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e.l.f. Cosmetics Releases True Crime Parody Documentary “Cosmetic Criminals,” Inspired by a Social Insight from Its Community

Who the e.l.f. did it? Today, e.l.f. Cosmetics is releasing “Cosmetic Criminals,” a true crime parody documentary capturing widespread e.l.f.-pinching in households everywhere on Amazon Freevee. The parody documentary will also make its theatrical debut playing ahead of Paramount Pictures’ new “Mean Girls” movie at select AMC locations nationwide on January 12, 2024.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

e.l.f. Cosmetics releases “Cosmetic Criminals,” a branded 15-minute mockumentary playing at select AMC theatres before Paramount Pictures’ new “Mean Girls” movie and on Amazon Freevee. (Graphic: Business Wire)

e.l.f. Cosmetics releases “Cosmetic Criminals,” a branded 15-minute mockumentary playing at select AMC theatres before Paramount Pictures’ new “Mean Girls” movie and on Amazon Freevee. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The 15-minute spot, the latest from e.l.f.’s disruptive marketing and entertainment powerhouse, is best described as a true crime parody documentary with suspenseful twists and turns. “Cosmetic Criminals” will be the longest branded content spot to ever run on the big screen, according to National CineMedia, the largest cinema advertising platform in the U.S. Directed by Oscar and Emmy award-nominee Alex Buono (Documentary Now!, Russian Doll) and starring Emmy Award-winning producer and four time-nominated actress Niecy Nash-Betts (Origin, RENO 911!), Nelson Franklin (Veep, New Girl), Necar Zadegan (NCIS, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce) and more.

With an entire household of suspects, each with plenty reason to “borrow” their favorite e.l.f. product, viewers will want to know “who the e.l.f. did it?” The biggest mystery of all is why anyone doesn’t have their own e.l.f. products in the first place. e.l.f. has prestige inspired products at extraordinary prices that do not break the bank — always e.l.f. clean, vegan, cruelty free and Fair Trade certified.

“Our e.l.f. community was the first to tell us about widespread e.l.f.-pinching within their households,” said Laurie Lam, Chief Brand Officer, e.l.f. Beauty. “Borrowing e.l.f. holy grails from family and friends without the intention of returning, a.k.a. Intergenerational Cos Crime, is a global phenomenon – between siblings, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives – even grandparents are not spared. This insight from our community sparked an incredible idea we had to act on.”

Intergenerational e.l.f.-pinching comes as no surprise, Laurie added, as in addition to being ranked the #1 Gen Z favorite cosmetics brand*, e.l.f. is for every eye, lip and face, from Gen Alpha to Boomers.

e.l.f. also turned this social insight into a merch collection, aptly named Cosmetic Security, for fans who are experiencing e.l.f.-pinching in their homes, shared spaces or dorm rooms. The three-piece collection on includes a teddy bear, faux planter and hollowed-out book by Heidi N. Herre. Each item has a vault, creating the perfect hiding spot from the cosmetic criminals in your lives.

Get more behind the scenes on e.l.f.’s first true crime parody documentary and all things e.l.f. pinching by following e.l.f.’s social channels on YouTube, TikTok, Twitch and Instagram. Watch “Cosmetic Criminals” now on Amazon Freevee (here) and YouTube (here).

*Source: Piper Sandler’s Semi-Annual “Taking Stock with Teens” Survey, Fall 2023.

About e.l.f. Cosmetics

Since 2004, e.l.f. Cosmetics has made the best of beauty accessible to every eye, lip and face. We make high-quality, prestige-inspired cosmetics and skin care products at an extraordinary value and are proud to be e.l.f. clean, vegan, cruelty free and Fair Trade Certified. As one of the first online beauty brands, e.l.f. continues to attract a highly engaged audience and set benchmarks with new digital platforms. Our brand is widely available at leading retailers such as Target, Walmart and Ulta Beauty, and has a growing international presence including at Boots, Superdrug and Douglas. Learn more by visiting


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