When Kirstie and Aisling McDermott chatted about blackhead-busting Silver Powder by Mario Badescu, stores in Dublin, the sisters’ hometown, ran out of the product quicker than you can say “zit zapper.” Of course, the fact that the siblings, who founded beauty blog Beaut.ie, were “chatting” with about 130,000 visitors to their Web site certainly helped.
The McDermotts are part of a new breed of beauty mavens who, because of their close contact with end consumers, are increasingly garnering attention from brands. “We treat many of them as we would any member of the beauty media,” says Nina White, deputy general manager and senior vice president of marketing for L’Oréal-owned Lancôme.
“We consider them journalists,” concurs Simone Carneiro, Internet director at Brazilian brand Natura. Like Lancôme and Natura, firms from Jean Paul Gaultier Parfums to Sephora send bloggers products, invite them to launches and sometimes sponsor their sites. The McDermotts receive up to 20 products a week and attend industry events, including L’Oréal’s Color Awards ceremony in May. For brands, blogs offer low-risk financial investment (advertising can earn blog authors between $2,000 and $3,300 a month) with potentially explosive sales results. “We had endless e-mails from men asking where they could buy it for their girlfriends,” says Kirstie McDermott, of Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream after it was featured on Beaut.ie.
“Our products have more value if they’re recommended by somebody else,” says Natura’s Carneiro. According to tracking firm Ipsos, more than 25 million adults in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have changed their minds about a company or its products after reading comments or reviews on a blog. “When a blogger says that a product is good, it’s much more valuable than a simple ad,” says Paris blogger Delphine, whose site, deedeeparis.com, scores 4,000 hits a day. It also has attracted sponsorship from L’Oréal-owned Garnier to film bimonthly podcasts with various celebrities.
“Faced with thousands of product launches, women are looking to help themselves by going online,” explains Alisa Beyer, president of The Benchmarking Co., based in Washington, which published a report dubbed “Beauty and the Blog” in April. “They’re asking each other: ‘What did you buy? What do you think of this product?’”
The report found that 22 percent of American women visit an average of six beauty blogs, join three and post comments on at least two. With more than 50 million blogs and message boards talking about beauty, blogger networks have a broad reach, meaning that brands can have an instant hit after receiving the thumbs-up from cyber critics. “There’s a general tendency to lemming behavior,” says Meg Greenhalgh, whose Faking Good Breeding blog attracts 1,000 hits daily. “The mascara I reviewed yesterday gained cult status. After one blogger reviews it, other bloggers want to try it.”
Bloggers attribute their influence to perceived independence. “People really need specific recommendations that they can trust—we’re not paid by anyone, so we can be honest and talk about the products we love, buy and recommend,” says Kirstie McDermott.
“Blogs are becoming more influential as people consider them to be real and not swayed by massive advertising spends,” agrees Lindsey Kelk, who started a blog called Beautymecca.blogspot in January.
Lianne Farbes, of Themakeupgirl.typepad, summed up: “Being cute is expensive. You may as well let someone else be your guinea pig before you spend your hard-earned money, right?”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion