Australian beauty brand Crop Natural is driving the clean conversation into a cooler direction with its new collection of cosmetics.
The 16-product lineup of matte lipsticks, metallic eyeshadows and lip glosses, which launches today, is a first for the natural and organic company, which introduced skin care on its own e-commerce site and Amazon two months ago.
With the launch, Crop Natural is looking outside of Australia and instead targeting its new makeup line to customers in the U.S. Since the U.S. cosmetics and personal-care market is much larger than that of Crop Natural’s home of Australia ($86 billion versus $4.5 billion) and the FDA doesn’t have a definition for the word “natural” — it has also not established a regulatory definition in cosmetic labeling — Denton saw America as a fruitful and burgeoning business opportunity.
“We chose to go this path because we saw the confusion in the ‘natural’ landscape and how there was no clarity around what it truly meant,” said Denton, who spent over $1.5 million into research and development for the brand’s foray into cosmetics. “I am optimistic about growth because we have innovated around the formulas in the space.”
The new products are more comparable to Nars’ than a crunchy health food brand’s: Its new eyeshadow, for instance, has a high-shine metallic finish unlike many other natural eyeshadow options, which avoid glitter because it contains microplastics. According to Denton, an immature market combined with his performance-based products (rare for an organic brand) could yield a cash cow — something he is banking on.
Crop Natural’s skin-care offering was made in various facilities in Australia, but this new makeup offering was made in Milan because of the country’s “innovative lab abilities,” namely in organic lip color, said Denton. The complete makeup line is Cosmos-certified (a private European standard put in place by governing bodies BDIH of Germany, Cosmebio and Ecocert of France, ICEA of Italy, and Soil Association of Britain).
To target that elusive cool factor millennial women are looking for on platforms like Instagram, Denton enlisted Rebecca Hearne, a creative producer for Ssense and Puma Projects to come up with the brand messaging and campaign. Model-influencer types like Dajana Radovanovic and Crystal Tillman, with 103,000 and 47,000 followers, respectively, star in the creative. “We don’t want natural or clean to feel boring and granola, which it sometimes can be,” he said.
“When researching the creative direction for Crop, it occurred to me that most beauty campaigns had tendencies to follow the same aesthetic,” said Hearne. “I felt like something was missing.” She finally landed on an ’80s-tinged big beauty brand aesthetic with a contemporary take.
Clearly, while other Australian entrants into the American market are banking on a more minimal, Glossier-like sensibility — including skin-care line Go To — Denton’s Crop Natural, with its buzzy digital campaign, is going after a different and equally important millennial audience. “Natural beauty can be super cool and glamorous,” he said. “Why not?”