Well Groomed

Direct-to-consumer beauty companies bypass brick-and-mortar retailers

Per Cassandra’s newly released SHOP Report, young consumers primarily purchased beauty and grooming products in-store over the past year (72% in the U.S. and 57% in the UK). However, online and mobile beauty shopping could soon climb thanks to a fresh crop of direct-to-consumer companies removing traditional stores from the grooming equation.


Created to simplify beauty by combining clinically-validated skincare formulas with advanced makeup technology, Onomie promises the highest grade ingredients at a more affordable price than the typical luxury beauty brand. Its patent-pending formulas include the Bright Concealing Elixir, which earned a place among Allure’s “Best of Beauty 2016” winners and Refinery29’s “Beauty Innovators.” The company is decidedly pro-female: product shades are named after brilliant women from history, and it has committed 1% of annual profits to sponsor first-generation female high school graduates in low-income countries through its partnership with She’s The First.


Packaged in a thoughtful, minimalist, and portable-friendly way, Stowaway makeup is designed for those who don’t want to cart around an arsenal of full-sized beauty products. All items are TSA-approved, making them ideal for frequent fliers. Knowing that brands sell items with the highest markups and best margins for them and their retail partners, founders Julie Fredrickson and Chelsa Crowley set out to challenge the status quo. "Our attitude was we don't need to leave room for Sephora's margin; we can just sell it to you directly so that it can be half the size and half the price," Fredrickson told ADWEEK.


Like skincare-as-makeup proponent Glossier, CONTEXT offers a simple skincare line derived from natural ingredients along with a range of lipstick, nail polish, and candles. The unisex brand utilizes herbal extracts and rich botanical oils to create pure products that accommodate a vast range of skin types. Offerings are particularly suited for sensitive skin, as all are dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, and noncomedogenic. As part of CONTEXT’s commitment to cruelty-free products, each herbal face cream and anti-aging skincare product is made in the USA and formulated without phthalates, chemical fragrances or parabens.