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The Beauty Industry's Bold Pivot To Wellness, Self Care And Online Sales During Pandemic

The pandemic has created new makeup consumption habits. (Getty Images)
The pandemic has created new makeup consumption habits. (Getty Images)

Big beauty brands are tapping into changing consumer habits sparked by the pandemic.

These new habits have also made way for smaller beauty companies, which now have consumers’ full attention through online advertising. Kim Roxie, founder of Lamik Beauty, pivoted the focus of her business to online sales prior to the pandemic. But she still hoped to reach new customers through festivals and trade shows before the coronavirus shut everything down.

To adapt, the Lamik Beauty team created quizzes to recommend products to customers online. Now, Roxie hosts a weekly virtual makeup event on Facebook called “Friday Night Live” where followers can participate in beauty and wellness conversations and get tips from home.

“I knew at this point the best thing I could do is be a woman’s friend and show her how to do makeup herself,” Roxie says. “That’s how I saw myself running to her aid.”

Lamik Beauty is a vegan, organic beauty line that provides a large selection of shades for women of color. Roxie started the line before a lot of beauty brands started stepping into this space.

Roxie says customers are telling her that Lamik Beauty has helped them make it through the pandemic when it comes to mental health. The brand aims to help customers “look at beauty as a joy rather than a chore,” she says. “Friday Night Live” and live shopping with an expert allow the brand to safely continue supporting customers in lieu of connecting in-store.

The beauty industry is now focusing on self-care, wellness and agency. Revlon’s recent tagline is “You don’t have to wear makeup, #ButItHelps.” And Olay announced it will stop skin retouching by the end of the year. Many brands are also offering a wider range of shades and showcasing different types of women — a true reflection of our society.

Women leaning into their authenticity is driving this shift in the industry, Roxie says.

“Beauty is revealed, not applied. And I’ve always felt that way. I’ve always seen it that way,” she says. “I think that where we’re going now is more healthy and a place where we can really grow from and women can really be their best selves.”

Claudia Thompson, a Here & Now listener from Malden, Massachusetts, says that she dropped her full coverage foundation routine during the pandemic since she’s working from home. Now, she’s trying new toners, astringents and thicker moisturizers to help her dry skin. And a listener named Liz DeAndrade, 28 from Boston, says she’s been trying Black-owned brands such as Black Radiance during the pandemic.

“As a woman of color, I feel as if I have to go out of my way to find makeup that is made for me nonetheless advertised toward me,” DeAndrade says.

Black-owned beauty brands don’t get the same marketing and appeal compared to others, Roxie says, but both the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have helped consumers discover lines like hers.

“The height of us coming through this pandemic still as a brand alive was that movement,” she says. “We saw so much traction around consumers seeking us out — non-Black and Black — that were just like, we need to start leveling the playing field for your Black-owned brand.”

Marcelle Hutchins produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Tinku RayAllison Hagan adapted it for the web.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.