Despite the challenges brought on by the ongoing pandemic, Lawless Beauty had a milestone year in 2021, with major product launches, new hires and distribution expansions that have brought on record growth.
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Brand founder Annie Lawless is continuing that momentum into the new year, starting with the brand’s second skin care-oriented launch, the Forget the Filler Overnight Lip Plumping Mask, which is available now for $21.
The lip mask is the latest product extension from the Forget the Filler franchise, which debuted last January with the Plumping Lip Gloss that’s blended with an ingredient called Maxi-Lip. In clinical trials, the ingredient is said to increase the lip’s volume by 40 percent and hydration by 60 percent. Lawless explained that the product instantly became the brand’s hero product, outperforming sales projections by 1,000 percent and becoming one of the top three best-selling lip glosses at Sephora.
“Even if you put your [face] mask on and you can’t see your gloss or it rubs onto your mask, that ingredient being on your lips is the goal,” Lawless said about the product’s popularity during the pandemic. “Over time it does really improve and enhance your own lip appearance and lip volume.”
Maxi-Lip is also the key ingredient in the new overnight lip mask, with the product using 50 percent more of the ingredient than the lip gloss.
Lawless explained that running the clean beauty brand through the pandemic has made her reassess what kinds of products she wants the brand to offer and what kinds of benefits she and her customers value.
“What COVID-19 has done is it’s made me think way more about the way makeup looks, but what it’s doing for me when it’s on,” she said. “I don’t necessarily need to be wearing makeup all the time anymore. I’m not going to be seeing people most days, which I hate to admit, but that’s the truth, so if I’m going to put makeup on to feel great, is it doing something for me? Is it good for my skin? Is it going to enhance my collagen production?”
The lip gloss’ success coupled with other big product launches led to a record year for Lawless Beauty, with sales in the high triple digits at Sephora and its own website. Lawless Beauty is also one of the fastest-growing brands at Sephora and is outpacing Sephora’s makeup growth, according to Lawless Beauty.
Lawless Beauty also expanded to QVC last June, which has introduced a new set of customers to the brand. The brand outpaced sales projections on QVC in its first year by 22 percent.
“I’ve had such a great time connecting with the audience and people that have never accessed the brand or tried us, but then saw it because they’re regular QVC watchers who buy most of their beauty on QVC,” Lawless explained. “We’re able to access a different audience and a different geographic location and see what they respond to because some of the products that work really well at QVC work OK for us at Sephora and vice versa. It’s just been great to learn about a new customer.”
For Lawless, the connection with customers has always been an important factor in how she operates the brand and her own social media platform. Although she has over 200,000 Instagram followers, Lawless doesn’t consider herself a social media influencer, but rather uses her platform to give an inside look at her daily life as a mother and brand founder and show behind-the-scenes moments from Lawless Beauty.
“I know the term influencer gets thrown around all the time, but I’m definitely not an influencer in the sense that I don’t blog for my job and I don’t do brand partnerships,” she said. “[Lawless Beauty] can really do all of the technically digital savvy things where I can just post content that you can’t get. You can go to Sephora to the thumbnail and see a model applying the gloss, but I can show you how it looks on me this morning. I think that’s the nice thing about having my own separate channel versus having this big influencer brand community. I don’t have any pressure on my account and I can just post whatever, whenever. It just gives people other ways to see the products in a more real-time everyday way.”