SINGAPORE — Every month, luxury e-tailer NET-A-PORTER BEAUTY engages with over 7 million women in 170 countries - this is just the tip of the proverbial data mountain that Newby Hands, Global Beauty Director, shared with me. It’s imperative that the e-commerce site runs surveys with customers and readers, as well as consumers who don’t shop on their site, as that provides valuable insights to her team in driving sales and converting new customers.
Having introduced the beauty segment on the website six years ago, Newby has seen first hand, how the category moved up to be the second biggest driver after the shoes category. “We are six years old and it’s just grown, and grown. This year alone, we’ve launched 41 new brands. We always use the word ‘discovery’ - so it can be discovering a new brand or even a new doctor,” Newby shared with me at an intimate beauty trend presentation.
In a survey that NET-A-PORTER Beauty discovered, women over 40 just want to be advised directly; the top three products that work; and that the younger generation are starting early with seeing a dermatologist, getting facials and picking up new beauty tools and devices. Last year alone, some of the newcomer brands that resonated with fans were Mimi Luzon, Lixirskin and KNC Beauty.
“What does very well for a brand is if there’s a female founder story, and customers would engage and go dig deeper into the brand story. Mimi Luzon tells me that because she’s traveling the world, she sees women in literally five continents. So when she’s creating something, she thinks about the women in Singapore, LA, Miami and Moscow and I think that global input and overview of beauty is really successful, powerful to move forward,” Newby let in on Mimi Luzon, a skin wellbeing expert and celebrity aesthetician, that even supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio swears by.
With under 20 people in the London head office, Newby’s team not only depends on buying weeks to decide on new brands, but they also look to Instagram. “Social media is amazing. We are looking at Instagram for brands that bubble up, and also what is modern luxury. It's very much about a good product that tells a story, that we can engage to. So it has to be personal. Skincare is very much what we are talking about this year. We still have masks, for 11 different body parts; we have a mask movement! Just like how 111Skin blew up Instagram with their Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask.”
With 2019 at our doorstep, Newby is seeing new changes to buying patterns. “Women now talk about skin condition. Skin conditions could be different as I could’ve flown in (sic), or lack of sleep. So women are buying for travel, they're buying for stress. They could have a brightening, lifting and hydrating mask... sort of a beauty wardrobe, where they will open it and choose. It’s like looking at your clothes, and mix and match. We are also seeing a lot of women shopping by ingredients, particularly retinol, whilst Vitamin C is universal. So in Singapore, the trend is a lot of hydrating (sic) and skincare.”
For new brands and products launching with the website, Newby is excited to have French Vogue Editor Carine Roitfeld launching a perfume brand with NET-A-PORTER Beauty. Not only that, they’ve welcomed former Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa, who has revealed a luxurious range of oils, for his global launch. “It’s exciting when you have these big names,” Newby smiled.
In her line of work, meeting big names and maintaining a close, working relationship with brands is so important. Newby beamed with pride when sharing about her friend who founded Lixirskin: “It’s the real thing when I’ve known her for years and hearing her say very secretly, she’s launching a new range. I feel very proud, I feel like a mother!”
With a plethora of beauty brands to choose from, we asked Newby she had in her beauty bag for this trip to sunny Singapore. “I have lots of Dr. Barbara Sturm serums, and Dr. Sebagh’s discovery size serums. I also travel with my Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream. And so many different lipsticks. Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick - Penelope Pink - is good for lots of people. And what else? Oh my goodness, so many 111Skin sheet masks. And I also brought with me a face roller, which mimics a face massage to sculpt your face.”
Best-selling new brands
Mimi Luzon, Lixirskin, KNC Beauty
KNC Beauty, La Mer
Best-selling face cream
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, 50ml
Dr. Nigma Talib Hydrating and Plumping Serum No. 1, 30ml
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, 30ml
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, 30ml
Best hair treatment products
Sisley - Paris Revitalising Fortifying Serum for Scalp, 60ml
Joanna Czech Facial Massager
Angela Caglia La Vie en Rose Face Roller