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Why Kylie Jenner's cosmetics line could be losing its luster

Michael Van Schoik

Kylie Jenner's lip line may be losing its gloss.

According to the New York Post, Kylie Cosmetics is struggling to sustain consumer loyalty, with sales slipping as first-time customers have not been returning.

Jenner's privately-held company has been around for three years and is reportedly in talks with Coty Inc. to acquire a majority stake for $600 million. Despite this, the cosmetic line's sales have declined 14 percent this year through May.

The 21-year-old Jenner became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in March, according to Forbes. This followed the Kylie Cosmetic's milestone moment where it signed an exclusive deal with Ulta, the beauty retailer, in November. Jenner's company previously only sold its various makeup products online and briefly in pop-up shops.

Now, Forbes estimates the company to be worth nearly $900 million.

The company's revenues reached an all-time high in November 2016, one year after the first product was launched. Two years later, revenues were down by 62 percent, according to the Post. The company's overall drop is partly due to its struggle to retain its 1.5 million online customers.

Between June 2016 and May 2019, 60 percent of the brand's customers had only made one purchase from the company's Web site and Ulta.com, the Post reported.

“The Kylie Jenner brand is very valuable, but consumer loyalty is a huge piece of a brand’s value,” Jaimee Minney, senior vice president of Rakuten Intelligence, told the Post. “Her brand power brings people in, but the big question is whether it keeps people loyal.”

Jenner's products were a huge hit when they debuted in August 2016, in part due to her large social media presence. Her product's success continued to grow in February 2016 when Kylie Cosmetics released three new shades for her Kyshadow lip kits. According to the Post, they were up on eBay before the sale even ended with a starting price of $225 — nearly eight times their original $29 price tag.

But now, the makeup line has seen a growing string of online complaints. Many shoppers have reportedly taken to the internet to complain about lousy customer service, a lack of a refund or return policy, order mix-ups and quality issues associated with the products.

On Ulta.com, the $49 Momager Kit — named after Kylie's mother Kris Jenner — recently showed 16 one-star reviews compared to 13 five-star reviews for the eyeshadow and lipstick combo. Lip products, which account for roughly 69 percent of Jenner's sales, according to the Post, have appeared to do better than some of her newer makeup sets.

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According to the Post, sales of the lip products have declined 2.3 percent from June 1, 2016, to May 31, 2019, compared with an industry-wide decline of 5.3 percent for lip merchandise.

However, sales of the brand’s eye and face makeup are down 29 percent and 8 percent, respectively, over a two-year period ended in May, while demand for such products has generally risen over the same period, according to the Post.

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