Hourglass will become Unilever’s first color cosmetics brand

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

image via Unilever
image via Unilever

Related tags Unilever Cosmetics

The personal care company announced on Tuesday that a deal has been struck to acquire the makeup brand Hourglass. It’s the latest in a string of Unilever acquisitions to bring prestige personal care and beauty brands onboard.  

The Hourglass acquisition is likely to close in Q3 of this year, pending the customary regulatory approvals. And as is so often the case, the financial terms of the deal have not been made public.

Buying into growth

Unilever has been buying up prestige brands for some time now. It added skin care from Dermalogica, Kate Somerville, Murad, and REN to its portfolio in 2015. And over the past months Unilever has made very strategic investments into other growth categories, capitalizing on market shifts that are changing what profitable beauty and personal care look like.

In September of 2016, Unilever secured a position in the naturals market by buying Seventh Generation​. Commenting on that acquisition decision Nitin Paranjpe, president of Unilever’s home care business said, “Seventh Generation has long been a disruptor in the US marketplace, leading the industry in sustainable innovation while attracting new generations of conscious consumers. This addition to Unilever’s product portfolio will help us meet rising demand for high-quality products with a purpose.”

Late last year Unilever announced it was acquiring the prestige hair care brand Living Proof, as Cosmetics Design reported​.  At the time Alan Jope, the company’s president of personal care, commented that “the Prestige Hair retail market is very attractive and offers significant potential for growth.”

Jope added, in a media release about that deal, that “through compelling product result demonstrations and influencer driven marketing, Living Proof is already a successful business in this space and we look forward to further developing and growing this wonderful brand.”

And now, having announced the deal to acquire Hourglass, Unilever adds color cosmetics to its portfolio.

Acquiring color

The color category is doing quite well. And Unilever’s decision to buy the Hourglass brand seems to affirm industry predictions that the color boom is far from over. “The colour cosmetics category has been showing high growth-rates, driven by social media content, channel diversity and democratisation of professional makeup techniques, and it therefore presents a significant opportunity,”​ acknowledges Jope in the company media release about this deal.

Carisa Janes founded the high-performance beauty brand Hourglass in 2004. And it has since developed a strong reputation for complexion products formulated with actives as well as a loyal consumer base.

Soon, Unilever will be benefiting from these market advantages: “We are delighted to be adding Hourglass to our portfolio of Prestige brands,” ​says Jope. “Hourglass is already a successful brand in this space, offering fantastic make-up products that also deliver skin care benefits, and we look forward to continuing to grow this wonderful brand.”

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