Monday, 20 February 2012

Beauty trend: beauty adhesives & Face Lace by Phyllis Cohen

Watch out for make up artist Phyllis Cohen’s new beauty line Face Lace launching at the end of March 2012 – guaranteed to be top on the lust-lists of beauty junkies.

Face Lace by Phyllis Cohen

Beauty adhesives are a continually growing trend in the UK market, largely aided by Chanel’s transfer tattoos adorning the catwalks back in 2010. Since then, nail art tattoos, adhesive eyeliner patches and stick-on lash art are all making their mark on the beauty scene, and not forgetting the Violent Lips lip transfers for the braver beauty mavericks among us.

Face Lace takes stick-on beauty adornment to a whole new level, with a line-up of 15 intricate ready-to-wear make-up designs ranging from modest Mini Eye Laces to more elaborate full-face designs. It brings art into the commercial beauty market to create something truly beautiful and exciting.


I am completely inspired by the promo video for Face Lace, which is a work of art in itself. If moody, intimate and atmospheric videos are your thing, I promise you’ll love it. It reminds me of Pringle of Scotland’s short film shot by Ryan McGinley in 2010, which I was equally captivated by.

The Face Lace short film consists of nothing but close-ups of the models wearing the product, and yet it manages to be gripping thanks to clever use of light and shadow and a bad-ass sound track. Hats off to camera man and director Jeff Leyshon. When creative talent like Leyshon and Cohen combine, I think it creates something very exciting for the beauty market and I hope to see more of it in our industry.

In another exciting collaboration for Phyllis Cohen, she created bespoke designs for fashion designer Corrie Neilson's catwalk show on the opening day of London Fashion Week last Friday. With exquisite tartan face art referencing the Scottish vibe of the collection, I predict exciting developments from Face Lace in the future.


Image credits: face-lace.com

Monday, 6 February 2012

‘Super serum’ Snoxin launches – but is it product results or media hype that drives sales of so-called ‘wonder products’?

A new so-called ‘super serum’ called Snoxin hits the shelves of Boots today, claiming to ‘combat all aspects of skin ageing appearance, including the look of dynamic wrinkles, deeper folds, fine lines, crow's feet, textural irregularities and sagginess.’ Snoxin promises to ‘expect results within 7 days with continued improvement for up to 12 months’.

Snoxin is produced by Indeed Labs, the makers of Nanoblur - a Skin Corrector which launched among much media hype last year with the very bold claim of ‘look 10 years younger in 40 seconds’ and resulted in sales of one Nanoblur being sold every 10 seconds. As regular readers of this blog will know, I am always very skeptical of bold product claims in beauty and I’m in favour of honest claims in return for consumer trust and loyalty.

Remember that Channel 4 TV programme 10 Years Younger? Well the women on there did look 10 years younger at the end of each show – but not before undergoing a vast amount of invasive cosmetic surgery, a complete makeover and a whole new wardrobe. How a beauty product can claim to do the same in 40 seconds with just a swipe of cream is beyond me. I nearly fell off my chair when I read on Indeed Labs’ website that its objective was to ‘eliminate all marketing hype from skin treatments’.


At least Snoxin doesn’t hold quite such bold claims as its predecessor, although I’m anticipating the same amount of hype. I find it fascinating when beauty brands hail new launches as 'wonder products' and go on sale with such instant frenzy - or in some cases, the hype starts before the product launches to create waiting lists for something that isn’t even available yet, thanks to some very clever marketing.

I deem sales statistics of 'Wonder Products' (which they can then quote to demonstrate the popularity of the product) - in Nanoblur's case ‘one sold every 10 seconds’ - is less indicative of how effective the results are and more about people rushing out to buy the product because of its hype; I believe this works on the psychological level of ‘Oh my goodness everyone has this product, I HAVE to have one too. Everyone is talking about this product, I HAVE to be able to join in. Maybe THIS is the product that will finally work.'

The actual results of many 'Wonder Products' tend to be open to debate. Reviews of Nanoblur were mixed – many said it didn’t work (and when claims are so bold you are only building your consumers up to be more disappointed), while others said they loved it. When it first launched, I was sent a Nanoblur to try. I barely have any eye wrinkles so I thought, well if it’s going to work, it should definitely work on me because there are not that many wrinkles to fill in. It didn’t work at all.

But what I found interesting was, when I gave Nanoblur to a 60-something relative to test and told her about the claims, she applied some to her nose to reduce her pores, looked closely into the mirror and declared that it had really worked. And while I couldn't see any real difference, it's fascinating that using a cream can make someone feel more confident about their appearance, whether it be based on well-marketed claims or actual results.

What do you think about the media hype surrounding beauty 'wonder products'?

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Models Own Bottleshop – true retail innovation

Cosmetic and nail brand Models Own has proved it's a step ahead of the game when it comes to store experience with its impending Bottleshop launch; quite literally, a stand-alone store that is shaped like a nail polish bottle laying on its side. Genius!



Due to open in Westfield London Shopping Centre (Shepherds Bush) in April 2012, Bottleshop will stock the full nail line up as well as store exclusives and is bound to attract shoppers’ attention among all the other stores and encourage them inside.

After my last blog post, which discussed beauty brands hiring editors and stylists to help create a more interactive shopping experience, it’s great to see more beauty brands getting creative with their store experience.

Have you seen any other innovative retail initiatives from beauty brands?