Company valuations in the cosmetics industry are currently bananas, as blockbuster actor Jason Statham can attest. Last month, Statham sold his Malibu beach home for $18.5 million in an all-cash deal, nearly double the $10.6 million he paid for the property back in 2009.
According to records, the buyer is Chris Tawil, the businessman who co-founded the social media-famous Morphe cosmetics company with his younger sister Linda Tawil back in 2008. Morphe, one of the best-known influencer-driven beauty brands, ranks among the fastest-growing retail companies in all of the United States. It’s difficult to believe that the multibillion-dollar cosmetics brand started out with exceedingly humble roots, as the Tawils themselves peddled makeup brushes at various trade shows around the U.S. for years.
It wasn’t until 2013 that Morphe first began to attract widespread consumer attention. Around that time, Linda Tawil started personally reaching out to Instagram and YouTube influencers, seeking collaborations that would grow her company beyond brushes into other niches such as eyeshadows, concealers and foundations. Since then, the Tawils have forged close relationships with mega-personalities like Jeffree Star, James Charles and Jaclyn Hill. The Morphe X Jaclyn Hill palette alone ranks as one of the beauty industry’s all-time bestselling eyeshadow palettes, moving more than 1 million units in 2017 alone.
And after only a handful of years, those YouTuber partnerships have transformed Morphe’s small makeup brush company into a bonafide international cosmetics juggernaut, a force with dozens of physical stores worldwide.
In early 2017, the Tawils reportedly sold a significant stake in their makeup brand to a private equity investor. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but online chatter says the transaction could have been worth as much as $400 million. And last summer, private equity company General Atlantic acquired a majority stake in the Tawils’ company, valuing Morphe at upwards of a whopping $2 billion and providing the Tawils with near-limitless liquid wealth.
Chris Tawil’s organically modern Malibu abode features nearly 4,000 square feet of living space spread through the three-bedroom main house and a detached guest unit. Aptly named the “black house” — likely because the structure is painted a crisp ebony black — the sophisticated surf shack was redone by Statham during his decade-long ownership, featuring a soothing palette of unpretentious Danish furniture and accessories. He also kept many of the midcentury home’s original features, noting to Architectural Digest that the home’s basic layout was “really quite appealing.”
Open-plan living and entertaining spaces include radiant-heated Belgian oak floors, cream-colored walls and floor-to-ceiling windows with postcard-perfect coastline views. A family lounge is arranged around a built-in entertainment TV unit, another space features a red-brick fireplace set into a wall of firewood storage cubbies.
With its luminescent stainless-steel countertops, the kitchen’s casual dining space opens through sets of French doors to a lovely courtyard set between the main house and the detached guesthouse/two-car garage combo. The private area includes a custom built-in spa that is overlooked by the second-floor master suite, flooded with light thanks to multiple clerestory windows and a bank of French doors opening to a slender balcony with mesmerizing ocean views.
Of course, this is hardly Tawil’s first time on the real estate rodeo. Back in 2017, he paid Dr. Dre $12.5 million for an enormous vacant piece of land within the guard-gated celebrity enclave of Hidden Hills, Calif. Today, that property remains vacant and undeveloped, and happens to lie directly next door to his sister’s $12 million Hidden Hills mansion, currently undergoing renovations.
Tawil’s current main residence, however, is a $9.25 million estate in the guard-gated Oaks of Calabasas, where some of his nearest neighbors include Travis Barker, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine and Dr. Phil’s son Jay McGraw. He bought that 15,000 sq. ft. mansion from Tamar Braxton and Vincent Herbert in 2018.