Hello from the Project Vanity team! Thanks for dropping by.

How do beauty buyers decide on what goes into their stores?

How do beauty buyers decide on what goes into their stores?

If you're as passionate about beauty products as I am, I am betting that your interest goes beyond the products themselves, too. At one point in time, you might have also wondered who scouts for beauty products and how they decide which ones make it onto the virtual shelves of your favorite online stores. I recently stumbled upon this article from Refinery29 and thought of doing my own sleuthing with some of Philippines’ retail beauty buyers. Not only is shopping for makeup part of their job description, they get first dibs on the newest product releases and beauty innovations, too!

I talked to Ina Jacinto (Business Head of BeautyMNL), Sol VIllamayor (Owner of DTC Makeup), and Lia Andrea Ramos (Co-founder and CEO of GlamourBox) who gamely shared their unique insights on the beauty industry as well as their best makeup finds.

@beautymnl

@beautymnl

@beautymnl

@beautymnl

How do you find new products? How do you know if they’re right for your store?

I do benchmarking at least once a week, both online and offline, to discover new brands/items.

BeautyMNL was built for every Filipina, and I’m so lucky that our team is a fantastic representation of the spectrum of Filipina beauty. We all have different skin tones, hair textures, and facial features—and most importantly, there is a lot of diversity when it comes to our beauty philosophies. I think of each of the BeautyMNL girls every time I am presented with a new product or brand. If I believe it’s something they would love, I approve it for feature immediately. They constantly share with me the new brands they’ve discovered, too, and these usually turn out to be the bestsellers.
— Ina
Before I introduce products to our clients, I usually do extensive research. I read blogs intended for professional makeup artists, I join paid webinars hosted by industry experts (usually based abroad). I choose topics which are relevant to our local setting like discussions on what to stock for a professional makeup artist kit, highlight and contour, bridal business webinars, etc.

I also follow other industry experts on their social media accounts – Periscope, IG, FB. Some of them are very generous with industry information and tips; I even caught the original brow queen, Eugenia Weston (Senna Cosmetics creator), doing a Periscope tutorial on how to do brows! We now accept preorders on some of her items. Her brow book is touted as the best brow palette for professional makeup artists.

I select a few from my “new discoveries” (at least new to me and to DTC Makeup), then order a few of each as samples, so I can try them. I also get pieces that address commons issues or concerns by our clients, like how to make makeup last (Skindinavia setting spray), anti-shine (Nurturing Force Blot Out Offensive), etc. People usually hire professionals to do their makeup for them, so of course I have to have something to offer when clients ask what they can use.
— Sol
We are all beauty junkies in the team! We are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting products and brands that are available in the market. We read a lot of blogs, online and print articles, and check social media to be in the know.

The products we curate and carry are items that appeal to our target market. Glamourbox customers are discerning customers who look for quality makeup that provide value for money. They don’t mind spending as long as the products are very good. Our customers range from beauty newbies to junkies, and we help them find makeup that will be part of their everyday routine.
— Lia
@dtcmakeup

@dtcmakeup

@dtcmakeup

@dtcmakeup

What are your runaway best-sellers? Which products didn’t work out so well at first, but turned out to be sleeper hits?

Prior to launching the site, our initial research pointed towards skin care items being bestsellers online. But after a year in the business, we’ve seen that makeup is actually our top category, with skin care coming in a close second. At first, we weren’t sure about adding an accessories category to the site, but it has proven to be a favorite among customers. I guess the reason is that for most girls, beauty is about achieving an overall look. Sometimes a scarf, necklace, or pair of sunglasses can give you the same finishing touch as the perfect lipstick or “It” hairstyle.
— Ina
For now, everyone is going crazy with the RCMA No Color Powder because of KathleenLights (a YouTube star). Before that, I always found myself recommending it to clients when they are looking for the Ben Nye Powder (especially the Banana shade) because I felt the need to tell them that RCMA powder is better in terms of price (it’s cheaper), and is more universal since it is colorless and can be used by anyone (from fair to dark skin). Red Cherry lashes have been a constant hit ever since we started carrying the brand, and Skindinavia has been popular as well.
— Sol
Lip and brow products are always a hit. In the lip category, matte lipsticks are trending and runaway bestsellers. Ofra Liquid Lipsticks have been killing it! We are constantly running out of stock on these items because the quality is incomparable to the other liquid lipsticks in the market. The Pop Beauty Matte Lipsticks are also a crowd favorite, specially their unique dark plum/berry shades. In the brow category, Eye of Horus Ultimate Brow Define is a favorite among pros and brow junkies, while Pixi Brow Gel Pencil and Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Kit are popular picks for everyday consumers.

Contouring is also big, and we have the Pop Beauty Contour Palette and Ofra Highlighting and Contouring Foundation Mini Palette as top picks.

We just introduced Pixi Glow Tonic and this product is a fave among skincare junkies! It is already a cult-fave in the UK and US, and we are developing a following here in the Philippines as well. The Pixi Glow Mist and Makeup Fixing Mists are also popular because they contain anti-aging ingredients and are perfect for refreshing skin at any point of the day.

Other popular products that do well on our site are H2O Plus Hand and Nail Cream, Eco Tools Brush Set, Travalo Classic Atomizer, and Ellana Glam To Go Kit. These quality items provide value for money.

When we first came out with the Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara and Eye Pencils, people were hesitant because of the price, but once customers got to try the products, our customers went back for more shades. Another hit is Aloe Derma hair products. It started out slow but after we highlighted the benefits of aloe vera and did promos with the brand, they became best-sellers on the site.
— Lia
@glamourboxph

@glamourboxph

@glamourboxph

@glamourboxph

Which products in particular do you think people are missing out on? What are your current personal favorites from your store?

I think our market is missing out on discovering new beauty items in general. Our site carries over 5,000 items—and we add new products every Sunday. If our customers checked at 12 midnight every Sunday for the fresh releases, they would definitely find something interesting to try. Last month, we launched teeth-whitening strips that can take away 14 years of stains; the month before, we launched the first powder lipstick in the country; and the month before that, we launched the first perfume containing coffee. There’s something new and exciting to look forward to, week after week. My tip: if you don’t have time to browse through the shop, our magazine articles on Bloom usually have all the highlights.
— Ina
More people need to know about Veil Cosmetics! It’s like the YSL Touche Eclat but better. Unfortunately, the price is just the same so maybe that’s why it doesn’t appeal much to clients. Another one is the Nurturing Force Twinkle Not Wrinkle: it’s an eye cream and eyeshadow base in one. I really like using it as a base, as it’s one of the best I’ve tried (it’s like the NARS one but better and in a cream form).

Personal favorites – anything by RCMA! I love all their products and the brand is really close to my heart. RCMA is the first brand to trust DTC Makeup; after they let us carry their products, it became easier to get other brands to work with us.
— Sol
Lashes make a big difference, and our Dolly Wink and Bohktoh falsies can transform anyone’s look in an instant. It’s something that people don’t use on a daily basis, but it is great to have in one’s kit for special events.

We have great primers, powders, and highlighters that are under the radar among customers. A great base and some highlighting tricks can make skin look picture perfect if one knows how to use these products.

I have tons of favorites! Loving H20 Skintint and Glow Mist for a beautiful, dewy complexion. Always in my kit are the Eye of Horus Babylon Brown Mascara and Ultimate Brow Define in Husk, Pixi Bronzebeam Endless Silky Eye Pen and Lash Line Ink, and Ofra Lipliner Nude and Maya, Ofra Liquid Lipstick Mocha.

I’m currently obsessing over Ofra Liquid Lipstick Havana Nights and Pop Beauty Matte Lipstix Bewitching Beet for sexy, sultry lips! For nights when I need to doll up, I use Dolly Wink Lash 15 Pure Girl. It’s a must try!
— Lia
@beautymnl

@beautymnl

@dtcmakeup

@dtcmakeup

@glamourboxph

@glamourboxph

What should we expect from your store this year?

When I saw the plans for 2016, I got so excited for our customers! There will be hundreds of new items and brands, plenty of exclusive launches and special treats, and unbelievable discounts and prizes, especially for our most loyal customers. Stay tuned!
— Ina
More makeup workshops for continuing education of our clients, both for makeup artists and casual beauty enthusiasts. We will also be introducing more brands to our current line up.
— Sol
To start, we are moving our site to a new platform to provide a better service to our members. We will be introducing new brands to our customers as Glamourbox is all about beauty discovery.

Our exclusive brands will also be launching exciting product lines that beauty junkies and newbies will love. Some things to watch out for are Pixi Skintreats, Pixi by Petra’s new skincare line; Pixi’s Spring/Summer Collection with new Brow and Lip products as well as limited edition palettes; Pop Beauty’s Spring/Summer 2016 Collection of lip products and make up palettes with new, playful pop art packaging; Eye of Horus Dipliners and New Pencil Shades; Ofra Cosmetics new Matte Lipstick shades, and we are adding more of their SKUs to our site.

We are also working on special edition boxes with brands for cool curated boxes to add to our customers’ makeup collection!

We are looking forward to the beautiful surprises we have lined up for our Glambabes (both old members and new converts) for 2016!
— Lia

So there you go guys! We hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we enjoyed learning from these three amazing women. ^_^ Do visit their stores and you just might find something new to love!

New in February: Product launches this month

New in February: Product launches this month

Budget Beauty: The best blushes under P350

Budget Beauty: The best blushes under P350