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Butter London’s Customizable Palettes Get a Push From Ulta Beauty

Customization is branching out from cellphones and computers to beauty store floors.

Still a rarity within beauty stores, Ulta Beauty and Butter London are pushing to take customization mainstream.

Beginning this week, the specialty retailer is installing tables in its stores’ prestige departments that communicate the beauty brand’s clutch concept enabling shoppers to personalize palettes with eye shadows, bronzers and blushes of their choosing. To encourage experimentation, the price of Butter London’s Shadow Clutch Wardrobe Duo eye shadows at Ulta Beauty has been slashed from $15 to $9.

“There is some education that needs to happen, which is why we are doing this big promotion. We are telling the whole story and featuring all of the different palettes and different configurations that can be made,” said Sarina Godin, president of Butter London. “The customer has the option to slide in and out different shades to create multiple versions of her palette. Once people start to see it, they get it, and it is super easy to do.”

Shoppers start customizing Butter London products by purchasing a Shadow Clutch Palette, BronzerClutch or BlushClutch. The Shadow Clutch Palette and BlushClutch come in two varieties to cover warm and cool tones. Each palette costs $39. The shoppers then buy single bronzer or blush pans, or duo eye shadow pans to swap out existing shades for colors they prefer or would like to trial.

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Godin believes beauty customers are drawn to customization to test new colors and maximize their products. “If you like purples or want to try a blue or a gold that’s on trend, but it’s not a shade you wear every day, for $9, you can buy into a shade to pop into your palette to play around with at not a high price point,” said Godin, elaborating on the value proposition that, “If I’m a customer looking for a palette and there are two to three shades in that palette that I know I’m never going to use, all of a sudden the value of that palette is significantly reduced. In a customized palette, a customer will actually use everything.”

Millennials are driving the customization wave that’s largely been powered by digital devices where personalization projects don’t occupy physical square footage. While acknowledging the younger set understands and craves specialization, Godin suggested older customers get on board with a little support. “If you have a woman that’s in a different demographic, she might not even be thinking that it’s an option, but, if you show it to her, then it might become something she’s going to look for,” she said.

The next step in Butter London’s personalization efforts is to offer fully customizable palettes that customers can build from scratch. Butter London’s web site would be home for the completely adaptable products, and the brand is in discussions to bring them digitally to Ulta Beauty. “We are brainstorming ways to make it simple,” said Godin. “Online, you can click and drag the products you want into the palette and it shows how many spaces it takes up and how many more spaces you have to fill, so it is an easier touch and play experience.”