NFTs and Beauty Brands: What’s in the Cards?

Fashion, sneakers, art, and makeup. Big-name beauty brands have found a niche inside the NFT market. Here’s what you should know.

E.l.f cosmetics has always been an affordable, high-performance fan-favorite among beauty lovers. One of their mascaras boasts a review where it didn’t budge at all, even after a spin class. Another review raves about this subtle lip stain that took TikTok by storm. Beauty experts often praise their wide range of affordable makeup brushes. The line is available at Target, making it accessible to makeup newbies who may find Sephora too intimidating.

In June of 2021, the internet’s favorite bargain beauty brand launched an NFT to offset its carbon footprint. The carbon emissions are largely a reason why many refuse to dip their toes into NFTs–but with the carbon-neutral launch, the collectibles appeared more tantalizing than ever. They sold out almost instantly.

The collection is called the Crypto Collection and was developed with the creative agency Movers+Shakers.

Interestingly, the brand has chosen to launch their NFT at a similar price point to that of their cosmetics. the “Ne.l.f.Ts” are priced at the same level as their retail counterparts. Golden Poreless Putty Primer Dime, the most expensive offering of the bunch, costs just $9.

It makes sense that the NFTs were flying off the “shelves.”

More Beauty NFTs from Givenchy, Estee Lauder, and Maybe Even Fenty Beauty

Another brand in October of 2021 launched a pride collection NFT to benefit the LGBTQIA+ community. From Givenchy’s website, the statement about the collection is as follows:

“Titled “Pride”, the artwork created by Rewind Collective for Givenchy Parfums is a series of animated portraits symbolising diversity, the assertion of identity and the fight for equal rights. Innovative photos, which the collective reinterpreted digitally in the colours of the Rainbow Flag, thus expressing Givenchy’s commitment to a more diverse, more inclusive, in short, more universal kind of beauty.

Nars cosmetics celebrated their famous “orgasm” blush by commissioning artists such as Sara Shakeel, Azéde Jean-Pierre, and Nina Kraviz. The new owners of the NFTs gained access to new products to accompany their new digital token.

Even more recently, Estée Lauder has sprung onto the NFT scene with the announcement that they will be attending the first-ever virtual fashion week. The brand will be participating within the metaverse platform Decentraland. To celebrate, they are also launching their first-ever wearable NFT.

Excitingly, the brand has partnered with Alex Box, a prominent female artist in the digital art space. The collaboration is based on their best-selling serum. Users will be able to  step virtually inside the Advanced Night Repair “Little Brown Bottle” to unlock a digital wearable glow, inspired by their Advanced Night Repair serum. In even better news, through March 24-28, 10,000 of these NFTs can be claimed for free if participants are attending Metaverse Fashion Week.

“It marks a pivotal point for Estée Lauder in how we reach and engage new and existing consumers in the metaverse,” said Stéphane de La Faverie, global brand president, Estée Lauder & AERIN Beauty and group president of The Estée Lauder Companies.

This new territory marks two more firsts for the brand, Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) and its first wearable NFTs. More and more brands are seeing doors open up inside the metaverse. There are rumors that Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is next in line to making the digital leap into NFTs. The brand is no stranger to fashion shows, as its sister company, SavagexFenty, has put up jaw-dropping runway shows season after season.

According to an article from Beauty Packaging, they say, “Rihanna has reportedly filed a trademark to sell Fenty Beauty products as virtual cosmetics, hinting that the beauty brand could be entering the metaverse in the future.”

The trademark applications are said to have been filed through Roraj Trade LLC, and include “downloadable virtual goods comprising cosmetics, makeup and hair accessories” for use in online virtual worlds, retail stores, online environments, NFTs, and digital media.”

Beauty NFTs are Expanding the Metaverse’s Reach to Normal, Everyday Consumers

But what does this all mean for the beauty world? Blockchain tech, when marketed and utilized by companies correctly, can benefit both consumers and brands. The chatter and digital exposure can boost a beauty company to new heights and increase engagement with customers.

However, it seems there is a rift between the current customer base and NFTs. Though most people are technologically literate, the basics of NFTs can boggle people’s minds. People wonder how NFT art can sell for millions when to some, it doesn’t “really exist.”

With the $9 someone could spend on an E.l.f. NFT, they could also buy a physical product with the same amount of money.

However, the possibilities that lie within the online world are essentially endless. The digital world of the brand has no need to mirror the physical one exactly. This can offer customers new experiences, reach younger audiences, and expose the brand to a new community of people.

We have yet to see what Metaverse Fashion Week holds for the beauty and fashion industry. Potentially, the new venture could make or break brands if the event is successful enough. MFW certainly has enough big-name brands and fashion designers to put on a good show, but what remains to be seen is the impact it will have on the industry, in the months and years to come.

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