The Philippine Star - - YSTYLE - MARBBIE TAGABUCBA

SHANG­HAI, China – A ma­chine that can show you your skin’s un­der­ly­ing is­sues be­fore they are al­ready a con­cern — it comes in the unas­sum­ing form of a sleek, palm-sized pod that its pro­pri­etors, beauty com­pany Mary Kay, call Skin An­a­lyzer and it saw through my makeup. I thought my­self to be a wise sun wor­ship­per, tan­ning with a low SPF oil to avoid burns and pre­vent sunspots and fine lines in my ag­ing fu­ture, but it turns out, I al­ready had those in­evitable con­cerns, vis­i­ble now that my skin’s sur­face was mag­ni­fied 50 times on a smart­phone screen via the app it comes with. They will be seen by the naked eye in a few year’s time. It may feel like it — es­pe­cially the day af­ter a Dirty 30’s salubong — but we don’t get old overnight. The ap­pear­ance of ag­ing creeps up slowly, grad­u­ally — and then, boom. Get­ting to try Skin An­a­lyzer be­fore it ar­rived this month to Mary Kay Philip­pines’ sales force, the In­de­pen­dent Beauty Con­sul­tants, showed me what dam­age I can pre­vent now.

Skin An­a­lyzer as­sesses skin’s mois­ture, sen­si­tiv­ity, pores, oil, elas­tic­ity, and skin tone. As part of the con­sul­ta­tion, it al­lows you to com­pare your skin with women your age. I only have the im­pec­ca­bly groomed Chi­nese mar­ket to be com­pared to, and my spotty com­plex­ion didn’t fare so well next to the evenly-toned, rosy white 29-year-olds out of the 600,000 who also had their skin ex­am­ined. I had to de­cline the op­tion of shar­ing my re­sults on so­cial me­dia.


The com­pany started by women em­pow­er­ment icon Mary Kay Ash just turned 55. In the dig­i­tal age of in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion, the Skin An­a­lyzer is just one of the ways it’s rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing di­rect sell­ing. Asia Pa­cific Re­gion pres­i­dent KK Chua tells the stAr, “We’re a 55-year-old strong com­pany. We are be­gin­ning to use the mo­bile phone, big data, and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to help us in our sell­ing and in learn­ing about skin. I think (as a di­rect-sell­ing com­pany) we’re even bet­ter than e-com­merce. A lot of peo­ple say ‘Hey, di­rect sell­ing is passe.’ I say, find me a com­puter that can emit fra­grance then I can sell through the com­puter — but even then, it can never re­place the hu­man-to-hu­man touch.”

“We like to talk about Mary Kay be­ing more than makeup. I like to think we’re in the con­fi­dence busi­ness,” says chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer Sh­eryl Ad­kins-Green. “For some women, the prod­ucts make them feel con­fi­dent, but more im­por­tantly Mary Kay Ash was all about self­em­pow­er­ment. You didn’t need any­one else’s per­mis­sion — cer­tainly not a man’s per­mis­sion — and she was that proof.”

Mary Kay was 45 when she started her name­sake busi­ness, a sin­gle mother of three stuck for decades in an­other di­rect-sell­ing com­pany that didn’t rec­og­nize her ef­forts nor com­pen­sate her equally with her male col­leagues. Start­ing Mary Kay was about al­low­ing a wo­man to achieve as much as she could through ef­fort with­out be­ing held back by the pol­i­tics of a typ­i­cal of­fice in the ‘60s while al­low­ing her to spend time with her fam­ily, thus Mary Kay’s di­rect-sell­ing, multi-level mar­ket­ing com­pany struc­ture. To this day, the In­de­pen­dent Beauty Con­sul­tants are at the core of the busi­ness. They re­ceive in­come com­men­su­rate with how much they sell and the peo­ple they are able to bring into their team. To be the na­tional sales direc­tor is the high­est recog­ni­tion for ev­ery coun­try. The Philip­pines has Nanette C. Mis­sion, with a star to her name in the Mary Kay Walk of Fame in Hangzhou, China, and a pink lux­ury car, in the tra­di­tion of the Mary Kay Pink Cadil­lac ca­reer car in the US. The com­pany re­wards top per­form­ers with lux­u­ries. It could be a de­signer hand­bag or an all-ex­pense-paid trip to Rome, Italy.

Hav­ing good prod­ucts that res­onate with cus­tomers helps, of course. “One of the fac­tors of Mary Kay’s suc­cess is we spend the time to talk with real women. As a global com­pany, we’re able to an­tic­i­pate what women want be­cause we have an in­de­pen­dent sales force and we lever­age that in­put as we de­velop a global port­fo­lio,” says Sh­eryl. “We’re able to un­der­stand K-beauty trends from our strong busi­ness in Korea. We also have a strong color busi­ness in Brazil. Our In­de­pen­dent Beauty Con­sul­tants help us keep our fin­gers on the pulse of not just what celebri­ties want, but what real women want and need.”


It is based on this in­sight that Mary Kay up­grades their al­ready-sim­pli­fied, three-step anti-ag­ing line Time­wise, a fa­vorite among busy Filip­inas. En­ter Time­wise Miracle Set 3D, which stands for De­fend (against en­vi­ron­men­tal el­e­ments), De­lay (signs of ag­ing), and De­liver (anti-ag­ing ben­e­fits).

“It took five years of re­search con­ducted on 5,000 women with a wide range of skin types and eth­nic­i­ties, looked at 150 in­gre­di­ent com­bi­na­tions and over 200 clin­i­cal and safety stud­ies to de­sign this for­mula, and one of the things we learned about skin ag­ing is that only 20 per­cent of pre­ma­ture ag­ing is ac­tu­ally due to the nat­u­ral ag­ing process. The rest is due to liv­ing your life — the un­avoid­able en­vi­ron­men­tal and life­style fac­tors that ac­tu­ally con­trib­ute to the load of pre­ma­ture skin ag­ing. There are in­ter­nal fac­tors like diet, stress, what you eat, how much sleep you get. From an ex­ter­nal stand­point, we’re ex­posed to en­vi­ron­men­tal trig­gers that are mi­cro­scopic, things like par­tic­u­late mat­ter, car ex­haust, and smoke,” chief sci­en­tific of­fi­cer Dr. Lucy Gildea ex­plains.

Lucy is de­ter­mined to se­cure Mary Kay’s sta­tus as an in­no­va­tor in the cos­met­ics in­dus­try. She adds, “We hosted a sym­po­sium on the im­pact of pol­lu­tion on skin health at the pres­ti­gious In­ter­na­tional In­ves­tiga­tive Der­ma­tol­ogy. It was the first time that it was brought to­gether in that fo­rum in the sci­en­tific in­dus­try. We part­nered with a re­searcher at Columbia Univer­sity where we demon­strated that one of the core ac­tive in­gre­di­ents in this reg­i­men ac­tu­ally im­proves and down­reg­u­lates the genes that are up­reg­u­lated in the con­text of pol­lu­tion.”

She’s re­fer­ring to the patent-pend­ing Age Min­i­mize 3D Com­plex made of en­cap­su­lated resver­a­trol, an an­tiox­i­dant that also helps pro­mote even skin tone and sup­port the skin’s nat­u­ral col­la­gen; vi­ta­min B3, a bright­en­ing an­tiox­i­dant; and an age-de­fy­ing pep­tide to sup­port the skin’s nat­u­ral col­la­gen and elastin. Cre­ated with­out the buzzier yet po­ten­tially ir­ri­tat­ing anti-ag­ing in­gre­di­ents like skin turnover-in­duc­ing retinol, Lucy says, “Time­wise 3D is suit­able for those with a con­cern that anti-ag­ing prod­ucts are harsh for their skin. You need a prod­uct like Time­wise 3D for daily use be­cause this is nour­ish­ing. There are things that retinol alone can’t pro­vide for you but you can sup­ple­ment with retinol.”

Like its pre­de­ces­sor, Time­Wise 3D is a three-step reg­i­men avail­able for nor­mal-to-dry and com­bi­na­tion-to-oily skin. The cleanser is now a 4-in-1 cleanser that re­moves all im­pu­ri­ties in­clud­ing makeup and tones at the same time. The day cream comes with or with­out SPF30 (I rec­om­mend with, for added sun pro­tec­tion with no white cast or greasi­ness what­so­ever), then there’s the night cream and eye cream. They all melt into the skin al­most in­stantly to give that feel of sup­ple­ness you can only get from hy­dra­tion. It’s a sen­sa­tion that makes me want to keep us­ing it un­til I can see re­sults. Lucy guar­an­tees they have stud­ies that prove I can see them in four weeks time, ahead of the usual eight to 12. Down to the prod­ucts, it’s all akin to what Mary Kay wanted in the be­gin­ning — to make things eas­ier for women.

* * *

Visit or con­tact Mary Kay Philip­pines on Face­book and @marykayphl on In­sta­gram to find a beauty con­sul­tant near your lo­ca­tion.

Shine bright: The awards room cen­ter­piece made of Swarovski crys­tals and an em­bel­lished ver­sion of the China fa­vorite Youthfin­ity line and their nu­traceu­ti­cals Daily Ben­e­fits

Pre­vent­ing ag­ing: The new Mary Kay Time­wise Miracle Set 3D con­tains patent-pend­ing Age Min­i­mize 3D Com­plex made of en­cap­su­lated resver­a­trol, vi­ta­min B3, and an age-de­fy­ing pep­tide.

Mary Kay chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer Sh­eryl Ad­kins-Green, Asia Pa­cific Re­gion pres­i­dent KK Chua, and chief sci­en­tific of­fi­cer Dr. Lucy Gildea

An eye on the fu­ture of skin­care: A first look at Mary Kay Skin An­a­lyzer

Think Pink: The Pink Cadil­lac and the Mary Kay Walk of Fame

For the new gen­er­a­tion: Gar­den ter­races with wi-fi, fully-equipped gyms and pantries, and open work­ing spa­ces in Mary Kay Shang­hai

Words to live by: In­side Mary Kay Shang­hai’s re­strooms (left) and in the Mary Kay fac­tory plant in Hangzhou

Filipino pride: Na­tional sales direc­tor Nanette C. Mis­sion with her pink star

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