If You Give, You Get‚
Among Estee Lauder’s most important innovations and legacies in beauty marketing was the introduction of the sample-size freebie and gift with purchase. With a limited budget for advertising, Lauder sent letters to the Saks mailing list offering a free gift with any in-store purchase. When Youth Dew hit the big time, she offered the perfume as a free gift when a customer bought a skincare product.
The Rule Breakers
The old guard maintained a stronghold over many cosmetic developments, but in the 1960s in Britain a revolution was happening. For the first time, there was full teenage employment: Girls had money in their pockets, and they didn’t want to spend it on fussy enameled compacts. There was a need for fresh, fun makeup for a younger generation. Though this started in London with Mary Quant and Biba, it soon spread throughout the world.
Mary Quant opened her first fashion boutique, Bazaar, on the Kings Road in London in 1955. She launched her cosmetics range in 1966 at the height of the swinging sixties, after eighteen months of development. The mastermind behind it all, Quant has written that people were stunned by the look of the whole brand.‚ It’s true that everything about it like that famous Quant creation, the miniskirt was completely different from what had come before, from the colors of the makeup itself, to the packaging and the advertising approach showing huge blown-up faces on billboards.
The iconic cosmetic crayons, which were literally a tin of colored crayons, had a typically naughty touch with the instructions suggesting you could use them to draw a flower anywhere! They gave people freedom to express their own creativity a very different vibe from a little brush and a little tin.
Quant’s packaging was inseparable from her clothes. She was creating makeup for a new modern woman, and it was encased in black-and-white plastic (the colors inside were often very much like that as well). She has written that her lipstick was the symbol of the new, young career woman and they flashed it across restaurants at each other. It was like being a member of a club.‚
The stark monochromatic packaging, tongue-in-cheek names, and ‹“groovy’ innovative products in Quant’s first cosmetic line were as revolutionary as her fashion designs.
Quant spent eighteen months developing her makeup range, which, with its playful and vibrant vibe, was a complete departure from the cliches of the early pioneers.
The products themselves had playful names to match their looks, from Starkers foundation to Jeepers Peepers eye shadow and Bring Back the Lash mascara. The aim, according to Quant, was to replace all those bogus French names, sold by middle-aged harridans. Mary Quant cosmetics were going to be sold by girls in miniskirts, looking like top models, or by dashing young men in jeans.‚ It changed the way makeup was sold the shops looked more like art stores, and there were no more dowager sales-women,‚ as Quant cheekily said.
Quant’s products were soon stocked all over the world. The tide had truly turned.