January 26, 2015by debbieheinze

By Mark Mueller

Too Faced Cosmetics LLC, an Irvine-based cosmetics company that’s said to be considering a sale, has inked a lease for a much larger headquarters in its hometown.

The privately held company, best known for its Better than Sex mascara, signed a lease for a full floor at 18231 W. McDurmott, a two-story building near the intersection of the San Diego (405) and Costa Mesa (55) freeways.

The building is the first of three creative-office redevelopment projects undertaken in Orange County in the past two years by Irvine-based Bixby Land Co.

The real estate investor bought the West McDurmott property in 2013 and has been working with Irvine-based architecture firm LPA to redesign the 46,182-square-foot office into more modern space.

The property’s redevelopment included the creation of loft-like open floor plans, indoor-outdoor meeting spaces, and a newly designed entrance.

Too Faced will occupy 31,615-square-feet at the renovated building, which Bixby has renamed gen2.

The building “was designed for progressive firms such as Too Faced that highly value the quality and function of their work environment,” said Bixby Chief Executive Bill Halford.

The lease is nearly triple the size of Too Faced Cosmetics’ existing headquarters, which is about two miles away on Armstrong Avenue.

The company has about 60 employees in Irvine.

The new lease and expanded space is a confirmation of Too Faced Cosmetics’ long-term plans for remaining in Orange County, and it should allow the company room to grow over the next few years, said C. Byron Foss, managing director for the Newport Beach office of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

Foss represented Two Faced in the lease, and Bixby was represented by Bob Thagard of Orion Property Partners and John Griffin of Voit Real Estate Services.

The company had been on the lookout for space in the past nine months or so, Foss said.

The new office “checked all the boxes,” he said. “It will help showcase the company and their brand.”

Too Faced is working on an interior space design with architecture firm Gensler, and is expected to relocate midyear.

Financial terms of the 104-month lease at the gen2 office were not disclosed.

It remains to be seen whether the relocation will be the largest piece of business involving Too Faced this year.

The largest investor in the company is said to be exploring a sale that “could value it at several hundred million” dollars, according to a report last November by Reuters.

The sale process was expected to kick off early this year, according to the report.

Company officials last week declined to comment on the status of the potential sale.

“Too Faced is thrilled to have experienced recent growth as a company, and they are excited to be moving into a new office space to accommodate their expanding team,” the company said in a statement.

Too Faced was founded in 1998 by business partners Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson.

The two were “inspired by a love of Paris, unabashed girliness and the transformative power of cosmetics,” according to company marketing materials.

Investors in the company include Weston Presidio, a private equity firm with offices in San Francisco that bought what is believed to be a majority stake in the company in 2012.

Reports at the time of that transaction put Weston Presidio’s stake in the company at roughly $170 million and Too Faced sales at more than $100 million.

In addition to its Better than Sex mascara—which the company said is the second best-selling mascara in the country—Too Faced makes bronzers, eye shadows, lipstick and other products.

Its products are sold at retailers such as Sephora USA Inc., Nordstrom, and Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc.

The Reuters report estimated that Too Faced generated annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of roughly $25 million.

Other area cosmetic companies that have had ownership changes in the past few years include Newport Beach-based Urban Decay Cosmetics LLC, which was bought by L’Oreal USA in 2012 for an estimated $350 million.

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