Weekend Reads | The Beauty Industry
The beauty industry is a fascinating one, many people just look at it as make-up, hair and nails but there’s a lot more to it. Beauty industry is a billion dollar industry thanks to the minds, passion and innovation that’s so vividly present in the industry. I’ve met buyers, PR’s, celebrity facialists, brand founders, counter girls, beauty editors, marketing consultants and despite their different fields, their professions link together to make the beauty industry as big as it is today.
As a young woman interested in both business and beauty, I’ve found a way to bring the two together and I’ve dabbled within different fields of the beauty industry such as freelance writing and PR. I’m now interning at BeautyMART which is a new beauty boutique in London’s (and soon Liverpool!) Harvey Nichols department store founded by Vogue’s former beauty editor, Anna-Marie Solowij and Millie Kendall, founder of iconic British beauty brand Ruby & Millie. I’ve done a bunch of things during my time at BeautyMART including organising stock, testers and samples, ensuring a regular social media presence, writing articles and posts across all social media platforms, pitching ideas for PR and many other things I’ll be going into depth with in the future. So far, I’m loving every minute of it and I’m incredibly excited for what else my work experience at BeautyMART will bring!
Words can’t even explain just how much I admire Natalie Clue, blogger at Beauty Pulse London and beauty marketing consultant. She has brilliant ideas, is passionate about the beauty industry and tries to bring together women of colour within the industry. Check out what she has to say about her favourite lip glosses to how beauty brands devise marketing strategies.
Beauty is big business in the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates and many wealthy, affluent Arab women visit London with the intention of blowing some serious cash. Department stores like Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols make a lot of money during what’s called the ‘Arab Season’ when they visit the UK during the hot weather in their countries and these brands are now realising just how successful they can be when they recognise the power the Arab consumer has. Brands are hiring Arabic speaking staff, training the staff to recognise products that Arab consumers may be more interested in (i.e. fragrances with oud and products from classic brands like Chanel, Lancome and Creme de la Mer), creating products to specifically attract Arab consumers (Miller Harris recently did this with a limited edition fragrance called La Fumee Arabie found exclusively in Harrods which is a regular haunt for affluent Arabs) and even making Arab public figures the face of their brand as with Arabs Got Talent judge and singer Najwa Karam the first Arab face of L’Oreal Paris.
MAC is arguably one of the very few cosmetics brands that women of colour would list if you asked which brands they use and there’s a reason why; choice. MAC customers whether they’re black or white are spoilt for choice and do not even worry about a particular product suiting them as they come in such a humongous variation of hues and shades. Also, MAC knows what their customers like in terms of fashion and popular culture and is always working on campaigns with famous women of colour such as Azealia Banks, Eve, Lil Kim and Mary J Blige. I’m currently reading a book called The Tanning of America by former music mogul turned marketing genius Steve Stoute who pointed out how MAC did something that no other brand would do by making Lil Kim and Mary J Blige the faces of their brand with the Viva Glam campaign in the early 2000’s. Back then they were extremely popular with the whole ‘ghetto fabulous’ ideal and people could relate to them especially black women therefore it created a brand that black women could relate with. MAC is just so smart!
Millie Kendall is someone who I look up to very much as she’s been a huge pioneer in the beauty industry with her brilliant, innovative ideas. Celebrity makeup artist Kay Montano interviews Millie on her early beginnings as a store assistant at Shu Uemura to co-founder of one of the most innovative ideas to hit the beauty industry in a long time, Millie seriously knows it all!
Other than being one of the most famous supermodels in history, Iman Abdulmajid is the brains behind IMAN Cosmetics which she founded in 1994 and Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘dream woman’. She’s done it all and my admiration for her seriously can’t be put into words! This video captures her work at IMAN Cosmetics very well. Also, she mentions that Somalis are natural merchants, and as a Somali myself I can vouch for that just by seeing this in my own family!