Dear cosmetic counter heroes,

I sincerely hope you are well. Thanks to many of you for staying in your position during this crazy period. Sending my greatest appreciation of all your hard work.

I wanted to write this letter since day one of when social distancing was introduced. None of us predicted this to happen. But hey, let’s both give ourselves a pat on the backs and say: “We did well!”

During the lockdown, I spent almost every single day indoors on my own. I cried, I was confused and frustrated. But I also had a great time. I witnessed my beauty habits changing. I did pay attention to these differences. They may also apply to some of your clients. I hope this letter can help once they start to revisit you.

The most significant change was that I did expect more from each of my beauty products. Luckily, I didn’t lose my job and financially I was not so affected. But when I didn’t have to meet people, I lost the drive to keep those steps I used to have or the passion to spend hours dressing up. Rather, I wanted things to be simple and easy, so I could shift my focus away from ‘being alone’.

I kept only one La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence in Foundation on my dressing table and ‘locked’ the rest in my makeup wardrobe. It allowed my skin to breathe, but also brought out skincare benefits. Some days I only used one Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance lipstick on my eyes, cheeks and lips. I enjoyed applying makeup with my fingers, and saved time without having to clean brushes.

I shortened all my nails for housework and only used one layer of Chanel La Base, which also acts as a cuticle treatment. I never had to worry about a bold nail polish colour getting chipped after a week. I used heaps of hair masques instead of sprays or oils. I put my curler and straightener away and relied on my GHD Helios hairdryer.

Guess what? I never realised so many beauty products could offer more than what their packaging told us. All I did was trial the best way and time to use them, so I could still look great for my Zoom meetings. The delivery guy was not sick of my face. And I did feel better and better each day, while working in front of my laptop, with nobody praising me on how flattering my makeup was.

Another change I noticed was around skin care. At the beginning of WFH, I went through the products’ ingredient lists and separated them into two different routines for morning and night. For the morning, I used less steps but focused on long lasting hydration, brightening and protection. At nighttime, I added more steps to my routine to nourish my skin and deliver repairing benefits with prevention to future damage.

Towards the end of April, as the weather got colder, I added Avène Thermal Spring Water to both routines to sooth my skin. During the day I also sprayed Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist on my face to keep my skin hydrated. I felt reconnected with nature and being loved with its rosy scent. Yes, I could access jars and bottles 24-7, but I didn’t want to overindulge my skin or to create a habit that I’m unable to maintain after things are back to normal.

I was very strategic on ‘masking’. After I finished my overnight mask during the first month, I brought out all the mask sheets that I stocked for future travel plans. I used at least two mask sheets every week. I also tried the new Foreo UFO 2, a smart a mask facial treatment device, during this period. To me, Foreo masks are very economical, the app is quite engaging, and the LED lights helped with product absorption. I trust people will search for masks that are more affordable. I did find my skin more plumped the day after using the mask sheet and required less amount of skin care the next morning.

I am sure some of you have already started considering what and how to recommend to regular clients returning to you. Don’t be upset if they stopped buying the whole range from you like they used to. They may not be able to afford it, or their routine has changed like mine did. Treat every one of your VIPs like a new customer when they come back to see you, rebuild the trust and make them feel confident about you and the products they are about to buy from you. Why not test the products again yourself and list at least three benefits of each? Share your tips learned from the past few months and demonstrate while having fun with your new and existing clients.

Remember, your personal touch and your beautiful smile are what people will never receive from online shopping.

Tough times come and go. We are always changing, no matter if we are forced to or not. Respect these changes. If we could not change the world around us, at least make a change within ourselves, in order to keep bringing joy and happiness to people around us. We can all be heroes.

Stay safe and stay well. Hope to see you soon!

Love, @icybutterfly

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