Here's How Beauty Brands Are Helping Amidst The COVID-19 Situation
The beauty industry is definitely among those at the forefront of this movement, despite being one of the hardest hit industries due to economic slowdown and general shift in mindset of its consumer.
We face a very different kind of world today, a world where the best thing we can do is to stay at home. Globally, there is a movement among brands to take active measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus by shutting stores and being able to do what they can to promote public safety. The beauty industry is definitely among those at the forefront of this movement, despite being one of the hardest hit industries due to economic slowdown and general shift in mindset of its consumer.
Undoubtedly, the beauty industry is one that thrives on connection. Makeup artists and hairstylists do their magic on clients, facialists and therapists working wonders to save and revive life to skin, in-store sales teams that give personalized, one-on-one beauty consultations and makeovers… the list can honestly go on forever. Beauty has a power to inspire and in times like this, we all could use a strong dose of inspiration.
In these tough times of major social distancing, beauty brands are beginning to think outside of the box and find new ways to connect—with the consumer and with the community as a whole. In this story, we round up 12 brands making a difference, in big and small ways, to keep us positive, inspired, and hopeful as we, as a world, bravely face this life-altering pandemic together.
To help minimize the spread of COVID-19, Guerlain has converted two of its factories into hydroalcoholic gel production sites. Together with all of the LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics brands, Guerlain is set to manufacture and distribute substantial quantities of this sanitizing and disinfecting gel to French health authorities and to the Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris, a medical treatment and education system including 39 public hospitals that serve Paris and the surrounding areas.
A statement from Guerlain reads: “To minimize the spread of COVID-19, Guerlain is proud to do their part in this global effort. As of this week, they converted their La Ruche fragrance makeup and skincare factory and Orphin fragrance factory into hand sanitizer production sites. This hand sanitizer is not for sale. Rather, it is freely being shared with French healthcare workers and hospitals. Guerlain hopes this small act can protect the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff caring for others on the frontline of this pandemic.”
Sephora retail locations in the U.S. and Canada have temporarily closed in order to help stop the spread of the COVID-19. A statement by Jean-André Rougeot, president and CEO of Sephora Americas, reads: “When Sephora first opened its doors, we did so with the mission to create a unique community for all beauty enthusiasts. Since then, we have always taken our responsibility to protect the well-being of our people and community seriously. It was with that responsibility in mind that we made this decision. We also recognize that we are in a position to support the collective fight against COVID-19. Following guidance from public health authorities, we understand that practicing social distancing and reducing dense public gatherings as much as possible is critically important at this time. This is a truly global effort that requires all of our participation.”
Due to the closings, the company will alter a few policies temporarily but will maintain operations on its website and mobile app. In addition, Sephora will continue to pay all store employees their base pay for scheduled shifts for the duration of the closure, health and wellness benefits for employees will continue, and if the distribution center experiences any disruptions, employees there will receive the same considerations.
Glossier temporarily closes all of its retail locations, both temporary and permanent, for the time being, while maintaining a strong sense of community through its social media channels. Glossier’s founder and CEO, Emily Weiss, writes: “It’s easy to feel helpless during times of uncertainty or anxiety. I’ve felt that way lately, as I’m sure you all have, as our world enters unprecedented territory with the spread of COVID-19. As a business leader and CEO, I’ve been asking myself how Glossier can continue to bring joy to our community, especially during these darker moments, while respecting calls for social distancing and helping promote public safety. With that in mind, we’ve made the decision to close all of our temporary and permanent retail locations for at least two weeks. It wasn’t an easy choice but I know it’s the right one.” She invites the Glossier community to connect with the brand and with each other online—through Instagram, Glossier.com, or an interaction with the gTeam.
Weiss adds: “To everyone reading: we’re not alarmists, we’re realists. While this may not be the right decision for every company, it’s the one where we feel we can make an impact. To fellow business owners, remember your core values during this time—this is when they matter the most. To our customers and community, remember the power of adaptability. Stay present, be responsible, and try to lean into warmth and openness when you want to close off and pull down the shades. This is a time for us to remember our humanity.”
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It’s easy to feel helpless during times of uncertainty or anxiety. I’ve felt that way lately, as I’m sure you all have, as our world enters unprecedented territory with the spread of COVID-19. And as a business leader and CEO I’ve been asking myself how Glossier can continue to bring joy to our community, especially during these darker moments, while respecting calls for social distancing and helping promote public safety. With that in mind, we’ve made the decision to close all of our temporary and permanent retail locations for at least two weeks starting tomorrow, Friday, March 13th. It wasn’t an easy choice, but I know it’s the right one and I wrote some thoughts about it on our company blog (link in bio) if you want to read more. It’s time to connect with us and with each other online—through Instagram, Glossier.com, or an interaction with our gTEAM. See you there! ✨❤️
In response to the shortage in Europe, L’Oreal has announced plans to use its manufacturing facilities to make hand sanitizer and hydroalcoholic gel to distribute throughout the continent, reports Women’s Wear Daily. Furthermore, the Foundation L’Oréal has also announced plans to donate one million euros to the associations working around the clock to help the disadvantaged during these unprecedented and very much uncertain times. This involves distributing money to several associations, as well as offering the beneficiaries, social workers, and volunteers who work at these associations hygiene kits and hydroalcoholic gel to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Jean-Paul Agon, the brand’s chairman and chief executive officer, tells WWD: “In this exceptional crisis situation, it is our responsibility to contribute in every possible way to the collective effort. Through these gestures, L’Oréal wishes to express its appreciation, support, and solidarity with all those who mobilize with extraordinary courage and abnegation to fight against this pandemic.” Beyond these efforts, L’Oréal is also putting a hold on all debts owed to them by small and medium-sized businesses as a result of the situation.
The latest major shopping chain in the beauty industry to announce closure of all storefronts in North America is Ulta Beauty. “I want to make sure that our guests and associates know there is nothing more important than our collective health and safety,” writes Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillion in a statement. “We look forward to the time when we can re-open our stores, bring our associates back together, and invite you back into Ulta Beauty.” Ulta will continue to pay store and salon associates, as well as provide benefits for those currently enrolled. The website, Ulta.com, is still active, with a 21 Days of Beauty sale ongoing.
In the caption of Ulta’s Instagram announcement, the brand writes: “We’re in this together. We can’t wait to see you again IRL (in real life). Until then, we hope to continue to be a source of joy and inspiration.
Coty Inc., the beauty manufacturer company behind makeup and fragrance brands such as CoverGirl, Chloé, Burberry Beauty, and Marc Jacobs, Coty Inc. will provide free hydro-alcoholic gel to medical and emergency services in an effort to fight against COVID-19. “We stay close to our communities during these exceptionally challenging times,” reads the statement by the company.
In the country, during these uncertain times, Lush Cosmetics is focused on three things: getting their staff, communities, and business through the crisis so all may emerge fit to face the future together. In a letter to the Lush Philippines community, the brand writes: “Given what we know today, we believe it’s our duty as an ethical business to do what we can to slow the spread of the virus and minimize the impact on our hardworking healthcare professionals. In observance of government mandated safety measures, we have decided to temporarily close all Lush stores across the Philippines until further notice. Because our products are all made fresh by hand weekly for our shops, these closures will also require us to scale down our manufacturing and distribution operations for the duration of the shop closures. We are working through how we can best support our employee base through these changes.”
The online site, lush.com.ph, remains operational but in light of enhanced community quarantine, the brand will only be able to fulfill orders once normal operations resume. “As the situation surrounding COVID-19 rapidly changes, we will evolve our response to it. With the temporary shop closures, we can now put 100 percent of our energy into supporting our staff and their ever-evolving needs in the new reality we face together. Because facing it together is the only way forward. This is unchartered territory for many of us, so please remember to be kind and do what you can as individuals to protect what every one of us values above all—one another.”
MAC Cosmetics Philippines also follows suit in closing all stores nationwide, making the announcement on their official Instagram page. The statement by the brand reads: “At MAC, we put our community first. We have been with you at your most special occasions and you have trusted us with your everyday moments. We design all our products, stores, and artistry services to allow you to touch, play, and be your true self. There is nothing more important than our commitment to the health and well-being of our consumers, employees, and community.” The brand remains active with updates and information on their social media pages, and MAC lovers can still shop their favorite products online on the Official Flagship Store on Lazada. Due to the enhanced community quarantine, MAC Cosmetics will ship orders as soon as they can resume deliveries.
In the meantime, the MAC Cosmetics PH team has been active on social, posting video tutorials on looking glam during virtual conference calls and tips on how to keep skin hydrated despite staying indoors. Stay tuned for these by following them on Instagram @maccosmeticsph.
Sunnies Face was one of the first local brands to close all stores in the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila, closing all shops promptly on March 14 until further notice. In an Instagram post, the brand writes: “Hi friends and fam, these are quite unsettling times, we get it, we’re with you With the news in constant flux, we’re keeping close tabs and shifting along with the most current recommendations.” The brand adds that all Sunnies stores follow strict guidelines for sanitation for everyone’s safety, reiterating: “Everyone’s health and well-being are our utmost priority and we are so grateful for everyone’s support.”
Since the quarantine began, Sunnies Face has been holding live classes aimed for wellbeing on its Instagram page. Among these classes are morning workouts, evening yoga stretches, breathwork sessions, and still life painting sessions with industry experts. To get the latest updates and follow the classes, keep tabs on @sunniesface on Instagram.
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current status: working from home from the 150 team members of Sunnies HQ to the over 400 #sunniesfam members from our Metro Manila stores working from home, we send you all a warm virtual hug to the heart, soul and backbone of the sunnies fam, we thank you 🤍 and to everyone, we will get through this together
Among the local brands that have taken active measures to help fight the pandemic in our country is Happy Skin. A statement by the brand on its Instagram page reads: “With everyone’s health and safety as our top most priority, all Happy Skin boutiques will be closed starting today March 16, 2020 until further notice. We are showing our support with the government’s efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. Let us all keep in touch through our online community.” The brand also stays active on its socials and will continue accepting orders on their website as well as shopping portals Lazada, Beauty MNL, Zalora, and Shopee.
Since announcing closure of its stores, the brand has maintained a lively rapport with its community through its Instagram stories with posts about mental health checks and possibilities for donating to frontliners. Check them out at @happyskin_ph.
Another company owned by LVMH, Benefit Cosmetics has also closed its stores and counters. Worldwide, the brand has been active on social media to reach its community. In the Philippines, Benefit released this statement on their Instagram page: “We’ve always been the brand that believes that laughter is the best cosmetic. Beyond just looking good, Benefit’s business is, more importantly, about feeling good. And at times like these, we all need a pick-me-upper more than ever. While it’s important to be aware of everything going on, we also want to continue being your daily source of fun, good vibes, and beauty inspo. Because during tough times, life becomes a bit more beautiful when you’re smiling. Your Benefit fam is here for you!”
Since the quarantine began, the Benefit PH team has kept its community buzzing with video tutorials and live sessions with their beauty experts. (Yesterday, March 25, saw a live session with National Brow Artist Czari and Malaysia’s National Brow Artist Shanice!) Stay tuned to the Benefit PH Instagram page for more @benefitph.
Also in the list of local brands that proactively closed in light of developments in COVID-19 in the country is Pili Ani. In a post dated a week ago, the skincare and makeup brand writes: “We at Pili Ani are one with the community, nation, and world in helping ensure hygiene, health, safety, and overall well-being. True to our commitment to staying conscious, mindful, and responsible, we continue to embrace our call of duty to provide safe and efficient ways to bring you clean beauty, wellness, and personal care products.”
The brand invites its community to stay healthy, stay safe, and stay ageless during this quarantine, and invites all to engage with them through their social media pages. The online store, PiliAni.com, remains fully operational nationwide though adds that due to the situation, clients should expect that there may be slight delays. Pili Ani further details how they aim to ensure safety by following these measures:
1. All products are properly packed and sanitized using high grade sanitizers.
2. Be very stringent about making sure all products are secured and sealed. “We uphold this now more than ever—and we’re sending these products to you with love and healing intentions!”
3. All the brand’s staff and logistics partners have also been mandated to strictly follow guidelines for proper sanitation.
Lead photos via Happy Skin, Guerlain, and Lush Cosmetics PH