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The Success of e.l.f. Cosmetics

Posted by Andrea Welzien on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

The launch of the company e.l.f. (short for EyesLipsFace) in 2004 was fast, and shoppers instantly fell in love with the brand’s quality products at affordable prices. Founders Joseph Shamah and Scott-Vincent Borba met at a party while Shamah was a business student, and Borba was experienced in the beauty industry having launched Hard Candy cosmetics. The idea for the company originated from the duo seeing women driving high-end cars, out buying cosmetics at dollar stores in L.A. Only a few days after coming up with the idea, they sat down to brainstorm, and within months they had a full business plan in place.

The cruelty-free cosmetic company—based in Oakland, California—started out with just 13 products. Items started selling at bargain price points of $1, $3 and $6 and eager shoppers of all ages flocked to shelves to pick up the makeup. Not soon after the launch of e.l.f., the company expanded to include more than 300 products ranging from skincare to mineral-based makeup, beauty tools and more. e.l.f. first launched in regional drugstores as well as Kmart, Walmart, Dollar General and a few Target stores. In 2011, a huge expansion brought them into the majority of Target stores across the country. Now available in 18 countries, their customer demographic spans a wide range, from teens all the way up to women in their 40’s and 50’s.

Marketing strategies have played a large role in the success of e.l.f. In 2007, they launched a beauty blog on their website offering advice and celebrity appearances. Not long after, the amount of time users spent on their website tripled, and online sales from their site quickly made up over half of their total sales! Using social media marketing, they’ve built up a loyal fan base, and have over 2 million website members.

The founders of e.l.f. cared not only about starting a business and becoming successful, but about giving back as well. Only a couple months after the brand launched, they decided to donate 20% of all proceeds from their popular “Shimmering Facial Whip” to Win Against Breast Cancer’s research and facilities. All e.l.f. products are cruelty-free; the brand prides itself on supporting PETA and never testing on animals. In 2011 they helped fund relief efforts for the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami disaster off the coast of Japan.

Then in 2011, TPG Growth bought a majority stake of the company, and Shamah and Borba parted ways. The company still continues their devotion to creating innovative high-quality products at prices that are affordable for everyone.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 at 11:34 am and is filed under Cosmetic Leaders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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Cosmetic Promotions: Retail Beauty Marketing
Cosmetic Promotions, Inc.
2111 W Pine St. Orlando, FL 32805
Phone: 407-310-4839