Evolution Beauty retracts legal threats to beauty influencer amidst social media uproar

Evolution Beauty is feeling the heat after it lost a social media squabble with an influential beauty Youtuber. Having received a less-than-positive video review of its flagship product, the Evie Beauty Blender, from customer and beauty blogger Leesha Collinge of xSparkage LLC, the brand issued the influencer with legal threats before being forced to hastily retract its comments after a social media backlash.

The Evie blender is a hypoallergenic silicon sponge for blending makeup, retailing at $25 - Kickstarter: Evie Beauty

The company, headquartered in Los Angeles, USA, sparked the online storm when it posted both public and private complaints about a video on the xSparkage Youtube channel. The comments were followed by an Instagram video from Evolution Beauty CEO Angie Johnson accusing unnamed beauty influencers of posting negative reviews solely for views, which many speculated was a response to xSparkage.

The initial email sent to xSparkage also requested the removal of the review: “Cease and desist this slander, defamation, libel and unfair business practice immediately. Remove any posts referring to our company is a negative manner regarding this issue,” the email stated. “Evolution Beauty, LLC believes in staying positive... We hope you will support this vision so we are not forced to take legal action against you."

Fans of the beauty aficionado immediately responded on social media, forcing Collinge to address the issue via Youtube. “This is not the way to go about it because this is not the first time a brand has been dragged through the mud over something that’s not a big deal… This is not the way to go about dealing with influencers,” she said. Collinge also disclosed that she reviewed the brand on her channel, which boasts 100,000 subscribers, as a customer, having paid to help finance the start-up during its January 2017 Kickstarter, and emphasised her creation of second video using the blender according to instructions from Evolution Beauty.

“This could have easily been avoided if Evie Blender had reached out to me privately, apologized for the YouTube comment, and discussed how to rectify the situation,” Leesha told FashionNetwork.com. “I really hope that in the future, more brands will realize that a negative review of your product is not a personal attack, and treating it like one generally won't work out well in the end.”

The company eventually posted a public apology on its Instagram page, where it simultaneously disabled the comment feature for several days.

The brand's apology has garnered over 400 comments since the comment feature was reinstated - Instagram: Evie Blender

Evolution Beauty made headlines with the runaway success of its Kickstarter for a 100% silicone makeup sponge, raising over $80,000 in just 14 days – $60,000 more than its  target of $28,000. The cone-shaped makeup blender received rave reviews from Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, Buzzfeed and Popsugar, but a poor assessment from other beauty professionals including Nikkie Tutorials, the channel of Dutch beauty influencer Nikkie De Jager, who commands a combined following of over 14 million subscribers across Youtube and Instagram.

Evolution Beauty did not respond to requests for comment.

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