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Bloomingdale’s inspires selfies with blogger beauty guide

April 22, 2014

Blomingdale's Strike a Pose

Blomingdale’s Strike a Pose

Department store chain Bloomingdale’s is touting its expansive beauty department offerings with a spring/summer beauty guide that features the style tips of blogger and professional makeup artist Robin Black of Beauty is Boring.

The Strike a Pose beauty guide strives to get Bloomingdale’s consumers’ “selfies” ready with on-trend looks achieved by products available at the retailer. Bringing in an expert such as a popular blogger to dish out beauty advice helps the retailer recreate an in-store experience through a trusted voice.

“Bloomingdale’s recognize[s] the value of engaging the user with the opportunity to submit selfies,” said Dave Rodgerson, retail business development executive at Microsoft Canada, Toronto.

“What isn’t clear is whether people who submit the images would have the opportunity to share their pictures through the site,” he said.

“This would have again provided Bloomingdale’s with the opportunity to draw more traffic through the promotional content.”

Mr. Rodgerson is not affiliated with Bloomingdale’s, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Bloomingdale’s was unable to respond before press deadline.

Let me take a selfie

To spread awareness for the Strike a Pose beauty guide, Bloomingdale’s posted a blog entry from guest blogger and makeup artist, Robin Black of Beauty is Boring to its Facebook.

Bloomingdale’s post of Beauty is Boring article 

Ms. Black’s blog post focuses on a bright coral lip and redirects her readers to Bloomingdale’s spring/summer 2014 beauty guide for additional how-tos, product information and ecommerce options. The blog also includes product tags for the items used to create the bright coral lip look which land on Bloomingdale’s ecommerce page.

Consumers who follow the provided link in either Ms. Black’s post land on the introduction page to Strike a Pose. The “explore now” prompt is set in the center of nine tiles with alternating selfies of models in different makeup looks.

A click-through lands on the content found in the beauty guide. The first section is dedicated to lips and continues Ms. Black’s tips for following the coral lipstick trend using products by Estee Lauder or Sisley.

Coral lipstick trend tips from Robin Black of Beauty is Boring

In addition to two tips from Ms. Black and five product suggestions, the consumer can learn how to achieve the trend in three different ways as to best suit their personal style. For instance, Ms. Black offers ways to create a “flushed,” “velvet” or “lacquered” coral lip.

The next section is focused on eyes with mascara types, including Armani’s Eyes to Kill, being the focal point of the top portion of the page. Each of the products featured at the top section are shoppable simply by clicking on the image and below, consumers can learn the 5 steps needed to create a glamorous cat eye.

Smoky eye step-by-step tutorial by Robin Black 

Ms. Black’s “glow-getter” cheek section features various bronzers and blushes, application tips and a tutorial on creating a sun-kissed glow using the products shown such as Guerlain’s Terracotta bronzing powder. This section is followed by “fresh faced” skin where a consumer can learn to have flawless summer skin using La Mer and Lancôme products.

Next, Ms. Black recommends layering floral fragrances such as Dolce & Gabbana’s Dolce with fruity aromas for a revamped spring/summer scent. Also, she suggests using a fragrance body wash, like Bottega Veneta’s Essence Aromatique shower gel, and lighting perfume candles in the home.

Fragrance tips from Beauty in Boring blogger Robin Black

The final section “secret weapons” includes Ms. Black’s cult-favorite items such as La Prairie’s Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil and Shiseido Pureness Oil-Control Blotting Papers. The items in the section also explain the benefits of using the featured products.

Lastly, the consumer can explore the Express Your Selfie sweepstakes that runs through April 27. The contest’s page includes user-uploaded selfies that were categorized using the branded hashtag #BloomieSelfie.

Bloomingdale’s Express Your Selfie contestants page 

Among the submitted selfie images are more makeup tips for selfies such as selecting the right shade of lipstick to create a natural look or to avoid foundations and powders with SPF because the flash will cause the consumer’s skin to seem washed out. The best selfie posted on Instagram will win a $1,000 Bloomingdale’s gift card.

Photo finish

Bloomingdale’s has used photo-sharing application Instagram in the past to generate awareness for its products.

The department store chain asked consumers to help style blogger Danielle Bernstein for Fashion Week live on Instagram to encourage comments and participation with the retailer on the photo-sharing social media platform.

During the event on Feb. 5, fans could vote on items of clothing as Bloomingdale’s posted photos, contributing to We Wore What blogger Ms. Bernstein’s final look. Through this event, Bloomingdale’s was able to encourage participation and comments from its followers on social media, and generate traffic due to the blogger’s following (see story).

Although useful for many consumers, Bloomingdale’s may have benefited more from a video demonstration rather than text-based tutorial.

For instance, French atelier Chanel tried to define perfection with promotions for its new Perfection Lumière Velvet foundation that promised a velvety complexion.

Consumers were guided to a natural complexion through a tutorial video. When a new cosmetic product is released the tutorial approach can help recreate the in-store experience for busy consumers who may prefer to buy through ecommerce channels (see story).

Although informative, copy does not have the same ability to capture the attention of consumers pressed for time.

“Bloomingdale’s would certainly have benefitted from providing videos that provided the user with information on how to apply the makeup,” Mr. Rodgerson said. “This type of information helps to elevate the retailer into the space of a trusted advisor.

“Imagine, application hints from a well known model like Robin Black that come across as a video rather than just bullets of text,” he said. “There is certainly value in being able to print the advice, but adding a video clip would make the content much more rich and the customer experience more engaging.

“Had [Bloomingdale’s] done this, you can be assured that the link would have been shared with greater reach and frequency. That type of digital marketing can’t be purchased, it’s earned. Had [Bloomingdale’s] invested more, their return would have been greater.”

Final Take:
Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York

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