Ipsy on Thursday entered the personal care space with the launch of new brand Refreshments, the company announced.
The brand will feature clean, cruelty-free and vegan products, including hand and body cream, face wipes and body wash, as well as a razor kit and shave cream. The products are made without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, gluten and nut allergens, according to Refreshments Senior Vice President Sabeen Mian.
The company in November piloted the brand to "a small portion" of its members and generated 150,000 sign-ups in the first month, according to the release. The brand is now available to both members and non-members.
Launching a brand online has never been easier to do, making the space increasingly saturated with competition. Even as the pandemic drove up e-commerce sales across the industry, brands are expanding into other product categories in an effort to retain those customers they've gained and increase their spend. For companies like Ipsy, which sells outside brands through its boxes, an owned brand also delivers higher margins.
For Ipsy, which operates in the beauty category, expansion may be part necessity as well. The beauty category, like apparel, has taken a hit since the pandemic started as consumers find themselves working from home and going out less frequently. Skincare and personal care, on the other hand, have benefited during the pandemic, according to 1010data from last year. A return to makeup purchasing may be on the horizon, but skincare is a better bet for growth in the short term, according to McKinsey.
"Beauty and makeup have long been associated with self-expression and experimentation, while personal care has lagged far behind," Mian said in a statement. "With Refreshments, we wanted to inject fun and personality into the bathroom with products that anyone and everyone can feel good about using."
Ipsy hasn't stayed still since the pandemic took hold, though. In July, the brand rolled out a new personalization feature for its Glam Bag Plus members, allowing them to have a greater say in the products they receive. Ipsy in October also announced that it snapped up competitor BoxyCharm to form Beauty For All Industries. And earlier this month, the company updated a previous promise to invest in Black-owned brands with the announcement that it would invest $7 million to back that pledge in 2021.
Ipsy isn't along in eyeing a new product category for growth either. DTC shoe brand Allbirds moved deeper into apparel in October with the launch of a collection featuring a T-shirt, wool cardigan, wool jumper and a puffer jacket. Mattress brand Casper has launched other sleep-related products over the years, like dog beds, bed frames, bedding, a smart nightlight and gummies made with CBD and melatonin.