The manufacturer, a merger of Swiss packaging company Marvinpac and French color cosmetics specialist Strand Cosmetics, has been serving legacy companies like LVMH and L’Oreal in Europe.
Shannaz Schopfer, MS Beautilab North American general manager, said while the company didn’t take into account how the Marvinpac-Strand joint name would translate into English, they determine they could fill sustainability and efficacy spaces in the North American market.
Bringing European sustainability, R&D to North America
With a number of creams, balms, color cosmetics formats and powders already in Europe, Schopfer said the company saw an opening in the US market for a manufacturer with high levels of research and development, as well as clean and sustainable formulations under different metrics.
“Not only are we pushing R&D in a great direction with clean sustainability and performance, but on top of that we have a performance lab where we can supply our clients with some really beautiful backup information on textures, colors, moisturization and hydration, which can then be validated by an outside source,” Schopfer said.
MS Beautilab is looking to target US brands that are interested in the clean and sustainable market. A number of the manufacturer's existing formulas are Sephora and Credo clean and comprise of 95% “natural,” or plant-based ingredients.
To make up for the lack of silicones in clean formulation, Schopfer said the Strand side of the business has developed two patented technologies, Maestra Colors+ and ChronoPower+ to improve the “pick up and pay off” of pigments in color cosmetics.
As the lab continues concrete steps in its expansion into the US, the North American sales team will begin looking for ideal clients on the continent. MS Beautilab won't be the ideal partner for some types of brands, like mass-market brands looking for low-cost manufacturing, brands looking for very small runs or those in the hair care segment, Schopfer said.
“By being so customer-centric and by being partners, we may not be able to work with all the brands,” she said. “We're really trying to be the partners to the smaller up-and-coming brands because we can offer them more time and more customization.”
Adjusting to the North American market means formula, process changes
In order to succeed in the market, MS Beautilab has adjusted a number of their existing European formulas to meet North American consumer needs, Schopfer said.
Among those changes include accommodating more skin types, making lighter foundations or more multifunctional color cosmetics and lightening up cream thickness. She also said they’ve made some of their formulations, like a lipstick developed by Strand, less expensive to fit better into the US market demand.
European consumers are also very interested in highly efficacious emulsions and creams, which tend to be rich in texture and more on the expensive side. To fit those formulas into the North American market, Schopfer said they paired down the benefits in a single product instead of decreasing quality.
As a manufacturer, MS Beautilab also had to readjust how and when they roll out products to clients. The development-to-production process can be somewhat slow in Europe, Schopfer said.
“For the North American market, that could drive Americans crazy,” she said. “They don't want to wait six months until a product has been industrialized or it's gone through stability or compatibility. We've had to ensure that not only do we present it stability and compatibility ready but also that our production facility can follow through.”
Over the first few quarters of 2022, Schopfer said MS Beautilab will become more physically established in the US and finish building out their sales team and will begin taking on clients and launching new North America-specific products at MakeUp LA 2022.