Shanghai with Avon + the one thing you NEED to get from this new makeup brand

I had a lot of not-so-positive misconceptions about going to the Chinese mainland for the first time last month. I thought it was going to be dirty, noisy, and full of rude people, but that was certainly not the case! I found Shanghai to be a beautiful city that was as mighty as it was poetic. I loved the food, the painfully fashionable Chinese wandering the streets, and the amazing architecture. The Bund, a waterfront area facing the Huangpu River and looking out to the Lujiazui skyline, is a sight to see at night. I wasn't able to explore the city very long but one thing is for sure: I will definitely visit Shanghai again!

 The Bund in Shanghai

The Bund in Shanghai

The reason I got to acquaint myself with Shanghai is because of Avon's generous invitation to visit their research and development facility located in Jinqiao Hi-Tech Park. It is a 40,000 sq.-ft building spanning six floors, housing scientists and leading experts in development, safety and quality testing, microbiology, chemical engineering and consumer research. This R&D facility is responsible for four categories: skin care, body care, color makeup and fragrances. Let's see inside!

We were welcomed by Rafal Lukasik, the head of the facility. He talked about the work they do at Avon. There are three ABCs for creating new products:

  • Assess: Avon's R&D team identify the consumer and ask them questions to find out if there's a gap to fill in their beauty routine.
  • Build: They then start to develop a new formula and packaging, refining the product concept, and testing everything.
  • Confirm: It takes about one year for clinical trials to take place. Avon has a commitment to its consumers that their claims are backed by science, and not just marketing speak.
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Once these stages are finished, the final product is ready for production! Avon has several factories around the world. They have one in China and right here in the Philippines. I do hope to visit it one of these days! As you may know, I love factory visits because I get to see how beauty products are made behind the scenes. It gives me a better understanding of the industry I am proud to be part of. Plus, it's just cool to see the machines and how OC brands get when it comes to ensuring they provide their customers the best they can make!

While at the facility, we got to see the research work, technology, and manufacturing techniques that Avon utilizes. Avon's R&D team showed us how effective their Glutathione Technology is by showing how it reacts when placed under direct sunlight; it is supposed to help our melanin not to darken as much when exposed to environmental stressors. They also showed us how their best-selling lipsticks are made by letting us pour the melted lipstick onto the mold! In the fragrance section, they were able to show us the industrial mixer that they use; in the skin care section, they showed a technology they use in Anew that keeps skin from being easily damaged as it ages.

I really enjoyed the R&D tour. It was educational, fun, and interactive all at once! Now we have a better idea as to how much work and resources Avon pours into all their beauty products. No wonder they're one of the top beauty brands in the world - they are able to balance both good quality with affordable prices. 

Speaking of great quality that won't break the bank, I'm happy to introduce something new from Avon: Mark cosmetics! Mark has been around for a few years now in other countries, but finally, it's available in the Philippines. They have a full makeup line (which you can shop online here) that's trendier and edgier compared to Avon's main collections. Expect to see rich, bright shades in luxe texture, and all for P400 and under. 

I have a swatch and first impressions video on Mark here, so today I just want to continue raving about the one product you absolutely need to get from the brand: the Epic Lip Lipstick (P199 intro price). 

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I love this stuff. If I didn't know it was P199 and from Avon, I would think it's from a high-end brand! The texture is luxurious and posh in the way it glides and adheres to the lips. It's moisturizing yet super pigmented at the same time. I like that it's unscented. Plus, it stays on for a good five hours with minimal eating and drinking! This is the P199 lipstick that could. Berry Bold is my favorite shade (right most in the swatches below) because it brightens up my complexion and teeth instantly.

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So yes, FYI! You should try out Mark if you're looking for something new to spice up your makeup wardrobe. ;)

That concludes my Shanghai diaries with Avon. Let me know what you think, as always!