Poker face? Lady Gaga to launch debut colour cosmetics brand exclusively on Amazon

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Industry experts say the exclusive Amazon launch is likely 'well thought out' - Image: Haus Laboratories
Industry experts say the exclusive Amazon launch is likely 'well thought out' - Image: Haus Laboratories

Related tags: Cosmetics, Colour cosmetics, glitter, Amazon, e-commerce, vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, Beauty brand, Celebrity

Born This Way pop icon Lady Gaga will launch Haus Laboratories exclusively on Amazon next month, a move that has generated considerable buzz in the beauty world. So, is this e-commerce strategy a smart one to follow?

In September, Haus Laboratories will become the first major cosmetics brand to be launched by Amazon, following a two-month pre-order window. The cruelty-free, vegan and paraben-free colour cosmetics line includes a range of all-over liquid shimmer powders and collection of lip liners and glosses, all available in trio packs priced at €52.

Doing it for the fame?

Lady Gaga, founder of Haus Laboratories - photo: Haus Laboratories
Lady Gaga, founder of Haus Laboratories - photo: Haus Laboratories

“This is not just another beauty brand,” ​Haus Laboratories said on its website. “They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but at Haus Laboratories, we say beauty is how you see yourself.”

Haus Laboratories’ slogan – ‘Our Haus. Your Rules’ – along with its company mission to “spread kindness, bravery, and creativity”​ echoed sentiments raised by Lady Gaga in her message from the founder.

Gaga said the impetus behind launching her debut cosmetics line came from a struggle with finding a sense of inner and outer beauty at a young age and watching the power makeup gave her mother.

“Sometimes beauty doesn’t come naturally from within. But I’m so grateful that makeup inspired a bravery in me I didn’t know I had. I’ve come to accept that I discovered my beauty by having the ability to invent myself and transform,” ​she wrote.

A ‘well thought out’ decision

Millie Kendall MBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council, said the Amazon exclusive launch was “quite clever”.

“…I would imagine it’s probably a decision that has been well thought out,” ​Kendall told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

More and more consumers shopped online, she said, and Amazon was extremely simple to use.

“I don’t know if it’s such a bad thing for beauty. There are some very exciting companies that are really doing great things with e-commerce. …I think Amazon is great. It’s always a challenge finding suitable retail partners. Retail is changing and the high street is definitely changing; there’s a real revolution going on,” ​Kendall said.

Chloe Collins, senior retail analyst at GlobalData, agreed the exclusive Amazon launch was clearly strategic.

“Amazon’s global reach and efficient and convenient fulfilment methods would have made it an appealing choice for Haus Laboratories’ exclusive launch to get widespread attention,”​ Collins said.

However, she warned it could also prove a risky debut move. “Beauty consumers often like to see the products and test the quality in stores, and colours can be difficult to display correctly online. However, it does mean they will be able to test reactions to the range before committing to physical space, so that they can use global consumer learns to plan physical entry effectively. For example, learning which countries it is most popular in, what age demographics are purchasing and the most popular products etc.”

Amazon and beauty: A bad romance?

Collins noted that, in the past, other beauty brands had “shied away”​ from partnering with Amazon, largely due to its current format which offered “no differentiation between categories or brands”​ and therefore lacked personality.

Other celeb brands like Fenty Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics, she said, had instead opted to exclusively partner with US retailers Sephora and Ulta Beauty.

For Amazon to make any significant dent in online beauty, she said the online retailer would need to partner with more established brands that had broader appeal, given Haus Laboratories remained a niche bold colour, glitter-heavy line.

“Despite being the world’s largest online marketplace, [Amazon] sits just outside the UK’s top 10 health & beauty retailers, in line with LloydsPharmacy and Home Bargains, which shows it still has a long way to go to become one of the leading beauty destinations,”​ Collins said.

According to GlobalData, Amazon would reach a market share of 1.7% in UK healthy and beauty for 2019, up just 0.3% on last year.

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