tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 20, 2014 10:40 AM
The days of excruciating hours spent in a makeup chair to transform into a character like Mrs. Doubtfire or the Joker are waning, thanks to Nobumichi Asai’s Omote.
A mash-up of real-time facetracking and projection mapping, artists can layer malleable makeup on subjects that are moving. Asai has previously used projection mapping to apply CGI to cars and to buildings before taking on the human face.
Asai's iteration still has some kinks to work out, but the face-mapping technology behind the project is actually at work in several other branded products in the beauty industry that are currently on the market.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 24, 2014 03:55 PM
It’s not enough to just be a superstar these days, with millions of adoring fans and multitudes of followers on social media. Instead, celebrities from all walks of life are turning their personal brands into actual businesses with products and services that you never knew you needed.
Case in point: Kim Kardashian's blockbuster mobile game “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.” The Sims-like game is sitting at No. 1 on the iTunes free app chart and reportedly brought in $200 million in the few months that it's been live. Kardashian, according to Forbes, will take home around $85 million of that thanks to her near 50 percent stake in the game. While the game "is ridiculous. It’s laughable. It grates on your nerves after awhile," the Washington Post reports, "it’s nearly impossible to look away.”
Reflecting the Kardashian brand, now a multimillion-dollar empire, the app lets users achieve various levels of gameplay on their way to becoming an “A-list” celebrity with Kim as a guide. In-app purchases of Kim Coins drive revenue through the roof for the fairly simple app, which has a 5-star rating.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 24, 2014 11:41 AM
Retail is ripe for innovation, but are consumers really hungry for it? The latest Omnichannel Shopping Preferences study from A.T. Kearney seeks to answer that, but the findings may surprise the droves of brands making huge investments in digital commerce.
The survey of 2,500 US shoppers found that physical retail stores play a crucial role in online purchasing habits, with 55 percent of shoppers preferring to use both physical stores and online retail throughout the shopping journey.
The study makes for an even greater argument for omnichannel retail. "A strategy based on leveraging the appeal of the physical store supported by digital is the best formula for capturing the maximum number of sales, building sustainable customer loyalty, and creating opportunities to cross-sell," study co-author Michael Brown said.
While online-only brands like Birchbox continue to experiment with physical retail spaces, traditional retail brands are also finding fun, innovative ways to combine the ease of online shopping with the brand experience of brick-and-mortar.Continue reading...
Posted by Brittany Waterson on July 17, 2014 01:52 PM
Color this beauty blogger impressed. I finally got a chance to visit Birchbox, the beauty subscription service and e-commerce site, at the brand's first brick-and-mortar retail store, which opened in New York last week. Located in Soho, the store includes a curated product assortment from 250 brands. Birchbox joins brands like Warby Parker and Bonobos in making the leap from exclusively online ventures to physical stores.
Birchbox launched in 2010 and has grown rapidly with a goal of redefining the retail process by offering customers a way to try and experience the best beauty products on the market. Birchbox offers monthly subscriptions, in which customers are sent boxes containing sample-sized beauty products, in addition to an e-commerce site where all the products are available for purchase. The brand tested pop-up locations in New York and the Hamptons before making the leap to a permanent residency.Continue reading...
Posted by Katie Conneally on July 10, 2014 06:17 PM
It used to be that you could spot bold nail polish colors, elaborate nail art and sparkling gel manicures on hands left and right. But after several years of unparalleled growth, the nail polish market has slowed down, with retailers like Coty (which owns OPI) noting a four percent drop in sales at the end of 2013.
So this year, it’s no surprise that nail polish brands are turning to new, innovative partnerships to reposition nail polish as not just a beauty product, but a key part of consumers' aesthetic lifestyle, in an attempt to drive sales and attract new customers.
OPI is leading the way through a collaboration with Clark+Kensington, a line of house paints from Ace Hardware. Together, they’ve developed three new color palettes of house paint that match some of OPI’s most illustrious colors. Each palette contains 6 shades and is designed to reflect consumers’ personalities with names like "The Artist," "The Wild Heart" and "The Romantic."Continue reading...
Posted by Isobel Oliphant on July 8, 2014 06:17 PM
For a while, after realizing that they could, most brands loved to talk; to customers, to other brands, to anyone who’d listen, really. Then they figured out how conversation worked, that theirs wasn’t the only voice to be heard and that being a good listener would win a lot more admirers.
What we can assume they heard when they started to listen was, “I can do it alone.”
Back in 2012, Clinique, one of the largest makeup and skincare brands operating in the US, gave itself a mini-makeover, transitioning into what retailers call an “open-sell” environment, a place where shoppers can browse, buy and be in peace—an experience that some might say is the physical manifestation of online shopping with the only difference at checkout, when everything you’ve “added to your basket” must now be piled on the counter and rung up the old-fashioned way: by a human being.
Its "Service how you like it" concept took the brand's products out of the box and put them on display for customers to play and experiment with, either with or without the help of a sales associate. The concept was pioneered by Sephora, which openly displays its products and piles on the free samples. With increased sales and continued market success, Clinique seems to have hit the nail polish on the head.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 1, 2014 01:08 PM
L’Oréal USA hasn't found the fountain of youth, and so it's finally settling its deceptive advertising charges with the FTC over claims that it made about its Lancôme Génifique and L’Oréal Paris Youth Code skincare products.
The FTC claimed that L’Oréal made false and unsubstantiated claims about its products, namely that they provided anti-aging benefits by targeting users’ genes.
“It would be nice if cosmetics could alter our genes and turn back time,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, according to USA Today. “But L’Oréal couldn’t support these claims.”
L’Oréal’s national campaign claimed Génifique products were “clinically proven” to “boost genes’ activity and stimulate the production of youth proteins,” resulting in “visibly younger skin in just 7 days.” For its Youth Code products, L’Oréal advertised (in English and Spanish) the “new era of skin care: gene science,” letting consumers “crack the code to younger acting skin.”Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2014 11:49 AM
With a remark by an executive at a contest for UK entrepreneurs last week, Tesco has indicated interest in entering the growing “beauty beverage" market in Europe.
But as a segment that long has seemed heavy on promise but sometimes disappointing in actual sales (and results), beauty drinks have ensnared other major brands including Nestle, Coca-Cola and Sanofi over the last several years—with evidently less-than-spectacular results.
The idea of this genre is to create formulas that actually improve skin, hair and other aspects of appearance in specific ways that go beyond the general health-inducing properties of the thousands of “functional” drinks that are on the market globally.Continue reading...