On the Edge

January 6, 2017

Expanding beauty brands to watch in 2017

Burgeoning brands are all the rage right now in our industry—just look at recent billion-dollar acquisitions such as Estée Lauder buying cult classic cosmetic brand Too Faced or events such as Indie Beauty Expo or MakeUp in New York showcasing a variety of independent players. Niche names are gaining reputations as real innovators, giving bigger businesses a run for their money. This is due to demand from consumers who want fresh ideas.

“Shoppers are looking for products that are natural, time-saving and used by celebrities or influencers,” said Ginger King, president and CEO of cosmetic product development company Grace Kingdom Beauty and instructor of special topics at Rutgers Business School. Here’s a look at some of beauty’s rising stars in the new year.

Man Toolz

Website: www.mantoolz.com

Year Founded: 2016

Names To Know: Husband and wife co-founders Doug Brown and JoAnn Brown

Major Products:  Dirt Removal Multi-Tool Body Wash, Grime Elimination Face Cleanser, Resurfacing Moisturizer

Hero Product: Tool box—all three products, packaged and shipped monthly. Also available for one-time purchase.

Stocked At: www.mantoolz.com

Brand Story: Man Toolz began as a simple answer to acomplicated array of men’s skin products. A lot like most guys, co-founder Doug Brown, Dallas, TX, had no clue what to put on his skin and hated shopping, too. His wife, JoAnn, always bought his products and he just used them. But when out shopping on his own, he realized many companies make skin care for men much more complicated than it needs to be.

Doug voiced his frustration to JoAnn and they concluded that products were too expensive, too complicated or not geared toward a man’s man.  They decided it really didn’t need to be this difficult—create a few basic products that will help make a guy’s skin look and feel better without breaking the bank—and so began Man Toolz.

Over the next several months they worked to create the products and develop the unique fragrance for them. After many samples and testing with some trustworthy friends, they arrived at the products available on www.mantoolz.com. Both Doug and JoAnn wanted to make sure that the products worked and were priced so that every guy could afford quality skin products. They also wanted simplicity in the process, which comes in their signature product, the Tool Box, which is delivered via a recurring subscription basis. 

The idea for the brand’s logo came from road and construction signs and the stencil block letters that many construction companies use to stamp their large toolboxes. The photography was inspired by iconic images—recreating a Man Toolz-version of the Sistine Chapel and the famous WWII kiss.

Why We’re Watching: Man Toolz contends it is launching into a market that no other company has focused on: the “soap and water” guys—roughly 40 million men from ages 25-65 that currently don’t use any type of skin care. Existing players in the market, they contend, have focused on the high-end niche.

“We want to appeal to the guy who likes to fish, work on projects around the house or restore that vintage car. A guy who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, yet still wants to look and feel great! Additionally, our photography, brand and concept is attractive to women, presenting a quality option for the man in their life, at an affordable price,” said Doug.
What’s Next: Man Toolz will launch a cologne and continue to build the brand by creating products for the “guy’s guy” who hates to shop and appreciates simplicity in choice and convenience.


Website: www.bioclarity.com

Year Founded:  2016
Names To Know: Founder David Hale; Board Members Cam Garner, Bill Strauss and Howard Palefsky; President and CEO Rick Sliter; and Head of Marketing Matt Edstrom
Major Products: BioClarity Clear Skin System
Hero Product: Restore Gel
Stocked At: www.bioclarity.com
Newest Launch: BioClarity Clear Skin System (August 2016)
Brand Story: BioClarity was born when the founders discovered an opportunity to disrupt the acne treatment market with a better product offering, Head of Marketing Matt Edstrom told Happi.  

“The over-the-counter acne treatment market in the US is huge and while we don’t have an exact size, it is estimated to be $3 billion annually,” he said.  “(But) our market research has shown that one in three people are not completely satisfied with their current acne treatment brand. Couple this with the fact that there are always new customers entering the market, it seemed like a really great opportunity to step in and make a positive influence on countless peoples’ lives.”

In preparation for the launch, Adigica Health, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, completed a round of seed funding for BioClarity, led by founder and chairman David Hale plus board member Cam Garner and a number of other investors.
Why We’re Watching: Bioclarity uses a patented, proprietary ingredient called Floralux that is naturally derived from chlorophyll. Floralux is what makes its Restore Gel green. The three-step regimen is designed to address the issues of acne-prone skin during treatment including redness, dryness and irritation.

What’s Next: “Moving forward, we believe we’ll be the leading provider of skin care products for our target segment,” said Edstrom. “We will continue our R&D and bring to market new technologies that provide better product attributes at great customer value than what’s currently available in the market today. We will begin expanding into additional product categories and potentially market beyond the US once we’ve established a strong foundation with our core acne treatment system.”

Beyond BioClarity, the company will consider expansion into other segments of health care in general, so that will be “very exciting, but that is also very much to be decided at this point,” added Edstrom.

True Moringa

Website: http://truemoringa.com  

Year Founded: 2013
Names To Know: Kwami Williams, co-founder and CEO; Emily Cunningham, co-founder and COO

Major Products: Simplicity All-Purpose Moringa Facial + Body Oil, Magic Black Facial + Body Soap, Eternal Youth Facial + Body Soap, Universal Cure Balm, Rejuvenating Body Polish and Calming Bath Soak 
Hero Product: True Moringa Lavender Facial + Body Oil 
Stocked At: Birchbox, Petit Vour, We Are Onyx and Truemoringa.com
Newest Launch: Ultra-Light Whipped Body Butter 
Brand Story: Named Best of Indie Beauty Expo and Best of NY Now, True Moringa is billed as a clean beauty brand powered by anti-aging, moisturizing moringa oil. While True Moringa is a startup, the founders contend their story began more than 100 years ago in Ghana, where the moringa tree became famous among local farmers for its extraordinary nutritional and healing properties. So impressed were the farmers with this plant that it quickly became known as “the miracle tree.” Even so, much of its value remained elusive. In particular, its seeds contained one of nature’s finest cosmetic oils with anti-aging and moisturizing properties.

Enter True Moringa, which was co-founded by Kwami Williams, a graduate of MIT’s aerospace engineering program and Emily Cunningham, a Harvard graduate with a degree in economics. Combining their expertise in engineering and business development, the pair created a proprietary extraction system to preserve moringa’s crucial fatty acid structures and established the supply chains to put smallholder farmers on the map of the global market.

Why We’re Watching: True Moringa is changing the story for small farming families in Ghana. The company manages the entire supply chain, working directly with more than 2000 small farming families in Ghana, providing agricultural and nutrition training, financing, and organic seeds and fertilizer. It buys seeds and leaves at a fair price, increasing incomes ten-fold. True Moringa then processes these seeds into cold-pressed oil at its in-country processing center creating jobs locally, and creating effective, paraben-free, sulfate-free, vegan, plant-based products. To date, the company has planted more than 270,000 trees to combat deforestation and malnutrition. 

What’s Next: According to Cunningham, “We are building the largest organic certified moringa farm on the African continent. Our nucleus farm will be a place for mothers and fathers to earn a sustainable living and grow nutritious food for their families. It will serve as a training center and experimentation ground for the latest permaculture techniques, off-grid processing technologies, and improved natural fertilizers and seeds. 

“Thousands upon thousands of trees will provide a haven of greenery to reforest desert land and depleted soil. Most importantly, our nucleus farm will reinvest in the community where our dreams of changing the story for the smallholder farmer first began.”

Le Mini Macaron

Website: www.leminimacaron.com

Year Founded:2011

Names To Know: François-Xavier Humbert, founder and CEO; Christina Kao, co-creator and managing partner
Major Products: Gel Nail Kits, 3-in-1 Gel Polishes, Gel Remover Kits, Gel Removal Clips, Les Minis gel polish trios
Hero Product: Le Mini Macaron’s Gel Manicure Kit 
Stocked At: Sephora (France, Middle East, China), Galeries Lafayette (France), Hudson’s Bay (Canada), Manor (Switzerland), Lane Crawford (China and Hong Kong), City Super (China and Hong Kong), Watson’s (Taiwan), Nordstrom (US), and online via www.leminimacaron.com
Newest Launch: Holiday gift box, Midnight Blueberry gel manicure kit, Le Frenchie, Les Minis special edition glitter gels
Brand Story: Brand founders and partners Kao and Humbert are seasoned beauty executives, having between them worked for and/or managed marketing and branding for Peggy Sage, L’Oréal, Christian Dior, Maybelline, Chanel, Vogue and Giorgio Armani. Le Mini Macaron (LMM) is a line of DIY gel manicure kits inspired by the French macaron that combines all the things you need for a gel manicure that is shiny, easy to do and affordable, with an adorable macaron-shaped lamp to boot. 

The leading product, the Gel Manicure Kit, comes in nine striking colors, and each one contains everything you’ll need for a DIY gel manicure at home—the signature mini macaron-shaped LED lamp with USB cord and power charger, one bottle of gel polish in a matching color (10 ml/0.33 oz), a cuticle stick, a mini nail file, 10 remover pads, and detailed instructions. The LED lamp’s patented design is fast and powerful, curing the uniquely formulated one-step gel polish dry in just 30 seconds, according to the firm.

Why We’re Watching: LMM has tapped into the ultimate dream of every millennial and girl on-the-go: gorgeously designed beauty tech that is extremely functional and affordable. LMM’s unique gel formula combines base, color and top coat all in one bottle that results in a fabulously smooth and shiny finish so there’s no need for multiple bottles and steps: just two coats of color making curing as quick as one minute per finger. 

LMM also comes with a USB cord and power charger so you can plug the adorable LED lamp into your laptop or external charger, making it portable. 

What’s Next: LMM is launching several innovative product lines for the first half of 2016. Said Kao, “Stay tuned on our Instagram for the latest news (@leminimacaron), as we haven’t revealed our new product lines and colors yet but will announce them super soon!” 

InstaNatural, LLC

Website: www.instanatural.com

Year Founded: 2013

Names To Know: AJ Patel, CEO; Ethelbert Williams, CMO

Major Products: InstaNatural Age Defying Skin Clearing Serum, InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum, InstaNatural Glycolic Peel, InstaNatural Hyaluronic Acid Serum, InstaNatural Niacinamide Serum, InstaNatural Skin Brightening Serum

Hero Product: InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

Stocked At: InstaNatural.com, Amazon.com, Jet.com, Walmart.com, Overstock.com; iHerb.com (January 2017)

Newest Launch: InstaNatural Daily Moisture Repair 

Brand Story: InstaNatural is a rising company that’s redefining the standard of skin and personal care. The brand delivers effective nature-inspired solutions made for discerning enthusiasts. InstaNatural’s collections include products for the skin, hair, body and home that are distributed through online retailers in the US and Europe.  In 2016, InstaNatural relaunched the brand’s assortment across skin care including several new innovations.  New and improved InstaNatural was introduced with even more power to deliver naturally radiant skin including a refreshed brand design.

Why We’re Watching: The brand’s products are part of Amazon’s Top 100 for their respective categories and multiple No. 1 best sellers. Last year, InstaNatural earned distribution through online leaders such as Jet.com, Walmart.com and Overstock.com. InstaNatural expects to add iHerb in early 2017. InstaNatural’s focus has been to service the savvy online beauty shopper with strong content and a seamless brand experience. Company executives say their brand team leverages tremendous ecommerce acumen and insight around the online shopper while partnering closely with merchants to deliver great products and engaging content which drive sales.

What’s Next: In the second half of 2016, InstaNatural recorded significant ecommerce expansion, and 2017 will bring continued ecommerce growth with new retailers, international distribution and expansion, according to the firm. In addition, InstaNatural is slated to debut a range of skin care innovation as the brand launches into strategic new categories.  

BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz 

Website: www.beautyrx.com

Year Founded: 2011 

Names To Know: Dr. Neal Schultz, creator; Stuart Schultz, president 

Major Products: The Progressive Peel, Dermstick for Pores,  Solar Defense Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50, Gentle Exfoliating Eye Cream, Soothing Moisture Cream 

Hero Product: The Progressive Peel, Dermstick for Pores 

Stocked At: HSN, Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounges, Butterfly Studio Salon, NYC, select Saks Fifth Avenues, Joyus, Amazon Luxury Beauty, TheRitualist, Dr. Neal Schultz’s dermatological practice (formerly known as Park Avenue Skin Care) in NYC and BeautyRx.com 

Newest Launch: Triple Vitamin C Serum, Balancing Glycolic Cleanser, Ultra Hydrating Eye Repair Cream, Maximum 15% Exfoliating Serum 

Brand Story:  Dr. Neal Schultz and Stuart Schultz are the father-son duo behind BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz, a comprehensive collection of at-home skin care treatments consisting of award-winning glycolic exfoliants and a broad range of other products. Developed by Dr. Schultz, a leading Manhattan dermatologist, author and host of DermTV.com, BeautyRx evolved from the feedback of more than 100,000 patient visits to his practice, experience gained by performing more than 55,000 in-office glycolic peels and 10+ years of patient trials. 

In addition to the product line, BeautyRx operates The Peel Bar, express beauty service destinations that offer Dr. Schultz’s professional-strength, two-minute, no-downtime Tetrafoliant peels outside of his dermatology practice.  

Why We’re Watching: BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz uniquely makes dermatologist products and services—even the dermatologist himself—accessible and affordable. The company achieves this through its collection of award-winning at-home products, its express beauty service Peel Bars, and its digital dermatologist platform. BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz offers a trifecta of dermatologist solutions to the modern beauty consumer. 

What’s Next: BeautyRx is expanding its popular Dermstick line to provide easily portable skin care solutions that address a multitude of problems. Keep an eye out for Dermstick for Eyes, Dermstick for Crows Feet and the Dermstick for Dull Skin to join the existing Dermstick for Pores. 

Doucce Cosmetics

Website: www.doucce.com

Year Founded: 2009 

Names To Know: Founders Moe Doustar and Robert Farajollah; Isaac Doustar, chief operating officer and president, Doucce North America

Major Products: Punk Volumizer Mascara, Boombastic Lash Mascara, Ultra Precision Eyeliner, Luscious Lip Stain, Mineral Matt Lipstick, SPF22 Mineral Foundation 

Newest Product:Pro Palette 

Stocked At: Doucce can be found in more than 50 luxury beauty boutiques around the country with online distribution through its own website, Beauty.com, Beautykind.us and a few others. Outside of the US, Doucce is big in the Middle East.

Brand Story: Doucce was founded in New York by two fashion and beauty executives with the intent of giving women and artists across the world the opportunity to discover their individuality. Though Doucce was born in New York, its name is inspired by the French word douce, which means soft and elegant. The brand’s philosophy “Discover Your Individuality” was inspired by Parisian elegance and New York attitude, according to company executives. 

For more than 20 years, Moe Doustar has been a dynamic force within the Middle Eastern beauty industry. As a young professional, he began importing numerous European and US brands to the Middle East, specializing in color cosmetics and hair care. By his late 20s, Doustar had established himself as a respected distributor, working with beauty giants such as Coty, Henkel and the Nazih Group. As he became more involved with the cosmetic trade, he started a very successful manufacturing and private label business, specializing in powders and foundations. Some of the partners from his initial manufacturing business are now involved with Doucce’s daily operations. 

Farajollah moved to the US at a very young age. He enrolled at a college in New York and began taking courses in architecture and design. Coming out of college he was introduced to the buzzing NYC garment district and he was hooked. He used his love for structure and design to build a garment business that grew into a multi-million dollar corporation. Some of his clients included large department stores such as Macy’s and Barney’s New York. 

In 2012, Isaac Doustar (Moe’s son) joined the corporation with a much larger goal—bringing the brand to the US and taking the brand global, too. Under Isaac’s new vision for the brand, Doucce expanded distribution into North America and Europe.  Today the company has more than 300 SKUs and is still growing.

Why We’re Watching: Doucce’s brand message has always been centered on individualism. Each one of Doucce’s products embodies the underlying meaning of the brand’s name and ideals, by combining high fashion hues and contemporary packaging, to create the perfect combination of trendy and très chic. 

Highlighting Doucce’s difference is the Freematic Palette system. The Freematic system is a magnetic mix-and-match system in which customers can choose from artistic curated palettes made by Doucce with seasonal and popular color choices or choose their own colors from 92 unique eyeshadow colors, including matte and shimmer options. 

What’s Next: Doucce will be launching with a “major US department store” in March—we’ll have more in an upcoming issue, so circle back to Happi in a few weeks. 
Outside the US, Doucce will enter Canada through a major department store in early 2017 and rolling out in the UK, France and Spain this Spring both online retail and in stores. 
The brand will also be running campaigns in 2017 with Allure, Ipsy, Glossybox and Boxycharm. The Allure campaign will also be a “special edition” since Allure will curate the eyeshadow palette, the firm said.

Beekman 1802

Website: https://beekman1802.com

Year Founded: 2009
Names To Know: Founders Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge

Major Products: Skin care products featuring goat milk and milk proteins, honey and other natural ingredients
Hero Product: Goat Milk Moisturizing Soap Bar
Stocked At: www.evine.com
Newest Launch: Sweet Grass bar soap, wipes and lip balm. 

Brand Story: When Josh Kilmer-Purcell, advertising executive and New York Times bestselling author  and his partner Brent Ridge, a physician and former vice president of Healthy Living for Martha Stewart Omnimedia, purchased a farm in 2007, they had no idea that it would launch one of the fastest growing lifestyle brands in the country.  Originally a weekend getaway from their hectic city lives, the farm became their lifeline after both men lost their jobs during the recession of 2008. Faced with possible foreclosure, the pair made a decision—if they were going to save their farm, they would have to make it profitable. After taking in a neighboring farmer and his herd of dairy goats, Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell began producing soaps and cheese. Today, that farm in Sharon Springs, NY —known as Beekman 1802—has become a TV Show, mercantile, bestselling cookbook and memoir, website and tourist destination.

Why We’re Watching:  Beekman 1802 is a true farm-to-skin skin care company with products inspired by the farm’s 127 goats and 52 beehives. All products are made using goat milk and botanical, farm-based ingredients. 

What’s Next:  According to Ridge, the company is currently working on face creams and serums utilizing milk proteins. In addition, formulators are always working on new scents and creating new products that are true to the brand.

Art Naturals

Website: www.ArtNaturals.com

Year Founded:2016
Names To Know: Joseph Nourollah, president, founder;  Osher Netkin, vice president, co-founder; Mary Delgado, operations manager
Major Products: Argan Oil Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask, Hyaluronic Moisturizing Serum, 2.5% Retinol Age Defying Serum
Hero Product:  Vitamin C Age Defying Serum
Brand Story: Art Naturals executives have always believed that beauty treatments should stem from the purest form of nature. They gathered ingredients and extracts from around the world to handcraft health-conscious essentials for skin, hair, mind, body and spirit. Its key product, the Vitamin C Serum, is organically infused, reducing signs of aging and sun spots, all while restoring youthful glow and minimizing existing wrinkles. 

Why We’re Watching: Art Naturals believes that everyone should experience the incredible benefits that nature offers. Supporting customers in their quest to live a healthy life will always be a priority, according to the founders.

What’s Next: Art Naturals is launching the Top 16 Essential Oil Set ($28) and a Candle Trio ($13), which has soy candles in Citrine, Peridot and Garnet.•