“With just one swipe it adds such a glow to the inner corner of your eyes,” exclaimed influencer Courtney Shields to her 679,000 Instagram followers on July 8. “I love using it as a highlighter over makeup, down the bridge of my nose, and on my cupids bow.”

The product she is referring to is “Glow Hour,” a neutralizing under-eye balm that she co-developed with Tula Skincare, marking the brand’s first influencer product collaboration. The product features reflective peach-toned pigments and is formulated with lingonberry to protect against blue light, as well as grapefruit and algae to reduce the appearance of dark circles. The ideation for Glow Hour came from Courtney herself, who has been one of the company’s top revenue drivers in 2019 and 2020.

“Courtney has been a Tula partner for over 5 years and the team is  incredibility close to her and she deeply understood, not only what her skin care needs were, but what her community  would fall in love with and we took the last year to develop something really special and work with her to hand pick ingredients and add a new eye balm to our best-selling collection,” explained Savannah Sachs, CEO of TULA Skincare. “We looked at our consumer data and saw that 43% of our customers indicate dark undereye circles as a top concern, so not only was this something Courtney struggled with but it was something our audience was asking for as well.”

Influencer marketing makes up the brand’s largest marketing channel in terms of both budget and revenue, and is Tula’s strongest ROI driver. The brand manages over 400 influencers per month in-house, and views them as a strategic distribution channel, which Savannah compares to a modern-day Avon model.

“We see them as entrepreneurs and digital storefronts. They are getting a commission on every sale that they drive, and we are tracking all sales from their codes so we’ve known for a long time that Courtney is a top performer for us. We have very high expectations for the sales of this first launch,” she said.

To support the launch, the brand will lean into UGC content to compliment the creative Courtney has produced. Tula’s community of “Glow Getters” and influencer partners are expected to create content to show the product on different skin types and tones, as well as before and after photos. The brand is also in the process of developing digital activations, such as a custom Instagram filter designed to create a golden hour glow, keeping with inspiration of the product.

As far as the timing of the new launch, as a clean and effective brand that sits within the intersection of beauty and wellness, Tula’s performance has remained strong since the pandemic began.

“The majority of our revenue is direct-to-consumer on Tula.com, which is already our biggest channel, even though we are in 1200 brick and mortar doors,” said Savannah. “Past generations have seen the ‘lipstick effect’ in certain economic times, now with COVID-19 people are gravitating towards self-care and skin care as the way to invest in health, happiness and wellness. Consumers are focused on the ritual and routine of skin care especially as a result in their new lifestyle shifts and the accelerated non-makeup, makeup trend.”

As a result, year-to-date, sales on Tula.com is up 3x over 2019, and up 80% in Q2 vs Q1.  Q2 year-over-year is just under 4x vs last year.  “Clearly we’re seeing a channel shift of consumer shopping due to COVID-19, but also consumer behavior around the skin care/self-care effect is directly translating into incredibly strong business results,” said Savannah.

She hinted that the collaboration with Courtney may be the first of many to come. “We see a lot of white space for product collaborations for skin care brands and I can’t share more than that but stay tuned we might have some other things in the works this year.”

Glow Hour by Courtney Shields will be launching exclusive to Courtney’s followers on Saturday, July 11, then nationwide on Tula.com on July15, followed by Ulta Beauty stores in Summer 2020.