Remember when you could pop over to a department store, swatch the latest makeup launches, and get a full face of makeup done at the makeup counter? Since the pandemic, everything has changed. Makeup chairs may be empty, but that hasn’t slowed down the beauty industry. Instead, the pandemic has given rise to several types of virtual beauty experiences.
Salons, spas, and beauty pros use their creativity to curate shopping and service experiences that provide more access, personalization, and convenience than ever before. With these innovations, you can now get celeb treatment without leaving your home. Ahead, discover five beauty services and trends that emerged during the pandemic.
For years, beauty subscription boxes have allowed us to sample and discover the latest products. That’s great, but it's time for a more personalized experience based on our specific needs, budget, and goals. That’s where Swan Beauty, a digital beauty concierge service, comes in. You take an online quiz that asks about your skin type, coloring, and budget, plus there’s an option to upload a photo. You’re then matched with a beauty expert who handpicks your products and ships everything to you.
You get full-size products and sample sizes, so you can try them before you buy. Then, you pay for what you keep and return the rest. The best part of the service is opening your box. Swan Beauty boxes include a personalized note so you can understand how and why these products were chosen just for you, a face chart, and access to application videos.
Online shopping surged during the pandemic, but the way we shop for our beauty products on the web has shifted. Since we’re not trying on makeup in real life, apps such as YouCam have picked up the slack with try-on tools that allow you to test out new eye shadows or foundation shades on your face. Once you find the perfect match, you can then buy directly from the app.
This convenience is why YouCam has had a 32% spike in virtual try-on's since the pandemic started. Once you get your products, the next challenge is applying them correctly. A new app called FaceTrace was created to help you do your makeup. What sets it apart from other tutorial platforms is tailoring the application instructions to your unique face shape rather than giving you one-size-fits-all tips.
While we’ve missed being exfoliated, steamed, and waxed by our go-to professionals, a new batch of virtual beauty services has come out of this pandemic. Celebrity esthetician and founder of her eponymous skincare brand, Kate Somerville, allow more people access to her services with her "clinic-on-call service." It entails a 30-minute video chat with either an esthetician or medical technician, personalized skincare regimen recommendations, lifestyle suggestions, discounts on products and in-clinic treatments, and a follow-up email check-in.
Skincare expert Toska Husted, whose clients include Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Anniston, is also using this time as an opportunity to reach people beyond her spa in Charlotte. She currently offers 30-minute FaceTime sessions where she’ll ask about your skin history and skin concerns and put together a customized regimen that tackles your needs. "I never considered virtual consults before, and at one point, I was doing more of those than appointments at the spa," says Husted.
January Olds, the founder of January Labs Skincare, started doing virtual consults as well. But, she’s not only helping people with their skincare. Through these calls, she’s been able to meet her clients where they are emotionally and mentally. "These consults are really about the ability to have a connection with others," Olds says. "While my passion is skincare, if I can encourage people in their personal lives to improve their mindset, then I’m happy to do that, too."
Many beauty storefronts have gone mobile as professionals are taking their services to their clients, whether with house calls or setting up temporary shops. Brow Guru Sabria Celaj, who only worked out of a New York City spa before Covid, started doing pop-ups in South Hampton during the pandemic. "It was like Christmas. I tripled my business," Celaj says. She’s now grooming brows in backyards, garages, and rooftops and plans to make this her new norm. "Customers love the convenience," she adds.
Beauty Brand Pivots
With practicality and affordability becoming the new hierarchy of wants, many brands have re-thought their product roster to stay afloat. Laubahn Perfumes, which used to make luxury perfumes, adapted to the new landscape by creating lavender-infused face masks. Masks that incorporate the lavender aroma deliver a calming effect, which is an added benefit when people’s anxiety is running high. Making pivots like this kept the company relevant and people in their community employed.