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What successful beauty startups are focusing on now

Apr 03, 2019

Highlighting Next Founders alum venture Sampler and its brand focus.

The Beauty & Money conference taking place in Los Angeles on April 25th ran a competition to find 12 beauty startups they think are the most interesting. They had 18 judges identify the most interesting and pick 12 winners and the winners are described below. (Full disclosure: I was one of the 18 judges.) What’s so interesting about the winners is that their focus tells us where the beauty industry is going. I’ve met or spoken with every one of the winners and here are the broad categories they fall into:

Clean Beauty

“Clean” is defined differently by various people but everyone agrees that clean products should be safe and nontoxic. Some people extend the concept to include effective, ethically-sourced and environmentally sensitive but not everyone agrees about those extended definitions. Rich Gersten of Tengram Capital, another one of the judges at Beauty & Money, told Glossy recently, “clean” and “natural” are “no longer differentiators,” they’re table stakes for being in the business. “]T]here’s probably a time five years from now,” he said, “where, if you’re not natural and clean, you’re not on the shelf.” Consistent with those comments, almost every one of the winners defines themselves as “clean” but they also have other characteristics that make them unique.

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