Glossier, known for its line of understated makeup products and a cult-following of millennial Instagrammers, is getting colorful with the launch of its first spin-off brand, Glossier Play.
The company — led by founder and chief executive officer Emily Weiss, who built the nearly $400 million business from a makeup blog called Into The Gloss — has raised a total of $92 million in venture capital funding from top-tier consumer investors Forerunner Ventures, Index Ventures and IVP. Stitch Fix founder Katrina Lake and Forerunner founder and general partner Kirsten Green, are among the company’s board members.
Weiss introduced Glossier in 2014 as a clean-skincare and natural beauty advocate. Today, the direct-to-consumer business boasts a growing line of barely there makeup, designed to mimic Weiss’s own subtle, au naturale vibe. The launch of Glossier Play, inspired by 1970s’ nostalgia, is its first foray into bright colors, glitter and, in the brand’s own words, “dialed-up extras.”
“We wanted to explore color the Glossier way,” a spokesperson for the company said. “This meant developing high-quality products without the moody, expert-centric rhetoric of most luxury brands. Glossier Play is all about fun and creative expression. These products were two years in the making, and just like Glossier’s modern essentials, they are designed to stand the test of time (not trend-driven or fast fashion).”
Glossier Play’s initial line-up of “extras” includes colored eyeliners ($15), highlighters ($20), multi-purpose glitter gel ($14) and the “Vinylic Lip” ($16). Customers can purchase “The Playground,” a set that includes each of the new products, for $60.
The advertising campaign for the Instagram-friendly line will be led by none other than Instagram star Donté Colley, as well as pop musician Troye Sivan. The new line and future spin-offs will help Glossier compete with beauty incumbents, Estée Lauder and L’Oréal, for example, in a market estimated to be worth $750 billion by 2024.
Glossier, headquartered in New York, counts 200 employees, meager in comparison to its nearly 2 million — and growing — social media following. The company surpassed $100 million in annual revenue in 2018, it tells TechCrunch, and acquired 1 million new customers. In total, Glossier retails 29 products across skincare, makeup, body, and fragrance.
The company won’t be introducing additional brands this year and clarified it is not a brand incubator.