How to look stunning at home: beauty industry reinvents itself in the era of coronavirus

Apr 22 (Reuters) – The beauty industry changed overnight, bringing in products to brighten skin, correct dark circles under the eyes, and moisturize hands while neglecting smoky eyes, red lipstick and false eyelashes.

The $ 500 billion business had to tailor its sales to a clientele hidden behind a face mask or trapped at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Beauty brands had to quickly redirect the message to show that their products are still relevant, at a time when consumers are working remotely, with no plans for social gatherings or travel.

Companies promote makeup routines to show off porcelain skin at video conferences and soothing skincare rituals that offer quick relief from pandemic stress.

The strategy has been largely focused on social media, where unlike television, companies can move faster.

Brands like L’Oreal-owned Maybelline and Revlon Inc present on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube products suitable for nighttime dating on FaceTime and work and entertainment-related video conferencing on Zoom. These ads reproduce products more in tune with these times, such as skin and eye care items and home coloring kits. “You don’t have to wear makeup. But it helps,” makeup brand Revlon says in recent Instagram posts, reminding consumers that they can still curl their eyelashes, “even if you can’t snuggle up to your special someone.” These posts replaced the television commercials from a few months ago, such as one based on Revlon’s long-running base featuring a model walking to work and going to the gym. “Frequent washing doesn’t have to result in rough, dry hands,” said a Facebook ad about L’Oreal’s Kiehl’s line of hand lotion. Total sales for the beauty sector in the United States fell 58% in the week ending March 28 compared to the previous year, according to data from market research firm NPD Group.

Seducing customers confined to their home has been vital in protecting industry results as other retail sectors collapse.

(Report by Sheila Dang, edited in Spanish by Daniela Desantis)