What's Going On With Beautycounter?

With so many beauty brands launching on what feels like a daily basis, it's special when the public takes a keen interest in a particular company. Over the last few weeks, however, all eyes have been on Beautycounter, as people look for information on the company's status after news spread that it's closing.

On May 7, the brand's founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew posted an update on her Instagram page explaining to followers that Counter Brands, Beautycounter's parent company, was closing its doors. In the post, she explains that she formed a new company (G2G) and was able to acquire the rights to sell Beautycounter products in the future but that the relaunch timeline that she hoped for was not feasible. Instead, they are now targeting a late 2024 date. This has led to a spike in inquiries like "What happened to the Beautycounter brand?" and "Why did Beautycounter close?" on Google.

This announcement follows the leak of a confidential email that was sent to brand advocates (the network of marketers that promoted the brand to others both online and in person) on April 17, which was the first indicator to some supporters that there was trouble on the horizon. Posted to Reddit, the email appeared to be an immediate notice of the termination of all brand advocates, with sparse details on their future with the company. "You will receive payment of all accrued and unpaid commissions through the termination date, and you shall otherwise have no further rights to any bonuses, commissions, or other compensation following the termination date," it read in part. Near the end of the email, the brand reminded advocates that they were bound to the confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements in their contracts.

Since then, another email has gone out to the brand advocates from Renfrew that answers a few more questions about the transition. PS obtained a copy of this email for review from a current employee. "As you know, Carlyle bought Counter Brands in 2021 and, at the end of that year, I was asked to step down as CEO," it reads. "In February 2024, at their request, I re-joined as CEO of Counter Brands. I was admittedly hesitant to return but ultimately accepted the role . . . However, upon my return, the old company's economic realities were worse than expected. It had more debt than funds to pay that debt, and Carlyle chose not to provide further funding. Simply put, Counter Brands ran out of money."

The rest of the email reiterated that while Carlyle Group chose to liquidate Counter Brand's assets, the new company that she founded does own certain Beautycounter rights and is working to relaunch the brand with the same mission of creating clean, high-performing cosmetic products. It also answered some commonly asked questions, including: "Will Advocates still be involved in the new company?" (Yes); "Will Beautycounter products be sold in Ulta stores going forward?" (They will be available in physical Ulta store locations through July 2024, after which they will only be sold through the trailer online); and "What is happening with the retail stores?" (Non-seasonal retail locations in New York City and Denver are closed, but a seasonal Nantucket location will remain through summer 2024).

As of right now, no further details are available about the relaunch. Until then, fans of the brand can keep an eye out for details via both Renfrew and the brand's Instagram pages.

Ariel Baker is the associate editor for PS Beauty. Her areas of expertise include celebrity news, beauty trends, and product reviews. She has additional bylines with Essence and Forbes Vetted.