Brands asked manufacturers to expand or adapt their catalogues. They soon did, and for limited costs. They developed alternatives to the standard lipstick, foundation, and perfume test solutions involving the successive use of retail-size products. “This is no longer possible, so we have worked on hygienic, personal proposals that satisfied our customers’ criteria,” confirms Isabelle Louis, Marketing Director of Arcade Beauty.

Makeup on the front line

Suppliers have imagined different gestures to test lipsticks. For example, Livcer drew inspiration from the usual retail-size product application, but enhanced it with an innovation: Livstick.

Aude de Livonnière, Livcer

Aude de Livonnière, Livcer

The sample consists of a wood stick slid into a single-use blister pack whose ends are coated with a small quantity of lipstick. “Brands’ specifications were very simple: it had to be visual, little cumbersome, so it can easily fit in drawers, cheap, and as green as possible,” explains company founder Aude de Livonnière. The customizable blister pack is based on recyclable materials and the stick is made of wood. Livstick is available as a single-use blister pack or as a precut six-stick bar. It can either be put away in drawers or demonstrators’ bags, or put on display.

To develop this new product, Livcer invested in a new production tool which will be operational next August, so the sample can be marketed in September.

Orlandi banked on a card-size proposal intended for different product types, which is delivered by a counter display or a cardboard-based dispenser. “Consumers seize the card and try it immediately or take it away. It is a travel-size solution adapted to perfumes, skincare, and makeup, depending on the technique used,” says Philippe Ughetto, Senior Vice-President of Orlandi.

Philippe Ughetto, Orlandi

Philippe Ughetto, Orlandi

As regards lipsticks, the company has already received many requests for their product Color Kiss. This card is folded in the middle: users bite it by putting their lips on it to apply the lipstick. TouchUps follows a different principle: this biodegradable applicator consists of a cellulose capsule which looks like a mini-lipstick and is directly applied with the usual stick gesture.

Orlandi has also designed another makeup solution by adapting the V-Shapes innovation to foundations and other fluid formulas (oil perfumes, creams, scrubs, shampoos…). V-Shapes is also a single-use card, but it can be opened with one hand by pressing on each end to form a V. The folding opens a protective cap which cleanly delivers a controlled quantity of product, whatever the viscosity. The content used is close to 100% and four versions are available: standard, compostable, 80% biosourced, and recyclable single-material. “Beyond in-store testing, V-Shapes is interesting in that it is adapted to all channels, depending on its size or capacity: press, retail, digital sampling…,” adds Philippe Ughetto.

Arcade Beauty adopted the same R&D strategy based on their existing catalogue to quickly create a unique, safe gesture.

Isabelle Louis, Arcade Beauty

Isabelle Louis, Arcade Beauty

Kiss-A-Peel satisfies all lipstick criteria. This small cardboard card contains a mouth-shaped dose of lipstick which you kiss after folding it.

And to go even farther in displaying the broad variety of shades offered by brands, Arcade Beauty also devised a new presentation for labels/single-doses to be removed. It is adapted to lips, complexion, and eyes.

Beauty advisors will play an even more significant role, since they will welcome consumers as soon as they walk in the store and guide them as they stroll, so they do not touch the products displayed. To support them in implementing these new habits, we have thought about a file with the brands’ colours containing colour testing boards,” explains Isabelle Louis. This labelling, dispensing technology has a huge advantage, since it multiplies the range of colours, while limiting the volume needed for distributors who lack space.

A new way to discover perfumes

Forget about testers posing health risks in stores: suppliers are inventing new, safe solutions. For example, based on their pre-perfumed, alcohol-free paper technology, IDScent has created Scentest, Scentouch, and Scentweave. Scentest is a perfumed card to be smelt which is either available as a self-service distributor or provided by the advisor. It is ecoresponsible and exclusively based on paper. Scentouch is a new gesture consisting of the bottle-opening gesture enhanced with the pre-perfumed card. The user takes the card out of the cardboard bottle and smells it or applies it on their skins. Lastly, Scentweave is a pre-perfumed ribbon which customers can tie around their arms for a perfumed immersion that lasts several days. “Even without the current health context, the countless sprays used at points of sale are a real issue for beauty advisors and air quality. Our pre-perfumed, alcohol-free solutions provide a solution to this problem,” explains Hélène Grenier, Commercial Director of IDScent.

Most manufacturers offer blotters or pre-perfumed labels. Arcade Beauty has developed Scent Talker, a cardboard distributor from which consumers draw a Scentstrip, a small strip containing the encapsulated perfume. Other than V-Shapes, Orlandi also offers different sticker models in the form of spools, blotters and cards.

Cheap, ecoresponsible, customizable, quick-to-implement, this mode of distribution on display or involving beauty advisors makes it possible for consumers to quickly discover products at the point of sale or at home.

The digital channel is gathering momentum

Digital platforms managed by manufacturers like Arcade Beauty and Orlandi are especially meaningful in today’s context. Following campaigns launched by brands on social media, the samples are now directly shipped to consumers’ homes upon their request for a more customized experience.

It is a way to implement an even more reassuring, contactless testing strategy, since you receive the sample at home. In addition, as they are one of our brand’s main concerns, consumers are considered as part of a caring approach,” claims Philippe Ughetto. “We are no longer a mere sample supplier, but a pure player specialized in new discovery ways involving the customer experience, data collection and optimization, and home delivery,” he continues.

Hélène Grenier confirms this assessment. “Customers are those that request the sample, so they want to test the product and their perception is positive. Our e-sampling solutions are flat, liquid- and alcohol-free, which makes it possible to limit costs, they have a broad scope, and they simplify exports,” she adds.