Amyris Bankruptcy. You may not have heard of Amyris but you will certainly have heard of some of its brands – Rose Inc (Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely), Menolabs (founded by Naomi Watson), JVN Hair (Jonathan Van Ness) and Biossance to name a few. Amyris is noted for the use of squalene and hemi-squalane and focuses on ‘clean’ ingredients. Amyris invested heavily in a brand called Eco-Fabulous in 2021 but although it was for the Gen Z market failed to take off and was quietly closed down. Amyris has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy but it look like a pre-emptory step to maintain the business in some format or another. However, it’s certain that some, if not all of the brands will now be available to buy. They’ve all got natural homes I think – JVN has done really well at SpaceNK (owned by Manzanita Brands) so if they snapped it up for themselves, I would not be surprised. L’Occitane and Clarins are being touted as possible homes for Biossance. What’s interesting is that experts are suggesting that the celebrities will do better to buy their own brands back than let them go to sale – imagine that: just as you’ve got a neat little number with someone else doing the bulk of the work, it suddenly lands in your lap and you have no idea what to do with it.
There’s a bit of upset between Kylie Cosmetics and Maybelline New York caused by Kylie and ASOS producing an ad for Kylie Cosmetics that is undeniably similar to a previous Maybelline ad. The ad in question by ASOS is a pink tube of mascara going through a tube tunnel – while Maybelline’s features a tube train with big lashes next to a pink tube of Sky High Mascara. Maybelline’s went viral with 12 million views while Kylie & ASOS’s version is considered to be ‘disappointing’ by Maybelline. That particular ASOS/Kylie ad is down and instead they’re sending the product down the Thames courtesy of AI.
It’s rumoured that L’Occitane is considering becoming a privately owned company again. While L’Occitane had its best year ever for year ending March 2022, it floated on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2010 a bid to grow business in that region. If it’s taken back to private, it would mean a delisting on the HKSE, which to my (inexpert) eye probably means that it hasn’t done as well as hoped in China.
Honestly, I have a problem with Kitsch claims on their ‘Strengthening’ shampoo bar with rice water – InStyle ran a so called feature in July titled ‘Amazon Shoppers Are Growing So Many New Hairs Thanks To This Shampoo Bar’ which a) sounds suspiciously like an advertorial and b) is completely baseless as not a jot of research has been done. Is this journalism? Nope, despite the smaller wording under the header ‘We independently evaluate all recommended products and services.’ They don’t and they haven’t. If you’re in beauty journalism and you don’t know the basics about hair cycles and growth then you are in the wrong job.
Another casualty in the beauty market is Lady Suite – an intimate care brand. Generally, we all know that special products for intimate care aren’t needed but each to their own on that. Lady Suite was founded by Therese Clark who had hoped, in 2022, to raise $1.5 million in seed funding, but in 2023 is closing due to funding constraints and ‘other hurdles’. Lady Suite popped up many times in my Instagram feed – it was an interesting, innovative and straightforward approach to intimate care and it looks as though Therese and co-founder Cassandra Costello gave it their everything so it’s a shame to see it disappear although I imagine explaining vulvas to mainly male investors was next level commitment.
The ongoing car crash that is Jaclyn Cosmetics continues. A brief catch up if you don’t know: Jaclyn Hill is a phenomenally successful YouTuber and an early adopter of the platform for showcasing beauty – she could make brand sales go into overdrive – you might remember the Becca Champagne Pop hysteria – she started her own brand with Forma brands (Morphe, Lipstick Queen) after several brand collaborations – it spent a few months in bankruptcy before being bailed out – Jaclyn’s next product launch (lipstick) was slated for containing hairs and feeling lumpy, while her bronzer was deemed ‘too narrow’. Her accessories and fashion brand, Koze, is being shuttered along with her jewellery brand and it’s rumoured that Ulta is delisting Jaclyn Cosmetics. What a ride.
It’s interesting that the owners of Batiste Dry Shampoo, Church & Dwight, are paying out on a class action suit (to the tune of $2.5million) over accusations that their products, Batiste Bare and Batiste Light Bare contained benzene. You won’t be able to buy a Ferrari however – if you can’t produce proof of purchase, which will get you full refund, you may receive $2 per product up to $10. Under this deal, Church & Dwight does not admit responsibility.
It looks like Kao brands are about to purchase Australian brand, Bondi Sands. Kao currently owns brand such as Biore, Curel, Jergens and John Frieda. Terms are not known but bearing in mind that in 2021, Bondi Sands held 60% market share in Australia, and is a key player in the self-tan market in all regions it appears in (see above – although I predict that Jimmy Coco will soon start to take a slice of that share), the price is likely to be eye-watering.
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