How Pat, Rihanna, and Emily Have Brought Beauty Conglomerates To Their Knees

Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for PAT McGRATH LABS

The beauty industry is bigger than ever with legions of face painting supporters flooding local department stores for their latest fix. Yet few companies are able to hold a candle to the newest flock of makeup brands that are absolutely dominating the corporate competition. Fenty Beauty, Glossier, and Pat McGrath Labs have uniquely carved out a lane for Instagram savvy millennials that not only pick up the products but also buy into their ethos. Whether it’s Glossier’s beauty in real life ideology or Fenty Beauty’s foundation for all spirit, for the average consumer simply selling a commodity isn’t enough, you have to make them crave it. With the majority of distribution remaining direct, these brands are selling product launches in records amount of time – but how do they do it and when will they scale up? took an in-depth look into their recent start, ad campaigns, and marketing tactics to figure out why stores like Sephora have been sipping the sparkling, glossy Kool-Aid.

Pat McGrath Labs

With unexpected blitz drops and color ranges inspired by her runway creations, Pat McGrath and her eponymous line Pat McGrath Labs has cemented itself as an industry standard for the makeup obsessed. The highly pigmented collection seen on her loyal legion of model muses like Paloma Elsesser, Jasmine Sanders, and Leomie Anderson has often times appeared backstage at shows like Miu Miu, Fendi or Maison Margiela months before they’ve dropped providing the perfect marketing tactic for setting the trends consistently. With no traditional advertising, her latest core collection of MOTHERSHIP eye palettes and LiquidLUST007 that drops right before the holidays (hint hint gift givers) survive based off the power of Instagram and Spotify alone (she teamed up with new artist Maggie Lindermann to sell via Spotify’s Merchbar). How’s that for a social following?

#LiquiLUST007 Version: Colour Blitz Kit❤️❤️❤️ SEDUCE the SEASON with REBELLIOUSLY REVOLUTIONARY Liquid Matte Lipstick Shades: WRECKAGE TOTALE™ 1 (Bright Fuchsia), REVELATION RED (True Blue Red) & NIGHTSHADE (Deep Eggplant)⚡️⚡️⚡️ Sign up NOW at PATMcGRATH.COM for #patmcgrathlabs #LimitedEdition updates 一一一 #pmghowto 一 Apply 'NIGHTSHADE' to the outer corner of the lip & blend towards the center of lip with a fluffy brush 一 Apply 'REVELATION RED' to the top & bottom of the lip & blend into  outer corners with a flat brush 一 Apply 'WRECKAGE TOTALE ™ 1' to the center of lips & blend with a flat brush 一 Pat 'VIOLET 007' Micro-Fine Pigment on top of the lip 一 Seal the lip with Clear Vinyl Gloss #asmr #oddlysatisfying

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Fenty Beauty

Launching during NYFW, Rihanna‘s Fenty Beauty line took it to the max with an extensive 41 shade range of foundations, magnetic contour sticks, megawatt highlighters, and a powerfully diverse ad campaign featuring Selena Forrest, Duckie Thot, Camila Costa, Mallory Merk, Slick Woods, Maeve Whalen, Huan Zhou, and Halima Aden. Extending the range this past month to include an out of this world Galaxy eye-shadow palette, Glitter Release eyeliner, and Cosmic Gloss Lip glitter her new red #STUNNA lip paint drops on Thanksgiving and claims to be perfect on all skin tones.


Haloscope and Cloud Paint. Wowder and Boy Brow. Invisible Shield and Body Hero. Few brands have been able to expand as rapidly as millennial pink friendly, Glossier. Started by Emily Weiss after the meteoric rise of her site on all things beauty, Into The Gloss, the brand’s main goal from the start was to accentuate their customer’s natural beauty rather than cover it up. Ego removed, the results of their skin first, makeup second ideology has translated to product that’s as subtle as it is delicate. A minimalist’s dream, models and city girls alike have flocked to their product in drove with faces like Mekdes Mersha, Paloma Elsesser, Adesuwa Aighewi, and Charlotte Carey fronting their ad campaigns. With a new concept store in Soho and a perfume aptly titled, Glossier You, total beauty cabinet dominance seems eminent.


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