What’s next for BareMinerals, Laura Mercier and Buxom post-Shiseido

After their acquisition from Shiseido by a private equity firm in 2021, makeup brands BareMinerals, Laura Mercier and Buxom are in for a refresh. 

Announced in August 2021, the acquisition of the companies was completed on December 6. The brands now share a central global headquarters on Fifth Avenue in New York under Orveon, the new affiliate that was formed as a part of the deal.

According to new Orveon CEO Pascal Houdayer, who previously served as the CEO of Bioderma parent company NAOS, the brands will each undergo their own transformations, when it comes to identity, international expansion and digital development. Direct connections with consumers will be important. Overall, the company’s top markets are the U.S., the U.K. and Japan, and it has plans to further expand in North American countries and Asia. 

BareMinerals: Back to its clean beauty roots, with the addition of wellness
As the “inventor of clean beauty,” according to Houdayer, makeup label BareMinerals is doubling down on the branding it started with in 1995. 

“We basically want to go back to the initial positioning of the brand and move away from a very non-distinctive clean beauty positioning, because everybody and nobody’s clean,” said Houdayer. Orveon plans to do a brand revamp, with a focus on “modernizing, digitalizing and internationalizing” the brand. 

This will include the incorporation of wellness concepts into the branding, as well as the addition of skin-care ingredients into new products. The formulation process will be overseen by Orveon’s newly hired chief science officer, Mike Wong. New products developed will “replace the existing non-performing SKUs” in the brand’s future product lineup. 

“We want to move the brand from beauty to wellness to health, which will be pretty unique in a makeup and skin-care environment,” said Houdayer.

Digitally, the brand will focus on a new customer relationship management (CRM) system focused on targeting a customer it calls the “healthy purist.” And while the brand has been working with Hailey Bieber as a brand ambassador, Houdayer said there are plans being developed to introduce “a collective of influencers,” with diversity in mind.

Laura Mercier: Makeup artistry and international expansion
For Laura Mercier, the new strategy will be less about revamping and more about “modernizing, digitizing and rejuvenating a bit,” said Houdayer. “The positioning is working well.” 

Laura Mercier’s branding is “all about the artistry and the education we use for makeup artists and influencers around the world,” he said. The brand will continue to build its business in the U.S., which is its biggest single market with 50% of all its sales. It will also focus on modernizing its product lineup and focusing on products and promotions “that resonate better with the millennials,” said Houdayer. International expansion will be a big focus for the brand, which launched in China last August. 

Buxom: Leaning into the plumper resurgence
With its presence limited to the U.S. market, for now, “our little baby Buxom” is ready for its international debut, Houdayer said. Lip plumper has seen a resurgence in recent years as an alternative for fillers, which especially appeals to ingredient-conscious U.S. consumers. But the potential is there for a broader global presence, said Houdayer.

The branding will be all “about self-expression,” he said. “This brand has huge potential, for example, in certain areas and regions where women are not as free as they are in developed markets.”

Digital development: DTC and content
Overall, the digital modernization of all three brands is “about making sure that we have the right data strategy, which has never been worked on,” said Houdayer. 

This will include the acceleration of new DTC functionality, including added online consultations and site content. Content will focus on health for BareMinerals, makeup artistry education for Laura Mercier and self-expression for Buxom. 

“Covid has basically doubled the importance of a direct-to-consumer site,” a trend that is “here to stay,” said Houdayer. The company will also continue to work closely with the brands’ retail partners, such as Sephora, with a goal of reaching its customers wherever they choose to buy. When it comes to sales channels, “we want to serve. We are not here to impose,” said Houdayer. 

Get news and analysis about fashion, beauty and culture delivered to your inbox every morning.