Making it easy to blend in with the selfie masters
The value of a flawless selfie is not being lost on make- up brands around the world who are grabbing the attention of snap- savvy social- media users by cleverly using the word filter when marketing to the masses.
Japanese skincare and beauty brand Shiseido did just that recently when it launched a new product called the Smart Filtering Smoother.
The use of the word “filtering” is a very deliberate marketing approach designed to appeal to social- media users who use Snapchat filters to make their skin appear smooth and flawless in their snaps.
As technology trends and apps evolve, beauty brands are introducing products such as the Retouching Wands by Bobbi Brown, the Photoready Airbrush Effect line from Revlon, and the Beautyblender, a beauty tool endorsed by the Kardashians that has racked up a global cult following since it was launched in 2007. Accompanied by Kim Kardashian’s make-up artist, Mario Dedivanovic, Beautyblender founder Rea Ann Silva launched her new Beautyblender pro range to the Middle East makeup market last week in Dubai. The Burj Al Arab was lit bright pink for the occasion, a homage to Silva’s original teardropshaped blending sponge, which was hot pink in colour.
“It’s a combination of the shape being edgeless and the material that’s hydrophilic – it gets softer and bigger when you wet it,” says Silva. “Combined with the shape and the pore structure of the sponge, it really mimics the perfect skin.”
The inspiration for Beautyblender was born out of necessity when Silva, who was working as a make-up artist for film and television productions at the time when high definition was becoming the norm, had to come up with a way to adapt make-up application for the HD screens. At the time, she was cutting up generic disposable piewedge sponges, then bevelling them to avoid sharp edges and thus harsh lines on the face.
“I just took it way further and was cutting those bevels into teardrops,” she says, adding that it was only “when they started sprouting legs and walking Beautyblender founder Rea Ann Silva launched her new Beautyblender Pro range to the Middle East makeup market last week in Dubai away” that she realised she could make a business out of them.
She says they would disappear from sets into the pockets of actors and other make-up artists.
“So the idea was to sell them to other make-up artists – I never thought at that point that it would be a consumer product,” she adds.
Today, the kits of most make-up artists and beauty bloggers are incomplete without this popular tool. Foundations, primers, powders, concealers and their application tools are bestsellers, in the UAE particularly, where full coverage and matt appearances are popular – even more so, if you are an avid “selfie” taker.
“You have to blend everything perfectly, from your contour, to your shadow, because on camera all of that shows way more than it does in the mirror,” says Dubai beauty video blogger Eljammi Gozalli, who has more than 135,000 followers on Instagram.
Kardashian’s make- up artist Dedivanovic hosts masterclasses around the world to share his tips and techniques. He held one with the star in Dubai recently and says that at his UAE classes, women often reveal they like a heavy beauty look, and as the hot day wears on, they keep piling on more make-up.
“After hours and hours of wearing make-up, sometimes you feel like you have to redo the skin later on,” he says.
“You really don’t – if you just wet and squeeze a Beautyblender and pat it over the face, it makes everything fresh again.”
Dedivanovic also recommends that rather than adding on more make-up, women should use the brand’s Blotterazzi sponge to remove oil and retexturise the skin.
Silva’s latest Beautyblender Pro range, which is only available in the region at Sephora stores, features her products in black, rather than pink – partly, as homage to her make- up artist peers, who traditionally tend to dress in black. Also, the foundation stains don’t show up on black, and it is a preferable colour for male consumers.