founding Rizzuto family will retain minority ownership.

Eco-friendly fragrance brand Maison J.U.S. has raised 600,000 euros from angel investors.
NewSpring Franchise, a lower middle market private equity fund, has invested in Blo Blow Dry Bar. Blo has more than 100 locations in North America.
Hub.cycle, which converts fruit and vegetable waste into raw materials for the personal care and industries has raised 1.5 million Euros.
Encore Consumer Capital has invested in Love Wellness, a women’s health and wellness companies that makes supplements and vitamins that was founded by reality television star Lauren Bosworth. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
L’Oréal has made a minority investment in environmental start-up Gjosa, which is focused on saving water. The two have worked together for years with an aim to optimize shampoo rinse technology in order to save water. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sakara Life, which expects to reach $150 million in sales this year and is profitable, has raised a $15 million Series B from One Better Ventures, Silas Capital and existing investor Annox Capital. The business has also appointed John Replogle, former CEO of Seventh Generation and Burt’s Bees chairman of the board. He is tasked with helping to grow the company — which right now specializes in food — into a multi-category lifestyle business with beauty and personal care products.
A Cornell Capital-led investor group has acquired a nutrition and wellness R&D, manufacturing and marketing business called INW I Innovations in Nutrition + Wellness, which also owns U.K.-based nutritional supplement maker Bee Health. Cornell Capital plans to replicate the strategy it used to grow KDC-One, which has included several add-on acquisitions, to grow INW into a nutrition and wellness manufacturing powerhouse.
Harry’s has raised a $155 million Series E from Bain Capital and Macquarie Capital, following the termination of a planned deal with Edgewell. The new fundraise values Harry’s at $1.7 billion.
April 
Bain Capital has acquired a majority stake in personal care brand Hand in Hand, a personal care company.
Men’s skin care brand Disco raised a $5 million seed round led by Midnight Venture Partners.

Mielle Organics inked a major investment deal — somewhere between $100 million and $1 billion — with Berkshire Partners, which made a minority investment in the business.
Famille C Venture, the private investment firm of the Courtin-Clarins family, has made a $9 million Series B investment in Pai Skincare.
General Atlantic invested $80 million for a minority stake in Vegamour, a hair care brand centered around hair growth.
The Carlyle Group bought a majority stake in Beautycounter that values the business at $1 billion. Founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew said the company plans to ramp up marketing and continue building out the omnichannel distribution strategy.
Nylah’s Naturals, which makes products for textured hair, has raised 50,000 pounds from Sara Davies after an appearance on BBC television show “Dragon’s Den.”
CurlMix parent company Listener Brands has raised more than $2.9 million through a crowdfunding campaign. The company’s goal is to raise $5 million.
Amyris has signed a deal to buy 70 percent of EcoFabulous Cosmetics, a Gen Z-focused beauty brand that was founded by The Balm founder Marissa Shipman.
Bloomeffects, a tulip-based skin care brand, has raised $2 million in seed funding.
Clean hair care brand Ceremonia has raised $2 million in seed funding in a round led by Silas Capital and Beliade.
Nestlé has entered an agreement with KKR and The Carlyle Group to acquire brands from The Bountiful Company for $5.75 billion. The brands include Nature’s Bounty, Solgar, Osteo-Bi-Flex and Puritan’s Pride.
May
L Catterton has invested in Indonesian beauty and e-commerce business Social Bella International, which does business as Sociolla. The site sells makeup, skin care, hair care, fragrance and beauty tools.
Cherry Pick AI has been acquired by 100.co, an artificial intelligence business. Cherry Pick’s platform analyzes images and consumer reviews, and using AI and data analysis, aims to determine beauty product needs and market fit before companies manufacture products.
Prestige body care brand Maëlys has received a minority investment of $30 million from Norwest.
Nestle Health Science has signed a deal to acquire Nuun, a functional hydration brand that makes electrolyte tablets.

TPG Growth has invested in Ideal Image, a provider of aesthetic services including Botox.
The Hut Group has acquired skin care and hair care product manufacturer Bentley Laboratories LLC for $255 million. Bentley manufactures Perricone, which THG bought in 2020.
Nexus Capital Management LP has invested in Sky Organics, an organic beauty and personal care brand that makes mass market products available at Amazon, CVS, Whole Foods and other retailers.
Firmenich has made a minority investment in Essential Labs LLC, a supplier to niche home fragrance companies. Firmenich said the deal would allow it to reach smaller businesses.
Prima, the CBD beauty and wellness brand launched by Christopher Gavigan, has closed a $9.2 million Seed round led by Greycroft, H Ventures, Defy and Lerer Hippeau with participation from Adam Zeplain, Global Founders Capital, Emerald Health, One Gun and Purple Arch Ventures. Prima will use the money for research and development and operational infrastructure.
Lauryn Bosstick’s The Skinny Confidential has raised $1 million in seed funding for its anti-inflammatory beauty brand, which currently sells a face oil and an ice roller.
Korean men’s grooming brand Cardon has raised a $2 million seed round from Bon Angels, Mirae Asset Venture Investments and Strong Ventures. The business aims to take K-grooming global, and will use the funds to scale product lines, enhance the customer experience and build the team.
Ever/Body has raised a $38 million Series B from Tiger Global Management, Addition, Fifth Wall, MetaProp and Gaingels. The cosmetic dermatology practice intends to open more locations, as well as launch a product line.
Incubator HatchBeauty Brands has acquired Trendalytics, a consumer analytics platform that aims to help partners make calculated buying decisions. Hatch said the deal will help its product pipeline.
Core Industrial has acquired beauty manufacturer Marianna Beauty Holdings LLC with plans to combine operations with Arizona Natural Resources.
Faculty has raised a $3 million seed round led by the Estée Lauder Cos. The brand aims to redefine masculinity, and makes nail lacquer and nail stickers.

June
Yellow Wood Partners has closed a deal to buy the rest of Scholl footcare, bringing the global Scholl and Dr. Scholl’s brands back together again after 30 years of separate ownership. The combined business has annual retail sales of more than $700 million. Yellow Wood’s Dana Schmaltz has said there are growth opportunities in Dr. Scholl’s foot care line and in continuing to build the brand’s e-commerce business.
General Atlantic has made a minority investment in Buff City Soap, a personal care and laundry soap business that specializes in handmade bar soaps. The business has 100 locations and the investment is meant to allow it to open more stores and accelerate e-commerce.
Athena Club, which sells personal care products online, has raised a $15 million Series A with goals of modernizing the consumer packaged goods industry and drugstore shopping.
Cornell Capital-backed Innovations in Nutrition + Wellness has acquired Capstone Nutrition, a manufacturer for health, functional food, immunity support, skin care and other products. Capstone specializes in capsules, tablets and powder products, and the deal is meant to advance INW’s position in the wellness manufacturing space.
Zenoti, which provides software to the spa, salon and fitness industries, has raised $80 million from TPG Capital with plans to build up its platform through further M&A. Zenoti is now valued at $1.5 billion.
Waldencast has taken a stake in Kjaer Weis.
General Atlantic and Huda Kattan have invested in spa software Fresha as part of a $100 million Series C round.
Iris&Romeo has raised capital from VC firm BrandProject with plans to develop additional hybrid beauty products. The brand makes Best Skin Days, a five-in-one hybrid makeup and skin care product, and saw 30 percent month-over-month growth through the pandemic.
Unilever has signed a deal to acquire Paula’s Choice, for a price tag that industry sources say is around $2 billion. Paula’s Choice was an early adopter of direct-to-consumer sales and ingredient transparency in beauty.
House of Wise, a CBD wellness brand, has raised $2 million.
Waeve, a Black-owned business that launched with ready-to-wear wigs, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Pillar VC, with participation from Maveron, former Glossier COO Henry Davis, former Glossier CTO Bryan Majoney, Glossier CMO Ali Weiss, and Pillpack co-founders TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen.

Kindra, which sells vaginal lotion and different nutritional supplements geared towards women going through menopause, has raised a $4.5 million seed round led by Female Founder’s Fund. Primetime Partners, Anne and Susan Wojcicki, Katie Couric Media, The Community Fund and H Ventures also contributed. Kindra was incubated within P&G Ventures.
Former Coty CEO Camillo Pane’s brand incubator, Present Life, has agreed to sell CBD brand Healist to Kadenwood.
Sexual wellness brand Maude has raised $5.8 million Series A round.
Dae, the hair care brand from influencer Amber Fillerup Clark, has raised a $2.6 million seed round from Willow Growth.
July 
Sexual wellness brand Cake has raised $4 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau, with Sugar Capital, Brand Foundry Ventures, Selva Ventures, Silas Capital, Ollie co-founder Gabby Sloan, Starface co-founder Brian Bordainick and angel investor Kate Wallman.
Givaudan has bought a 25 percent stake in B.Kolormakeup & Skincare, with the option to acquire a controlling stake in the business after three years.
Loli Beauty has raised a seed round from Fable Investments, the venture fund of Natura & Co.
Oral beauty brand Spotlight has raised $15 million via a minority investment from Development Capital, an Irish growth fund.
Glossier has raised an $80 million Series E, led by Lone Pine Capital.
Telehealth provider Hims has acquired Apostrophe, which offers virtual dermatology appointments and prescriptions.
Revlon has sold off Gatineau, a professional skin care brand, to The Skincare Sanctuary, its U.K. distributor.
The Nue Co. has raised $25 million in Series B funding led by Pamoja Capital.
IEVA Group has acquired Boudoir du Regard, which had been undergoing restructuring.
Eurazeo Brands has made a $53 million minority investment in Pangaea Holdings, the parent company of men’s grooming lines Lumin and Meridian. The business in total raised $68 million. Other investors included Unilever Ventures, GPO Fund and existing investors Base10 Partners and Gradient Ventures.
Huda Beauty’s Huda Kattan has invested in Ketish, a sexual wellness brand, via HB Angels.
Givaudan has invested in Next Beauty China, an incubator for emerging fragrance brands.

August
Function of Beauty has acquired Atolla with plans to expand further into skin care.
The Hut Group has signed a deal to buy Cult Beauty for 275 million pounds.
Brandefy, an app that is meant to help consumers compare formulas, ingredients and prices of beauty products, has raised $1.7 million.
Il Makiage has acquired Voyage81, an artificial intelligence startup meant to help show a wider range of colors, for $40 million.
Advent International is buying BareMinerals, Laura Mercier and Buxom from Shiseido for $700 million.
Crown Laboratories has signed a deal to buy StriVectin, which has been backed by L Catterton since 2009.
September
JD.com and JIC are buying a minority stake in Lagargère Travel Retail Asia.
Essence Ventures has acquired BeautyCon out of foreclosure, and is bringing back original co-founder Marina Curry.
Beauty Pie Raised $100 million in Series B funding led by Index Ventures and Insight Partners.
Katherine Power’s Merit makeup brand has raised a $20 million Series A round led by L Catterton.
Puig has invested in Chinese fragrance brand Scent Library.
Live Tinted, the beauty brand founded by Deepica Mutyala, has raised a seed round of more than $3 million.
Sephora closed its deal to acquire FeelUnique.
NovaBay Pharmaceuticals has acquired DermaDoctor for $15 million. The buyer said the brand complement’s its CelleRX Clinical Reset line, which is also meant to be highly effective yet gentle on skin. The DermaDoctor team has joined NovaBay as part of the deal. NovaBay plans to introduce new products for the CelleRx, Avenova and DermaDoctor brands.
October
LVMH has purchased Officine Universelle Buly 1803, a prestige perfume brand.
Highlander Partners has acquired a majority stake in RMS Beauty, the clean makeup brand from makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift.
Knowlton Development Corp. is acquiring V Manufacturing and Logistics, which specializes in manufacturing small batches of beauty and personal care products.
Beaubble has raised another funding round, bringing the brand’s total to more than $2 million in funding. Bling Capital led the round, which also included investments from Graph Ventures, Goodwater Capital and YouTube’s former chief technology officer, Steve Chen.

Prime Matter Labs has acquired Cosmetic Development Laboratories to increase geographic coverage and production capacity, as it aims to become the go-to manufacturer for indie beauty and personal care brands.
Summit Partners has acquired a minority stake in Hairstory.
Blank-check company Better for You Wellness Inc. has signed a letter of intent to acquire Mary Louise Cosmetics, a natural beauty company founded by Akilah Releford. Releford will stay on board as the brand’s “chief visionary officer” and continue to drive product development, the companies said.
FemTec Health has acquired beauty subscription box Birchbox, as well as Mira, a digital beauty shopping tool and search engine.
November
Thirteen Lune has raised a $3 million seed round led by Fearless Fund as the business expands with J.C. Penney and looks to launch a private label beauty line.
Boost Lab Co, an Australian serum company, has raised a Series A round, bringing its total funding to more than A$5 million. Boost makes seven different serums and was founded by Craig Schweighoffer. The business is planning for an IPO in Australia in the second half of 2022, according to a spokesperson.
Gryphon Investors has acquired Revision Skincare and Goodier Cosmetics, with plans to continue developing the product line and building out the company’s contract manufacturing business. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Revision is a professional skin care line, while Goodier is a manufacturer for cosmetics and skin care.
NuSkin’s strategic investment arm, Rhyz Inc., has acquired Mavely, a social commerce platform, as it looks to build out its social shopping capabilities. Mavely’s platform includes 40,000 content creators who make money by posting about dtc and retail brands, as well as a social sales team that can help companies’ customers transition to influencers. As part of the deal, Mavely will continue to operate as a standalone company, but will be able to work with Nu Skin’s sales community, too. Nu Skin executives said Mavely’s technology will help its sales people “simplify and supercharge social selling.”
The Good Glamm Group has raised a $150 million Series D round, co-led by Warburg Pincus and Prosus Ventures. Alteria Capital and existing investors L’Occitane, Bessemer Venture Partners, Amazon, Ascent Capital and the Mankekar Family office also participated. The Good Glamm Group operates a portfolio of beauty and personal care brands that are promoted online via content and creators on the company’s various websites. The company’s brands include MyGlamm, a fast-growing cosmetics brand in India, MomsCo, a popular mom and baby brand in India, and Baby Chakra, a baby products brand. Good Glamm plans to use the capital to invest in product developments, increase offline expansion and expand content creation capabilities.

Beauty device manufacturer and seller CurrentBody has sold a majority stake in the business to Ecomplete for 50 million pounds. CurrentBody was founded by Laurence Newman and Andrew Showman in 2009, and now operates 17 international websites as well as a physical store within London’s House of Fraser. The business is set to reach 42.5 million pounds in sales for this year, and aims to reach 100 million pounds in the next two years. EComplete is an e-commerce investment business launched by the former head of beauty at The Hut Group, Paul Gedman, and wellness entrepreneur Andy Duckworth.
Skinfix has landed a minority investment from Stride Consumer Partners.
Pause Well-Aging is raising a $3 million seed round, led by Swiftarc Ventures.
Rare Beauty Brands has acquired Dr. Dana Beauty.
L’Occitane is acquiring Sol de Janeiro at a $450 million valuation. L’Occitane is buying 83 percent of the company, and founder and CEO Heela Yang is rolling over an ownership stake.
Givaudan has signed a deal to buy Custom Essence, a U.S.-based fragrance formulation business that specializes in natural fragrances. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Custom Essence’s business would have represented about $40 million in incremental sales for Givaudan in 2020, the company said.
Waldencast Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company related to private equity firm Waldencast, has agreed to buy Milk Makeup and Obagi, in a deal with a combined value of $1.2 billion. The transaction includes investors in Milk and Obagi taking stakes in Waldencast, as it aims to create a multi-brand beauty and wellness platform on the public markets. The business will be run by founder Michel Boursset as chief executive officer, and Hind Sebti as chief operating officer.
Procter & Gamble has signed a deal to acquire Farmacy Beauty.
SuperOrdinary has made a $25 million minority investment in Crea, which is meant to allow it to expand across Southeast Asia.
Coty has signed a licensing brand with Orveda, the luxury skin care line founded by Coty ceo Sue Nabi before she joined the company.
Holistic medicine and supplement business Apothékary has raised $3.5 million that it plans to use to scale at retail in the U.K. and Canada. The business said it projects “eight-figure revenue” for 2021, and is profitable.

Stratia has received a $2 million investment from Fable Investments, the venture capital branch of Natura & Co.
Beautigloo, a French company that manufactures beauty refrigerators, has raised 2.7 million euros.
Bright Lights Acquisitions Corp. has signed a deal to combine with men’s grooming company Manscaped. The deal values Manscaped at about $1 billion.
For more from WWD.com, see: 
The Latest From the Beauty M&A Scene
Should VCs Be Approaching Beauty Differently?

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