Interviews

BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: A CONVERSATION ABOUT CUSTOMIZATION IN SKINCARE

Photo Mar 01, 1 45 28 PM.jpg

One could argue that customization and personalization have been a trend as long as the beauty industry has existed. Perfumeries have created fragrances for individuals, including royalty and the insanely rich, for centuries. The desire to have something tailor-made is not new, but as consumer appetite for it increases, technology is making it more accessible and scalable.

The topic of customization has been top of mind for us, so we were excited to explore it at the Millennial 20-20 conference in New York, where BeautyMatter founder Kelly Kovack moderated a panel entitled “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, personalization is everything.”

Christine Chang, Co-CEO of Glow Recipe, Sabrina Tan, CEO & Founder Skin Inc, and Jill Tomandi, Vice President Product Development and Innovation at Smashbox, shared how they’re integrating the consumer’s desire for personalization into their brands and their thoughts on scalability. These brands may vary in size and in their approach to personalization, but they agree on the need to reimagine how consumers interact with and purchase beauty.

Glow Recipe, the go-to curators of Korean skincare, are integrating personalization as sales animation. Many K-beauty products like single-use sheet masks lend themselves to mixing and matching based on daily skincare concerns.

Smashbox has leveraged customization in their business for the fall launch of their Be Legendary 120-shade lipstick collection with digital activation and limited-edition 3-D printed lipsticks. They also animate the brand through encouraging influencers to come to the “lab” and create their own shade—fueling excitement and social media engagement. Jill Tomandi’s advice regarding innovation is test small, then scale.

Skin Inc has created a simple regime based on suiting individuals’ specific skincare needs through a custom-blended serum called My Daily Dose. An online quiz of about two dozen questions and an algorithm recommend three out of nine targeted serums to decode individual skin identities and address a consumer’s unique needs.

We followed up with Sabrina Tan, CEO & Founder Skin Inc, after the conference for a mini interview:

1. What role does customization play in your brand? (is it the foundation, a marketing touchpoint, animation at retail, etc)

Skin Inc’s backbone is customization, and we’re the global leader in skincare customization. We started with our signature customized “my daily dose” serum followed on by mask, LED devices and the latest with our moisturizer. Millions of consumers have done our Skin Identity service.

2. Customization is inherently complicated. How do you reconcile the consumer’s desire for customization with their desire for simplicity?

Not anymore with technology and on digital platforms. It is probably much faster with a few ticks online. Look at NIKEiD.

3. The desire for customization isn’t new. One could argue it’s as old as the beauty industry. What do you think is driving the customization segment now—Millennials or technology?

I will say it feeds on each other—the desire of individuality, self-expression, and having that voice heard. And technology and digital enabled that whole life cycle and experience.

Beauty consumers have never been more educated or discerning, making made-to-order beauty a way to differentiate a business in the crowded beauty sector. Startups and established brands are increasingly finding ways to leverage technology to allow consumers to create their ideal products.  Only time will tell if technology is truly going to be able to scale customized beauty. Will customized beauty businesses be the next billion-dollar brands?

Originally written for and published by BeautyMatter

Backstage Beauty Pass : Pamella Roland

New York Fashion Week  Fall / Winter 2013-14

February 11, 2013

On Monday, I stopped by the tents to see my friend Matin - lead makeup artist for Laura Mercier and CAUS beauty committee member - who keyed the Pamella Roland show. The palette he created was inspired by Roland's collection; an homage to the opulence of St. Petersburg and the Winter Palace. Cue luxe gilding.

The models at the Roland show had perfectly defined dark red pouts set against flawless matte skin (Mercier's signature). Eyes were washed with soft gold.

To get the look, artists applied Mercier's Oil Free Suprême Foundation or Silk Crème Foundation to skin, and set with translucent powder. Lips were outlined in Coffee Bean and filled in with Deep Wine. Lids were swept with Gold shadow and finished with a slick of mascara.

Hair was swept into a sleek french roll and secured with a wide, shiny black headband.

Though we're only on the fifth day of New York Fashion Week, it is apparent that the popularity of oxblood will continue into next season as it has been featured at many shows this week.

pamellaroland_beautyf13.jpg

Backstage Beauty Pass: Alessia Prekop

This season, I had the opportunity to provide direction for the beauty color palette for Alessia Prekop‘s Fall / Winter 2013-14 show. I worked with stylist Toyo Tsuchiya to develop a makeup look that complimented Prekop’s 1980′s silhouettes – and bright color range.

We wanted the makeup to enhance the collection – but not steal the show. Metallic shadow was a mainstay in the 80′s and has been gaining popularity in beauty recently. As a result, we decided the subtle use of a warm metallic would provide the right balance of pop and understated elegance.

The Bobbi Brown team applied shimmering bronze and gold pigments on inner eyes and lips, balanced by neutralizing nude and charcoal grey. The light-handed application of these metallic hues provided a touch of sparkle, while maintaining a central focus on the clothes.

Hair was braided into a long “horsetail”  with blunt ends. Nails made an impact in dramatic black polish, with french tips in red, green and blue

alessiaprekop_beautyf13.jpg

RR meets R29

Last week, Refinery29 put together a list of "7 Of The Raddest Jobs In The Beauty Game". I was honored to be included in this series--amongst some of the top players in the industry.

While the illustration may make trend forecasting look like it's all about reading a crystal ball, the interview digs deep to uncover how I got into the industry and how a forecast actually comes together.

Read it here.

Side note: Check out the article published two days prior, featuring my fave PR duo (and pals) Meredith and Madeleine from Project M+M

Illustration credit: Naomi Abel for Refinery29