Slowly but surely, Sephora is continuing to expand its cannabis beauty assortment with the addition of 3-month-old luxury line Saint Jane. On May 7, the collection will be available through pre-order, with a full digital launch planned for May 10.
Saint Jane, which is sold on SaintJaneBeauty.com, at Credo and in select Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus stores (in states that have legalized marijuana and on their respective e-commerce sites), will be sold on Sephora.com. It joins the retailer’s 12 other CBD and cannabis-infused products on its site. Though Saint Jane also sells an assortment of Microdose Lip Glosses with 50 milligrams of CBD, Sephora only picked up its Luxury Beauty Serum, which contains 500 milligrams CBD, to support its skin-care category. It retails for $125 and will be Sephora’s most expensive cannabis product.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in client interest and appetite for CBD-infused products,” said Cindy Deily, vp of skin-care merchandising at Sephora. “Currently, Sephora carries several brands that have CBD-infused products, including Lord Jones, Flora & Bast, Herbivore, Farmacy, Josie Maran and now Saint Jane. We anticipate that this will be an area of continued growth for us, as our clients continue to want to explore what’s new and next in beauty.”
CBD products continue to trend throughout the beauty and wellness segments. Cannabis market research firm The Brightfield Group, projected that the U.S. hemp-based CBD market will hit $22 billion by 2020. The beauty segment is expected to make up 7% or $1.6 billion. Beauty retailers are responding.
Some stores are turning to brands they already carry, like Urban Outfitters with its launch of Love Wellness’ CBD products in April, but major beauty players like Sephora and Ulta have largely turned to the experts in the CBD space. Sephora debuted its offering with Lord Jones in October, which is also only sold online. (Only five of Sephora’s cannabis products are sold in stores — they include Kiehl’s and Peter Thomas Roth, which contain cannabis sativa or hemp oil versus actual CBD). Ulta, for its part, entered the CBD space in March with five Cannuka skin and body products in approximately 1,200 Ulta doors (its 15 stores in South Dakota, Nebraska and Idaho were excluded) and Ulta.com.
Saint Jane, though nascent, makes the distinction that it is a CBD brand through and through, versus a beauty brand that is dabbling in the trend. “There are a lot of brands out there that aren’t 100% CBD. We are focused on being the clean and luxury beauty option within the space,” said Saint Jane founder Casey Georgeson, who cut her teeth in beauty at LVMH’s Kendo Brands. Saint Jane will launch a line of microdose lipsticks and body serums later this summer to fill out its assortment.
Beboe’s new beauty line, Beboe Therapies, which can be found on BeboeTherapies.com and in select Barneys stores, is also after that affluent female clientele with its two hero products: a face serum with 300 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD and sheet masks, retailing for $148 and $78, respectively.
As retail partnerships continue to be a crucial sales and brand-awareness lever for all cannabis beauty and wellness brands, Saint Jane has seen early success at Credo. Since its late-January launch at the clean retailer, the beauty brand’s serum is one of its top 78 best-selling products. On its own site, it has seen sales grow 50% month over month. Given that Saint Jane is targeting a luxury audience, it’s focused on balancing its DTC sales with selling through specialized retail partners — by year end, its direct business will account for about 50% of sales. Still, the brand was community-blocked or “shadow banned” on Instagram prior to launch and has not done any paid Google, Facebook or Instagram advertisements, as those platforms still do not allow drug or drug-related promotions on their sites. “We are focused on our DTC like every new brand, but from SEO terms to payment processors, there have been major roadblocks,” she said. “We don’t have the same tools a normal beauty brand has, but we have been successful despite the challenges.”
Michael Bumgarner, Cannuka founder and CEO, had similar sentiments. “National retail partnerships have been imperative to our brand awareness strategy,” he said. “Cannuka is not currently working with any A-list celebrities to help push our brand forward. Very few beauty brands have ever launched in all doors with Ulta at once, so that was a big win within the CBD category, and all of beauty. Ulta, Neiman Marcus, Free People and Riley Rose are our ‘influencers,’ helping legitimize Cannuka as a trusted brand in a new category.”
Despite the lack of physical store presence for now and the restrictions in online marketing, Saint Jane will support its Sephora.com debut with select samples of its serum (that contain 50 milligrams of CBD) provided through the retailer’s Beauty Insider program, which has around 25 million members. “We know this is an opportunity to tell our story and prove the power of CBD to a large audience,” said Georgeson. “We want to create that noise and get it into the hands of the right shoppers.”