GloCal Beauty – Jamaica on the Map

The leading Jamaican newspaper,  the Jamaica Gleaner (of which I have fond memories, my mum used to order her copy  from the local newsagents every week… back in the day!) announced earlier this week that  four of the island’s most well-known women have been selected to be L’Oréal ambassadors in Jamaica. 

The leading ladies (L-R) Joan McDonald, Paulette Mitchell, Sara Lawrence and Kacis Fennell, L'Oréal ambassadors. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

The four women include:

Former beauty queens Joan McDonald and Sara Lawrence.

 

Joan McDonald: Miss Jamaica World 1978 (Image:Miss Jamaica World)

Joan McDonald is widely known as the first Miss Jamaica World, having won the inaugural beauty pageant in 1978.  She represented Jamaica at the Miss World contest in the United Kingdom.

She has also served her country as a cultural ambassador in Europe and in the United States of America.

McDonald has distinguished herself in public service by working with many community groups and non-governmental organisations. She has been a branch director at the Jamaica Red Cross and was a director and public-relations officer of the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica and a trained facilitator for Restorative and Community Justice Practices.  She is still deeply involved in the beauty pageant that launched her career and has been a grooming consultant for Miss Jamaica World Pageants and Miss Festival Queen competition.

 

Sara Lawrence was the representative for Jamaica in the Miss World 2006 beauty

Bring on the Reign! Sara Lawrence 2006 (Image: Miss Jamaica World)

pageant. In March 2007, she relinquished the Miss Jamaica World title upon announcing her pregnancy, becoming the first winner in the Jamaican contest’s 23-year-history to do so. (Source: Wikipeadia)

Lawrence was born in Kingston, she went on to  graduate from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she majored in biology with an emphasis on pre-medicine.

After winning the Jamaican title in August 2006, Lawrence placed in the first six at the Miss World competition held in Warsaw, Poland, where she was also named Miss World Caribbean.

Upon relinquishing her crown in March 2007, Lawrence said in a statement that she had “taken a deeply personal decision to face up to my responsibilities as one who expects to become a mother later this year. I believe with all that is within me that it is my moral obligation to do what I believe to be ethically correct and follow what I believe in my heart to be right.”

 

Lawrence, however, received overwhelming support from the Jamaican public for her decision to have her baby. She received the backing of the Miss World Organisation and was allowed to retain both her crowns for the full duration of the reign.  I am pleased that she is to be one of the faces of the new campaign…beauty isn’t perfect, we all have had challenges that we have had to overcome in life and we all deserve a second chance from time to time!

The other two women are economic consultant Paulette Mitchell and student Kacis Fennell.  I couldn’t find out much information about these two women – but I am sure we will get to know them better as the campaigns unfold.

The announcement was made at a glittering event called ‘L’Oréal Live: Bringing Beauty to Life’ and was hosted by the Pioneer Manufacturing Distribution Company Limited (PMD) – the local distributor of both the L’Oréal and Garnier brand of products . (Source: The Jamaica Gleaner).

In presenting the concept behind the L’Oréal Ambassadors programme in Jamaica, director of PMD, Winston Barrett, said “PMD was seeking to emulate one of the most innovative programmes adopted by the international beauty-care manufacturer. The Jamaican L’Oréal ambassadors will be the faces of the brands both locally and in the rest of the Caribbean”.  This marketing strategy, often dubbed ‘Glocalisation’ is a key tenant of the make up giant’s plans for future growth.

Going Glocal

Glocalisation serves as a means of combining the idea of globalisation with that of local considerations.  In a recent interview with Beauty Inc (part of wwd.com), the CEO of L’Oréal, Jean-Paul Agon, stated that this  “new concept” essentially moves “beyond globalisation” and forms an essential part of the firm’s efforts to add 1bn people to its customer base.

“In order to conquer and loyalise these consumers around the world, the idea is to build from the brands that we have,” he said.

Jean-Paul Agon in L’Oréal’s labs outside of Paris. Photo By © Stéphane de Bourgies for L’Oréal (courtesy of Beauty Inc.)

“The second step is to make sure that these brands, in every part of the world, have ranges of products that are completely specifically designed, formulated and adapted to the needs and demands of the local consumers. The L’Oréal Paris brand is the same brand in China that it is in the USA or in Europe, but the products are different.”

Agon also argued that such an approach could come to define the next ten years, when 2bn people globally will enter the middle class for the first time.

Agon is building upon the transformation the business underwent when former CEO Lindsay Owen-Jones was at the helm.  He led the Parisian company for 20 years (and guess what..he is from Wales!!)

I remember reading about Owen-Jones in Time Magazine back in 2004 (yes, I have been on this beauty thing for a LONG time…), where he was named as one of the 100 most influential people on the face of the planet.  He was being recognised for his ambition and success in creating a truly global beauty business that set out to meet the needs of women from across the globe.   L’Oréal purchased the hair care brands Soft-Sheen and Carson in 1998 and 2000 respectively and merged the two brands to create the Soft-Sheen-Carson division we know today (brands such as Dark & Lovely belong to the division…but you all knew that right!!)

In 2003 the L’Oréal Institute for Ethnic Hair & Skin Research,  a R&D research laboratory that was dedicated to understanding more about Black, Asian and Hispanic hair and skin was also unveiled ….although it now seems like the facility is no longer functioning…I scoured the L’Oreal website for more information…but to no avail.  😦

Despite this, I am really excited that these beautiful Jamaican women will be joining  L’Oréal’s diverse  global spokespersons such as veterans Beyoncé, Frieda Pinto, Kerry Washington and the latest women of colour  to join the roster, Ethiopian born model Liya Kebede.

Liya Kebede for Liya Kebede for L'Oréal Paris AW 11

I will most definitely be keeping my eye out for the initial campaigns!

 

 

 

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Product Review: Teint Idole Ultra 24H by Lancôme

A few posts ago I was enthusing about the newest foundation launches with shades for dark skin!

I will reviewing some of these new offerings over the course of the next few weeks, letting you know my thoughts based upon 3 criteria:

  • Colour Match – is it detectable?
  • Coverage and Wear – how does it perform during the day?
  • Marketing Support –   many woman of colour bemoan the fact that they are        underrepresented in the marketing and advertising of beauty products, and as a result conclude that these products are ‘not for them’.   I will assess the marketing support for each product to see how well each brand represents the markets that they are targeting.

I am a loyal MAC Studio Fix user and I have been wearing shade NW45 for years.  It  is a good match for me…just so you know what I am benchmarking the trial foundations against.

First up…

…Teint Idole Utra 24H by Lancôme

As I mentioned in my previous post, Skin Deep, Lancôme offered customers a 7 day trial of their newest  foundation.  From the adverts in the press I suspected that I would be shade 13 (Sienne)…and what do you know…I was right!

Lancôme describes the foundation as “an exceptional longwear formula featuring a unique heart-shaped flexible polymer for comfort…. in 18 shades to suit all skin tones from very pale to very dark.”

Interestingly, it was back in 2005 that Lancôme identified a need to extend its foundation colour palette.  Employees of the USA laboratories noticed they were not all able to find the right shade among those available on the market.  Too red, not dark enough, overly ash, not vibrant enough, too orangey…

Thus L’Oreal  (the parent company Lancôme belongs to) created what was dubbed the “Women of Color” association, and  these women decided to blend a shade range perfectly tailored to their specific needs with shades for every skin tone.

Lancôme soon committed to support “Women of Color” with the launch of an international study.  Using colorimetric measurements, 15,000 complexion colour points were observed on around 1,000 women. This international study gave rise to the shades unveiled in the Teint Idole Ultra 24H  range!

The new shades suitable for a darker skin tone include:

Shades 10 (Praline), 11 (Muscade), 12 (Ambre), 13 (Sienne), 14 (Brownie) range from sandy to more intense tones and these shades been developed for every mixed-race, South-American, Afro-American, Indian-American, Antillean or North-African complexion.  Shade 15 (Acajou), the darkest shade is designed for ebony-toned skin.

So that was the science…but what do I think??

Colour Match

Although Lancôme professes to have a shade for all, with only 6 shades for women with a darker skin tone,  I am not 100% convinced.

Sienne is a rich toffee colour with deep yellow undertones.

It did blend well to match my skin tone…however upon application to my face (with my fabulous BECCA foundation brush), it was slightly to dark…but I know that shade 12 would be to light, so unfortunately it was a mismatch for me.

Colour Match Score: 6/10

Coverage and Wear

The foundation provided a medium coverage, and was easy to apply.  If you do have any imperfections that require extra coverage (as I do!) you may need to use a concealer too.  The foundation has a subtle floral fragrance, which was surprising – but it was pleasant to inhale the fragrance as I applied the makeup.

It dries to give a velvety matte finish.  My skin tends to get shiny throughout the day, thus I was concerned that the liquid formulation would begin to slide, but I found that it wore well although I did need a little powder to take down the shine.  All in all I was very impressed!

Coverage and Wear score: 8/10

Marketing Support

Lancôme has backed the launch of  Teint Idole 24H with a heavyweight campaign which has been highly visible in store, outdoor, online and in the press.

 

Lancôme’s global HQ has done a fantastic job in communicating that this range is indeed for all women…and I was commenting to a friend just last week (yes…I am always talking about beauty!!), that I believe that this is the first major Lancôme campaign that DOES NOT feature a Caucasian woman!!  It is fronted by Tunisian beauty, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem and the stunning Arenis Sosa.

A fabulous campaign!

Marketing Support score: 10/10

So there you have it!  All in all, if you can find your colour match, I would highly recommend this foundation!


Book Review: Branded Beauty – How Marketing Changed The Way We Look

There is something that I adore just as much as my beloved beauty industry and that is reading!  I love disappearing into the pages (or sometimes the auditory world) of a tantalising, engrossing book!

I am a bit of a geek to be honest (albeit a very glamorous one, if I say so myself!!), and I think you can see  form the nature of my blog posts that I like to thoroughly investigate my themes and offer an informative view on the world of  beauty.  As a beauty insider, I am not only passionate about the amazing products that are launched, but also about the business of  beauty  itself –  I am enthralled by the innovation and creativity that is exhibited and I also love watching videos such as this too (I told you I was a geek)!!

As I mentioned in a previous post the global beauty industry is worth billions of (US) dollars and here in the UK, a recent market research report produced by Euromoniter, stated that the beauty industry was the most resilient (non-food) sector within retail during the tumultuous years following the economic implosion of 2008 .  As a nation, looking good is very, very important to us!

So how excited was I when I saw this book featured in an issue Stylist Magazine late last year….

….. a book  combining  both of my passions – beauty and the business of beauty!

The book is authored by Mark Tungate, a British journalist who currently resides in Paris.  His credentials include authoring several books on fashion and luxury marketing , writing for broadsheet newspapers such as The Times and the The Independent and he also teaches courses on branding and advertising at the Parsons Paris School Art and Design.

The Synopsis

In “Branded Beauty” Tungate delves into the history and evolution of the beauty business.  From luxury boutiques in Paris to tattoo parlours in Brooklyn, he talks to the people who’ve made skin their trade. He analyses the marketing strategies used by those who create and sell beauty products. He visits the labs where researchers seek the key to eternal youth. He compares attitudes to beauty around the world and examines the rise of organic beauty products.

As it was published in 2011, it is bang up to date – and covers the changing marketing communication channels – with the rise of social media and the increasing influence the  beauty blogger  posses – and the effect this is having on the industry.

The book is written in a pithy style,  that is very accessible and not  loaded with technical jargon.  I really enjoyed charting the journey of the development of the beauty industry and was fascinated by the fact that many of the strategies that were devised all those years ago  (such as ‘Gift with Purchase’ ) are still the mainstay of the industry today.

I also enjoyed reading about the impeccable women that have shaped this global industry – Lauder,  Arden, Rubenstein…to name a few.   Their emphatic belief  in the utility of their products and the sheer determination and drive they deployed to ensure that their vision came  to pass was truly inspirational.  It is often said that the beauty industry is frivolous and sells nothing but ’empty promises and hope in a jar’ – but ‘hope’ does not forge multi-billion dollar businesses – tenacity, perseverance and passion do.  Tungate quotes the late Estee Lauder who said of her enterprise;

“I didn’t get [here] by wishing or hoping for it, but by working for it”

Tungate’s investigation is candid and balanced and he does not aim to sugar coat aspects of the industry that can  be  somewhat disconcerting.  I very much appreciated this, as I am a big believer in giving people the information for them to make an informed decision about how they feel about a subject or topic.  He covers darker issues that surround the industry such the airbrushing of advertising,  the  impact of the  ‘ anti aging’ phenomenon and the spectacular rise of  cosmetic surgery- and the reasons why this is the case –  however unlike other books about the industry, it does not focus solely on these ‘perils’  and does not damn the whole industry as a sardonic, money making, evil.

The book does have a very European/Caucasian bias though – only 8  of the 277 pages in the book talks about the diversity of  the global beauty industry and only 2 pages specifically mentions the beauty of  Black women.

How did the beauty industry develop outside of  Europe and  North America?  What was happening in Asia Pacific, Australia and indeed Africa?  As Tungate states in his book that only 3%  of the people on the earth can be classified as Caucasian, it would have been interesting to have discover more about these women and the entrepreneurs that has served them.

Where is my story?*

Despite this, I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to beauty enthusiasts, marketing students and professionals and aspiring  business leaders alike!

Buy ‘Branded Beauty’ on Amazon or Waterstones (saving up to £3.80 on the cover price)!

* Image: ‘African Beauty’ by Artbeat