Elcie Cosmetics Expands Internationally With Beauty Bay Partnership

Elcie Cosmetics, a favorite of social media influencers, is influencing the beauty market on the world stage.

The brand has made its international debut on Beauty Bay, which bills itself as U.K.’s largest independent online retailer of beauty products. Beauty Bay is Elcie Cosmetics’ only third-party point of distribution outside of Southern California brick-and-mortar beauty destination Naimie’s and puts the brand on track to generate 30% of its sales abroad this year.

“Beauty Bay has great customer service, ships at a very reasonable rate to their customers, and is aligned with some of the best brands Elcie likes to affiliate with,” says Elcie Cosmetics founder Lilit Caradanian. Beauty Bay specializes in picking up beauty brands made famous by YouTubers and Instagrammers. Aside from Elcie Cosmetics, its assortment features Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Ofra, Makeup Geek, Morphe and Mario Badescu.

Elcie Cosmetics

Caradanian has no plans to amplify Elcie Cosmetics’ retail presence beyond Beauty Bay and Naimie’s, although she does dream of unveiling a physical location for Elcie Cosmetics in the future. She opened the Makeup By Lilit studio five years ago in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The studio houses a makeup academy and a full-service salon where hairstylists and makeup artists perform hair and makeup services.

Caradanian worked as a makeup artist for 15 years until she decided to turn her professional focus entirely to Elcie Cosmetics in November. Beauty, however, was not always Caradanian’s main gig. Before launching Elcie Cosmetics, she was graduate student and toiled in corporate finance at Disney. She was doing freelance makeup artistry on the side and began to build a large following on social media. Today, she has 1.1 million followers on Instagram.

The makeup studio exposed Caradanian to a diverse clientele. While applying makeup on clients from different backgrounds with different skin types and undertones, she realized a universal foundation was missing from the makeup segment. That realization led to the development of Elcie Cosmetics’ first product, Micro Silque Foundation. It cost her $100,000 and took over a year to bring the foundation to fruition.

Elcie Cosmetics

Elcie Cosmetics reached profitability six months after the introduction of Micro Silque Foundation. The $45 product is available in 12 shades and remains a bestseller. Caradanian attributes much of the success of the foundation and her brand to beauty YouTubers. She realized the power of influencers during her honeymoon, when influencer Jaclyn Hill talked about the Elcie Cosmetics’ foundation following its release in 2015. “My emails were going crazy,” remembers Caradanian. Hill’s praise of the foundation caused it to sell out in two days.

Elcie Cosmetics has broadened its product selection beyond Micro Silque Foundation. The brand sells 10-plus products, including tools, cosmetic bags and a candle. It recently added a makeup sponge called The Velvet Sponge for $18. At the moment, the product is sold out on Elcie Cosmetics’ website. The brand is on pace to hit $2 million to $3 million in retail sales this year, according to an industry source estimate in WWD.

Caradanian is deeply involved in the product development process. She says, “From formulation to packaging to artwork to marketing, everything has been me from beginning to end.” Elcie Cosmetics is expected to roll out 10 to 12 products this year, double the number of its customary allotment of launches.

Elcie Cosmetics

When choosing products to bring out, Caradanian concentrates on her brand and doesn’t let the noise in the beauty industry distract cloud her judgment. “You can’t let different brands distract you,” she says. “A lot of the time, different opinions will distract and derail you. If you believe in a product, just stay in that direction.”

Caradanian emphasizes Elcie Cosmetics distinguishes itself in the industry by being “one of the few consumer-friendly brands that is not only universal, but it’s created with a pro-artist in mind. It’s easy to use, quality, and does the job.” She continues that the brand’s ideal customer is “Jane Doe.” “She’d be on her job right now working and just living her life,” says Caradanian. “My products are for the everyday girl, really. She’s your next-door neighbor.”