New York City-based cruelty-free beauty brand, Winky Lux, has announced its plans to open a series of five pop-up retail shops after receiving $6 million in Series A funding. As reported by Forbes, the cruelty-free makeup brand will set up shops in NYC, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Savannah, and Nashville this summer.
While it is not a vegan company, Winky Lux is cruelty-free and totes itself as being “toxin-free.” Some of the cult-hit brand’s most popular products are listed on the Winky Lux vegan makeup list. Flower Balm, the company’s best-selling coconut-scented lip stain named for the real chrysanthemum contained within the stick, looks clear in the tube, but once applied, reacts with your skin’s pH levels to create a unique shade of pink. Glimmer Balm, another color-changing lip balm described as “pink infused with a touch of galactic glimmer,” also happens to be vegan.
According to company founders Natalie Mackey and Nathan Newman, the brand draws inspiration for its products by closely monitoring beauty trends on Instagram, Refinery 29, Buzzfeed, and PopSugar in order to develop a product that would be a hit with customers. The founders decided that they wanted to bring their product to market after a successful pop-up shop in Roosevelt Fields Mall on Long Island, where they found that those who had the chance to interact with its cruelty-free cosmetics were three times more likely to purchase again than online customers.
It was the success of the Long Island pop-up that drove Mackey and Newman to create a unique experience at the upcoming pop-up shops, featuring interactive art installations akin to The Museum of Ice Cream in Los Angeles or the impending Museum of Pizza slated to descend upon Manhattan this fall. “The five stores will be experience-first and commerce-second. Our customer wants experiences with friends and have everything they do shareable on social media,” said Mackey.
Once considered baseline for all makeup, cosmetics tested on animals are falling out of favor with a growing number of consumers and legislators. One survey revealed that nearly half of women support a cosmetic animal testing ban and the demand for cruelty-free makeup is expected to grow in India in the coming years. Nearly 40 countries have implemented a ban on animal testing for makeup and proposed legislation in New York, California, and Canada seeks to ban the sale of animal-tested makeup.
Image Credit: Winky Lux