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Formula X: Collaborations

So many brands today are reaching out for collaborations. Collaborations allow brands to add a different dimension to their brand and explore a different look. Forming collaborations with the correct people is a way of showing your target market that you know who the influencers in the industry are and that you’re paying attention to who people in your market follow on their free time.

Recently, Sephora’s Formula X collaboration with Aimee Song and Patrick Starrr have caught my attention. I remember when Formula X first came out at Sephora a few years ago. I was pretty excited to try out the brand. Their pricing is in the mid-price range for nail polish and retails for about $10.50-$14.00. Needless to say, I grabbed a few colors when it first came out. I was sorely disappointed though when I realized that the formula became “goopy” and was difficult to spread on your nail after a few wears. The formula itself was standard and didn’t have more or less staying power compared to other brands that I had tried in the past. So, I ended up abandoning the brand in favor of other ones and didn’t think much about Formula X again until they started doing collaborations.

Collaborations are a good way to make waves about your brand and can help sway naysayers into giving your brand a try. Needless to say, I was tempted to try out Aimee Song’s colors and decided to give the brand another try. I got Mintfluencer, a light pastel mint color. After painting a few coats on my nails, I realized that I can’t pull off mint on my nails because my skin tone is wrong. Even though this purchase didn’t work out for me, I still believe collaborations are an effective way to show your target market that you’re paying attention to what they want.

Estée Lauder: Makeover gone too far?

When I think of Estée Lauder, I think of makeup that old ladies with perfectly applied blush would wear. Estée Lauder’s core demographic consists of older women with more mature skin. Their makeup is timeless, classy and well, a bit boring to me. I usually walk past their makeup counters without a second glance. The only time I’ve tried it in the past 2 years was for a powder foundation which I fell flat for me. The brand itself seems a little outdated to me and they don’t really have many cult classics, aside from their Double Wear Foundation. Because none of their products seem very innovative, I’m never tempted to go out and try them.

Lately, the brand has been trying to appeal to the younger makeup crowd. To do this, they have improved their Instagram posts by carefully placing their products in strategic positions and finding the perfect lighting to show them in. However, I do think their posts are a bit too planned. It’s nice to see some posts that are spontaneous and imperfect; it connects to the public more. The point of social media is to cast yourself in a good light but it should still be personable. Recently, Estée Lauder also made Kendall Jenner the new face of Lauder. This move has stirred up a lot of controversy being that Kendall Jenner is from the Kardashian clan, a family that thrives on scandal. Making Kendall Jenner a part of Estée Lauder seems a bit desperate. Their plan is to most likely attract young teens that want to wear some of Kendall’s favorite Estée Lauder products who probably can’t even afford to buy those products. I think celeb placement can only get them so far since their products don’t seem innovative or daring. There are many other younger celebrities that Estée Lauder could’ve chosen as their new face that would still channel the brand’s classic identity. I also wonder why they haven’t come out with any new and exciting lines that will get beauty bloggers and makeup artists talking about the brand. Besides their double wear foundation, there isn’t anything exceptionally rave worthy about the brand which casts it in a troubling position in the age of online makeup blogs and videos.

Estée Lauder doesn’t really have that appeal that would make younger makeup enthusiasts want to try their brand. For example, Chanel is for more mature women yet they have a certain allure that makes even younger women want to try it. I know many younger women would want to try Chanel because of their luxurious and classic allure. Even if they can’t afford Chanel products when they are young, they would consider saving and splurging on them in the future. There is something missing in Estée Lauder’s brand identity that separates itself from other classic brands like Chanel.

In order to keep up with the times, many brands often try to start appealing to the younger crowd, alienating their core older demographic. The problem I have with this is that the younger set isn’t really where the money is at and trying to appeal to them when your brand is clearly for the more mature set screams of trying way too hard to be cool. There’s a fine line between broadening your market group and trying too hard to rejuvenate your brand. I’m not entirely sure what their marketing team is trying to achieve. If they wanted people to start talking about the brand by using Kendall Jenner, then they’ve succeeded. Using Kendall Jenner’s name to gain some popularity seems like a cheap cop out at a new marketing initiative. They say no press is bad press but I think in order for Estée Lauder to stand the test of time, they’re going to have to start coming out with more innovative products to gain new customers and keep their old ones too.

ChapStick Total Hydration

IMG_0354.JPGI’m a shameless lip balm junkie so I was pretty excited to try the new ChapStick Total Hydration line. I chose the luscious lemon delight flavor. The flavor has a light lemon smell but isn’t too strong so that you taste it on your lips after you put it on. The smell doesn’t linger after application either. There is no color so it shows up clear. My lips feel pretty soft after using this chapstick, even with all the hot, dry wind lately.  I’m tempted to buy the other flavors, but I should probably stop adding to my collection.

TLDR; ChapStick Total Hydration has a light scent and is moisturizing.

10/10: Would buy again.

Julep Nail Color in Coco

WP_003017Julep’s nail color in Coco is the perfect Fall color and is on trend with the oxblood nails look. Coco is a deep classic red. The formula itself is shiny and quite opaque after 2 coats. The red isn’t too dark so that it appears black after a few coats. Julep’s formula is high quality and doesn’t chip as quickly as other brands I’ve tried (I’m looking at you, Butter London). The only downside is that the bottle isn’t very big and it retails for $14. I’ve used this a few times and it looks like the bottle is already 1/3 gone.

TLDR; Julep’s Coco has a high quality formula and is a good Fall color.

9/10: Would buy again.