Whatever Happened To Becca Cosmetics?

There was a time when Becca Cosmetics was one of the most popular lines of makeup worn by celebrities and influencers everywhere. The brand was known for its dreamy highlighters, inclusive foundation shades, and commitment to being vegan and cruelty-free. Makeup artist and founder Rebecca Morrice Williams first had the idea for her cosmetic company in the 1990s, per Australian Financial Review. Frustrated by the lack of options for foundations, she dreamed of creating her own line to get that perfect formula. Williams teamed up with her business partner, Steven Schapera, and they launched Becca cosmetics in 2001. The line debuted at Space NK in London and then sold at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City the following year.

"Rebecca is always thinking of ways to make the product better. The moment she stops being driven by that process we can all go home. It will be the end. Innovation is what the brand is about," Schapera stated. Unfortunately, after many ups and downs over the years, Becca Cosmetics folded in 2021. However, during its success, the company grew exponentially.

Becca Cosmetics tried to branch out into selling skincare

Becca Cosmetics was originally started as a makeup line by Williams, but she and Schapera had the idea to collaborate with a skincare expert. In 2008, they signed a deal with Bakel Technology, an Italian company, to distribute an anti-aging skincare line under the Becca Cosmetics brand. "We don't subscribe to the theory that we can do skin care. We are experts at makeup, and this deal is an honest way of doing [skin care] for customers," Schapera told Women's Wear Daily. "We believe [it] will be the next Crème de la Mer."

Although Becca Cosmetics is known for makeup that enhances the skin's illumination, the company rolled out glow serums and added skincare products with hyaluronic acid. This allowed the brand to expand its offerings and cater to a wider range of customers. However, despite its attempt at a skincare line, Becca Cosmetics' makeup products remained dominant.

Beauty influencer Jaclyn Hill put Becca Cosmetics on the map

Becca Cosmetics began to gain traction, but it wasn't until it teamed up with beauty influencer Jaclyn Hill in 2015 that the company saw major success. Hill, known for her makeup tutorials and product reviews, had amassed millions of subscribers and followers over the years. After announcing her collaboration with Becca Cosmetics on its Shimmering Skin Perfector powder highlighter in Champagne Pop, the product sold a whopping 25,000 units within 20 minutes of its release.

Hill and Becca Cosmetics partnered again for the Champagne Collection, which sold out 75 minutes after its launch, according to The Unicorn in the Room (via Inc.) Former CEO Robert DeBaker explained that the collaboration came about after Hill had raved about Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Opal. "That week she posted about it and we saw this massive spike in sales on the product ... she subsequently did it again and we saw another sales spike and that made me want to reach out to her," DeBaker shared. The release of their second Champagne Collection in 2016 led to the sale of $3.5 million in products in five hours. However, the rise in sales caused production issues and resulted in some online drama between the company and Hill.

Jaclyn Hill was upfront about the quality of Becca Cosmetics' new line

Hill played a significant role in popularizing Becca Cosmetics, so the company collaborated with her again for its new Champagne Glow collection. However, there was a problem when Hill announced that the BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection eyeshadow palette would not be released on the designated date. According to Hill, some makeup users described the quality as subpar compared to other Becca Cosmetics products and complained that the shadow wasn't going on as smoothly. Hill also clarified that she collaborated with Becca Cosmetics on just one of the shadows in the palette, while the company created the others.

The reason for the drop in quality was that Becca Cosmetics used a different lab to churn out more of their products for the launch, but the lab was unable to reproduce the original quality. As reported by Makeup Your Mind, not all of the palettes were patchy, but due to the backlash from the buyers, Becca Cosmetics and Hill decided to pull the shadows from the Champagne Glow collection.

Estée Lauder bought Becca Cosmetics

Despite its hiccup with the Champagne Glow eyeshadow palette, Becca Cosmetics was still a growing brand, and its rising popularity caught the eye of some big corporations. According to Global Cosmetics News, investors were supposed to purchase Becca Cosmetics for $200 million, but the deal expired. There was talk of Estée Lauder having its eyes on Williams' company, but it refused to confirm.

On October 21, 2016, Estée Lauder Companies Inc. announced that an agreement was made to acquire Becca Cosmetics, per Business Wire. "BECCA Cosmetics is a wonderful addition to our portfolio of prestige beauty brands. Its unique focus on complexion products that flatter a wide range of skin tones, combined with its sophisticated yet accessible consumer and digital engagement across channels has inspired a devoted fan base," the President and CEO of Estée Lauder, Fabrizio Freda, stated. "We see terrific growth opportunities for BECCA as it expands globally and continues to cultivate its online and digital expertise," he continued. The details of the deal were not disclosed at the time. Becca Cosmetics continued to see success, but things were not over between the company and Hill.

There was talk of a feud between Becca and Jaclyn Hill

Besides the incident with the eyeshadow palette quality, it seemed Becca Cosmetics and Hill had a good collaboration going. However, it appeared that the Australian makeup company had dropped the beauty influencer after the Instagram account Trendmood1 announced that Becca Cosmetics was bringing back the highlighter Prosecco Pop, which was part of a palette that Hill collaborated on. This came as a surprise to Hill, who wrote in the comment section, "Wow! This is news to me. Is this for real??? @beccacosmetics." In a separate comment, she stated, "I'm literally in shock right now. I had absolutely NO idea."

While the Prosecco Pop news was only a rumor at the time, many of Hill's fans found it questionable that the beauty brand would exclude her after collaborating on previous champagne-inspired lines. YouTuber John Kuckian reported that Becca Cosmetics held a party in New York with a lot of influencers in attendance but Hill was noticeably missing. "I'm completely speculating here but there definitely seems to be some cracks appearing," Kuckian suggested. Hill went on to collaborate with another makeup company, Morphe, and it seemed to mark the end of her partnership with Becca Cosmetics. However, the company had its sights set on another celebrity.

Becca Cosmetics teamed up with Chrissy Teigen

After Hill and Becca Cosmetics parted ways, the makeup company aligned itself with model and television personality Chrissy Teigen. In April 2017, Teigen shared a Boomerang on Instagram of herself in a lab blowing what appeared to be powder shimmer in the air. "IT IS OFFICIAL! I'm cooking up something super special with my friends at @BECCAcosmetics. I've been a massive fan of their highlighters for years and I just can't wait for you all to see... it's reeeeally delicious, hope you love it!" Teigen announced.

Weeks later, Becca Cosmetics unveiled the Becca x Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette, which included a bronzer, a blush, and two highlighters. The following year, they teamed up again for the Endless Summer Glow Collection, inspired by the beaches of Malibu. "We're usually city people, so being out there, I was inspired to have something really beachy, really glowy, something that would have a little bit of effortlessness to it," the "Lip Sync Battle" host told Women's Wear Daily.

Becca Cosmetics also collaborated with other big names such as Khloe Kardashian and her BFF Malika Haqq. The company won accolades for Allure's 2020 Best Beauty award and the Refinery21 Beauty Innovator award in 2020. Unfortunately, when COVID-19 hit, not even Becca Cosmetics could keep up with the diminishing sales.

Becca Cosmetics announced it was going out of business

Becca Cosmetics, like many small businesses, was impacted by the pandemic. In a statement shared by BBC, the company stated, "At Becca, an accumulation of challenges, together with the global impact of Covid-19, has sadly been more than our business can withstand, and we have had to make the heartbreaking decision to close down the Becca brand at the end of September 2021."

Prior to COVID-19, Becca Cosmetics had also faced challenges when it was accused of photoshopping the palms of white models to appear darker for its product swatch images After receiving criticism on social media, the company shared a new photo and issued a public apology. "Thanks to everyone who shared feedback on our recent arm swatch image, we hear you and want you to know that we remain committed to continually representing our inclusive BECCA Beauties. To demonstrate this commitment, we've re-shot with real girls from the BECCA office," the company shared on its now-defunct social media page.

Despite some negative feedback and the ultimate closing of the brand, Becca Cosmetics had a cult following and many were pleased when a major makeup company brought back some fan favorites.

Smashbox brought back Becca Cosmetics

When Becca Cosmetics announced its closure in 2021, many were devastated to hear they would no longer have access to their favorite products. However, Smashbox saved the day by announcing that a few popular items would live on through its company. "Psst...we have MAJOR news to share. @beccacosmetics most-loved products have found a new forever home with @smashboxcosmetics. The lights shine on with Under Eye Brightening Corrector and Shimmering Skin Perfector™ Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop," Smashbox shared on Instagram.

The following year, Smashbox expanded the highlighter into a full-fledged line with four more colors, in addition to the original Champagne Pop, per Beauty Packaging. "We knew a good thing before it was gone. BECCA was born from light, and so was Smashbox — so while it's personal, collectively, we felt preserving the brand's legacy was our only option," founder and SVP of global creative Davis Factor stated. Although Becca Cosmetics is no longer around, the company's legacy lives on through the highlighter that brought it to fame.