This month we’ve been exploring London’s beauty scene – visiting the stores and testing brands at the forefront of new beauty experiences.
Down on Tottenham Court Road, Fabled by Marie Claire was a firm favourite – featuring editorial layouts making it easy to shop, and takeaway cards with instructions to recreate the beauty look at home. The store has a fashion-forward feel, with white brick walls, neon rope and digital displays. Digital features included RFID scanning to find out more product info, tablets to find out different steps to create a look, and a large-format touch screen to see product reviews.
What we love:
It’s interesting to see a magazine moving into physical retail, introducing brands and their stories in a unique format. The editorial experience is mirrored online, seamlessly bridging the gap between on- and offline retail.
The Toronto-based self-described ‘abnormal beauty company’ recently opened its first store in Spitalfields London. It houses all of the company’s cult brands and prides itself on its transparent values – founder, Brandon Truaxe, has stated he ‘thinks the beauty industry is a scam’.
What we love:
The honest ethos can be felt in the transparent messaging, minimal packaging and reasonably priced products starting at £4 (“there’s nothing luxurious about overpaying for commodity” says Truaxe) as well as in the empowering slogans, such as ‘beauty doesn’t wash off’, that are emblazoned across the walls.
3ina in Covent Garden (pronounced ‘mina’) is an exciting new beauty concept, where products go from concept to store in four months, as opposed to the usual three-year cycle. We saw the store as a flexible canvas for the fast cycle of new products on offer. 3ina’s displays can quickly update to react to new trends ensuring the brand is years ahead of its competitors.
What we love:
How this innovative brand is so nimble to the wants, desires and demands of the consumer. It’s an evolving canvas – there’s always something new for the Snapchat generation’s short attention span, making it a must-visit for every shopping trip.
WAH Nails‘ tech-fuelled nail bar based in Soho is its Salon of the Future. Customers can personalise their nails via augmented reality, with the ability to try on numerous styles before committing to their finish. This enables them to explore the brand’s limitless offering, making it the destination for those with a desire for full control on over customisation. All you need to do is don the VR headset, select the polish and design, then either send straight to print or to the in-store nail artists. There’s also a cocktail bar to complement the experience.
What we love:
We love WAH, as it’s a brand not willing to conform and always looking to innovate for a more exclusive, creative, unique and fun experience. This store is the ultimate place for self-expression, hanging out and creating an individual look for the all-important bragging rights!
“From product curation to new format creation, brands that celebrate customer creativity and participation, while delivering convenience and inspiration at the same time, will be the thriving brands of tomorrow.” (WAH certainly does that!)
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