MILAN — Apparel and footwear might not be the only area of interest for Chiara Ferragni, the influencer and entrepreneur behind The Blonde Salad digital platform and the Chiara Ferragni Collection label.
During the first of two events held in Milan’s Teatro Vetra venue over the weekend, Ferragni revealed “there might be surprises this year” on the beauty product launch front.
Even if she didn’t disclose much, launching a beauty capsule line seems the natural extension of the masterclass project, which attracted more than 1,000 attendees at the two sold-out appointments.
Sponsored by Lancôme, Sephora and Viktor & Rolf Parfums, the Beauty Bites initiative generated buzz over the last month mainly for its pricy tickets, ranging from 350 euros for regular ones to 650 euros for VIP access, which granted front-row seats and a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with Ferragni and Mameli.
While the excitement ahead of the masterclass was high on social media, the event on Saturday turned out to be surprisingly calm, almost lacking in rhythm and energy in its initial part.
A composed queue of people across all generations — from age 10 to over-50-year-old women — poured into the venue, which was decorated with Instagrammable corners, from logoed backdrops and cardboard cutouts of Ferragni and Mameli to bars offering pizza and Beauty Bites-branded beverage and candies. Everything spoke the language of Millennials, including the stage set embellished with panels decorated with palm-tree motif wallpapers in pink hues and bearing magazine covers of Ferragni. Flanking the stage, two Sephora stations provided VIP ticket holders make up opportunities during the breaks.
All the right ingredients were there for the perfect social media recipe, but the absence of Ferragni in the first two-and-a-half hours of the program caused a toned-down start to the masterclass, leaving attendees puzzled.
When Ferragni eventually came out on stage — wearing a baby-blue cardigan embellished with crystals, vinyl pants and kitten-heeled sling-back pointed shoes — the difference in the audience’s attitude was tangible, as many girls started to cry, shyness faded away and questions from the parterre abounded.
In response to a girl’s query about haters, Ferragni stressed the importance of owning and taking advantage of personal flaws and staying strong in the face of critics.
“When I started and attended my first fashion shows, people double my age told me: ‘Who is even going to remember your name in six months?’” said Ferragni. “At that moment I was struck, especially because I didn’t read this somewhere but they said it to my face, but after the initial shock, I started to metabolize it and said ‘OK, I’m going to show you [that] you will still remember me.’ That was such an incentive. There will always be haters in everyone’s life: It’s part of the game, so start learning how to play.”
Also beauty tips got personal, as Mameli revealed that “if Chiara has a pimple on a day of a red-carpet event, we don’t try to cover it with products but turn it into a mole,” and the three looks created live on the influencer provided inputs to satisfy people’s curiosity about her beauty routine.
Ferragni said she relies on Instagram to search and collect most of her beauty inspirations, which Mameli adapts according to her features and needs.
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My first @beautybites masterclass has just ended and it was epic! ✨ This is one of the three @lancomeofficial make up looks that @manuelemameli created on me 😊 We used the Monsieur Big mascara, Ombre Hypnose Erika F and the Mademoiselle Shine 232 on my lips, my favorite 💘 #SuppliedByLancome
In general, Ferragni considers makeup as a tool to increase one’s self-esteem, as she underscored in her initial speech, when she read the comment of a follower with motor disability saying: “Makeup has always saved me. It saved me from people’s indifference, from stereotypes and preconceptions. It has been my shield and guardian angel, my self-confidence.”
“This is the message I want to pass on today,” said a teary-eyed Ferragni. “I don’t want you to think about Beauty Bites just as a frivolous moment. Today we talk about feeling better thanks to few gestures, because when we feel prettier, we feel stronger, too. This has to be a moment for all of us, to give us confidence and make us believe we can make the difference.”
To reinforce the message, at the end of the event Ferragni and Mameli revealed they will host a special beauty masterclass for patients of an undisclosed Italian oncological institute next week.