New beauty lines are a dime a dozen, so in order to stand out you really have to offer something truly special that will create nothing short of a frenzy. ColourPop is the new makeup collection doing just that. The LA-based indie line has become an Internet sensation practically overnight and its prices remain incredibly reasonable. Consider it the hippest, and most egalitarian, cosmetics line you may not know all that much about. Yet.
ColourPop was founded in Los Angeles by siblings Laura and John Nelson. Instead of trying their luck in the luxury market or attempting to win shelf space at Sephora, the brand opted to attract millennial clients by growing its social media presence first. As a result, ColourPop’s Instagram (where it markets itself as “beauty for cool kids”) boasts 2.2 million followers. For the sake of comparison (and not because Lancome isn’t special in its own right), Lancome’s Instagram only has 807,000 followers. Clearly, ColourPop is onto something big.
So what’s so cool about ColourPop? Well, their claim to fame has a lot to do with their ability to tap into the lip trends that their young, Kylie Jenner-adoring fans crave, but aren’t able to find elsewhere at such an affordable price. Their Ultra Matte lip collection is a huge deal and features top-sellers like Rooch, a deep russet wine and Beeper, a warm taupe. And they’re not afraid to offer shades that other companies might consider a little too unusual to sell: a deep violet pencil called Leather, for example, or a neon peachy coral gloss called Botanical that’s all the rage with festival goers and women eager to welcome spring and summer into their lives.
ColourPop also sells blush, eyeshadow, liner, and brow makeup, and has wisely abandoned the idea of hiring a high-profile Hollywood star to rep its products in favor of beauty vloggers and social media stars with whom it has collaborated. Why grapple with Blake Lively’s agent when you can cut a deal with beauty vlogger Kathleen Lights, who has 1.1 million Instagram followers? And choosing Chris Brown’s ex Karrueche to head a collab called KaePop? Genius.
I would be remiss not to mention a recent controversy in which the somewhat enigmatic ColourPop was accused on Reddit of repackaging Kylie Jenner’s lip kits. Some questioned whether Jenner’s kits were her own–until she attempted to put the rumors to bed by posting a photo on IG showing her touring ColourPop’s facilities with its owners and the caption, “We don’t have the same formula or exact colors, but they are my friends and they do have some bomb ass products that I love.”
When your competition can’t get enough of you, you know you’re a winner.
For more beauty news and tips, check out Kylie Jenner’s new metal matte lip kit colors and the ultimate affordable lipstick guide — the best buys for $10 or less.
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