E.l.f. Beauty released its first-quarter earnings today (August 5, 2020). an announcement that included news of an upcoming partnership with music creative Alicia Keys on a new lifestyle beauty brand. The brand will be owned by E.l.f., though Keys will be a shareholder and will benefit from milestone-related payments in the form of cash and stocks.
According to a press release, “Today, we are also thrilled to announce that we are partnering with Alicia Keys, 15-time Grammy Award winning artist, producer, actress, and New York Times best-selling author, to create a new lifestyle beauty brand.
Alluding to a skincare line, press adds, “Born of Alicia’s personal skincare journey and her passion for bringing light into the world, the brand vision is more than skin deep. With an inclusive point of view, an authentic voice, and a line of skin-loving, dermatologist-developed, cruelty-free products, this lifestyle beauty brand aims to bring new meaning to beauty by honoring ritual in our daily life and practicing intention in every action.”
The partnership with Keys is part of a growth strategy to evolve the company from a single brand to a multi-brand company. In press the company underscored, “this is not just another celebrity beauty line.” Rather the company will work with Keys to develop a multi-year, multi-category product pipeline.
The brand will reveal more details including the name of the new brand and the products in the near future with expectations the Alicia Keys-related line will hit online channels and physical stores in 2021.
From a branding perspective it would make sense that Keys would partner on a skincare brand. Though she wears some makeup for public appearances, Keys has long positioned herself as a makeup minimalist who emphasizes healthy skin skin over cover up.
She announced her move away from makeup in a 2016 essay for the Lenny Letter in which she concluded, “Cause I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”
At the same time, skincare for E.l.f. makes sense from a growth perspective. As demand for color cosmetics has cooled, brand’s chasing the burgeoning skin care category have exploded with E.l.f.’s announcement following on the heels of Fenty Beauty extending its own brand through the launch of Fenty Skin last week.