Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Sephora Beauty Box
Image source: Sephora

Beauty and cosmetics megabrand Sephora is entering the subscription beauty box business, competing with established players such as Birchbox in offering convenient product discovery platforms to beauty fans.

Costing a reasonable $10 and featuring a theme (such as ‘Uncovering the Essentials’), the Play! By Sephora monthly delivery box will introduce five deluxe-sized prestige products as well as samples, application tips and a Play! Pass for one-on-one tutorials in Sephora stores. A themed Spotify playlist will also enrich the experience of product discovery.

The first box will launch with limited distribution in a few top US cities such as Boston in September 2015 before rolling out nationwide in 2016. It will include the Sephora Collection’s Rouge Infusion Lip Stain in Peony, Marc Jacobs’ Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer, Ole Henriksen’s Sheer Transformation Face Crème, Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil, and Glamglow Supercleanse facial cleanser.

Such ventures are disrupting the process of beauty product discovery, allowing consumers to access and try new items ultra-conveniently. The sample boxes also help to establish a fan base for specific products, giving them cult status and fuelling sales. Benefit’s They’re Real mascara and Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser are bestsellers on competitor Birchbox, with consumers returning to the site to buy full-sized versions of their introductory samples.

The subscription beauty box business is a strong market. Birchbox (which also charges $10 for its monthly delivery service) has grown exponentially in the five years since it launched with $71.9m in funding. It’s now the leading monthly beauty delivery service in the US and UK.

In the US, similar service Memebox introduces consumers to the Korean beauty routine, which, with thousands of products launching each month and its rigorous 12+ steps, can be daunting to Western consumers.

Guest post by Lisa Payne

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Pixability
Image source: Beauty blogger Michelle Phan on YouTube

A new study by video marketing company Pixability reveals how consumer views of beauty videos and beauty marketing on platforms such as YouTube are growing at an unprecedented rate – highlighting significant shifts that beauty brands and marketers should be aware of.

The beauty ecosystem on YouTube “experienced a 50% growth rate in views from January 2014 to April 2015” according to the Beauty on YouTube report, which studied 215 beauty brands, and videos from over 180,000 creators on the social video site, who post videos on topics such as skincare, hair, make-up, and perfume.

With 45.3 billion total beauty views and over 123 million beauty subscribers, YouTube is the leading global beauty consumption platform, and its popularity is growing. Compared to 2014, beauty brand mentions on YouTube are also up 53%.

The report shows that beauty creators own 80% of YouTube’s top performing beauty videos. Interestingly, beauty video content from brands is becoming more popular. The study found that “total monthly views of brand-produced content increased 78%, and views of brand-produced beauty content grew 35% faster than views of overall beauty content on YouTube from January 2014—April 2015”. These findings suggest that brands are already in a strong position to engage with consumers without having to tap into hot-property vloggers.

The study also revealed that emerging content categories hold critical growth opportunity for brands. In men’s grooming for example, the top ten channels on YouTube “collectively hold 5.4 million channel subscribers – 4.4% of YouTube’s 123 million beauty subscriberships.”

Similarly, the mature beauty market on YouTube is growing. “Monthly views of videos featuring beauty solutions for mature consumers over the age of 45 are growing 62% faster than YouTube’s overall beauty space.”

Videos that combine beauty with other lifestyle categories such as fashion, health and even comedy are also growing in popularity. Crossover beauty content earns 530% more views and 670% more shares on Facebook per video than beauty-only video content.

Guest post by Lisa Payne


“As far as celebrity stylists go, Rachel Zoe has done an unparalleled job of disseminating her taste to the masses. Between her reality show on Bravo, that stint at Halston, her editorial site and daily newsletter The Zoe Report, her books and her eponymous clothing line, Zoe is both accessible at every level and nearly impossible to ignore.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Rachel Zoe


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