YouTuber Christen Dominique’s Brand Enters Nordstrom And Launches Glow Enhancer Skin Gloss
Beauty influencer Christen Dominique isn’t afraid to reveal skin issues in her makeup tutorials. “I always like to start with a fresh face to show the thorough steps and tips to a beauty routine. I have hereditary dark circles, acne scarring, texture from when I was younger. My skin isn’t perfect,” she says. “I like to share all of that at the start of a video to let my followers know I get it, and I’m here for them.”
Dominique’s flawed skin was the impetus behind her brand Dominique Cosmetics’ latest product Skin Gloss, a versatile bronzer, blush and glow booster containing hyaluronic acid that’s a bridge between cosmetics and skincare, and is the ideal canvas to illustrate its results. Skin Gloss arrives in Dominique Cosmetics’ assortment as it extends its distribution reach to Nordstrom with a lineup of palettes and lip products.
In a YouTube post revealing Skin Gloss, Dominique explains the product is designed to impart a glassy finish and isn’t greasy. “It makes my skin texture look smoother, which is a huge plus for me because I want to have that dewy glow, but I don’t want it to highlight the texture on my skin, and I’m always so worried about that,” she says in the post, adding, “You can still get that same glow that the girl with perfect skin has. Trust me, you’re going to love it. That’s why I can’t put it down.”
While the softness in the color cosmetics category hasn’t dented Dominique Cosmetics—its year-over-year sales have jumped 277%—Dominique points out her followers are more interested in featuring their complexion than they’ve been in the past, and Skin Gloss responds to that interest. The product is available in four colors—glossed peach, golden dew, sunset glow and copper light—and priced at $25 for a single item and $80 for a bundle.
“For the everyday makeup lover, it’s about enhancing their complexion and bringing out their natural beauty, a better-version-of-themselves kind of look,” says Dominique, who’s attracted over 6 million followers across various social media networks. On YouTube alone, she has 4.2 million-plus subscribers, and her videos have drawn 244 million views.
“For the everyday makeup lover, it’s about enhancing their complexion and bringing out their natural beauty.”
In 2018, Dominique Cosmetics premiered online with Latte, a 10-shade multipurpose neutral eyeshadow palette with pops of color. Earlier this year, the brand grew its eyeshadow palette franchise with Latte 2, an array of 10 essential glitter and matte shades. In total, Dominique Cosmetics has about 25 stockkeeping units priced primarily from $12 to $44. After entering Ulta Beauty shortly after its debut, the brand switched gears and landed at Sephora last summer. Currently, it’s in 420 Sephora doors nationwide. Since transitioning from Ulta Beauty to Sephora, Dominique Cosmetics has experienced a 451% lift in sales.
Asked about the decision to sell at Sephora rather than Ulta Beauty, Dominique says, “Honestly, we had to choose which one we wanted, and that was very difficult. I wish I could have gone with both. Sephora was a prestige name that I could have never imagined myself going into, so it was fun to think of my brand being able to be there and bringing the brand to the next level of prestige.” With the brand rolling out to Nordstrom, she notes, “We are able to reach new demographics.”
To date, Dominique Cosmetics’ core customers have been women aged 18 to 34. About 95% of them are based in the United States, and California, Texas, New York and Illinois are among its top markets in the country. Nearly 50% of the brand’s customers have made repeat purchases as of January this year, and its yearly website visits have skyrocketed 277%. Dominique funds the business through her influencer earnings.
On March 18, prior to a statewide lockdown order in New York to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Dominique Cosmetics’ sales hadn’t been affected by the pandemic. However, several comments on Dominique’s YouTube announcement of Skin Gloss indicate that the brand’s fans are being hurt by the economic collateral of COVID-19 and don’t have the money they previously had to spend on beauty, portending possible impacts to Dominique Cosmetics’ revenue.
“Our motto as a brand is, ‘You are beautiful inside and out, and it’s the inside that really counts,’ and that message sets us apart.”
“I don’t know what’s to come. I am personally just focused on our brand, and it seems to be shining through,” says Dominique. “I’m staying focused on what we want to launch and the reasons behind the launches, and the message we want to send out to our customers.” She emphasizes uplifting, inspiring messages are important to her brand. Skin Gloss’s exterior packaging and component have the adage, “Choose to shine.” Dominique says, “Our motto as a brand is, ‘You are beautiful inside and out, and it’s the inside that really counts,’ and that message sets us apart.”
Dominique’s influencer content is optimistic as well. “Because of what we’re going through right now, we are just trying to stay positive and bring out the message of keeping healthy,” she says. “We’re not really pushing too much of one thing or another. We are just trying to keep a positive message going.” Typically, to create content for Dominique Cosmetics, she continues, “I always think about, ‘How do we bring the product to life for the customer?’ I think about how it feels. Is it satiny, for example? We think about every detail of the product.”
Envisioning future products, Dominique says, “I want to have a full [range of] complexion, accessories, eyes and lips. We are focused on expanding in those areas.” She adds, “If the right opportunity presents itself, I may be interested in expanding to other stores, but that’s not my priority…I haven’t thought that far down the line. Right now, I just want to focus on building the brand and giving it the presence that I believe it deserves.”