Here's What Went Down With OpulenceMD Beauty After Shark Tank

Ophthalmologist Dr. Anika Goodwin-Hildebrand's self-confidence took a dive after she had lost her parents in succession and then, shortly after, experienced the dissolution of her marriage. Using eyelash extensions became a coping mechanism for feeling more like herself again. However, as an eye doctor, she's quite aware of the health risks involved with the constant application of fake lashes, as well as the harmful ingredients present in the glue they use. She herself lost her own natural ones due to the extensions' super glue-level adhesive. 

Dr. Goodwin-Hildebrand knew there were many eyelash extension fans who, like her, have become too dependent on the very things that were supposed to boost their looks and make them feel good. In 2019, she launched OpulenceMD Beauty, a luxury brand specializing in gentler, safer, and easier-to-use eyelash extensions. They're made from Siberian mink fur, the delicate strands harvested from the hair shed during the brushing of the animals' tails. They're also lighter than commercial extensions and, thanks to their magnetic band, pop easily into place after a user has applied a magnetic liner on their lash line. Best of all, they stay put throughout the day, even through workouts and power naps, and can be used up to 40 times — a fair return for their $245 price tag. 

With demand for her product ramping up, the entrepreneur entered "Shark Tank" on Episode 20 of Season 12 to find an investor to help streamline her supply chain. She found one in guest Shark Kendra Scott.

What happened to OpulenceMD Beauty on Shark Tank?

During her pitch, Dr. Goodwin-Hildebrand made the case for eyelash extensions' popularity by comparing them to breasts: "Every woman wants a bigger, better pair." To show the user-friendly nature of OpulenceMD Beauty's lashes, she gave each of the Sharks a pair to try on with an accompanying magnetic liner, and an enthusiastic Mark Cuban was able to put his on easily. 

Dr. Goodwin-Hildebrand wanted $75,000 in investment in exchange for 5% equity because, although OpulenceMD Beauty already made $685,000 in lifetime sales and had been profitable the previous month, it needed help with the backend due to $213,000 in online sales. Despite having an 88% to 95% margin, the company was paying too many contractors to keep up with the orders. Her company wasn't the first eyelash extension business to pitch on "Shark Tank," but the doctor was confident that her medical background and expertise lent credibility to her brand. She also wanted to help more women feel confident through her advocacy of teaching them how to care for their eyes. 

Impressed with OpulenceMD Beauty's high margin, Kevin O'Leary offered $75,000 for 20% equity. Kendra Scott presented the same numbers, explaining that, unlike O'Leary, she knows all about eyelashes and her business employs over 2,000 women who would wear makeup, including fake lashes, to attend online meetings. Dr. Goodwin-Hildebrand bargained for 12% equity to which Scott made a final counter-offer of $100,000 for 20% of the company, and the two businesswomen struck a deal.

The company got a publicity and a sales boost post-Shark Tank

According to Shark Tank Recap, OpulenceMD Beauty got a significant boost from its TV exposure, making $1 million within the year after appearing on the show. It also expanded its product line, adding lash kits for beginners, different lash styles, and accessories like lid tape, and brow and lash glaze. It also branched out a bit to include skin cleansers and makeup removers. The price points dropped as well, with The Lashanista Starter Kit retailing for $125 in 2021. 

The brand's products made a splash in the media, too, with Bustle, Essence, and Good Housekeeping lauding their convenience and safety. WNBA player Dana Evans also featured OpulenceMD Beauty's IDGAF lashes in a Get Ready With Me video she posted on Instagram and TikTok.

However, OpulenceMD Beauty is closing down

On June 19, the company founder, who has dropped Hildebrand and now goes by Dr. Goodwin, announced in an Instagram video that she will be closing down OpulenceMD Beauty so she can explore other opportunities. All of the remaining available products were put on sale as the company winds down its operations. 

Some websites had reported that OpulenceMD Beauty's deal with Scott didn't seem to have materialized. It doesn't help that the company's website and social media pages don't mention "Shark Tank" at all. However, the brand had previously released a now-sold-out Kendra Lash, and Dr. Goodwin acknowledged her successful appearance on the show in the same video that announced OpulenceMD Beauty's closure. She expressed gratitude to everyone who had supported the business through the years and restated her passion for helping women build their confidence by teaching them how to take care of their eyes so they look their best. 

The company's closure announcement, as well as its last Instagram post promoting an 85% off sale on all remaining products, earned sympathetic comments from customers who were sad to hear the news. However, peppered among them are a few commenters denouncing animal cruelty, with one simply posting "Killers." (It should be noted that Dr. Goodwin had already clarified during her "Shark Tank" appearance how her brand obtained mink fur for the lashes.)

The founder now offers bespoke eyewear under a new brand

While the brand she became known for is shutting down, Dr. Goodwin has started another venture that still caters to people's eyewear needs. On June 2, she posted on her personal Instagram page that her newest company, Alexa Alysse, has gone live. It offers "artisan-crafted" eyewear made from what it claims to be ethically sourced water buffalo horn, with the waste generated by the production process recycled as part of its zero-waste initiative. "By utilizing this natural material, we reduce our environmental impact and contribute to the conservation of resources," the company explained on its website, perhaps in anticipation of animal-cruelty criticism from the public.

Alexa Alysse also employs more than 50 women to carry out the 300-step process of creating each pair of eyewear, stating that it observes fair trade practices. The brand currently offers five styles, each one named after a "Game of Thrones" house.

As her newest business finds its footing, Dr. Goodwin continues to promote healthy vision practices that people can apply to their daily lives as the co-founder and CEO of EYEmergencyMD, Inc., an acute care ocular telemedicine company. "Excellence is my standard," she states on her LinkedIn page. "It should also apply to everyone's vision."