Paula Begoun shot to fame in the 1990s as “The Cosmetics Cop” and made several trips to Australia to boost her cred as the critic who reviewed beauty products without fear or favour.
The American businesswoman, talk show host and author of the best-selling books – “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me” and “The Beauty Bible” – founded her own brand, Paula’s Choice, in 1995. Its main point-of-difference was that products centered on proven ingredients – 4000 in all – subject to peer reviewed research.
In 2016, Paula’s Choice was sold to TA Associates, a major US private equity firm, when annual revenues totaled about US$70 million. The brand is mainly sold direct to consumers, but is also retailed through the Nordstrom department store chain and Sephora in the US.
Close to 50 per cent of Paula’s Choice business comes from international markets and net sales are expected to reach US$300 million by the end of the year.
Unilever has acquired Paula’s Choice in a deal rumoured to be worth close to US$2 billion. The brand will be part of the multinational’s prestige division, alongside Murad, Dermalogica, Kate Sommerville, REN and Tatcha, another direct-selling brand acquired in 2019.
Unilever plans to enlarge its footprint in the direct-to-consumer market and boost Paula’s Choice global audience.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.
Developing Unilever’s portfolio in the high-growth premium skincare segment is one of our strategic priorities and I am excited that Paula’s Choice is joining us on this journey, noted Sunny Jain, Unilever Beauty and Personal Care president.