Lane Verlenden – e.l.f. Beauty

Putting his best legal face forward at e.l.f. Beauty

Jennifer Coolidge being a noted vegan and advocate for animal rights, the star of “The White Lotus” seemed an ideal partner for e.l.f. Beauty. The beauty company, after all, touts its products as vegan and cruelty free. But there still was a maze of legalities that had to be crossed before her commercial could air during last February’s Super Bowl.

As the assistant general counsel at e.l.f. Beauty, Lane Verlenden helped oversee the process, though he never got to meet the actress—“I did hear she was a delight on the set,” he says. e.l.f. Beauty’s marketing department had the fun of being on set while Verlenden negotiated the details with Coolidge’s representatives.

Lane Verlenden | Associate Vice President & Assistant General Counsel | e.l.f. Beauty

Lane Verlenden | Associate Vice President & Assistant General Counsel | e.l.f. Beauty

It wasn’t a tough process, he tells Vanguard this past July. Being able to quickly and successfully pull this off at “e.l.f. speed” just required him being a business partner first and an attorney second. It’s about knowing what is important to both sides, he says, finding common ground and not being caught up in “what ifs” or “winning points.”

Pulled together from concept to shooting in a mere three weeks, the commercial ran during the second quarter of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. That game, unlike so many of the NFL’s championships, being a nail-biter, it’s likely the commercial was viewed by tens of millions, a good chunk of them being millennials and Gen Z’ers—the very demographic e.l.f. Beauty targets.

Young at heart

At 40, Verlenden isn’t so far removed from that demographic but admits he sometimes needs to look up trends on social media after hearing some marketing ideas.

e.l.f. Beauty’s CEO often jokes that this is an entertainment company that happens to sell beauty products. Verlenden believes there’s truth to that statement—the company seeks to engage its consumers through a variety of disruptive marketing campaigns.

There are its “moving at the speed of culture” social media posts and unexpected collabs such as with Meghan Trainor and The Weather Channel. And its digital series, such as a TikTok influencer “reality show” and Vanity Table Talk’s “get ready with me” series. And the company’s producing songs, creating music videos and co-branding with companies whose consumer base complements.

“Traditional marketing is out the door at e.l.f.,” Verlenden says.

But as much fun as untraditional marketing is, he explains it entails much thinking outside the box and being flexible. He cites deals the company’s cut with Chipotle, American Eagle and Dunkin.’

“We’ve come up with some really great co-branded products that have amusing, cheeky illusions to those brands,” he says.

Lane Verlenden | Associate Vice President & Assistant General Counsel | e.l.f. Beauty

These collabs included a lip scrub featuring a Dunkin’ coffee scent, a makeup sponge that looks like an avocado and an eye-shadow palette that resembled the counter of your local Chipotle.

While Verlenden says these collaborations are fun, it falls upon him to think through the legal complexities and ensure the company acts thoughtfully. That includes sorting out what intellectual properties belong to whom, thinking through exclusivity and ascertaining the marketing doesn’t push too far.

“Legal is very much part of the process from the beginning,” he says. “Our marketing and legal departments have regular touch points on what’s on the docket and what’s coming down the pike. Who are we marketing to? What’s the media plan? Are we staying within all the applicable regulatory guidelines? How will our statements be received by our consumers, watch groups, or our competitors?”

Additionally, while the company has mostly operated in the United States, it’s looking to expand globally and that means speaking in new languages, tailoring marketing to new locales and customs, and, as Verlenden reminds, always being entertaining in the process.

“The more our marketing resonates with, and is memorable to, our consumers, the more likely people are to think about our products when they’re shopping,” he says. “We always want to delight our consumer, wherever they might be.”

Not just a marketer

For a $7 billion-plus market cap company, e.l.f. has a surprisingly small legal department of three attorneys. That has Verlenden’s legal expertise needed across the entire organization.

As part of his responsibilities, Verlenden is a member of the company’s core ESG team. While an environmental-social-governance mindset had long been present, the company has committed “full-throttle” down the ESG path with everyone agreeing it’s both ethically appropriate and good business. It has Verlenden working with many departments, including operations, to further e.l.f.’s purpose-driven mission and ethos.

Recently e.l.f. worked with Fair Trade USA™ to create a new framework for beauty factories to become Fair Trade Certified™ and transitioned to a multi-node ecommerce distribution model and lighter, smaller packaging to help reduce its footprint.

Lane Verlenden | Associate Vice President & Assistant General Counsel | e.l.f. Beauty

Being part of a small legal team has required Verlenden to learn new areas of law and become a true generalist as he has had to address a wide array of legal issues across all touch points at the company. It’s something he has relished and keeps him on his toes.

“Being able to work at a company that’s growing and pushing the limits and that embraces the legal department as business partners has been invaluable,” he says. “I wake up each day knowing something unexpected is going to happen.”

While he says working at e.l.f. is more fun than private practice, Verlenden credits two firms, Schulte Roth & Zabel and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, for grooming his skills after his 2009 graduation from Boston University School of Law.

By 2016 he was ready to go in-house, first with a two-year stint with video game developer Zynga, and then his first tour of duty with e.l.f. Beauty from 2018 to 2021 (he rejoined e.l.f. in late 2022 after a stint at an investment manager started by former co-workers).

“In due time, I envision being a general counsel,” he says. “In the meantime, I’m well-positioned to enhance my skills at e.l.f.”

View this feature in the Vanguard Fall I 2023 Edition here.

Published on: September 14, 2023



Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in Vanguard” badge that links directly to your article!

Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing tag) where you want to display our review banner.


The piece highlighting my company, Bob Baker Enterprises, Inc., came out fabulous. Our company is in the new and used car sales and service industry. Everyone was great to work with and extremely professional. They produced a high-quality product and have provided expert assistance and guidance post-production of the article.
– Wade Poulson, General Counsel, Bob Baker Enterprises Inc.
I was honored to be the subject of an article. I enjoy reading Vanguard articles and seeing how other attorneys got to their positions and see their jobs. It's also interesting to see how different law firms partner with the subjects of the articles.
– Henry Marquard, in-house counsel, Stanley Consultants Inc.
It was a great honor to be featured in Vanguard Law. Working with every member of the team, from the initial interview with Erin Clark, through production with Victor Martins, writing the article with Taryn Plumb and creating the final content with Dave Gushee, was a true pleasure. Everyone was very professional, enthusiastic and supportive, and their creative approach and positive attitude clearly came through in the final product.
– Kevin C. Rakowski, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Compliance with Radian Group Inc.
As promised in advance, my feature in Vanguard has increased my visibility within the profession and prompted more than a few people I have not communicated with recently to reconnect. One of the Italian law firms I have used in the past is now in the process of interviewing me for an article on their website and tweeting out the feature story. Activity and the number of people connecting with me on LinkedIn has soared, which is great. The Vanguard writers and editorial staff were great to work with—highly professional and made the effort to make the experience both fun and rewarding (they were also respectful of the time pressures and demands all lawyers face). I was very pleased with the experience and the final outcome. Needless to say, I have been very pleased. All in all working with Vanguard has been a very positive experience which generated good publicity for both Shawcor and myself. My sincere thanks.
– Tim Hutzul, General Counsel, ShawCor Ltd.


Spring III 2024



  • * We’ll never share your email or info with anyone.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.