In breaking beauty news, the BeautyHealth Company, parent to Hydrafacial, announced yesterday that Andrew Stanleick is stepping down from the Company as President & Chief Executive Officer and will relinquish his Board seat, starting November 19, 2023. Marla Beck, the company’s current Beauty Health Director will serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer while the Board of Directors completes a formal search for a new CEO.

Today, data firm Circana revealed its nine month U.S. beauty industry sales. “Within the prestige channel, makeup was the fastest-growing category,” reports Andrea Nagel at CEW. “While all segments within face makeup grew, eye makeup sales experienced the softest growth. Lip makeup is being driven by oils, balms, and lip gloss, all of which grew faster than lipstick.” Overall, the fastest growing category, according to prestige market units sold, was skin care. “It was also the only category whose average price remained flat, while average price across other categories, such as makeup, hair, and fragrance, increased,” notes Nagel. “Looking at specific skin care segments, face serum, which grew 21% based on dollar sales, and face cream, which increased 12%, were two of the most significant growth contributors. Body skin care continued to outpace the overall category.” Overall, prestige beauty industry sales in the U.S. saw a 14% increase in Q3, in comparison with the same period last year.

Meanwhile, minimalist make-up company Merit, a brand that has been going from strength to strength since its debut three years ago, has a new Chief Marketing Officer in Aila Morin, former Director of Marketing and GTM at jewelry company Mejuri. Morin joined Merit during its pre-launch period, working alongside founder Katherine Power. Her new position will include leading the company’s go-to-market strategy, while overseeing product development, creative direction, digital initiatives, and brand management. “One guiding principle is excellence and taking the long road,” Morin tells Andrea Nagel. “We will always do the hard thing if it benefits the brand experience. This means that we’re always listening to our community and thinking about how we can improve. For example, in 2022 Merit relaunched the Minimalist, our best-selling complexion stick, offering nearly double the amount of product at the same price. We could’ve left it on the shelf as-is, but we saw an opportunity to improve with economies of scale and passed that to our community.”

Creating a buzz in the wellbeing sector, neuroscents-inspired brand Caftari launches direct-to-consumer today, with its energising Elixir and serotonin-boosting Dolce candles. Founded by Shreya Aggarwal, a former fragrance buyer for who minored in psychology and neuroscience at Boston University, the range was inspired by Aggarwal’s own self-care regime at a time when she was suffering with anxiety and insomnia.

Read these and other beauty news stories below. 

Circana Reveals Nine Month U.S. Beauty Industry Sales. Andrea Nagel breaks down the data, and asks Larissa Jensen, Global Beauty Industry Advisor at Circana, how brands might respond this holiday season. (CEW)

President and CEO Andrew Stanleik Is Leaving BeautyHealth | Business Wire

Merit Makes Alia Morin CMO. CEW talks to the minimalist make-up brand’s new Chief Marketing Officer about her promotion, and what the new role will involve. (CEW)

E.L.F. Gamifies The Beauty Business. How the mass makeup and skin care brand plans to meet its audience where they are, with the new e.l.f. UP! Roblox game. (CEW)

Caftari Launches Candles Direct-To-Consumer. Founder Shreya Aggarwal saw a business opportunity in making mood-boosting candles inspired by neuroscent technology.  (WWD)

Shiseido Reports Steep Share Decline. Posting its largest drop in 16 years, reports Bloomberg, the beauty brand’s stock fell as much as 14% by midday in Tokyo yesterday. (BLOOMBERG)

Adowa Beauty Launches Globally at Sephora. The indie textured hair-care brand, founded by Julian Addo, raised $4 million in 2022, doubled her team this year and goes into Sephora stores exclusively this week. (GLOSSY)

How Beauty Brands Can Shine This Holiday Season. What are the strategies most likely to give companies the competitive edge this year? (BUSINESS OF FASHION)

P.S. Have you got your ticket for  CEW + Amazon Presents: The Formula for Success in Amazon Premium Beauty? Taking place on Wednesday, November 29, 5.30-7.30pm ET at Dotdash Meredith, New York, this in-person panel event will feature Amazon’s Ali Kole, Head of Premium Beauty, plus some of the leading brands within this category.