Today we’re shifting away from products and talking a bit more about bigger picture stuff. Not sure about you, but as a beauty lover I (try to) follow news & trends as much as I can. CVS is one of my favorite places to shop beauty, so whenever they are in the headlines my interest is piqued immediately. And they are currently making some bold statements in the industry with their Beauty Mark initiative.
I first mentioned this initiative in a post last year after CVS announced their plans to significantly expand their beauty offerings both online and in-store in early 2018.
In a nutshell, CVS promises that by the end of 2020 all of their marketing imagery (including print, in-store, digital, & social media) will be completely untouched by Photoshop or any other editing software. From their perspective, this is a major strive towards total transparency, and a move away from unrealistic beauty standards.
The Beauty Mark is our pledge to pass a healthy self-image on to the next generation.
To avoid any potential confusion on the consumer’s part, the Beauty Mark will appear on every unaltered image. You then have 100% certainty that the marketing image you’re seeing is in its purest form, so to speak. As it stands now, CVS estimates that about 70% of their imagery is now Beauty Mark-compliant.
See the difference below.
THE Response from BRAND PARTNERS
Several big drugstore beauty brands and their celeb ambassadors, like Kerry Washington, Ashley Graham & Ayesha Curry, are fully in support of the CVSBeauty Mark initiative. Neutrogena, CoverGirl, Revlon, & Olay are just a few of the legacy brands taking a major role in helping CVS reach its 2020 goal. A plethora of other beauty brands are set to join in the initiative in 2019 including Physician’s Formula, Aveeno, Rimmel & Burt’s Bees.
I think CVS is making a pretty powerful statement in taking this initiative. Over-manipulated beauty images have been a long-held industry standard, and it’s only amplified even more since the dawn of social media.
There’s definitely an opening now to start a conversation about unaltered beauty, especially as more emphasis is put on body positivity and mental wellness. When I take selfies, either for this blog or for my Instagram, they are never manipulated in any way. I think it’s important to show what I really look like; my skin tone, my freckles, my blemishes, everything. Not some face-tuned version of myself.
We all have a responsibility for what we put out on the internet, especially when so many younger, more impressionable people are interacting online.
Do I think this means that all the companies, all the advertisers, all the marketers will now stop using Photoshop because of the CVSBeauty Mark initiative? Hell no. It’s just one step in a positive direction.
You can read more about the Beauty Mark initiative here.
What do YOU think about the CVSBeauty Mark? Let me know in the comments below!
Warning: this is going to be a jam-packed post! Remember when I wrote about CVS teaming up with Glamsquad & eSalon to bring us the BeautyIRL store-within-a-store back in September? Well if you don’t you can read my inital post here, but just to recap super quickly: in only 4 select locations across the U.S. CVS is currently piloting an enhanced beauty store experience where they have expanded product offerings, beauty services like blow-out’s, etc (via Glamsquad), and custom hair color mixing (via eSalon). If you want more detailed info make sure to check out my earlier post!
Well, I’m lucky enough to live not far from the Stamford, CT test location and last weekend I went! It was beyond awesome. I was like a kid in a candy store, taking photos and walking around exclaiming to myself and to my mother how utterly cool this all was. The standard drugstore brands like Physician’sFormula, Revlon & CoverGirl were definitely there, but there were so many more interesting findings. K-beauty was everywhere. From Peripera, to TheCremeShop, to PeachSlices, to A’Pieu and beyond. There were tons and tons of sheet masks; rows of the stuff. Entire sections of Korean hand & body creams. Also, there were indie brands like Doll10, StorybookCosmetics, & Karity too. A total beauty-lovers dream!
Here’s a quick video to give you a feel for the space:
I took alot of photos of the aisles. I tried to get it all but there was so much it was impossible. The only areas I didn’t encounter were the sections with mini products and the testers, although a very nice CVS beauty consultant told me there were definitely testers there.
And that was just the products. The Glamsquad beauty stand was in the back, next to the custom color-mixing machine from eSalon called “Polly.” I saw one woman getting her hair blown out but that was it. That area seemed to be a bit vacant (just for reference, I went on a Sunday afternoon around 3 p.m.). All in all, I’d say the foot traffic in the area was pretty low. It was just me, my mother and a few other women navigating the aisles. However, the same beauty consultant I had spoken with earlier said they were getting good feedback and good responses overall to the enhanced beauty store.
Of course I had to pick up a few items 😉. How could I not?? I was very restrained and I got just three things, but I could have grabbed so much more. I really want to go back with my girlfriends soon! I did a quick little video of my haul for Instagram, which you can see down below.
Since filming this, I’ve used all the products mentioned a bit more (or for the first time). My early impressions are that I like all the items I picked up. I can definitely recommend the brow mascara from Peripera; the brush is tiny and it does a great job coating all your brow hairs with little to no clumping. I will need to use the cushion blush & the concealer a little more before I form my final opinions, so stay tuned on those.
You can shop the TresCheekCushionBlush from TheCremeShop in C’estLaPeachhere.
You can shop the SpeedyBrowcara from Periperahere.
You can shop the TrulyYoursFullCoverConcealer from JoahBeautyhere.
Has anyone gone to a CVSBeautyIRL store yet? Has anyone used any of the products I picked up in my haul? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!
I’m not sure about you, but I’ve read up about CVS a lot recently and it certainly seems like they’re taking an aggressive position when it comes to beauty. Last week I spoke about how they’ve partnered with Kiss Products, Inc. to launch the brand Joah Beauty, bringing K-beauty inspired cosmetics into mass retail. Well, it turns out that CVS is broadening its beauty offerings in a big way through at least two other strategic partnerships. Firstly, they’re collaborating with the on-demand, at-home beauty service company Glamsquad to pilot BeautyIRL (IRL stands for “in real life” by the way), an exciting store-within-a-store concept that reimagines what the beauty aisle of CVS could be. And secondly they’ve also partnered with eSalon, the bespoke hair color company, to bring their Allure award-winning custom color kits to the masses.
Each partnership brings more fun, more personalization and more convenience to the beauty-shopping experience which really hasn’t existed at the mass retail level before.
Totally exciting stuff!
If you’re lucky enough to live in Andover, Massachusetts, Stamford, Connecticut or Florida you may have access to one of these BeautyIRL concept stores right now. So far CVS has made it available at just 4 locations in the U.S. (FL got 2, while MA & CT got 1 each), but there are plans to expand the offerings online and to more store locations by 2019. I have my fingers and toes crossed that one will come to NY soon! (However I’m not horribly far from Stamford, so maybe a field trip is in order 😉.)
So what is BeautyIRL exactly? I believe the idea is this: you feel like you’re walking into a stand-alone beauty retailer but in reality you’re simply wandering into the (enhanced) beauty department of your local CVS. It seems there’s a whole bunch of uber cool offerings in these concept spaces. There’s a “trending” section with up-and-coming indie brands; an expanded K-beauty section; more natural and/or organic products; and a whole section where you can shop just beauty mini’s. If that doesn’t excite you already, well get ready! A whole slew of on-demand, personalized beauty services are also on the menu thanks to Glamsquad including consultations, makeovers, blow-out’s, and various skincare services. Also, in massively big news for me, there were will a “Test-and-Play Hygiene Bar” where you can (finally!) sample and touch your favorite drugstore brands. Oh my gosh, are we finally getting drugstore testers???
But CVS is not stopping at just cosmetics & skincare. You can also now get bespoke hair color kits in the new BeautyIRL locations thanks to their partnership with the e-commerce company eSalon. Color consultants will be on-site to match customers to their perfect hair shade and to operate a device that will create and dispense custom shades. The whole hook is making the product available for immediate purchase.
The concept of BeautyIRL builds off CVS’s biggest beauty campaign yet, the “Beauty in Real Life” campaign which initiated earlier this spring. All of the beauty promo imagery from this campaign was released with absolutely no retouching or digital manipulation of any kind to foster more realistic beauty standards. It also featured a diverse roster of “real” women (so no models or celebs) to give the campaign a more relatable feel.
If the BeautyIRL concept is a success for CVS, I think it will mark a definitive change in drugstore & other mass retail beauty shopping. If you read any article about the future of retail there are a few trends that always get discussed: enhanced experience, more product choice, and more personalization. Consumer expectations are shifting and we generally want more of our in-store shopping experience. CVS is attempting to answer to those needs with their new beauty initiatives. I’m excited to see what happens next!
What do you think about CVS’s beauty initiatives? Would you go into a BeautyIRL space if it was in your local CVS? I’d love to know!
Joah Beauty, the new makeup line from Kiss Products, Inc, has launched exclusively at CVS Pharmacy in the U.S. You may know Kiss from their extensive nail offerings including nail care products, nail art & jewelry, and at-home salon-style treatments. (Not to mention fake lashes, cosmetics and haircare.) Well, they’ve partnered with CVS to bring the high-grade formulations typically associated with K-beauty skincare to color cosmetics with Joah Beauty. Hence, the tagline “K-beauty inspired.” Joah (which in Korean translates to “I like it” apparently) is not completely brand-spanking new; it became available on CVS.com by mid-summer, I believe, and is now in the process of being rolled out to over 4,000 CVS locations around the country.
CVS is no stranger to the K-beauty trend in America. They stock brands like Holika Holika, Peripera (another new offering), and Peach Slices, just to name a few. Target has definitely up’d their K-beauty game as well. The skincare aisle in my local CVS became flooded particularly with Korean sheet masks just a few years ago. They seem to be adding more & more K-beauty products all the time now.
Joah Beauty offers affordable products across the following categories: eyes, lips, face, brows & brushes. The whole line ranges in price from around $3.00 to $16.00. Their vibe is fun, carefree and very feminine (leaning heavily towards girly). True to the whole K-beauty vibe, their packaging and naming system is super cute and colorful. When I started picking up some of the products, I noticed that the packaging itself is not overly weighty at all. Everything is quite lightweight and to be honest a little bit cheap-feeling. (But this stuff isn’t very expensive so there you go.)
This is a very big launch so instead of taking you through each and every item like I did last week with Ohii Beauty, I’ll take you briefly through each product category and give you some commentary. I haven’t tried the majoritiy of this line yet so I cannot speak to overall quality, but I did recently purchase the Large Powder Brush and one of the matte gel lipsticks called I’m Your Jelly Bae in the shade Honey.
As you can probably tell, the broadest offering in this category by far is eyeliner. They’ve got everything from brush-tip to ink pens to gels to jumbo liquid pens. Whatever your eyeliner preference is, I’m sure they’ve got you covered! Both eyeshadow palettes have 6-pans each and come in very natural, wearable color schemes (Bare & Unveiled). At $9.99 though they’re by no means the cheapest option at the drugstore so hopefully the quality is great.
I feel like Joah’s lip category is quite broad as well. There are 8 total offerings with an average price of $5.00-$6.00 in a variety of different finishes and textures including:
Lip gloss (6 shades)
Matte liquid lipstick (10 shades)
Matte gel lipstick (10 shades)
Satin liquid lipstick (10 shades)
Lip stain (6 shades)
Lip liner (6 shades)
Tinted lip balm (4 shades)
Matte velvet lipstick (10 shades)
I do feel like there’s something for everyone here, and their shade ranges are quite nice too. As mentioned earlier, I picked up one of the I’m Your Jelly Bae lipsticks because the name just intrigued me so much. What’s a matte gel lipstick?? I’ll give you my first impression super quick.
When I applied it the formula went on smoothly and immediately felt like nothing on my lips. It turns from a creamy consistency to a velvety, almost powdery finish quite quickly. I don’t know, I like the weightlessness for sure but it seemed quite dry to me. I ended up putting my more moisturizing Revlon HD Gel Lipcolor over top for some give. I may use the Jelly Bae as a long-wearing base for a more hydrating product going forward (especially going into the colder months), but this definitely isn’t my ideal formulation. (Oh, Honey is great color if you love beige nudes.)
This is by far the meatiest category in Joah’s range: 21 products in total consisting primarily of cosmetics and a few skincare items.
2 foundations (liquid, cushion)
1 BB cream
1 blush/bronzer palette
1 highlighting palette
1 powder contour palette
1 cream contour palette
Setting powder (3 shades)
2 setting sprays
3 peel-off face masks
2 makeup removing products
Right off the bat after perusing the endcap, I noticed that the coverage products offered only a very narrow shade selection. The Truly Yours Natural Finish Foundation Drop only comes in 8 shades, while the Angel Cake Cushion Foundation comes in a puny 3 shades. And there are only 11 shades between the two concealers. So I’d say there’s a fat chance you’d find your perfect match from this range, especially since there are no testers available. A bit disappointing for a new launch to say the least; hopefully the range will be expanded in the future. However there are many other face products to shop from.
This is a much narrower category for Joah with just 5 products total and an average price of $8.00. They are all brow pencils (one also has a brow mascara built into it), with the exception of one clear brow gel. No pomades, powders or mousses available (yet). I’d predict this category may expand in the future to include colored brow mascaras or brow kits perhaps.
Last category here, and again this is a narrow one with just 5 offerings and an average price of $6.00. I also predict this category will expand eventually simply because it’s so small and there’s so far you can go with brushes.
1 brow brush
1 eye brush
3 face brushes (foundation, powder, fan)
As mentioned earlier, I picked up the Large Powder Brush. When I took it out of its plastic packaging I noted the softness of the bristles and the weightlessness of the handle. It didn’t appear to shed at all but I really won’t be able to tell until I start using and washing it. I have a preference for drugstore brushes so I’m excited to start using this for my powder blushes and bronzer. Fingers crossed it’s good quality!
What do you think of this new brand? Will you be picking anything up? I’d love to know!