Makeup and burrito bowls appear to be a perfect match.
On March 10, E.l.f. Beauty and Chipotle will double down on their existing partnership and unveil their second makeup collection. Complete with an eyeshadow palette, lip gloss, avocado makeup sponge and “Eyes, Chips, Face” makeup bag, products in the collaboration ranges from $8-$18. They will be available on E.l.f.’s e-commerce store, Chipotle’s online merch shop and live-shopping “drop” platform NTWRK. Chipotle will also make a vegan “Eyes, Chips, Face” bowl available on the Chipotle app. The companies first worked on a collaboration in May 2020 that sold out in four minutes.
“We’re always looking for ways to lead culture and stay top of mind among Gen-Z consumers. One of the many ways we accomplish this is through unexpected partnerships with brands that share similar values,” said Tressie Lieberman, Chipotle vp for digital and off-premise. “Our focus is to super charge our super fans and create things that they will love.”
This marks the first time Chipotle has done a menu item with a partner brand. The menu item “celebrates our dual commitment to support plant-based lifestyles and responsibly sourced products, and features fresh and real ingredients,” said Kory Marchisotto, E.l.f. CMO.
The collaboration will be promoted across social platforms including Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter and Clubhouse. On TikTok, the brand will be launching a remix of its hit “Eyes, Lips, Face” song created for an earlier TikTok campaign. The new version, “Eyes. Chips. Face,” enlists the artists of the original song, iLL Wayno and Holla FyeSixWun. “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” winner Trixie Mattel and former “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant KimChi will promote the collection in a tutorial on Trixie’s YouTube profile on March 10. The brands will also hold a March 5 giveaway on Instagram. On March 8, Marchisotto and Lieberman will host a Clubhouse talk for International Women’s Day. The NTWRK drop will be hosted by DJ Brittany Sky on March 10.
E.l.f.’s new eyeshadow palette takes inspiration from all of Chipotle’s ingredients. Every purchase comes with a promo code for a free order of chips and guacamole. The “Make it Hot” lip gloss is inspired by hot sauce and has a plumping effect that causes a tingling sensation.
Beauty collabs with food and beverage chains to raise brand awareness have become a global phenomenon. While still not common in the U.S., they have been popular in China. In December 2020, L’Oréal teamed up with KFC in China to promote the beauty brand’s “milk tea” toner, opening a branded pop-up shop for milk tea. This followed an earlier partnership with hotpot chain Din Tai Xiang. Milk tea and bubble tea chains have been a big focus for brands in China; Fenty Beauty, Clarins, L’Oréal and Clinique are among those that have teamed up with Heytea. Maison Martin Margiela’s fragrance, meanwhile, did a collaboration with Seesaw Coffee in October 2020.
The collabs are useful for new customer acquisition. According to Marchisotto, 100% of sales from the previous Chipotle collaboration were from new customers. “I believe the real value of a brand is thinking about how you engage, entertain and bring the consumer into the experience in different ways,” she said. “When you break out of the constraints of what you’re supposed to do within a certain industry and outside of outdated perimeters, that’s when the magic really happens.”
Both E.l.f. And Chipotle are known for innovations on new digital platforms such as TikTok, which has been especially important during the pandemic. E.l.f. has also been an early adopter on Triller and Twitch.
“Increasing access to Chipotle has been part of our ongoing digital strategy, but as soon as the pandemic shifted customer behavior, we moved quickly to build awareness with campaigns ranging from free delivery to TikTok digital menu hacks,” said Lieberman. She noted that Chipotle’s digital sales grew by 174% in 2020.
“E.l.f and Chipotle both operate in the zone of disruption and breaking boundaries and moving outside of the expected,” said Marchisotto. “Chipotle shares our values and aspirations to engage with consumers in totally new ways.”