CEW Beauty Insider has been busy this week scanning social media and keep an ear to the ground to hear the latest deals and launches in beauty. Here’s this week’s wrap up for what’s happening in the industry.

Frederic Fekkai Buys Back Biz
Frédéric Fekkai, in partnership with Cornell CapitalLLC, has purchased his namesake brand from a group of investors, the firm announced Thursday.

“Today, Frédéric Fekkai announced that he has acquired back his namesake Frédéric Fekkai brands. Frederic is excited to reconnect with his them, his clients, and consumers across the brand and salons. More to come!” the brand said.

The reunion of Frédéric with his product line and U.S. salons is one that reunites a passionate creative with what was once a global brand generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. It can be said the brand began to lose its luster after Procter & Gamble bought it in 2008 for a reported $440 million and repositioned it for the mass market. It sold in 2015 for an estimated $50 million to a group of investors.

Blue Mistral LLC, a holding company founded by Frédéric and Cornell Capital, will own and operate Fekkai Brands together with Bastide, the Provence-based maker of luxury fragrances and hand and body care products that Frederic has led since 2017. As CEO of Blue Mistral, Frederic will further accelerate the growth of Fekkai Brands and its namesake salons by placing a heightened emphasis on education, innovation and the customer’s overall experience while leveraging opportunities for collaboration with Bastide.

Selling the Fekkai brands is an ownership group of Dilesh Mehta, Tony Bajaj, Joel Ronkin and Amy Sachs, which purchased the business in 2015. Joel Ronkin, exiting CEO of Fekkai Brands said, “Frédéric is an accomplished entrepreneur with a proven track record of building highly desirable brands. We are confident that his return to the company will be instrumental in fueling its growth and driving innovation.” Fekkai founded under his namesake in 1996.

Sephora Partners with Google on New Smart Home Device

The beauty retailing powerhouse has partnered with the tech firm to bring its robust portfolio of video content to the Google Home Hub, the newest smart device in the Google Home family. With Google Home Hub, consumers have access to thousands of Sephora YouTube videos, hosted by Sephora beauty advisors, and can dive straight into learning beauty techniques from them in the comfort of their home.Through this device, Sephora is able to offer clients everything from content to discovering beauty inspiration that encourages them to learn, be inspired by and play with beauty. Sephora is Google’s first and only beauty partner. With that, Google Home Hub will also be available in 10 Sephora stores nationwide, featuring a “dream vanity experience” for consumers to trial, and ultimately purchase the device. For the in-store experience, the Google Home Hub is merchandised to look like a vanity, where consumers can ask different commands, including, “Hey Google, show me everyday eyeshadow videos by Sephora.” Note cards in the vanity area include the names of the products used in specific videos.

Walgreens Bans Chemicals

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced the implementation of its new chemicals management program, effective Nov 8, that will be responsible for assessing and restricting the use of certain chemicals or ingredients in its beauty, personal care, baby and household cleaning products. The announcement was made at Good Housekeeping Institute and Made Safe’s second annual Raise the Green Bar Summit, a conference focusing on maximizing brand sustainability efforts for increased consumer engagement and better ROI. As part of its program, the retailer unveiled its new Restricted Substances List which details more than 70 chemicals that will be barred from use within Walgreens and Boots UK owned brands and exclusive consumer retail lines. The process of reformulating products has already begun with the goal of eliminating the restricted materials by the end of 2021. In addition to removing chemical ingredients, the retailer will also be moving towards increased ingredient transparency and is aiming to list the ingredients in all of its household cleaners on product labels by the end of 2019. It will report on its progress annually.

Lifetherapy Repackages Bath & Body

About 10 years ago Lynette Lovelace founded Lifetherapy on the fundamental belief that when people take ownership of their frame of mind, positivity follows. Digging into her own life for inspiration, including personal health challenges, Lynette used her background as a restauranteur and luxury boutique owner to create and manage a business that would become Lifetherapy, a collection of bath and body products. Today, as consumers embrace aromachology—the science behind scent and how it affects the human mind, body, mood and emotions—Lynette has revamped her lineup and incorporated clean, classic packaging to replace the bold and patterned hues of her first iteration. “You know when you first decorate a house, you look back and see what you could do better. I feel the new collection is timeless…it’s grown up,” explained Lynette, who showed off Lifetherapy’s new look in an elegant bathroom setting at Manhattan’s Beekman Hotel. The body wash/bubble bath and body lotion has also been joined by candles and a hand cream. There are a total of five collections designed to match moods, including: Grounded (relaxation), Energized (exhilaration), Loved (sensuality), Inspired (happiness) and Transformed (well being). Lifetherapy is sold on QVC and online at Lifetherapy.com. Prices range from $22 for the Hand Crème to $37 for a candle. A Collection Gift Set of all lotions and washes sells for $39.