Putting the Pandemic in the Rear-View

Life After the Pandemic & Putting COVID in the Rear-View

When COVID-19 Coronavirus swept the planet, our lives were forever changed. In the face of the pandemic, beauty brands were essentially forced to adapt to a world where their consumers spend most of their time at home. The future of the beauty world seems to be simpler as values were being redefined.

“I once prided myself on our tagline “disrupting industry standards” until March of 2020 when COVID-19 actually disrupted industry standards. The beauty, cosmetic, and makeup industries are forever changed.  The only silver lining to the effects of the world shut down and state mandates is the hyper-awareness of sanitation. I believe makeup artists are better informed and can use the information to protect themselves and their assets. Sanitation Conversation’s mission is the same mission it was pre-COVID, protect your clients, and influence your industry. We just hope that this time it is taken a lot more seriously.”

A message from our founder, Devawn Testagrossa

Companies like Sephora and Merle Norman Cosmetics took a great deal of additional safety precautions and measures as their brick and mortar stores began to reopen to the general public. Sephora for example implemented 48 safety procedures and extensive employee training which it dubbed its “Health & Hygiene Guidelines”; implementation of new social restriction parameters would provide us all a taste of how living in a post-COVID world would operate.

Merle Norman Cosmetics has launched a “Survive, Revive, Thrive” initiative for its more than 1,100 studio franchise partners in order to help them through the pandemic, and help navigate the financial challenges they face as they operate their small businesses. As part of the Revive segment, the nearly 90-year-old cosmetic and skin care brand is offering the opportunity for studios to obtain the Sanitation Conversation certification. Created in collaboration with health officials, microbiologists and educators, this health grade certification exceeds all state licensing regulations for skin care and makeup application, according to the company. It offers a universal approach to a health-grade level sanitation for studios which will provide customers with a safe experience. Makeup sales and application can and should be worry-free, and Merle Norman Cosmetics has gone above and beyond to protect their employees and customers going forward.

Merle Normal Cosmetics Partners with Sanitation Conversation™

“What we are experiencing as a nation has everyone on edge. We are working tirelessly to insure that our employees and customers feel secure once they are able to head back into our studios,” said Travis Richards, VP-franchise operations. “By working with Sanitation Conversation, our studio owners have a policy in place that protects everyone by safeguarding in person appointments, disposing of garbage in the most sanitary way possible, and providing peace of mind to everyone as we all take steps to venture out when it’s safe. Our customers are of the upmost importance to us and being the first company in the beauty industry to offer this certification shows our dedication to their safety.”

The Sanitation Conversation™ Certification training will educate studio owners on:

  • Lowering levels of bacteria found on cosmetics
  • Avoiding cross contamination
  • Eliminating the risk of spreading disease
  • Keeping the customers safe during an application
  • Single use disposables
  • Understanding the working with microorganisms, blood-borne pathogens, and common contagions
  • Updated COVID-19 protocols

Now, in 2021, the beauty industry as a whole is struggling to rebound in the age of the pandemic. Some companies are even turning to technology to help increase sales. This past year, we’ve seen the launch of  3D-printed nail wraps laser-cut to the shape of your nail beds, and even companies that use customer DNA to recommend a skin-care routine. 

This week, L’Oréal launched a beauty device called ‘The L’Oréal Perso‘, a High-Tech Device for Daily, Customized Skin Care and Makeup. This smart device creates custom formulas for lipstick, foundation, and skin care. Naturally, the experience starts with an app. First, the customer will take a photo of her face with the Perso app, which will use AI to identify skin conditions like dark spots, large pores, or wrinkles. Then the app crunches location data to adjust for environmental concerns that affect skin, including pollution, pollen, and UV index. Finally, the user enters her skin-care goals, like eradicating dark spots or dullness. The data is pulled into a custom formula and, using its three-ingredient cartridges, the device will cook up your formulation and dispense it in a single-use dose. The device predicts what your skin will need and creates it for you, no shuffling through your entire serum collection or Googling articles on how to protect your skin from pollution.

Neutrogena, owned by personal care and medical behemoth Johnson & Johnson, sought the help of Perfect Corp in early 2020 to create an updated version of its Skin360 app, a skin analysis tool which previously required a separate $60 phone attachment to use. Perfect Corp’s YouCam technology allowed the app to instead provide a 180-degree selfie analysis simply using a smartphone camera, and the algorithm, developed in partnership between the Taiwan firm and Johnson & Johnson’s Research & Development team, analyzes more than 100,000 skin pixels over 2,000 facial attributes and offers more than 2.5 million possible product recommendations. Since its relaunch, the Skin360 app has seen more than 115,000 downloads, a rise in popularity that Neutrogena believes can be attributed to the increasing demand for at-home, dermatologist-grade skin assessment.

We are all aware that the beauty industry virtually revamps itself every few years and it’s adaptation to change is quite amazing. In years past, brick and mortar retail and catalogs were commonplace. The customer in today’s world is connected, smarter, well informed, loves convenience, impervious to advertising, and operates in digital spaces. As a result, every industry has had no choice but to adapt and cater to its customers or shut the doors. Sadly, we are seeing evidence of this change more frequent than not; especially the makeup industry. With an end to the pandemic in sight, we will have to see how the makeup industry bounces back.

Until then.

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