After first introducing clean skin care in March 2019, Sephora Collection made its first foray into clean makeup on Friday.
The products include a 20-shade foundation, a lip mousse, a lip oil and an eyeshadow palette; all of Sephora Collection’s skin care and makeup is under $20, whereas clean skin care and makeup from Sephora partners like Farmacy and Ilia range from $22-$62 and $13-$52, respectively. Clean at Sephora, Sephora’s guidelines for what it considers clean, launched in 2018, but Sephora and Ulta have both recently accelerated their clean beauty trajectories. Sephora has kicked off an in-store and online pop-up partnership with Beautycounter, which runs from June to October, while Ulta is working with Credo on an eight-product assortment, plus it plans to launch its own program a clean point of view, Conscious Beauty, in October. Credo, meanwhile, launched its first private-label brand, called Exa, on Aug. 7; it’s both clean and inclusive, offering 43 shades of foundation.
“There weren’t many options around affordable makeup, and our clean makeup offering is about ensuring that you know clean makeup can be inclusive and accessible,” said Brooke Banwart, Sephora vp and general manager of Sephora Collection North America. “Clean makeup specifically hasn’t been broadly accessible, because nailing the formulas is challenging. And with Sephora Collection, we have the benefit of Sephora, the retailer, as well as the backing of LVMH.”
According to product counts listed on Sephora.com, clean products account for 24% of Sephora Collection’s skin-care assortment (excluding tools and wellness products). Moving forward, all new Sephora Collection skin-care products will be clean, and the brand is selling down on existing non-clean products, said Banwart. With the addition of clean makeup, 25% of Sephora Collection’s 472 product assortment will be clean. However, Banwart said the ambition is not to fully transform Sephora Collection into a clean brand, as the intent behind Sephora Collection is to offer accessibly priced products and takes its cues from customer demand. Banwart declined to state Sephora Collection sales or growth.
“It’s an opportune time for Sephora to use its private brand to go further into the [clean] space,” said Laura Kennedy, CB Insights senior lead analyst. “There has been preliminary evidence that consumers have shifted more spending to private label over the last few months, as economic uncertainty persists, pointing to the continued potential for Sephora to grow its clean beauty influence via its own brand.”
Sephora will have dedicated end caps in-store for its clean makeup, as well as custom fixtures for its revamped clean skin care assortment, which includes masks and wipes. On Sephora.com, there will be a landing page featuring Sephora Collection’s new clean products across makeup and skin care, and details on what clean means to Sephora.
“Sephora is not just legitimizing the clean beauty space, it’s also democratizing it,” said Kennedy. “It makes sense that clean beauty, which in recent memory was considered a high-end product, would be something that Sephora would expose to a wider swath of beauty buyers.”