Hello everyone! How was your weekend? We’ve been having a dreadful case of the haze and the air quality is.. well to put it mildly, bad. My eyes are dying from the particulates in the air outside, staying indoors would be the best choice now. It’s 11pm now, I’ve got coffeehouse jazz playing on spotify and a steaming mug of tea at my bedside as I type. I enjoy these tranquil moments before bedtime, recollecting events through the day, taking a breather before the mad morning rush hour comes again.
In other news, I wanted to share on an event I attended on Saturday that was hosted by Luxola and Make Up Store, featuring local blogger Andrea Chong. The location was at Paragon’s Make Up Store. In case you’ve not visited Singapore, Paragon is situated in Orchard Road, and houses big name labels like Prada, Gucci, Burberry and more. Granted I have never actually gone to any of such beauty events, naturally I was curious and RSVP-ed when the e-mailer came.
Until now I don’t know what to coin it. Was it a meet-up? Kind of, but I didn’t know anyone personally there. Was it a workshop? Hmm, a little since they did verbally run through their products and shared some application tips. It was an interesting experience.
Looking through the eyes of a marketing person, I did note of some things which could be done better. – I know, work hazards.
I was very excited and totally pumped up prior to the event. I mean, it’s Luxola, one of the up and coming beauty e-tailers locally. LVMH bought them over, for crying out loud.
But the truth was: not everything was as rosy as I imagined.
The main purpose of the workshop/fan-meet/whachamacalit was to hear Andrea share on her go-to makeup from MUS and share some blogging tips; as well as tidbits inn the form of beauty treats and one lucky instagram contest winner walking away with $150 worth of Make Up Store’s goodies. I quote these from the invite. To me, “go-to makeup” and “blogging tips” conjured up the images for “in-depth sharing on why these are the go-tos from MUS”, and “how to be an engaging blogger/writing or design tips”. – Okay Heidi, enough with the marketing jargon. But hey, that’s what social media/e-marketing is about.
Registration started at 1.30pm, the event lasted from 2-4pm. People started trickling in about 10 minutes to 2. For the 30 minutes before the event’s commencement, I had the opportunity to enjoy a makeup retouching by the advisers. Other complimentary services included nail painting, but I didn’t do that.
When the event started proper this was how the store looked like:
The only seats in the house were the small island of velvet lounge chairs, which ironically became a parking lot for bags. So everyone pretty much stood throughout the 2.5h~ of the event. I don’t know about any of them gals in this photo, but my calves and feet were crying murder by the time we were done. Only the featured blogger had a makeup stool to perch on while sharing her segment. I could see people starting off enthusiastic and wide eyed, then progressing to spacing out, shifting their weight from one leg to another, leaning onto any flat vertical surface available, before finally exiting the event space. At the halfway point, I could see that the crowd had thinned out.
Recommendation: Think about the event space, and how many it can accommodate. Consider the mobility of guests and their comfort. Should there be chairs? If yes, is there space to put them? If no, what can be done so that people don’t get distracted by their discomfort and lose focus on your content?
Not to mention, the number of people in the location meant tight maneuvering space. It was hard trying to tuck my hair behind my ear without elbowing someone next to me. Lastly, the unforgiving heat from the store spotlights meant I was perspiring constantly. There were a couple of times where people knocked over the champagne glasses during the cosmetic demo and caused an embarrassing ruckus.
These were the top 10 items from the featured blogger:
Various products were displayed on three lightbox islands, and we were invited to “play around” with them prior to the event. What I observed was that the products were not in their best condition for display/photo op purposes. Take the lip crayon in the bottom of the photo for example. The sampler was stubby and blunt. Some other products had hit pan, or were at the verge of hitting pan.
You can see that the round blush in the bottom right has hit pan, the islands basically looked like someone’s unkempt dresser top, which was a pity because it was meant to be a focal point, but didn’t quite make it.
When I looked at them, the impression I got was as though I was at a drugstore cosmetic shelf, where the testers have been tried to the path of no return. It didn’t make me feel that MUS was premium, it didn’t encourage me to swatch any of the cream products because I could see specks of brush bristles and general dust embedded on them. However, this does not lead me to think MUS does not have good products. I bought something at the end of the event. – Honest, unbiased thoughts.
Recommendation: If you are showcasing a series of items, it won’t hurt to use newer testers. Not only will it give prospective buyers a better first impression of your label, they would make better photography subjects. Would you want to swatch a grubby, sticky lip crayon that’s 1/2 left, or post a photo of that on IG?
Here’s Andrea sharing on her take on New Zealand Fashion Week, and some of her favourite looks from the show. She also did a short Q&A session, and briefly introduced the 10 products on the islands. I don’t know if the items were hand picked from her, or shortlisted from a marketing standpoint then have her talk about them. She also shared tips on creating flatlays with items and props.
Here’s a lucky guest getting a personal makeover done with the Icon Collection from MUS. In the invite it mentioned that Andrea would be doing the makeover, but maybe that was misconveyed. By the way, the adviser in the photo was really sweet and patient. She took the time to explain to me some of the products I was keen on, and how they are used. I bought a lip care mix from her (the little pot of red, green, white in the samplers above) because my lips were dry and cracked. Yeowch. I’ll review that in time to come.
First impressions when she applied the product with a clean brush onto my lips was instant relief. The split lip stopped stinging and a minty sensation set in. My lips could not have asked for more. I have never owned any MUS items, this was a whole new experience for me.
Lastly, about the “take home beauty treats” part. I admit, I was expecting a small doorgift of products for reviewing before purchasing. What guests got were a $10 voucher for MUS, valid for 2 weeks, and a complimentary makeup lesson valued at $100+. I would think budget wise something could be rustled up with the same estimated value, and people would be a lot more appreciative. Who doesn’t like gifts?
Since we are on this topic, let me sidetrack a little. I was digging for a Rubi tote I received as a GWP when I got 2 pairs of ballerina flats and was pleasantly surprised by a canvas tote of goodies. Mind you, I only spent SGD$30 (about US$14) and in the bag was a rollerball perfume, a eyeshadow palette, a pair of shades, a cosmetic pouch and one lipstick. I have to say, that made me a very happy customer.
Recommendation: If gifts are on the menu, giving physical items as opposed to an envelope would be a better touchpoint. People can snap photos of their loot, hashtag the brand, give their reviews. Think word of mouth. I would be more willing to try a product recommended by my friend than having to shell out good money on a brand new to me. The barrier of entry is much lower.
There was also a instagram contest where photos tagged to #dreaxluxola in the duration of the event would stand to win a $150 goodie bag. I tried but lucked out.
Overall I enjoyed myself at the event. Aside from the minor things I spotted, it was an interesting experience nonetheless. I still love luxola, and will definitely sign up for more events in time to come.
Have you attended any beauty events? Comment below! 🙂