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In The News: ingredient launch, AI for R&D, ophthalmology and makeup, retail deals, CM acquisition

The Estée Lauder Companies further leverages AI, Clinique brings in Dr. Brissette to help with NPD, Blandino and Johnson's newest brand launches at Ulta, Mitsui acquires US beauty maker, and more!

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

💧❗️Rheology Revamp

This month, beauty ingredient maker Lubrizol launched a new rheology modifier. The hydrophobically-modified polymer promises to deliver superior thickening, clarity, and suspension while not affecting foam volume or morphology, according to a media release the company sent.

This latest ingredient in the Lubrizol line of Carbopol polymers is called Carbopol® SC-800 and is suited for use in skin cleansing product formulas: shower gels, facial cleansers, scrubs, shampoos/scalp cleansers, etc.

And Lubrizol believes that its latest rheology modifier will make it possible for formulating chemists to “create unique aesthetics in skin cleansing products.”

🤖💋AI meets R&D at ELC

Yesterday, Google Cloud announced a new partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies. ELC has worked with the platform before; but this new deal is all about AI.

The beauty maker is bringing AI tech to its digital consumer experience and plans to leverage the technology to more fully understand consumer sentiment, to gather insights for R&D, and to build closer relationships with consumers who experience the company’s brands digitally.

“At The Estée Lauder Companies, we aim to delight consumers with transformative products and services. Through our collaboration with Google Cloud, we are creating high-touch, personalized experiences online that our consumers expect from every interaction with our brands,” says Gibu Thomas, EVP of Online at ELC, in Tuesday’s press release.

“By working with Google Cloud's generative AI technologies,” he says, “our data science teams are unlocking new ways to serve our consumers.”

This latest addendum to the ongoing collaboration between ELC and Google Cloud only compounds what’s possible with data, with consumer intent modelling, with personalization, and more—at and beyond Lauder.

“The beauty market is undergoing a significant transition, with heightened consumer expectations, ever-changing trends, and a shift to personalization,” notes Thomas Kurian, CEO of the Google Cloud platform, in his remarks to the press.

“Our work with The Estée Lauder Companies to build a foundational data platform is now helping drive new generative AI use cases that will transform the consumer experience and the beauty industry overall.”

👁️👁️All Eyes on Safety

Clinique has brought on an ophthalmologist to help with new product development and assist with both internal and external education on eye safety.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Brissette to the Clinique family, inspired by her impact in the ophthalmology field in both her contributions to medical literature and in her work with daily patients,” says Janet Pardo, SVP of Global Product Development at Clinique—a brand owned by The Estée Lauder Companies.

“We look forward to this partnership, including the critical expertise and insights she brings in helping Clinique continue to carry out our commitment to safety at every step,” Pardo adds in comments ELC shared in a press release this past week.

New York City – based Ashley Brissette, MD, MSc, FRCSC, is the brand’s first “guiding ophthalmologist.” She is also a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology professional association and works with the New York Ranger NHL hockey team.

According to this month’s press release, Dr. Brissette will appear in a first campaign this month—one featuring Clinique’s new High Impact High-Fi™ Full Volume Mascara.”

💄Power Couple

Over the weekend, the second brand launched under Toy Box Brands, landed at Ulta Beauty. Polite Society is a new color cosmetics brand from Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson—the founders of Too Faced Cosmetics.

“Polite Society is your permission to wear your truth loudly, proudly,” says Blandino, in a press release confirming this month’s Ulta Beauty launch (which WWD reported on in late June). “In Polite Society,” he explains, “you are the trend. This is your moment to ‘makeup’ your own rules and let makeup liberate you, expressing exactly who you are and who you're meant to be.”

The exclusive retail deal puts Polite Society in 750 Ulta Beauty doors across the US. For now that’s a portfolio of just 4 products: Greatest Lashes of All Time Mascara, B.I.G. Mouth Lip Plumping Oil Gloss, More than a Pretty Face Foundation, and Go flush Yourself Blush & Glow Face Palette. The line is also available on the brand’s own ecommerce site.

Earlier this year, Toy Box Brands launched Diamond Drunk, a line of scented jewelry care products “designed to keep your diamond, gold and platinum pieces refreshed and sparkling with a nightly beauty ritual for your jewelry,” according to a press release issued in July.

🛒🧴Category Management

“The Mad Rabbit team continues to elevate the skincare and tattoo industry, which is quickly rising in popularity. We are proud to share this brand with our customers and address their need for tattoo care,” says Walmart Associate Merchant Austin Stevens in a recent press release announcing the retailer’s partnership with the California-based brand.

Mad Rabbit will be the discount department store’s first full line of tattoo (skin)care; and as of this month seven Mad Rabbit skincare products will be available in nearly 2,000 Walmart doors and on dot com: a Tattoo Balm, a Soothing Gel, a Tattoo Balm Stick, an SPF, a Numbing Cream, Daily Lotion, and Daily Lotion in a tube.

According to 2023 data from independent tech research site EarthWeb, more than 50% of the US population under 40 has a tattoo. And across the generations, more than 145 million people in the US are tattooed.

Mad Rabbit, launched by Oliver Zak and Selom Agbitor in 2019, boasts “selling one tattoo balm every 90 seconds and [having] helped preserve more than 3 million tattoos to date.”

Zak commenting for the press this month says, “We are thrilled to launch at Walmart and are grateful that they believed in Mad Rabbit. This collaboration,” he expects, “will allow us to broaden our reach within the tattoo community, providing consumers with many points of purchase while also introducing new customers to the brand.”

💋📊Beauty Deal

This past week, international trade and development company Mitsui & Co., Ltd. expanded its Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) business unit into the US with the acquisition of New Jersey – based contract manufacturer D-LAB.

Established in 2001, D-LAB (short for Dermaceutical Laboratories) serves brands with R&D, formulation, and manufacturing capabilities in skincare, color cosmetics, hair care, personal care, OTC, and more.

“After acquiring all the shares in D-LAB, Mitsui will position the company as its core BPC business in the Americas and will propose unique concepts, functional materials and new technologies from Japan [where the company is headquartered]. Furthermore, by leveraging its raw material procurement capabilities and realizing synergies with its existing BPC business assets, Mitsui will work to build a BPC business cluster in the Americas on a large scale,” explains the company in a recent press.

And D-Lab Co-President Wendy McEvoy is pleased with the deal and looking to the future. “Both Jimmy Chang and I are excited to pass the torch to Mitsui & Co,” wrote McEvoy in a post here on LinkedIn. “We believe the family we have built at DLAB will be in good hands; and we are committed to continue to support and grow internally and externally.”

The Mitsui & Co., Ltd. international trade and development business reaches far beyond the #beautyindsutry. The company’s roster of business units includes Mineral & Metal Resources, Energy, Infrastructure, Performance Materials, Nutrition & Agriculture, Iron & Steel, Retail, Wellness, IT & Communication, and more!


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