Online Makeup Community Beautylish Gets Into e-Commerce With Boutiques Launch

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Beautylish, the website where people share tips and reviews on makeup, hair and beauty products, is now going to start selling the stuff that its community has been built around discussing. Today, Beautylish is launching “Boutiques,” which will let registered members of the site buy products.

To start, Beautylish’s Boutiques are not offering the kind of wide variety you’d find at a Sephora or a department store — each one is selling one brand at a time, and new Boutiques will roll out gradually. The first Boutique launching today is Sugarpill Cosmetics, a brand that Beautylish says is one of the site’s 10 most popular. Going forward, the plan is for a new brand Boutique to launch every few weeks.

It’s a nice step forward for the nearly two-year-old Beautylish, which has apparently garnered a pretty devoted following that ranges from professional makeup artists to people who just want to learn how to braid their hair — Britney Spears is actually a big fan of the site. At the moment, Beautylish has more than one million monthly unique visitors, CEO and co-founder Nils Johnson tells me. Because Beautylish has aimed to foster as much user trust as possible, the company has not made any money to date from things like ads or paid product placement — so this is its first foray into revenue-generating territory.

That patience when it comes to making money has been possible because of Beautylish’s investors, who have pitched in at least $1 million to the company (Beautylish is not disclosing its exact funding details.) Beautylish’s backers are a pretty star-studded group that includes Keith Rabois, Mariam Naficy, Max Levchin, Philip Kaplan, Jeremy Stoppelman, Naval Ravikant, and more.

I sat down with Johnson this week to hear a bit more about the e-commerce launch and discuss the beauty space overall. Watch the video embedded below to hear about how Beautylish sees itself fitting into the landscape among retail giants such as Sephora, other startups such as Birchbox, and editorial players such as women’s magazines, and lots more: