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Fragrance and personal care

Estée Lauder elevates how-to content in Beauty is Boring collaboration

February 10, 2017

Estée Lauder's Pure Color Envy lipsticks Estée Lauder's Pure Color Envy lipsticks


Beauty marketer Estée Lauder is continuing efforts to capture the attention of millennial and Gen Z consumers through a new product-centric video series.

Curated video content performs well in the cosmetics space due to the popularity of YouTube beauty bloggers and consumer interest in how-to tutorials that educate on product use and offer tips and style recommendations. Tapping into this strategy, Estée Lauder has teamed with Robin Black of Beauty is Boring to create a series of nine videos, which it plans to screen across its social and digital channels beginning Feb. 10.

“The Estée team and I share a passion for great products and that was really the starting point for our collaboration,” said Robin Black, makeup artist, photographer and founder of Beauty is Boring. “Our initial conversations and planning were focused on how we could meld together expert application, product benefits and fun, creative moments.

“We really wanted to elevate the how-to and of course, I wanted to play with their latest products,” she said. “It was also amazing and so helpful to have their team with us in the studio while we shot the actual videos.

“It allowed for a fluid creative process with lots of room to make last-minute adjustments.”

Beauty is...
Ms. Black is a makeup artist and photographer as well as the founder of the Beauty is Boring. Launched in 2012, Beauty is Boring started as Ms. Black’s personal artistic outlet, but soon gained in followers.

Beauty is Boring “offers a visual adventure into aspirational yet inclusive beauty,” a lens that appeals to Estée Lauder’s push toward a younger consumer segment.

“We’ve admired Robin and her work on Beauty Is Boring for such a long time, and we’re so thrilled to partner with her on this incredible body of work,” said Geri Schachner, senior vice president, global communications and editorial director at Estée Lauder. “We love her unique way of blending beauty content with technology in a luxury aesthetic.”

Housed on Estée Stories, a branded blog on the Estée Lauder Web site, Ms. Black’s first video highlights the brand’s top-selling lip line, Pure Color Envy. The video has been shot in a style similar to imagery shared on Beauty is Boring, ensuring a consistent voice for Ms. Black’s work.

estee lauder.pure color envy

Estée Lauder's Pure Color Envy lipsticks 

As with Ms. Black’s Beauty is Boring content, the Estée Lauder videos are shot against a white backdrop allowing the vibrant colors of the products used to stand out. Unlike other makeup artists, Ms. Black hardly ever appears on screen.

“From an aesthetic standpoint, we have a signature style of bright white backgrounds, strong lighting, a close crop and a focus on the application,” Ms. Black said. “I am often asked why I don’t appear on camera in the usual ‘talking head’ style used for most how-to videos.

“It’s because I want our videos to stay true to expert driven application techniques, so only showing my hand working allows for a close-up focus on the process,” she said.

The Ms. Black-directed Pure Color Envy spot explores the lipstick line’s three different formulas: shine, matte and creme.

Shot in a similar style as Beauty is Boring content, the minute-long video begins with Pure Color Envy lipsticks in red, only showing the model’s lips for each of the three formulas. The video continues with a vignette of plum-colored lipsticks and ones in pink.

The video ends with a montage of finished lips and Pure Color Envy lipsticks.

Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy x Beauty is Boring

Throughout spring, Estée Lauder will premiere the Beauty is Boring collaborations. Each video will focus on priority product launches in skincare and makeup.

The beauty in marketing  
Beyond its marketing efforts, Estée Lauder is vying for youth interest through new product creation.

Last March, Estée Lauder appealed to the next generation of consumers with a collection designed specifically for a social media-savvy clientele.

The Estée Edit first retailed exclusively through Sephora in the United States and Canada, with a coinciding launch campaign featuring influencers and models Kendall Jenner and Irene Kim. When developing the line, Estée Lauder envisioned what its eponymous founder would do to disrupt the beauty market today, keeping heritage at the heart of this new brand extension (see story).

Another way Estée Lauder is looking to disrupt its industry is through technology.

After bringing the beauty counter experience online, Estée Lauder Cos. is turning its technology focus toward incorporating digital into its offline channels.

According to an executive from the brand speaking at Luxury Interactive 2016 on Oct. 17, innovation has been part of the Estée Lauder brand since its namesake founder began mixing cosmetics and fragrances in her kitchen in 1946. This “test and try culture” is centered on the user experience above all else (see story).

Tutorialized beauty content is an effective marketing strategy that ties together video, social media and consumer interest, but the how-to format can become tired with both branded and amateur saturation.

To keep content feeling fresh, Ms. Black suggests keeping videos “short, under two minutes if possible and fast paced.”

“I think that there are some great tutorials being made by bloggers, makeup enthusiasts and YouTube stars that focus on their personal experiences with products and how they like to use them,” she said.

“However, I come from a professional makeup artist background, meaning I spend most of my time doing makeup on other people, so I prefer to leave myself out of the equation and create videos that are more about expert level education and, hopefully, inspiration.”