News: On Spotify, Lipsticks Now Dress Up the Music (nytimes)
The makeup artist Pat McGrath, considered by many to be at the top of her profession, is trying a new way to reach potential consumers. On Monday, she will be selling a collection of cosmetics from Pat McGrath Labs via a most unlikely channel: the Spotify shop of the teenage pop star Maggie Lindemann.
In the last few years, beauty retail has shifted away from department stores and toward direct-to-consumer models driven by social media (Kylie Cosmetics, Glossier), multibrand stores made for play and engagement (Sephora, Ulta) and highly edited lifestyle selections at fashion chains (Madewell, Urban Outfitters).
Ms. McGrath is well versed in selling via social media, through her website and addictive Instagram (1.6 million followers), and she wields brick-and-mortar might through a Sephora partnership. But rather than head to a fashion store to introduce her new makeup, as one might expect, Ms. McGrath chose Spotify because of her love for music.
“Music permeates everything I do,” she said. “I love everything from Grace Jones to Nicki Minaj to Underworld to D.J. MikeQ and beyond. Music is integral to my personal inspiration.”
Additionally, she wants to keep things fresh.
“I have always believed in finding new ways to disrupt the marketplace and engage with my fellow beauty junkies where they live,” she said. And, surprisingly, Ms. McGrath chose a rising star to work with rather than reaching out to her stable of famous muses, among them Kim Kardashian, Naomi Campbell and Charli XCX.
“I like a real mix,” Ms. McGrath said. Whereas traditional beauty campaigns may bet on household names, she finds it more “modern day and interesting to feature girls of all different levels.” She points to her affiliations with less familiar names including the model Paloma Elsesser and the musician Maxine Ashley.
“It’s amazing to be an incubator,” Ms. McGrath said. “Many of my muses have gone on to other brands.”
She discovered Ms. Lindemann, 19, while scrolling through Instagram. “She reminded me so much of a modern interpretation of a ’60s Italian cinema goddess — very Antonioni,” Ms. McGrath said. Within three months, the two had an official collaboration: The debut of Ms. McGrath’s makeup on Spotify will be timed to the release of Ms. Lindemann’s new song, “Obsessed.”
The products — three lipsticks, three eye palettes, two eye pencils and two lip pencils — can be found by going to Ms. Lindemann’s artist page on Spotify and scrolling down to the Merchbar activation.
This is the first time Spotify has sold beauty products. Jordan Gremli, the company’s head of artist and fan development, sees the partnership and the foray into beauty as a way for Ms. Lindemann to “facilitate meaningful connections” with her fans.
In an interview with Billboard magazine earlier this year, Ms. Lindemann griped that she is often known largely as a social media star (she has 2.4 million Instagram followers) and feels “looked past for being a singer.”
Yet it is through her social media channels that she has established herself as something of a makeup connoisseur with a signature look — strong brows, winged eyeliner and eyelash extensions — that is instantly recognizable.
“Beauty is huge right now,” Ms. Lindemann said. “It’s a way to express ourselves.” She is well aware of the power of having the look and social media prowess. “Creating a buzz is very important,” she said, “and it’s a convenient way to keep in contact with your fans.”
But, she said: “I don’t think it’s everything. I do want to do more beauty collaborations down the line. But for me, it all goes back to the music.”
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