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Meet the Press: Beauty Editors Speak Out

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: October 14, 2008

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According to the 2007 Mendelsohn Affluent Study, More has 1.16 million readers who are the heads of household with incomes higher than $85,000 a year. However, whereas More’s readers may easily embrace luxe products, the early-to-mid-30s readers of Hearst Communication’s Marie Claire magazine, for example (with fewer than 1 million overly affluent readers, according to the Mendelsohn study), may be more discriminating between product costs. “Our reader is educated, advancing in her career,” says Marie Claire beauty director Ying Chu. “She is more aware and independent than ever and also more distracted with multimedia. She looks to us as curators, so we have to offer the extra insight and service she’s not getting from the Web, newspapers, TV and in-store.” Such is also the case with Women’s Health’s young adult readers. Goins says this encompasses the type of woman who wants to balance all interests in her life—“work, fitness, relationships and down-time.”

“She’s looking for products that help her feel good about how she looks,” says Goins, “but also create a sense of well-being while not making her feel as though she has to undergo a dramatic change to be beautiful.”

Knowing typical reader demographics will assist brands in more effectively reaching consumers through beauty magazines, but how do brand owners get the attention of the editors in charge of determining what products and trends get covered in print and online?

Critical Buzz Topics

In the realm of technology, beauty editors Johnson and Chu have noticed the market expansion of new dermatological devices for home use. “A recent debriefing of the 2008 American Academy of Dermatology meeting in San Antonio revealed that at-home dermatological devices such as the LED devices just coming on the market by Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals and Tända will be the next revolution in skin care,” Johnson says. “In-office procedures such as the new wrinkle fillers,said to last about a year; fat-melting procedures that leverage energy; and lunchtime neck lifts, are also certainly newsworthy for conversation.”

Chu urges skin care brands to consider what topical products will complement such procedures and products. “They should be doing whatever possible to make the experience of using them as pleasant as possible—through texture, scent and packaging,” she says. As for packaging, Goins has noticed a shift in the number of brands using more eco-conscious packaging, such as recycled and recyclable paper, metal pumps instead of plastic, and plastic made from corn or soy. Johnson joins Goins in welcoming the change. “Clearly, the greening of the beauty industry is a major trend that is resonating with consumers,” she says.