BEAUTY CARE

Apps let shoppers try before they buy

BY DSN STAFF

Makeup apps and virtual makeovers are gaining traction in the mass market. The new ways to sample beauty are taking many forms, both in store and via smartphones.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

“Selecting the wrong shade and then being disappointed at home is the No. 1 problem with self-service makeup,” said Diana Dolling-Ross, who oversees beauty at City Chemists in Brooklyn, N.Y. While personal attention is the best, the apps can help solve that issue, she said.

Many credit L’Oréal’s Makeup Genius as the app to harness the potential. In October 2015 alone, there were 160,000 downloads of the app, which lets women virtually try colors and styles before buying.

But where Makeup Genius sticks to the thousands of items in L’Oréal’s stable, other virtual makeup choices, such as ShadeScout, sample a wider swatch. This app is particularly helpful in stores, said a beauty adviser at a major drug chain, because it helps her direct her customers to mass versions of pricier products. With ShadeScout, a user can use take a photo of a product they like, such as Chanel, and get a match that is a similar shade — in a mass choice, such as Cover-Girl. Recently, ShadeScout added a nail color matching platform, too. The app also helps women find new shades when a favorite is discontinued.

Early this year, Sally Hansen got into the app game with Mani Match, which allows users to try on more than 200 Sally Hansen nail polish shades in real time. The app is promoted on shelves with items tagged with the app icon to try live in the store.

ModiFace is an innovator in apps — both in store and on smart-phones. In stores, the ModiFace Mirror mimics makeup effects on a live video using iOS and in-store kiosks. Consumers can see makeup — more than 2,000 actual SKUs — on a 3-D screen as they move from side to side, pause the video to zoom in and explore products. The retail version enables a glance-based recommendation, which prompts product suggestions as someone looks at the screen. A consumer can be identified eight to 10 feet away from the mirror. Then, it begins scanning the user’s facial features to find the best items for his or her complexion in less than one second. The technology shows the products used alongside a live preview. If the user steps toward the kiosk, then the full interface opens up and allows for customization; the user can search by color, product type or brand. The platform will be an avenue to increase sales through magic mirrors, said Parham Aarabi, CEO of ModiFace, which has been used with Cover-Girl products in drug stores. “In our early tests, we saw 20% of shoppers stop to walk over to use the initial mirrors. With the glance-based recommendations, we are hoping for this number to be closer to 50%.” ModiFace also offers applications for smartphones, including a new selfie feature.

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BEAUTY CARE

Charcoal helps boost Bioré’s sales

BY DSN STAFF

CINCINNATI — Drug stores have always faced challenges keeping up with prestige competitors when it comes to ingredient stories. With trained sales experts at the counter, department and specialty stores have an advantage in pitching the latest “magical” formula.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

That all changed when Bioré embraced the benefits of charcoal for its complexion care lineup. The result has been successful for the mass market, buyers said. Bioré features charcoal in several items, including a Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar, Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser and Deep Cleaning Charcoal Pore Strips. While overall facial cleanser sales are edging up an average 4% this year compared with last year, Kao’s Bioré brand is posting average 35% gains, according to IRI.

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Retailers embrace ‘New General Market’

BY DSN STAFF

This past year goes into the books as the year drug and discount retailers fully embraced the concept of the New General Market. Realizing consumers think and shop differently — especially multicultural and millennial shoppers — retailers revamped signage and selections to meet these new demands.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

By doing so, they gained a competitive edge against department and specialty stores who have been slower to do so, according to industry expert Allan Mottus.

The beauty department arguably is the biggest category getting overhauled, especially hair and skin care. Research suggests women shop for beauty by needs rather than ethnicity. Validation of that point comes from a May 2015 report from Sundial revealing that more than 50% of women select products for skin or hair types, or beauty need. Only 7% indicated they selected products based on race.

Compounding that is the blending of America. “Moms walk into my salon with offspring hair they don’t know how to care for, such as an Asian mom with straight hair who didn’t know how to care for her daughter’s curls she inherited from her Jewish dad,” explained Cozy Fried man, who owns kid-friendly salons in Manhattan and has launched a line of hair care for kids.

As part of this movement, signage is being changed in stores, eliminating such terms as “ethnic hair care,” which were the norm for the past 30 years. In non-beauty categories, delineation between boys and girls is being eliminated. With the use of social media, retailers said they could direct messages to specific market segments, but allow them to shop how they want in stores.

“Women with thick, curly hair aren’t limited to one race,” said Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO of Sundial Brands, adding that almost 100 million women in the United States alone claim to have textured hair. Dennis defined the New General Market as “an amalgamation of cultures, ethnicities and demographics aligned against commonalities, need states and lifestyles.”

A similar situation exists in skin care. While skin lighteners or products to address hyper-pigmentation often are thought of as purchase by black consumers, the reality is these situations exist among all women, said a buyer for a major drug chain.

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