In May, Ipsy will ship its latest subscription product, Icon Box, a quarterly offering featuring products curated by celebs, famous makeup artists and brand founders.
The first guest curator is Anastasia Soare, founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills. Notably, Anastasia Beverly Hills is celebrating its 25-year anniversary.
The debut of the Icon Box comes shortly after the consolidation of Ipsy and BoxyCharm; Ipsy acquired BoxyCharm in Oct. 2020. The purpose behind the consolidation was to ease operations on the backend, as managing six subscription tiers across the two brands was a challenge. There are now three options: Ipsy continues to offer its Glam Bag subscription, centered on sample-size beauty products. The second subscription option, called BoxyCharm by Ipsy, offers full-size beauty products. And the third option is Icon Box, which is similar to options that Ipsy and BoxyCharm offered before. It’s only available to existing subscribers as an add-on box for $58 per quarter. At the time of Ipsy’s $500 million acquisition of BoxyCharm in 2020, it was reported that the combined businesses had more than 4.3 million subscribers and had earned $1 billion that year.
“You’re going see us telling a better story [with Icon Box]. The products that subscribers receive are going to be more intentional and tie back to the curator, their mission and their vision,” said Kristy Westrup, svp of merchandising at Ipsy. “This box gives people the opportunity to tap into the most coveted products, and we will step out [of our usual offerings] to test products that may be new to the market, like brown lamination or trending tools.”
Products chosen by Soare include JLo Beauty Glow Serum, Too Faced Killer Liner, Tarte Juicy Lipstick and Laneige Hyaluronic Eye Cream. Of course, Anastasia Beverly Hills products are part of it too, including the Primrose Palette, Brow Definer, Cream Bronzer and Magic Touch Concealer. Westrup said there are “hundreds of thousands” of subscribers who describe themselves as knowledgeable and educated about beauty, for whom the Icon Box is suited.
“We use makeup to create the perfect illusion of balance and proportion with our face,” said Soare. “There is a sense of precision [behind Anastasia Beverly Hills]; this is what separates a great makeup artist from a makeup artist. Every brand has its own way of looking at makeup and how it [thinks about] products. The way I started was purely combining science with beauty.”
Westrup said that Soare was shortlisted on customer surveys approximately a year ago as a potential curator. She also ranked as the No. 1 choice in a ranked voting system. Other undisclosed, top-ranking people were beauty brand founders and celebrity makeup artists. Westrup declined to share whether curators are compensated or required to pay for participation. Other subscription boxes have worked with notable people as curators, such as Allure Beauty Box with Huda Kattan in 2019. At that time, co-curated boxes, which Allure began in June 2018, were a key conversion driver for the beauty boxes, providing a 400% higher subscription conversion than other months.
Since Ipsy first partnered with Anastasia Beverly Hills in 2020 as part of its Glam Bag subscriptions, their partnership has scaled; over 38 unique Anastasia Beverly Hills SKUs have been included in Ipsy and BoxyCharm boxes over the past three years. In 2022, Ipsy contributed over $8 million in total campaign value for Anastasia Beverly Hills. Anastasia Beverly Hills was one of Ipsy’s highest-performing brand partners in 2022, with $5.1 million in earned media value and 4.5 million social media engagements. Soare said subscription boxes have been a successful tactic in the past for customer acquisition.
Soare said she does not aim to foster a deeper connection with her personal fan base via Ipsy. Instead, she thinks of the Ipsy opportunity more like a massive consumer focus group, to hear customer feedback and reception toward products. Engagement and feedback is also a key opportunity for Ipsy. Westrup said it is common to see Sephora and Ulta Beauty product reviews reference that the reviewer received the product in their Ipsy subscription.
“Ipsy knows their customers and has analytics behind them. But I want to know all the customers’ opinions about my products. Good and bad. It’s all very important to me,” said Soare.