Monday, 12 March 2012

Memories of Launching Burberry Beauty Makeup At Holt Renfrew in 2010

Makeup application without the word “make-over” is why I enjoy freelancing in Holt Renfrew, as it has created exclusivity for those who consistently seek out higher-end, prestige items laden with more designer features then those hastily plucked off a drugstore peg-wall.  Women of all ages who intently arrive at the glass door threshold welcome the effort behind the brand, loyal to Holts because holding a fuchsia shopping bag provides an important distinction: it says there’s shopping, and then there’s Holts shopping. Please don’t confuse the two.

It was unbelievably exciting for both the employees and customers to experience something new in the cosmetic and skincare department as Burberry Makeup is exclusive to Holts in Canada. Two years later it is still exciting, as someone will peek around the corner and say, “I didn’t know Burberry had makeup!”

In January of 2010, the first ad was launched with flattering close-ups on the faces of three unknown pillow-lipped young models freshly sprouting out of their iconic Burberry trench coats. Their hypnotic bedroom eyes gazed into that deep place inside you that appreciates contoured cheeks and lashes that darken in all the right places. The product was displayed with the same pristine lighting as you would see in a vodka ad.

During a brands first launch it is not unlike a new restaurant making an impression in the city. Toronto isn’t that big – a few women tell a few other women and they all get familiarized with the buzz. Some newer products do surpass the internet, as we’re still a collective in a village to some extent. I’d aspired, during my time at the counter, and off the clock to describe one facet of packaging or an aspect of product like someone delves into the latest restaurants d├ęcor and dessert. Whether I was working on a TV program doing makeup for the host and guests, or freelancing for a wedding party, (or sometimes in a nightclub bathroom) I would drop a few choice bon-mots about the Burberry makeup menu, and eventually women were reserving a chair.

Why was my makeup artist obligation to Burberry important to me? Alongside my obsession with devouring every monthly beauty and fashion magazine before “said month” even begins, and always flipping to the new and now editorial section I would begin to experience a feeling not unlike a parent seeing their child’s photo in the camp or school newsletter when I saw Burberry’s square, magnetic lipstick snapped.

I was smack in the middle of a “happening” working with the brand. Here’s my chance to be one of the first makeup artists to play with the texture and color of these fantastic pieces on women of all ages, I thought, and here’s their chance to re-discover themselves.

I remember that Burberry didn’t impose any philosophy upon me, but rather allowed the artist inside to co-create the collection’s image, as ones words are often remembered and associated with the product when the client is using it, and re-visiting the counter. I take time sharing a velvety vocabulary with my client upon presentation of the mirrored magnetic compacts of many powdered hues and tones: “soft, washes, luxurious, creamy, ready-to-wear, subtle, sexy, and natural” Like ornaments hung in the right places, I hope my words create appealing visual imagery. She nods back at her mirrored reflection listening to the language of the lipstick.

It’s the teenagers wearing the Burberry headbands and holding their iconic nova-checked wallets, spritzing “The Beat” on their friend that I hope to entice. People often forget about the importance in teenage loyalty. My job is also to make this their brand. They are the future of every emerging companies launches and want to know that it’s all available to them as well.

I am reminded of the time I was a teenager and went to the Chanel counter in Holts. Every time I opened my Chanel matchbook-sized eye-shadow (Tam-Tam #11) I invoked the visit with the salesgirl. I remember her wise tip to use my index finger to smudge the soft grey into my brow bone and how she said it was a classic match for my big blue eyes. I believe that her work as an ambassador for the brand lies in both the language and lesson, either that or I loved being told my eyes were both big and blue as both were important descriptors to make me feel pretty.

Women are waiting to know what they’re missing, waiting to be acknowledged, noticed, appreciated, loved, reminded of their favorite features. Our jobs as makeup artists and salespeople is also to raise a woman’s self-esteem and spirit. One can manage this in a most authentic way, as being around the energy and intention beautiful makeup makes this that much easier.

One can’t love something, can’t care about something to such an extent unless they believe in it.

When it comes to choosing the brands of makeup to use, I am fussy. Even more then fussy, I am particular about it living up to its name that is why I am confident to offer 10 reasons why Burberry makeup lives up to the quality of the name:

1.     The blush will smoothly grace your check with one sweep, and last the entire day.
2.     The bronzer is matt, highlights in all the right ways, and is never orange or streaky.
3.     The powder doesn’t sit in little lines and wrinkles, but it will cover minor imperfections in a few strokes, and is weightless.
4.     The sheer foundation has an SPF of 20, and doesn’t mask your skin, instead offering you the more vibrant, glowing, even-toned skin you’ve dreamed about.
5.     The lipstick comes in the groupings that an artist categorizes as the “essentials” that means, there isn’t a bad color in the bunch and on average there are 4-7 possible lipsticks for each woman’s collection that are both hydrating and long-lasting.
6.     The smokey-eye will be utilized for more years to come both for evening looks and day looks. The line offers a matching eye-shadow for each pencil and they are optimal for that desired effect.
7.     The eye-shadow colors are a mist, almost see-through and are buildable with a sheer, natural result on the eye unlike any other brand available.
8.     The mascara is not only clump and smudge-free, but a treatment to help strengthen lashes.
9.     The packaging is divine. Burberry nova- check adorns lipstick to eye-shadow, reminding you that you have purchased a prestige brand.
10.  Your makeup guarantees your “look” we always help you build with your makeup collection pieces and assist you in showing application techniques to make each application a confident one.