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Lip Kits and Losses: The Downfall of the Kylie Cosmetics Brand

Once one of the most coveted names in the beauty industry, Kylie Cosmetics has seen a significant drop in popularity since its peak in 2016. The brand, which gained immense popularity with its initial lip kits, now struggles to maintain its once loyal customer base. Social media influencers, who once heavily endorsed Kylie Jenner’s products, have largely shifted their support to other brands, contributing to the decline.

Shutterstock/ Melissamn

Recent Struggles

Kylie Jenner first released her lip kits when she was 18 years old in 2015. Credit: Shutterstock/DFree

Normally, the announcement of a partnership between a big beauty brand and a major retailer would be an outstanding deal for makeup lovers. Many major beauty brands are only available these days online or at specific retailers like Sephora and Ulta. For most brands, this would be a huge deal and result in many satisfied customers, but not for Kylie Jenner‘s brand, Kylie Cosmetics. The announcement of the new collaboration with Target is igniting an entirely new discussion about Kylie Cosmetics’ demise and how they are currently experiencing a “flop era.”

Recently, the internet has been discussing how the Kardashians are going through a “flop era.” People think that their influence has diminished, their brands are failing, and their show is not as popular as it once was. This conversation was sparked around Kylie and her brands, specifically Kylie Cosmetics.

Her brand was one of the most sought-after in the beauty industry in 2016, but it has been forgotten by 2024. Influencers no longer support Kylie as much as they did in 2016 and have stopped endorsing her brand.

When brands lose this much traction, it’s usually because they’ve become stale or haven’t kept up with the trends. For Kylie Cosmetics, however, this is not the case. They keep up with the latest trends and have released more products than any other brand. Many think that her frequent launches are overwhelming her customers, which is the problem.

“Nobody Cares.”

Fans speculated what the pink cart could mean. Credit: Instagram/Target

In early June, Target posted a video to Instagram where one of their baskets was painted over in pink. They captioned the video saying “A good combo is about to be the BEST combo. Something pink is coming June 9th.” The caption included an angel wings emoji as well. Everyone assumed Victoria’s Secret Pink was coming to Target as soon as they saw the angel wings and pink color scheme. Even VS Pink left a comment on the post, stating, “This looks right up our alley. We’re absolutely seated for this collab.” Other speculations were about Crumbl Cookie and Glossier.

Target revealed that Ulta Beauty will be carrying Kylie Cosmetics in Target stores. Social media did not display any excitement about this announcement. No one is interested in purchasing her cosmetics, according to the internet. Instead, they prefer to use less expensive options like ELF Cosmetics, which are available at most pharmacies. Some claimed they would have been happier if Target had only released the pink basket.

Kylie Cosmetics has been widely available at bargain retailers like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Dollarama. Many believe that Kylie Cosmetics is attempting to reach out to a new market and that this is just another indication that the company is about to file for bankruptcy. When her brand first started, Kylie attempted to make it seem more “high-end.” When the brand wasn’t luxury, she collaborated with luxury ones. It has been reported that their packaging is “cheap” or “tacky.”

Colour Pop drops continue to be well-liked. Credit:

When her lip kit was at its highest price point in 2016, many turned to dupes like Colour Pop. Now  Colour Pop is thriving, and Kylie Cosmetics appears to be on the decline, it was the same quality at a better price.

Target’s main line of business is beauty. Through Ulta, we have witnessed numerous brands succeed at Target. The “Fenty Snackz” line, which Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s makeup line, introduced to the store, allowed customers to sample the brand without having to make a significant financial commitment.

Kylie’s internet sales appear to have decreased from 68.7 million USD in 2017 to 36.2 million USD in 2022. The sales figures have decreased year after year. Is Kylie Cosmetics too late? Will being reachable within Target boost sales, or has her brand already faded too much?

Evolution of the Lips

In 2016, Kylie released her lip kits. Credit: Shutterstock/Melissamn

Many people saw a significant change in Kylie Jenner’s appearance back in 2014. Over night, Kylie’s lips went from being thin to extremely full. Every media outlet was discussing her transition and possible causes. Filler is the obvious explanation, but at the time she was only 17 years old. Instead of responding to these questions, Kylie and her team claimed that lip liner was to blame.

Many fans attempted to achieved Kylie’s look by doing at home methods or hacks to get fuller lips. Kylie eventually came out that her look was not only the result of overlining, but lip filler as well. A few months later. Kylie released her own makeup brand that featured a lip kit, this included a liquid lipstick and a matching lip liner. Kylie explained the inspiration for the brand was that she was insecure about her lips and could never find a liner that matched her lipstick color.

In 2016, she renamed the brand to Kylie Cosmetics to branch out to other branches of beauties. She drew in a lot of attention by selling mostly collections through her brand. She had collections for all her sisters, all holidays, and more.

With major success comes major controversy, and Kylie Cosmetics is no exception. The first major drama was the defective lipstick applicators. She launched her $360 makeup brush line next. Costumers were not happy with the price of the brushes and influencers confirmed that it was not worth the price. People discovered that Colour Pop and Kylie’s products were very similar in product and quality that many opted for Colour Pop for a cheaper alternative. It later was discovered they are manufactured in the same lab.

Despite the controversies, Kylie had a hold of the beauty community. Her collections constantly sold out, and people lined up for hours to meet the owner of the makeup brand.

The Downfall

As of June 2024, Kylie owns 4 brands. Credit: Shutterstock: Lev Radin

In March of 2019, Forbes declared Kylie Jenner the youngest self-made billionaire at the age of 21. But this title did not last for long, in 2020 Forbes posted an updated article. They believe Kylie and her team inflated her tax documents. In 2020, Coty bought a 51% stake in Kylie’s brand for $600 million. When Forbes saw Coty had purchased 51% of her brand for that much money, it confirmed that she was not worth a billion dollars.

In June 2020 Seed Beauty, the manufacture of Kylie Cosmetics, filed a lawsuit against Coty and King Kylie LLC. The lawsuit alleged that Kylie had shared trades secrets with Coty and were not happy about it.

In May 2021 Kylie Cosmetics completely cleared their Instagram page. This led to a lot of speculation of what was happening to the brand. A few weeks later, it was revealed the brand was going for a rebrand. They changed their packaging as well as their formula, becoming completely vegan.

When the new formula dropped many started to compare the formulas. The opinions on this were mixed. A lot of people felt her rebrand was because of the lawsuit behind them, instead of having the true intentions of changing the formula and packaging. Seed ended up dropping the lawsuit following the rebrand.

People are calling for a rebrand again. They feel the brand is not what is once was. Influencers began showing more negative reviews of the brand following the launch of her collection collab with her mom Kris Jenner. The “Momager” collection did not reach people’s expectations.

Ever since then the brand has fallen flat. Covid also had an effect on people’s perceptions, and they did not want to give millionaires their money anymore. The market is so over saturated now that her brand can’t stand out.

Kylie usually posts about her products on her TikTok now. The videos come off as her trying to be relatable, but fans aren’t having it. Passion seems to be lacking and she seems to just be a face for the brand instead of the owner.

The brand seems to be going through another subtle rebrand, but many aren’t paying attention. Fans want her to have the same passion that she had when she first started the brand.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lynne DONHAM

    July 10, 2024 at 5:27 am

    Very informative. Very interesting. The article was well written.

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