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Physicians Formula Shares Selfie Secrets on National Selfie Day

The brand recruited YouTubers Jessica Harlow, Deepica Mutyala and Emily Eddington to dole out cell phone and makeup tips at Ulta Beauty and Duane Reade.

To celebrate National Selfie Day — yes, along with doughnuts, cats, stupid questions and popcorn, selfies have a holiday — Physicians Formula recruited beauty vloggers, possibly the world’s best selfie-takers, to dole out cell phone and makeup tips at Ulta Beauty and Duane Reade today.

The event is part of the Markwins-owned beauty brand’s efforts to promote its #InstaReady products, including the best-selling Super BB Contour Trio BB Stick SPF 30, developed to diminish shine for flawless filter-free posts, and to raise its profile among digital influencers and their audiences. YouTubers Jessica Harlow and Deepica Mutyala are heading to Duane Reade in New York’s Herald Square, while YouTuber Emily Eddington and celebrity makeup artist Joanna Schlip are meeting fans in Ulta Beauty at Chicago’s The Shops at Roosevelt Collection.

Leading up to National Selfie Day, Physicians Formula held a contest encouraging consumers to take selfless, renewing and empowering selfies. “We’ve had huge growth on Instagram because of this contest. We’ve seen 12 percent growth since we started,” said Alice Chen, vice president of marketing and head of corporate communications for Physicians Formula. “People are really engaged by doing something fun with their selfies and posting an image of themselves being more selfless versus just showing pictures of themselves.”

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The contest isn’t the only initiative Physicians Formula has undertaken to amplify its social-media messaging. The brand constructed an in-house studio to produce how-to tutorials, photograph influencer shoots and conduct interviews, and is expanding its digital marketing team to escalate influencer programs. “We rely on influencers and our web site to educate consumers about how to use our products, what’s in the products and the product claims. There is so much to our products, and we utilize them to tell the story,” said Chen.

Physicians Formula has been in a state of transition since former chief executive officer Ingrid Jackel decamped for Yes To Inc. last year, but Chen suggested the transition is in the rearview mirror, and the brand is poised to surge. “The turnaround of Wet ‘n’ Wild in the last seven years has been huge, and I’m hoping to bring that success over to Physicians Formula,” said Chen, a Markwins veteran who joined Physicians Formula in September. “We have a lot that we’re looking forward to for 2017, and we’re really building this brand to its potential.”

Before 2017 rolls around, Physicians Formula has plenty on the docket. To capitalize on the strobing and color-correcting trends stocked by social media, the brand will focus on its existing product Butter Bronzer and release a new color-correcting item. “We started in color correcting as a brand, and it’s a big part of our business. We are number-one right now in terms of dollars for color correction,” said Chen. “In the second half of this year, we are launching a first-to-market color-correcting product that’s never been seen before at mass or prestige. That’s going to be a huge push for us.”

Already in 42,000 doors globally, Physicians Formula is getting a distribution boost by reentering Walgreens in December and January. “It’s a huge win for the brand,” said Chen. “The brand seven years ago [when it departed Walgreens] is drastically different from the brand now. In the past five years, the brand has been a lot more on trend. Since the acquisition of Physicians Formula by Markwins [in 2012], we have really improved our inventory and sell-through rates in stores. Our consumer reach is much broader, and our innovation is still first and foremost.”