Questions The Beauty Industry Should Be Prepared To Answer

...in wake of coronavirus

Hey. I truly hope you’re doing well, and finding ways to get through each day.

As coronavirus upends every industry, I’ve been thinking about ways to cover how the beauty industry is handling it — and will be handling it for quite some time.

I’m listening in on phone calls and live streams for beauty professionals, and gaining insight on various challenges and plans.

The big question I’m posing to myself as a reporter: considering most customers’ entry way into buying makeup or skincare is through a front-facing brand, how do I find and share stories that feel relevant to this relationship, but also expose how other parts of the supply chain are dramatically effected? From raw supplies to manufactures, to testing, to shipping, to delivery (I am positive that I am missing quite a few steps), there’s so much that goes into the creation of a product that can effect it arriving at your doorstep (or not.) Do readers care if the factory that produces their favorite product is shut down due to a locally imposed quarantine? This is happening, by the way.

My job is to learn how to tackle this moment in a way that resonates with readers — and shows them why they should care. Each day I am chipping away at these questions as I speak with cosmetic safety and regulation managers, brand CEOs and lab owners. (Have tips, questions you want answered, articles you want to see, or people you think I should reach out to? Reply back to this email.)

I thought I’d share the big questions I have, specifically for brands, so you can get a sense of where my head is at. In addition, here is how I am seeing some beauty professionals virtually pivot, as I’m calling it.

Beauty brands:

  • How has coronavirus effected your supply chain?

  • For beauty brands who sell at Sephora, Ulta, and others national beauty stores that have shut their doors: How will this affect your production and sales, and how do you think you’ll get through it?

  • How do you plan on engaging with costumers solely online?

  • How do you plan on compensating employees during this time?

Things you’ll start to see more of:

  • Spas are closing up shop. Esthetician will begin to roll out skincare classes and services that can be done with a laptop. Today, Dermalogica did an entire presentation for skin care industry professionals and provided ideas. They also answered questions. I listened in, and you can listen here.

  • Beauty brands are starting to sell hand sanitizer as it runs out at convenience stores. Listening in on a call today, it was mentioned that the quick demand for hand sanitizer has impacted the production of other products. In addition, there is a shortage of components for sanitizer products, such as sprayers.

  • No clue what hairstylists and barbers are doing. If you are one, let me know!

  • Nail artists may begin designing and shipping press-ons. (OK I have not seen this promoted anywhere but I think it’s a good idea, LOL.)


A Few Great Announcements

  • If you have not read my story for Refinery29’s Unbothered on Black college students who do hair in school as a means to pay for tuition and other expenses, read up. In a past newsletter, I talk about how I can bring historical context to current day practices. This piece is one way I’ve done it. [Pictured below is a girl reading the article while one of the students I interviewed does her hair. We love to see it.]

  • If you’ve known me for a few years, you know that I’m team HRDCVR. We recently relaunched our newsletter the #HRDlist. In times like these, we thought it was time to bring it back. If you were a past subscriber, you know the way we mix culture, current events and diversity of thought is unprecedented. Yeah, I said it. You can subscribe here (and here’s why you should).

… and I’m on TikTok as @symonedarian. Ciao!