By  on April 13, 2012

The MAC flagship in Times Square employs 64 makeup artists who collectively speak nine different languages. At Galeries Lafayette in Paris, signs in Mandarin share floor space with French communiqués. Arabic is the lingua franca at London’s key retail destinations like Harrods and Selfridges, while in Turkey, speaking Russian is fast becoming a job requirement for sales associates. As a thriving middle class emerges in developing countries like China and Brazil, these newly empowered citizens are traveling abroad in ever increasing numbers. And when they travel, tops on their list of activities is shopping. “We are more nomadic than we were 20 years ago,” Clinique’s Ricardo Quintero told me when I interviewed him for “Movers, Shakers & Shoppers.” “Today, you see the Chinese everywhere—they are traveling the world and learning the codes of Western luxury.” Discover how savvy retailers and marketers are effectively targeting the new jet-setters.

The five women in “Counter Intuition” have personally seen an increase in the tourist trade. Each is a leading beauty adviser for a top brand at a major retailer around the country, and as such, is on the front lines of ever-evolving consumer patterns. We wanted to find out their firsthand experiences about what women are really looking for today—and what makes them buy in today’s post-recession reality. Their answers are illuminating.

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