Markwins Beauty Brands acquires Lorac Cosmetics

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Markwins Beauty Brands acquires Lorac Cosmetics
The privately-owned beauty company is known for its portfolio of non-competing color cosmetics brands, like Physicians Formula and wet n wild. With this latest deal, Markwins adds an MUA brand to the mix and there are plans to expand Markwins with acquisitions in another category too.

Late last month Markwins Beauty Brands shared notes with the press about the company’s recent financials. The numbers were (not surprisingly) all positive: a new wet n wild foundation “helped drive a 77% increase in the brand's face business;” ​2017 sales came in at $580m, and the company “reported growth of 35%.”

That press release attributed the company’s success to its vertical business model. CEO Eric Sung-Tsei Chen’s “vertically integrated philosophy [ensures] all aspects of the business operate in-house, including research & development, sales and marketing, [and] manufacturing and operations.”

But much of Markwins’s growth over the years has come by acquisition. In 2003 the company picked up AM Cosmetics, in 2012 Physicians Formula, and in 2015 the Bonne Bell and Lip Smacker brands.

Adding a pro brand

Wednesday, the company announced the acquisition of Lorac, a brand founded in 1995 by professional makeup artist Carol Shaw.

Commenting on the deal, Shaw tells the press, “as the Founder of Lorac, a Pro Artistry brand, I am thrilled to see Markwins re-energizing the brand and taking it to new heights. Markwins recognizes the importance of honoring our PRO heritage and continuing to develop high-quality products that create effortless, Red Carpet beauty for which Lorac is known.”

The deal brings a new consumer to the Markwins’ business, as Chen explains. “Markwins' expanding success is simple at its core: we respect that different people have different needs. Whether culturally or economically, we understand that we need to satisfy the global consumer by continuing to acquire and develop disparate brands – one brand can't conquer the world,” ​he says.

And Lorac grows the company’s business beyond the mass market: “Lorac is the original professional makeup artistry brand, and Markwins is excited to add its unique market-positioning to our expanding brand portfolio,”​ Stefano Curti, Markwins global president, tells the press. “With Lorac, Markwins enters the prestige channel with an iconic Hollywood mainstay – expert products created under the intuition of makeup legend Carol Shaw, resulting in technologies that compel even the sharpest of beauty enthusiasts' critical eye.”

Looking next to skin care

Markwins is looking for more beauty and personal care business to acquire. The company’s recent financials press release asserts that “CEO Eric Sung-Tsei Chen built the California-based company through a scrappy eye for acquisitions, a focus on delivering innovation and value, and an unfailing desire to exceed consumers' expectations.”

Without giving away much the company acknowledges plans to keep growing as a global beauty player, promising, “continued growth that taps into markets worldwide and an ongoing pursuit of the right acquisitions, especially in the skincare arena” ​—a new category for Markwins— “Whatever happens, expect it to happen fast.”



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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