Premium beauty brand Sigma Beauty is ramping up its domestic and international expansion plans.
On Oct. 24, Sigma Beauty begins selling through Target.com before expanding in-store in 2022. Sigma Beauty is already available through Sephora, QVC, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, among other retailers. The privately-held company debuted in 2009 selling brushes, but has dived deeper into clean makeup and gathered 60 patents over the years for products like lipstick that never loses its sharp point. Most recently, Sigma Beauty launched a five-piece Disney Cinderella collection including a 14-shade eyeshadow palette and brush set in September. The Cinderella digital campaign is centered on women of color, and products were designed to provide “depth” for multiple skin tones, said Simone Xavier, Sigma Beauty CEO. The collection was distributed to 500 influencers, editors and makeup artists and the marketing campaign was shared across its own digital channels, including its Instagram account (@SigmaBeauty) where it has 4.2 million followers.
“It was a bit of work to transition from being a brush brand to being a color cosmetics brand and be recognized for both,” said Xavier. “[But] people are excited about wearing makeup [again] … I want our brand to be known as a trendsetter, for being clean and having the highest quality [products].”
The business, made up of nearly 70-employees, expects to grow sales 21% year-over-year between 2021 and 2020, she said. The brand’s Amazon sales increased 300% year-over-year, while its DTC e-commerce experienced a 50% increase in sales conversion with shoppers spending 22% more compared to 2020. Sigma Beauty’s core customers are women between 25 and 34-years-old.
“We did a lot of fine-tuning in  in finding team members for our marketing and wholesale business, as well as in operations and third party [vendors],” said Xavier. “We want to continue to be the solid brand that we are; we’ve been in the market for 12 years and going into larger distribution in the U.S. is excellent for us.”
Xavier said the goals for 2022 are to extend further internationally, though the country is already available in 70 markets. Sigma Beauty is expanding to Mexico and Singapore through Sephora, as well as Ireland and Russia through distributor partners.
These plans coincide with the rebound of the makeup category, which is seeing renewed interest from both a customer discovery and sales point of view. NPD Group data for the second quarter of 2021 showed a 71% increase in makeup sales year-over-year, to $1.7 billion for the quarter. Lip products in particular nearly doubled as mask mandates relaxed further, and in-store purchases increased 284% year-over-year.
According to data from consumer analytics firm Spate, Sigma Beauty experiences 17,500 average monthly searches but saw a 15.8% decline in search interest compared to a year ago. Based on the Spate data, it appears Sigma Beauty sees a cyclical increase in searches around the holiday season. Spate data also showed that makeup as a category is seeing renewed search engine interest while other pandemic boom categories like haircare and skincare have lagged behind. Notably, Sigma Beauty will expand to complexion products and skincare in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
“The pandemic ushered in a new era of retail, one in which a store experience is simply one touchpoint of many,” said Florence Wright, senior analyst at digital commerce data firm Edge by Ascential. “People want to buy brands whose values they align with. Ethical, sustainable and socially conscious health and beauty brands have an excellent opportunity to amplify their voice and share of the market.”