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For The Love Of Lipsticks: How D2C Beauty Brand SUGAR Is Painting It Red

For The Love Of Lipsticks: How D2C Beauty Brand SUGAR Is Painting It Red

Learning from the failure of their first beauty startup, SUGAR Cosmetics cofounders Vineeta Singh and Kaushik Mukherjee capitalised on customer feedback and market research to create a formidable D2C beauty brand

The cosmetics brand has carved a niche in the INR 600 - INR 700 price segment, balancing retail expansion with a D2C-first approach for its products built around trending themes and Indian skin tones

SUGAR crossed INR 100 Cr in net revenue for FY2020 and with revenue share from its native D2C app and website growing to 65% in August 2020 from 35% before March 2020

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together,” said Elizabeth Taylor.

For women, lipstick is not just a cosmetic product, it connotes confidence, fearlessness and independence. A woman’s love for lipstick goes way back to 3500 BC when for the first time the queen of ancient Sumeria coloured her lips using white lead and crushed red rocks. The red lip paint was then popularised by Egyptians including Queen Cleopatra, who crushed red cochineal insects to create the deep shade of red that epitomises lipsticks. Later by Queen Elizabeth and then by Hollywood icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor.

For Vineeta Singh too, CEO and cofounder of SUGAR Cosmetics, the fascination with lipsticks comes because it is an instant mood lifter. “Like most women, I wear lipstick for myself — it makes me feel more confident and instantly lifts up my mood no matter how low I feel. The joy of discovering a colour that brightens you up is absolutely incomparable!,” says the cofounder of SUGAR Cosmetics, a fast-rising D2C brand in the cosmetics category.

Vineeta had always felt very strongly about building something with women as the core target audience and that’s how SUGAR Cosmetics was born in 2015, with just two products — a black kajal or kohl and a black matte eyeliner. The eyeliner went on to become a bestseller and paved the way for SUGAR to expand its stable to 450 stock keeping units (SKU) today. The success has netted SUGAR revenue of INR 100 Cr for FY2020 with more than 650K followers on Instagram, 200 Mn impressions across all social media channels and 2 Mn monthly visits to its website.