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13th March 2021

Bye-bye Becca: why this cult cosmetics brand failed to survive 2021

We’re diving deep into Becca Cosmetics to understand why this beloved brand met an untimely fate
Bye-bye Becca: why this cult cosmetics brand failed to survive 2021
Photo: Alice @gretalagermaine on Instagram

Last week, Becca Cosmetics announced that they will be closing down in September. This marks an incredibly sad end to an era for makeup artists and beauty lovers alike – Champagne Pop was the cult-status product that taught many of us how to glow.

But how did this happen? We will be diving deep into Becca Cosmetics to understand how this drastic fate came to one of our favourite cosmetics brand in 2021.

From the outset, Becca Cosmetics seemed to tick all of our boxes – they promoted glowy, natural makeup products that were inclusive for many skin tones and also boasted a cruelty-free status. What’s not to love? The brand’s ethos perfectly aligned with current trends in makeup, so how did it all go downhill?

1. People aren’t wearing as much makeup in lockdown

With many people working from home for almost a year now and only venturing out of the house to visit the supermarket, makeup has been low on our list of priorities. It’s no surprise that a cosmetics brand would have struggled through Covid-19.

However, the pandemic has also seen a resurgence in makeup trends and artistic looks through social media (Tiktok, we’re looking at you) causing many other beauty brands to survive or even thrive in this current climate. So there must be more than the lack of makeup wearers that has fuelled this closure.

2. They didn’t diversify into the skincare industry

For many people, skincare is the new makeup. While we’ve always paid attention to our skin, 2020 was the year where many people developed a comprehensive skincare routine and finally learned about things like retinoids and BHAs. It has completely changed our understanding of our complexion, but Becca Cosmetics didn’t get involved in this.

Whereas other brands were launching new skincare lines and even delaying the launch of new makeup products to focus on skincare alternatives, Becca Cosmetics failed to make the switch. We would’ve loved to see to see them venture into this area, and we can imagine them creating lots of brightening serums and glowy moisturisers. Sadly, the brand never expanded into the skincare industry and are potentially paying for it now.

3. Their influencer collaborations never quite hit the mark

Don’t get me wrong, everyone was obsessed with Champagne Pop when it launched back in 2015. Jaclyn Hill was one of the most popular beauty influencers at the time and the product was (and still is) absolutely stunning. However, one hurdle Becca Cosmetics met straight away is the very fact that their smash-hit product was a highlighter. Unlike a foundation or mascara that needs to be continually repurchased and can increase brand loyalty, highlighter is more of a one-time buy that lasts for years. Especially with a product as pigmented as this one, only a tiny amount is needed, making repurchases limited.

What’s more, it’s common knowledge that Becca Cosmetics never managed to match the massive profits from their original Jaclyn Hill collaboration. Their relationship even met difficulties in 2016 as Becca Cosmetics recalled an eyeshadow palette affiliated with her for quality issues. While they have since collaborated with other celebrities like Crissy Teigen and Khloe Kardashian, nothing has managed to make a splash in the same way as Champagne Pop.

4. Their gimmick products were too much of a stretch

Most brands have launched a gimmick product – after all, any press is good press – but Becca Cosmetics perhaps went a step too far with this. The launch of their ‘No Pigment Virtual Foundation’ sounded intriguing and revolutionary, but customers soon realised that it was basically a glorified primer with a £29 price tag. While we appreciate their attempt to generate hype with this unusual product targeting the no-makeup, working from home audience, they didn’t quite hit the mark with this one.

5. They just got unlucky

While it’s easy to recognise potential mistakes and missed opportunities for Becca Cosmetics, the truth is they were just very unlucky. Right now is a difficult time for beauty brands (as it is for many others) and sadly Becca was the first sacrifice that the makeup industry has witnessed as a result of the pandemic. Although this brand may have failed to survive past 2021, it’s possible that many others will meet the same unfortunate fate in this difficult climate.

Daisy Bradbury

Daisy Bradbury

Fashion Editor

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