More than 38 million views later, the single mom from South Shields, England has today launched her own makeup line, By Lauren Luke, with agency Anomaly and cosmetics manufacturer Zorbit Resources. Starter kits of eye shadow, primer, lip-liner and lipstick are available online and more products are expected in the next few months. Anomaly hired interactive agency Dare to build the e-commerce website, which is also a content hub for Luke's makeup tutorial videos and social media activity.
After stumbling across her internet fame one year ago, New York-based Anomaly approached Luke with the business opportunity.
"We were trolling the web for another celebrity focused project and we came across Lauren by accident, it was Duncan Bird who spotted her," Anomaly partner Carl Johnson says. "This girl is authentic and original and commands a loyal following. Everyone talks about social networking, she lives it. So we contacted her and flew her to New York. We told her that not only can she advise people on makeup, but that she could have her own makeup line. So we asked her to partner with us."
Anomaly, Luke and Zorbit are shareholders in Soho Beauty LLC, which handles By Lauren Luke. Johnson describes Anomaly's role in the business as both client and agency.
"We conceived the business and now we manage the overall business," he says. "We work as the marketing director and general manager. We oversee everything from banking, Web and production to design."
He also says the communications strategy won't include paid advertising. To build off her current internet fame, the agency hopes to promote the makeup line mainly through digital word of mouth.
"Authenticity is the central point about Lauren Luke," he says. "She's the antidote to the sometimes false beauty industry. The reason she resonates so well is because of her openness, her emotional transparency and the way she touches a nerve with all of the people she connects with. We talk about her communicating from bedroom to bedroom. Lauren Luke is in her bedroom on YouTube connecting one by one with lots of other people just like her. The big difference between her and a lot of people is that she already has an audience. The only thing we need to do is not betray that authenticity, because that's what's made her."
Outside of Soho Beauty, Anomaly is handling negotiations on Luke's behalf for a book deal with English publisher Hodder and Stoughton and a Nintendo makeover game—both are slated for launch in October. Anomaly is also in talks to bring Luke to television audiences.
"On the one hand we're making makeup and it's the epicenter of what she represents," he says. "Outside that, we have a larger management role where we're looking to build her into a long-term brand with a wider footprint."