Beuti Skincare, The Brand Behind Kate Middleton’s Favorite Facial Oil, Grows Its Business Beyond Kensington Palace
An influencer with millions of followers tagged your brand. That’s terrific, but it doesn’t match the impact of Kate Middleton being a fan of one of its products.
When word spread that the Duchess of Cambridge keeps bottles of Beuti Skincare’s Beauty Sleep Elixir on her vanity, its sales on its website skyrocketed. In fact, with the initial mention three years ago that the product was a favorite of Middleton’s, the brand’s sales quadrupled just as it was getting off the ground. Since that time, the news has been picked up by countless publications such as People, Harper’s Bazaar, Bustle, Hello, Us and Cosmopolitan.
The buzz and business generated gave Beuti’s founder Leila Aalam a financial and personal boost to grow her brand. New skincare items and possibly color cosmetics are on the drawing board. Beuti currently has only two products: It introduced Pomegranate Glow Enzyme Cleanser in 2017, a cleanser that duals as a face mask, to complement Beauty Sleep Elixir. The products are priced from $70 to $80. Aalam says, “Other products are priced three times as much.”
Distribution expansion is in the works. Beuti recently inked deals to extend its retail footprint to include Harvey Nichols in London, Ireland and Hong Kong, Credo Beauty at Fred Segal in Los Angeles, Verishop.com and SASA.com. The company aims to heighten its global profile in 2020 as it forges further retail partnerships.
“You have to stick with your plan and believe in yourself.”
Like many founders, Aalam, an aesthetician, created her products after being disappointed by the available offerings. In her case, it was eye creams that irritated her eyelids. Beuti’s debut product, Beauty Sleep Elixir, contains a blend of 14 plant oils. Among them are sandalwood nut kernel, chia seed, camellia, cherry seed, strawberry seed, raspberry seed, neroli flower and geranium flower oils. The formula is designed to combat inflammation, redness and signs of aging. Aalam uses the term “inflammaging,” a process she says is caused by chronic inflammation that’s seen not simply on the skin’s surface, but also underlying collagen and elastin degradation her product addresses.
The Beauty Sleep Elixir and the press it sparked caught the attention of Credo, the premiere physical retailer in the United States to put Beuti in its stores and on its online platform. Worldwide, Beuti has been sold at Amazingy in Germany, Blu-Kat in Sweden and several e-commerce players, notably Amazon.
Beuti has repackaged to suit its famous clientele—and the discerning laypeople that turn to it. The brand shifted from plastic to eco-friendly glass bottles and droppers, and a peach color scheme that was unveiled earlier this year at Indie Beauty Expo Berlin. Indie Beauty Expo and Beauty Independent share a parent company, Indie Beauty Media Group.
“An inferior product can sink faster than the Titanic.”
“I couldn’t afford the packaging I wanted at first,” recalls Aalam. Another issue was finding a manufacturer that didn’t require a minimum order of 10,000 units. She finally identified a factory that understood natural ingredients and would do a run of 800. With a limited budget, Aalam was out to produce the best product possible to stoke positive reviews. “That’s also why I launched with one product. I had to get one perfect rather than flooding the market because an inferior product can sink faster than the Titanic,” she says. She purposely misspelled “beauty” as Beuti for her brand’s name and spaced out the letters in the brand’s logo to ignite consumers’ curiousity. Aalam says, “I wanted it to be a logo, not just a word.”
Selling a single product was a challenge for physical stores, she acknowledges, as retailers often prefer a brand with several items. “You have to stick with your plan and believe in yourself,” advises Aalam, encouraging her fellow beauty entrepreneurs to devise cleaver, yet still authentic ways to reach an audience.
With Beuti’s packaging in check, Aalam is moving, albeit at a measured pace, into more merchandise. Currently, she’s testing the product Moonstone Overnight Eye Cream combined with a gua sha tool. “It helps brighten the under-eye area because there is real moonstone with a mineral content that brightens and reduces puffiness,” she explains. Aalam is interested in augmenting Beuti’s pomegranate portfolio as well. She says, “The idea of a makeup range with skincare in mind and focused on healthy ingredients is something I’d like to expand into. There are some good ones—I used RMS—but I’d like to do something different.”
Aalam emphasizes that building a brand, even a brand that’s received a royal blessing, takes patience and growth is frequently slower than founders expect. “When you love your products, you expect everyone will, too,” she says. “I am encouraged with the reviews we get, and that people are finding our products really work and look forward to adding more products and distribution.”