Michelle Phan has parted ways with L’Oréal, buying her own beauty line from the company. Em Michelle Phan has been sold to Ipsy – a company co-founded by Phan herself.
Phan first partnered with L’Oréal as the first official video make-up artist for Lancôme and launched her cosmetics range in 2013. At the launch, she referred to Em Michelle Phan as “a dream come true”.
Carol Hamilton, President of L’Oréal USA’s Luxe Division, told Cosmetics Business: “Em Michelle Phan was designed as a small startup brand within the Luxe Division of L’Oréal USA. L’Oréal worked collaboratively with Michelle Phan and her community of beauty lovers to build the brand. Together we’ve made the decision to sell em michelle phan to ipsy, a company which Michelle co-founded. We are proud to have worked with Michelle to help bring her vision to life.”
Phan added: “I’m grateful that L’Oréal believed in me and helped me bring my dream of creating a beauty brand to life. I’m excited to be working with Ipsy to bring Em home to my community, the original inspiration for the brand.”
At its launch, Em was widely expected to be a huge success thanks to Phan’s 8 million strong base of YouTube followers. Hamilton commented at the time: “What we believe very strongly is that this is a new business model. We think it’s a huge opportunity to understand the power of building up a whole line online.”
WWD reported that the reason for the sale was because L’Oréal felt the range was too expensive for the star’s young following with an average price of $24 per item.
Last month, it was reported that Ipsy had secured $100m in funding. The company currently offers a beauty subscription services – GlamBags – with 1.5 million members.
A representative from Ipsy commented on its purchase of Em Michelle Phan: "Ipsy has a great relationship with both L’Oréal and Michelle. We are happy we can support Michelle’s desire to bring em back to her community and look forward to keeping you updated with brand developments in the future."
Rival beauty blogger Zoe Sugg launched her own beauty range with UK retailer Superdrug last year, achieving record sales. Prices in the line start at just £3 for a lip balm, making the range more accessible to the YouTube star’s young following.