Beauty industry

Halsey flip-flops at Ulta Beauty: EXCLUSIVE – WWD

About-Face, the beauty brand created by singer Halsey, has signed its first retail partnership.

The brand will launch into Ulta Beauty, starting with the full assortment online and its Matte Fluid Eye Paint available in 550 doors, through the Ulta Beauty Sparked program. It will launch online on June 14, with a physical footprint to roll out throughout the summer.

For Halsey, the move was natural, given their desire to make the brand as accessible to fans as possible. “It was a no-brainer for me because I go to stores so often,” they told WWD. “Makeup is part of my job, not just as a company founder, but as a self-made musician. When I need to go out, I’ll fill my [makeup] kit… they’re in suburban neighborhoods, and when I go there, I don’t really have to be Halsey, I can just be Ash, buy makeup.

The two-time Grammy winner founded the brand last year. The goal wasn’t to add to the cacophony of the celebrity beauty space, but to create products that could stand apart from their famous founder.

“I knew the celebrity brand market was so oversaturated, but it immediately became clear to me that what I was doing was very different from other celebrity brands,” Halsey said. “I was meticulously developing these formulas and packaging, and treating them like I treat my albums and tours, where my hands are everywhere. I have a very specific vision, and there’s a very specific way I want people to feel when they interact with the things that I do.

To that end, Halsey, who began doing her own makeup for red carpets and tours early in her career, knew she wanted the line to be “high performance, yet accessible.”

“I feel the same way about records. I basically wanted to build a community around it, they continued.

It turns out that Halsey’s creative processes when it comes to beauty and music are no different. “I don’t just wear makeup. You think about your audience. You broadcast it to the world and people turn it into something of their own. As artists you have to be okay with letting go, and I learned a lot about that as a musician,” they said.

Even the distribution strategy was defined by this approach. “We started really direct-to-consumer, and I love my base demographic who already know me to get those things that I love and believe in,” they said. “But the brand has legs now, and it wants to run away… When I talk to people who love the products but aren’t Halsey fans, it’s so important to me. The brand has that identity, and we’re just starting to run.

The expansion also gives Ulta a deeper assortment in the celebrity brand space, which Ulta CEO Dave Kimbell recently called a makeup growth driver during an earnings call with investors. . This year alone, the retailer picked up Fenty Beauty x Rihanna, as well as Ariana Grande’s Rem Beauty.

“Our guests are highly engaged with our celebrity-founded brands and feel a personal connection to celebrity when they experience their assortment in our stores,” said Maria Salcedo, senior vice president of merchandising, Ulta Beauty, via email. mail. “We know authenticity and inclusion are important to beauty enthusiasts and About-Face is a great example of a brand customers will be thrilled to experience at Ulta Beauty.”

“The make-up craze is accelerating. We are seeing growth in all major categories, including lips, eyes and face,” continued Salcedo.

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