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What Happened to Beautycounter?

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Beautycounter has been discontinued! In the meantime, I have recommendations for Beautycounter product swaps linked in this post. Also, be sure to join my email list so you can be the first to know when your Beautycounter favorites come back.

On May 6, Beautycounter consultants found out that Beautycounter and its products won’t be returning until late 2024. That also means that thousands of Beautycounter consultants no longer have a source of income. I am disappointed since I love and use their products, and financially, it’s a big hit to our household. I’ve been with the company for 8 years and have consistently been one of the top 3-5 sellers in the entire company. While most consultants who made a significant income built teams to do so (and worked their booties off to support them), I made the vast majority of my paycheck from my own personal sales.

What Happened to Beautycounter?

In short, the founder of Beautycounter, Gregg Renfrew, sold the company to a private equity firm, Carlyle, a few years ago — I think that was the biggest mistake. However, I’m not certain Gregg wanted to sell to Carlyle. The rumor mill has said she was outvoted by the board, mainly one key investment group who wanted to divest.

So why did Carlyle buy it? My thought when they bought it was that their plan was to increase margins and then sell it to a larger company, like Johnson & Johnson, who wanted to get into the clean beauty business, using an established player rather than create their own formulations.

Beautycounter Controversy

While I disagreed with who Gregg sold the company too, as a business owner, I can understand why she did it. Growing a business is exhausting — exhilarating and rewarding, yes, but also exhausting. Add 30,000 women to the mix and yowza, that’s a lot of pressure (and drama). I don’t fault Gregg or the board for wanting to sell and make a substantial profit — companies do that all the time. When you start a business, an exit strategy is very often planned at the same time. The problem was with who purchased the company. If you know who Carlyle is, the massive implosion that followed can’t have been a surprise.

I don’t think Carlyle fully understood the consultant business model (which is why the compensation plan changes didn’t go over well) and when couldn’t make the money they anticipated, so they planned to exit. They stopped funding the business (that part has been confirmed) and that is why Counter Brands went bankrupt.

Gregg Renfrew purchased back the intellectual property (IP) — the Beautycounter name, the formulations, etc. — but getting the company back up is much more complicated than a Poshmark transaction. When that happened, the original return date that was communicated of May 1 was laughable. I never even shared that date with my clients because it was truly unrealistic.

When that relaunch didn’t happen, I still never shared a return date since we didn’t have one. When companies have launches — whether it’s a new product, a new website or a new arm of the business — nothing is confirmed until it happens. And these types of transactions and ownership changes typically take MONTHS to iron out, not a week like Gregg communicated when she bought it back.

What happened with Beautycounter consultants?

They essentially lost their jobs. Gregg said Beautycounter will come back in Q4, but essentially the company is gone. Counter Brands (which is different from Beautycounter) filed bankruptcy and went into foreclosure (which isn’t as dramatic as it sounds, but rather a business move that makes sense financially) and Gregg’s new company – G2G – is just kind of a shell. It’s an LLC name that owns some assets (the IP, mainly); it’s not a functioning business where consultants can make money.

I didn’t realize I had so many Beautycounter consultants following me on Instagram but I’m getting lots of DMs about what this all means — I guess because I have shared my thoughts on it and been vocal that Beautycounter is NOT my only source of income — so while I had a call for just MY team, I also hosted a call for consultants who were on other teams. I will send you a link to the recording if you fill out this form.

I have so many more thoughts about all this from a business perspective– I worked in finance for 15 years, including at Goldman Sachs – and the fastest way to share information will be through a zoom call for Beautycounter consultants. I also have thoughts for Beautycounter consultants and what their next steps should be.

Where can you buy Beautycounter?

While I get to try a lot of beauty brands for my job (and have a few I love), Beautycounter was my go-to when someone asked for help with a skincare routine. As you know, their products are clean and work VERY well for almost everyone.

You CAN still buy Beautycounter at Ulta. After that, there is not a confirmed date that the products will be back. I’m working on putting together recommendations to replace your go-to’s, whether you used Countertime, Countermatch, CounterControl or the beloved Overnight Resurfacing Peel and All Bright C Serum.

If you are one of my clients, that will hit your inbox soon. If you aren’t one of my clients, you can sign up for my beauty emails here. And, of course, my blog will be updated with that information ASAP too.

While many people lost their jobs yesterday — myself included — I have always found a way to be successful, even when things looked very dire in my personal and professional life. This will be no different. It will be stressful, for sure, but we aren’t the first people to lose our jobs and there is always a viable next step. Let’s go.

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    6 responses to “What Happened to Beautycounter?”

    1. So the products that are available are only available through Ulta? So disappointing because I love this line and my skin is very sensitive but I also understand. You were always so helpful with my orders!

      • Correct. I know it’s SO disappointing. I’m hopeful they’ll be back later this year and I’m working on recommendations for replacements in the meantime!

    2. But how much stock does ulta actually have? Their website has basically nothing in stock and neither does my local store.

    3. Thank you for this post! Will you be sending out the Zoom recording for folks who registered but couldn’t attend live?

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