May 17, 2010

Beauty News: The Estee Lauder Companies To Acquire Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics

Here’s a rather interesting bit of beauty news…

Estee Lauder is set to acquire Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics….


The Estee Lauder Companies has announced today that they would acquire Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics which is currently privately owned, the acquisition is expected to close in July 2010.

I think it’s an interesting move for Estee Lauder to take on Smashbox considering they lean towards more mature makeup (Bobbi Brown, Le Mer, Etc….). MAC is probably Estee Lauder’s hippiest brand and adding on Smashbox should appeal to women in their early to mid twenties.

As you probably know Smashbox was founded by great-grandsons, Dean and Davis Factor, of the makeup legend Max Factor. Since its start, Smashbox has established itself as a highly successful prestige cosmetics brand and a top performer in specialty channels.

I look forward to seeing how Smashbox evolves under it’s new leadership.

What do you think?

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Joseph

    Suprising. Estee Lauder also owns MAC and those two lines have such a similar target market. I wonder if they’ll refocus the brand.

    • the Muse

      hello gorgeous! how YOU been? 😀 I miss ya around here! *hugs* I’m interested to see how it all pans out. MAC is probably EL’s youngest brand, Smashbox does somewhat fall into a younger realm as well so it’s an interesting turn of events…I’m curious if Smashbox will continue to run under the same marketing or if they will do anything different with it? Which is equally surprising is EL’s choice to dump Prescriptives which was well received and now, so it seems, replace it with Smashbox. I thought the Prescriptives move was about saving $$ but obviously not the case?

      and you sir need to visit me more often. You know I’m too busy to facebook, you need twitter 😀

  • JoElla

    I don’t really know what to think about this. Part of me is quite “BOOOOOO! Evil Estee gobbles up yet another great brand!” and the other part of me is “YAY Goodies at COS!”

    BUT.. what does this mean for the killer kits at qvc, or the kits that are on auto delivery? How about all the great goodies at ACW??

    It will be quite interesting to see how this all pans out.

    • the Muse

      Hey Joella I think that you’ll still see on QVC for sure BUT not sure about ACW…but than again ACW carries Bobbi Brown which is an EL brand….! 😀

  • Ciambella

    Whoa. Probably doesn’t count as a monopoly yet, but it’s interesting news nonetheless.

    About MAC and Smashbox targeting similar audiences–I always though MAC was more trendy and Smashbox more sophisticated, and that Smashbox targeted the mid- to upper-20s market rather than the early- to under-20s market. It’ll be interesting to see if they decide to change their marketing at all. It looks more like Estee Lauder is filling in an age gap in their range of cosmetic brands.

    • the Muse

      very much a matter of age Ciambella. I think MAC is universal in regards to age but it def focuses on a more youthful market that much is for sure. Smashbox I don’t see so much as sophisticated but I do see it as different style demography.

  • Smirking Valet

    I hope EL doesn’t do anything to change Smashbox. I adore their products!!! Though maybe this will mean fragrances now??

    • the Muse

      I doubt you’ll see much change smirking but damn I can get on board with fragrance 😀

  • mercedes

    ooh cool! i just started getting into smashbox and i love it!! esp. there gel liners! i had no idea that estee lauder owned MAC (best thing on earth) i always thought of mac as a hip fresh brand,and estee lauder always reminded me of my grammie! haha

  • Polina

    Dude, EL isn’t going to stop until they own every makeup company in existence! I hope they don’t screw around with Smashbox because the general consensus is that MAC was changed for the worse once they acquired it. Plus EL has those pesky twice a year price increases

    • the Muse

      hmmm polina I didn’t think MAC really changed too badly hun!

  • clementine

    This is really interesting… My impression of Smashbox is that it’s not as trendy as MAC, not as fresh-faced as Clinique, but not as expensive as Bobbi Brown. It seems similar to all three in some ways, but I can’t actually think of anyone Smashbox would be competing directly with. I don’t see much changing, though, given how diverse EL’s portfolio is.

  • Gia

    I always thought the same thing as a fellow commenter. I always thought Smashbox was on the same level as mac with the same target audience and same sorta price range. But I think that smashbox was always more elegant and sophisticated than artsy and wild mac. I would never go to smashbox for crazy colors or something special but i always go to them for basics that they seem to be known for more.

  • Bora

    I’m suprised to see such outrage and strong feelings about this news around the beauty blogosphere. This kind of stuff happens all the time and it’s no less shocking to me than than when L’Oreal took over The Body Shop or Shu Uemura. The worry is that Estee Lauder will neglect the brand and leave it in a poor shape like it did with Stila or Jane. One good thing that might happen is that Smashbox might get better distribution in other countries. In the UK, it’s pretty much only available via QVC which doesn’t suit everyone (they tend to bundle things up in sets to up the customer spend and they charge ridiculous postage).

    I heard rumours that private equity companies were hovering around Lush like hungry pirahnas ….

    • the Muse

      I do wonder about this myself but I did feel like not much changed in regards to Shu when L’Oreal took over however not much good came from it in the end either since it’s left US counters lol I thought the same about Smashbox myself as I do think this could prove a great way for them to pan out to Europe and Asia, curious if it’ll come to pass.

      and REALLY? I hadn’t heard that about Lush do share!

  • Maribeth

    I am not happy about this. Estee Lauder is greedy and wants to take over everything. First of, smashbox is my favorite brand, one of them and I really hope they DON”T change any formulas in their products, for example: photo finish, photo op, blushes, bronzers, foundation, lips, the eyeshadow pigment could be more improved..I really love Smashbox and they have done 2 things that have disappointed me these past few months..joining with PETA (not about anti animal cruelty anymore, but making money and exploiting women) and now this..why can’t they follow their own lead the way they were doing just perfectly? I am very familiar with Smashbox since I sell the brand and am not looking forward to this change. A true Smashbox fan would understand.

    • the Muse

      Hi maribeth aw I’m sorry to hear all the woe with Smashbox. I honestly don’t think EL will change the formula on Smashbox’s best seller, I think it’ll be safe.

  • Suzanne

    I am so not a happy camper about the news that EL purchased Smashbox. The blamed the demise of Px on the poor economy yet 9 months later purchase Smashbox?!?!?!? I have used Px foundation for 30 years. I am a Level One Cool, Blue/Red, Camellia. There is nothing out there that is an acceptable match. The colors that EL is giving as replacements are truly a joke. They are way too yellow and are nothing I would consider wearing. I have lost all respect for EL and refuse to purchase from any company they have their greedy little fingers in!! There are many that are very unhappy about the way EL left the Px customers out in the cold.