The Allure of the Beauty Business

With our company’s recent acquisition of Bluemercury, known for its innovative selling model, we are on pace to change the face of beauty retailing.

Founded in 1999 by husband and wife team Barry and Marla Beck, Bluemercury now includes 62 specialty stores in 18 states as well as Here is Coast to Coast’s exclusive interview with Marla, pictured left, the visionary behind the brand.


Bluemercury provides curated content and customized beauty tips. How important is curation to the success of the business?

Bluemercury’s mission always has been to be the best at giving beauty advice. It isn’t only about the brands we carry; we place the importance on our beauty experts who can offer the right products to our clients. With that in mind, when we look at new products, we try to find selections that meet a merchandising gap, or are new and innovative, bringing something different to the client experience.

Beyond being a co-founder and CEO, you are also the voice of the Bluemercury blog. How did you establish yourself as a trusted source in an industry that is so personal?

I have always been a beauty junkie. I had facials when I was in high school back before anyone knew what facials were. When MAC was a new brand, I was in graduate school in Boston and I would drive 45 minutes to the one place MAC was sold. The blog is an extension of my passion for great beauty products; it’s about beauty in real life. The content is not planned. It is simply about the products I’m using, what I see or what I’m intrigued by. Sometimes it’s about interesting products that hit my desk or it’s about a shopping trip I take to my stores. Sometimes it’s just about how to use and try products. Historically, I’ve felt that beauty content has been out of touch with day-to-day life and how to use products to make you feel good. I wanted to change that.

What’s next for Bluemercury?

We are continuing to open freestanding stores and will experiment with shop-in-shops in Macy’s all while growing our digital business. We are also expanding our proprietary brand business which includes the skincare line M-61 and a new cosmetics brand, Lune and Aster, launching this month [August 2015]. We are thrilled to be part of the Macy’s family, which enables us to continue to be entrepreneurial and innovative.