Makeup by Mario Hires Investment Bank to Explore Deal Options

Makeup by Mario is the latest cosmetics brand to explore deal options.

The makeup brand founded by celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic told WWD it has tapped investment bank J.P. Morgan to consider its options.

“Over the several years since our launch we have experienced significant growth for Makeup by Mario. I am so proud of what we have accomplished and what we will achieve in the future,” said Dedivanovic, chief executive officer and founder of Makeup by Mario. “We will continue to drive Makeup by Mario forward both in terms of growth and innovation, and as we do so, we intend to evaluate incoming inquiries alongside our longtime advisers at J.P. Morgan.”

Amid his busy roster of celebrity clients including Kim Kardashian and other ventures, Dedivanovic began developing his own makeup brand back in 2017, hiring industry veteran Alicia Valencia as its global president.

Since it launched in 2020, the company has resonated strongly with consumers and revenue is on track to be between $150 million and $200 million in 2024, according to industry sources.

With prior experience working on other makeup artist-founded brands such as Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and Pat McGrath Labs, Valencia has been instrumental in helping bring his retail plans to life including the exclusive global retail partnership with Sephora in more than 1,600 doors globally, complementing Dedivanovic’s key focus on product development, creative and social media. He even built a “mini lab” for product development in his New York City office.

New product launches include Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette: The Neutrals and Softsculpt Multi-Use Bronzing & Shaping Serum.

Softsculpt Multi-Use Bronzing & Shaping Serum.

Makeup By Mario

On social media, the brand has built a large following, with close to 14 million followers on Instagram and 1.6 million on TikTok.

The move to explore deal options comes after Makeup by Mario received a $40 million minority investment from Provenance and Silas Capital at the beginning of 2023. At the time, the investment was designed to enable the brand to further accelerate the expansion of its product assortment at Sephora in North America and abroad and grow its direct-to-consumer business.

Other makeup brands exploring deal options include Kosas, Jane Iredale, Merit and Glossier. Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty also jointly hired Goldman Sachs and Financo Raymond James.

After struggling amid the global coronavirus pandemic, the color cosmetics category finally rebounded as consumers returned to offices and started going out again. Innovation in the category combined with clean formulas has helped immensely, driving sales back to pre-pandemic levels. As a result, growth in makeup outpaced every other category in prestige beauty, according to 2023 data from Circana. Cosmetics grew 15 percent, while skin care — the M&A darling of years past, culminating in the acquisitions of Deciem and Paula’s Choice, among others — grew 14 percent.

Now that booming activity in the specialty color cosmetics category is translating into M&A moves.

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