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Kylie Jenner’s $30 skincare range could be her savviest business move yet

Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz

Kylie Jenner’s new skincare line, “Kylie Skin,” is set to launch online later this month. The brand is an offshoot of the 21-year-old billionaire‘s Kylie Cosmetics company, and will start by selling six products, all under $30.

Kylie Skin is the latest in a series of smart business moves from the reality TV star-turned beauty mogul, whose cosmetics company, launched in 2015, was valued at $800 million in 2018.

Jenner is smart to dip into the skincare industry. While color cosmetics (a category that includes foundation, creams, powders, lipsticks, and other color-based makeup) is still popular with young people, it’s facing stagnation, including at Kylie Cosmetics: Sales of Jenner’s famed $29 lip kits dipped 35% in 2018, according to Forbes.

But skincare is just getting started. Sales of skincare products in the US grew by 13% in 2018, hitting $5.6 billion, according to data from market research firm NPD Group. Makeup sales, meanwhile, ticked up just 1%.

What’s more, skincare taps into Jenner’s existing market: millennials. According to data firm TABS Analytics’ annual beauty-buying survey, millennials are the heaviest buyers of skincare. A desire for “dewy” skin is likely prompted by the Instagram selfie (and “shelfie”) phenomenon, so much so that cult beauty brands such as Glossier and Drunk Elephant have built businesses around Instagrammable skincare products. Jenner, with her massive Instagram following and existing brand, is well-positioned to take advantage of the category’s growth.

Meanwhile, Jenner’s half sister, Kourtney Kardashian, is dipping into another thriving industry: wellness. Kardashian’s new lifestyle site, Poosh, is a Goop-esque wellness brand whose first product, drinkable collagen, was released this month. And like skincare, the wellness industry is ballooning: According to the Global Wellness Institute, the global wellness industry grew to be a $4.2 trillion market in 2017, up 12.8% from $3.7 trillion in 2015.

It’s unclear whether the sisters are the true masterminds at work here. One might credit their mother, mom-ager extraordinaire Kris Jenner, with keeping her finger on the pulse of the next big thing. What’s more, the Kardashians, who rose to fame via their reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians, are known for parlaying their family drama into cash, and have been accused of monetizing everything from acne to their father (now mother’s) gender transition to their children.

While Forbes has gotten flack for hailing the youngest sibling of the Kardashian-Jenner clan as a “self-made billionaire,” it’s hard to argue with the success Kylie Jenner has had with her cosmetics company, which she owns outright. And while it remains to be seen if Poosh will become a powerhouse in the wellness space, the massive success of Goop—and the Kardashian’s themselves—suggest it might just get there.

 

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