In an industry that thrives on newness and choice, a strong loyalty program can be a powerful tool to cement consumer engagement and repeat purchase. Here, some of the most popular loyalty programs by leading beauty brands – and how they are motivating and rewarding their most avid consumers.

Loyalty program: Lancôme Elite Rewards


April 2014

Card carrier: Members do not get a physical card; login is based on using an email address.

How it works: Customers earn 10 points for every $1 spent on a Lancôme purchase anywhere Lancôme is sold – in stores or online. Customers also earn points towards membership when they connect with Lancôme on social platforms or engage with the brand via product reviews, watch videos/tutorials and share more info about themselves. And they are the first to receive special offers and previews of new product launches.
Why the program is special: Lancôme was the first beauty brand to launch a program that rewarded customers for all omni-channel purchases and brand engagement. Lancôme was also the first to launch a receipt upload/SMS program coupled with an incentive program for its Beauty Advisors.

Estée Lauder
Loyalty program: The Estée E-List Loyalty Program
Established: November 2015

Card carrier: Consumers do not receive a physical card. They can access account information, point balance and available rewards at
How it works: The Estée E-List Loyalty Program is a tier-based program that rewards a consumer for omni-channel purchases and meaningful brand interactions, such as writing ratings and reviews, chatting with an online beauty advisor and social shares. The Estée E-List drives engagement and conversion via transactional rewards such as promotions, full-size product rewards and early access to launches. This omni-channel program allows members to take a picture of their store receipt and submit it for points.

Why the program is special: It rewards consumers not only with transactional benefits, such as discounts and product gifts, but with unique brand experiences, such as access to exclusive events and surprise treats. Some of the unique experiences offered include invitations to in-store Re-Nutriv Spa Events and Makeup Artist Events, Interactive Video sessions with Online Beauty Advisors, access to limited-edition product and special offers from Estée Stories collaborators.

e.l.f. Cosmetics

Loyalty program: e.l.f. Beauty Squad
Established: The program launched in August 2016.
Card Carrier: No physical card is issued.
How it works: This is a tiered, points-based program. Customers earn points for every dollar they spend on Points can also be earned for non-purchase activities, such as referring friends and engaging with the e.l.f. brand on social media. The tiered aspect has several benefits. For one, it helps gamify the program. As the customer moves up through the tiers, she not only earns points faster, but gains access to additional rewards and benefits she won’t be able to get elsewhere. Secondly, the tiers allow for deeper segmentation and more personalized communication/offers.

Why the program is special: Beauty Squad members are able to shop new items first, receive early access to shopping events and receive special gifts and incentives. In 2017, e.l.f. plans to invite Beauty Squad members to be active participants in its new product innovation process, ultimately allowing them to provide input on the products and colors e.l.f. creates. E.l.f. also plans to launch a Beauty Squad Member of the Month feature, enabling the brand to showcase a loyal e.l.f. customer as a star across its digital marketing platforms.

Loyalty program: SmashCash

Established: September 2016
Card carrier: No physical card is issued.
How it works: SmashCash is a tiered, points-based loyalty program with Points-Plus-Pay Technology. Customers get points for buying Smashbox cosmetics, and can use the points like a stack of cash. The more someone shops, the more points and perks she scores.
Why the program is special: Customers receive points for every dollar they spend, and those points can be immediately turned into SmashCash for anyone in Level 2: Fierce and Level 3: Fearless. There are also birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, expedited shipping benefits, free samples and early access to product launches.

Bare Minerals

Loyalty program: FAB (Friends and Benefits)
Established: 2012

Card carrier: If they’d like one, yes.
How it works: FAB offers cross-channel VIP treatment for those who reward bareMinerals with their loyalty. BareMinerals believes that loyal customers are like loyal friends. FAB celebrates and rewards these valued relationships.
Why the program is special: The bareMinerals brand was built and is fueled by a community of strong, passionate women who personally connect with the brand’s desire to Be Original, Be Natural, Be Good. FAB is the living, breathing place for this connection to occur.

M.A.C Cosmetics
Loyalty program: M.A.C Select
Established: 2016
Card Carrier: N/A

How it works: There are three levels, Seduced, Devoted and Obsessed, based on the amount of money one spends on products every year. Benefits range from complimentary samples at checkout for Seduced members; free M.A.C Select 30-minute makeup application for Devoted members (those who spend $150 or more per year); two free M.A.C Select 60-minute makeup applications for Obsessed members (those who spend $500 or more per year.)

Why the program is special: Members get early access to shop select collections before they’re available in-store/online to the masses. They can also receive complimentary makeup applications, and early access to new products and events.

Dr. Brandt

Loyalty program: Dr. B VIP
Established: 2013

Card Carrier: The customer does not get a physical card. 

How it works: Customers earn points for purchases on the website, referrals and product reviews. They can redeem points for coupons up to $50, and can access exclusive benefits.

How many consumers participate: 17,700-plus

Why the program is special:

Members get to try new products upon their launch, access exclusive discounts and GWPs throughout the year.

Loyalty program: There’s Birchbox Points and Birchbox Aces, its elite tier.
Established: Born in 2010 when Birchbox first launched. Aces came about in early 2014.

Do consumers get a physical card: No

How it works:

Any time a customer makes a purchase they earn a point for every $1 spent. They can also earn points by inviting friends to join Birchbox. Once they’ve purchased a subscription, they’ll earn 50 Birchbox points as a thank you. Birchbox points can be redeemed toward product orders, including gift subscriptions. Ten Birchbox Points equals $1 to spend. Points can be redeemed in any increment. When customers spend at least $300 with Birchbox in a calendar year, they qualify as a Birchbox Ace, which allows them to unlock special perks and privileges including free shipping benefits, early access to picking a sample for their subscription box and special gifts with purchase.
How many consumers participate: Birchbox has more than 1 million subscribers and 4 million total customers.

Why the program is special: Birchbox’s loyalty program is one of the most rewarding in the beauty space as racking up points is easy—consumers earn Birchbox Points every time they shop.