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CEW’s Women and Men in Beauty Series Talks Prestige Skin Care

Innovation was the key word among the speakers participating in Thursday night’s members only panel.

Innovation was the key word among the speakers participating in Thursday night’s members only CEW panel. Three skin-care industry experts shared secrets of their successful strategies and insights to a packed house for CEW’s Women and Men in Beauty Series “Prestige Skin Care’s Top Innovators.”

During the conversation, moderated by WWD Beauty Inc editor, Jenny B. Fine, Charisse Ford, senior vice president of global marketing for Estée Lauder, Silvia Galfo, senior vice president of marketing, U.S. for Lancôme and Tomoko Yamagishi-Dressler, senior vice president of marketing for Shiseido Cosmetics America shared some of their philosophies and experiences that have helped shape each company.

“What’s old can be new and what’s new is new,” said Ford, who began with the topic of the year’s big skin-care story. “Advanced Night Repair has been out for 30 years and launched in 1982, it has a loyal following and women around the world, but what we’ve been able to do is introduce it to a new group from women. We did extensive testing to prove that it’s relevant to women around the world of all ages and ethnicities.”

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To that end, the women chatted about the next big category in skin care and how it applies to their brand. Yamagishi-Dressler mentioned brighteners as an up and comer and that BB Creams are here to stay. “I think that we will continue to see products that are inspired by cosmetic surgery,” said Yamagishi-Dressler.

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Fine addressed the success of Clarisonic and how it has changed the way each company has approached its business.

“This was inspired by the Sonic toothbrush and it’s a great learning tool for all of us,” said Yamagishi-Dressler, “because we can take the technology and other personal care products and apply it to beauty. So we really have to look beyond our category for the next innovation.”

All three women echoed the importance of performance; the customer is now more engaged and wants to be educated on the product.

“Post-election, consumer confidence is high,” said Ford, “skin care is an essential, not a luxury.”

“Our mission as a brand is to make sure we understand the different skin types,” said Galfo, “because the skin is not the same whether you’re Asian, African-American or Hispanic.”

As Amazon breaks into beauty, the women tackled the challenge of how to create a controlled environment, while still sending their brand’s message to their consumers. “One of the key touch points for skin care is word of mouth,” said Ford. “You have to have strong product performance and product experiences because if not, you will be talked about and that’s how you’ll be seen on that platform.”

Sephora has made a bigger push into skin care and the panelists spoke on how skin care can be effectively sold in an open environment.  

“You have to make it as simple as possible,” said Galfo.

“In that environment, your whole skin care wall has to tell an entire story,” said Yamagishi-Dressler. “And that becomes your skin-care consultant.”