After a recent twitter chat with Cityline beauty expert and Toronto’s Breakfast Television Makeup Artist, Tracy Peart (@Tracypmakeup) about the, No Bleeding Lips Secret Lip Liner ($14.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart), I was reminded of how I’ve been meaning to write about my first love. In the cosmetics industry, that is! The Body Shop. Some of you may have read my profile and know that I started my journey in the makeup artistry world, with The Body Shop, over 15 years ago. (The rest of you, don’t really care). So…What’s the connection between this “new” invisible lip liner and The Body Shop? Wait…I’m getting there.
First a quick product review. What is it? The No Bleeding Lips, lip liner is gaining popularity and helping more girls to break out those on-trend, pretty pops of bold color lipsticks. It has a no sharpening twist-up design, and is smudge-proof, waterproof, lightweight and is a wax-based colorless lip liner.
No bleeding Lips glides invisibly over the skin without dragging, and stays on for hours. No need to match your skin tone or lip color! It’s an invisible barrier that you apply by drawing “around” your lip line – just outside of it, before you apply your lipstick or gloss, and your lip liner- if you insist.
Tip: Better to apply this product first because it’s wax-based and drawing on top of it is difficult. It stops gloss and lip color from creeping or “bleeding” out of your lip line. It can also be used to extend the natural lip line, if say, your top lip isn’t as full as your bottom lip, by drawing outside of your lip’s natural line and then filling in the gap with your lip color. Sounds pretty innovative, right? Right. It’s been getting some rave reviews lately, and quite rightly. But, it isn’t a new innovation. (Here comes the connection).
The Body Shop’s makeup line, once called ‘Colourings’ used to have an identical product called, ‘No Wander’ (below). I still have one- although I probably should get rid of it, since it’s been in my makeup bag for several years, now. (It still works and no funky rancid smell, yet!). I haven’t met anyone else who recalls this. Perhaps because many of my makeup artist friends here are younger than I am, or perhaps they weren’t that familiar with The Body Shop back then. Here’s my old ‘No Wander’ lip liner and other eyeliner pencils, along with best-selling Lip Liner in Beech in shade 02 from The Body Shop. (Beech lip liner is always a hit with my clients because it’s a fleshy lip-color liner that goes with almost any lipstick shade both as a base and as a lip liner. Blend darker lipsticks carefully up to the lip line). Look at the 2 products…Twist-up/retractable, wax-based invisible lip liner…hmmm…
There’s the connection.
After all these years, I often think back to my time with TBS, and can’t help but feel a bit sad that I don’t seem to hear enough about the brand anymore. Especially its makeup line amongst many women, or more specifically, among other makeup artists here in Toronto. I don’t think it’s taken seriously enough as a pro-quality makeup contender.
Note: If you’re interested to know more about how the brand is doing overseas, read the next paragraph. Otherwise, skip to the next one:
The Body Shop Makeup consisted of 25% + of the Total Monthly Sales during my term as brand manager in the Philippines, thanks to a strong Marketing & Press Relations team, (and my regular key artists training sessions!). And the makeup line was huge, not only because of its natural based ingredients and animal friendly ethics, but also because of its attainable price-point and the fact that the products really work. Celebrities, models, makeup artists, beauty editors, students and other real women (and men) across social demographic bands love(d) the line. And the then called, “End of Stand” (EOS) Promos – meaning the latest Makeup Look, or Collection were always so exciting to launch and to wear. Especially the looks that came in from the millennium onwards, with the introduction of The Body Shop’s first ever “rollerball” style Lip & Cheek Tint, which was the only competition to the popular but hard to find, Benetint. (Benefit cosmetics had not arrived in the Philippines yet, back then).
I don’t see why The Body Shop Makeup’s popularity can’t be reproduced here. (Don’t say it’s a different market- it isn’t that different. I’ve been living here for 7 years now). It should be among the usual makeup leaders on Beauty spreads and mentions in glossy mags, more often, IMHO. I’m not a big fan of the super shimmery products, but there’s a reason why the bestsellers have survived the brand’s constant evolution through the years. Here’s some of my earlier published work and my interview in Cosmopolitan magazine, talking about and using The Body Shop Colourings/Makeup line:
My makeup kit consisted of 98% makeup from The Body Shop, from base, lips, eyes, brow makeup to nail products back then. I had learned from the best from my formal training with The Body Shop International Makeup Artist, Chase Aston, when I started working as a sales associate, in charge of ‘Colourings’ as a working student in London, England. His training style was so down to earth and inspiring, yet he had already been working with the original Supermodels and celebs such as Cameron Diaz, Tyra Banks and Kate Moss. And he had done many glossy magazine covers – including Vogue! When I moved to the Philippines, a few years later and became The Body Shop Makeup’s Brand Manager/Trainer, I continued to hone my skills and worked hard to be who our Marketing Officer, referred to as the Chase Aston of the Philippines. (What an honor!) One of my best memories is meeting Chase, again. This time in Singapore- for the launch of the Spring Collection called “Awakening” (2001) . He actually remembered me from the UK years and gave me a warm hug! (Or, he was just being polite. But I like to think he remembered me). We would later get to work together again, during his visit to Manila. See the moment caught on cam, with Chase and I posing together in the article, ‘There’s Something About Merry’ by Maya O. Calica, published in the ‘Guru’ section of Seventeen Magazine (June 2002):
Go to your nearest Body Shop Today and check out the makeup line if you haven’t already done so. Aside from these Top Sellers that I’ve included in the image below, I absolutely love their Brow Duos, Colored Mascara -the blue one, Liquid Eyeliners, eye definers (not too soft, not too hard) and the powder blush, which I love to layer. The bestseller, lip liner pencil in Beech (02) is also a must- for it’s perfect lip-matching nude shade as mentioned (above). And there are so many other newer products that I myself, haven’t even tested! My personal must-have is the Lightening Touch (YSL Touche Eclat dupe!) because a dot of it on the inner corner of the eyes over my clients under eye circle alone (or over her concealer) is such a sure fire way, to banish those stubborn dark shadows that often peep through in photos! It’s also great just on the cupid’s bow and around the outer corner of lips, for an extra boost to your sexy red, (violet, orange or pink S/S pout).
The Body Shop Canada’s Top Sellers and Chase Aston doing a live demo:
I mostly hear people talking about The Body Shop’s body products and fragrances here (Toronto), rather than their makeup. But still, that’s just with me eagerly “listening-in” on Twitter and in general. Since The Body Shop’s founder passed away, late Dame Anita Roddick’s legacy of shopping with a conscience and her vision of giving back to the environment and to the community, have spread to other brands. Her business model is even used in case studies done in MBA programs. But even while the ethics remain, the alumni members- myself included, can’t help but to compare notes between the way things are now, and how they were before the constant store “Sales” in the Philippines. Still, I’m surprised at how “quiet” the makeup line seems here in Toronto, by comparison.
[Note: Skip the next two paragraphs to see some of Chase Aston's work and jump right over the following statistics, if you're here just for the makeup!]
A quick glance at various The Body Shop Twitter handle follower numbers, and I can see why this may be the case in Canada, or here in Toronto anyway. The brand and stores were launched at least a decade before the Asian market welcomed it in Indonesia and Japan, I think. The Body Shop USA = 28, 498 followers, The Body Shop UK = 25, 765, The Body Shop Japan = 15,050…Indonesia = 65,933, and Canada 6,351. Still this isn’t an absolute indication of sales proportion. But today, a lack of Social Marketing presence, is an important factor to the overall strength of Brand Awareness. Unless it’s already a pretty established brand. Such as the case of The Body Shop Philippines, whose Twitter followers lag behind at just 726! There are other factors and Social Media/online presence to consider, of course. But perhaps, it could also be a symptom of the shift from the old Body Shop to the £652.3 million takeover by L’Oréal in 2006. Plus the entry of other brands that are environmentally-minded, animal-friendly, self-esteem activating and pro human rights in the market, since the glory years of TBS.
If my ramblings haven’t exactly turned your attention to the makeup of The Body Shop yet, let me include a sample of Chase Aston‘s work and a summary about the International Makeup Artist and The Body Shop Spokesperson’s resume. Also read here, an except from makeup[dot]com meet the pros:
‘…There is hardly a celebrity, singer or supermodel in the world who hasn’t benefited from Chase Aston’s magical make-up skills. He has been the stylist for 57 covers of Cosmo magazine and numerous covers and editorials for Vogue and Elle. He has worked with the biggest names in fashion and beauty from top models such as Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer, to famous personalities such as Cameron Diaz and Britney Spears.’
Oh, and here’s a snippet from an interview in Primped :
‘PRIMPED: What is your career highlight?
CHASE ASTON: I’ve been a makeup artist for 25 years and early on in my career I was doing the makeup for the new generation of supermodels at the time. So my first highlight was my first ever Vogue cover with Yasmin Le Bon. I was one of the youngest ever to have a Vogue cover, and I mean, a Vogue cover is a Vogue cover! I was very fortunate because when Eva Herzigova, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer all exploded onto the scene in the ‘90s, I did influential shoots with them. All of sudden I was working with all the major It girls of that era! But then I think after you get a Vogue cover, the next step is to either have your own makeup range or to be a spokesperson. I signed with The Body Shop and now I’ve been there for 15 years. I’m still fresh and working with product development and I love coming in-store and doing events. It’s a major honour and I still get so excited about it. …’ [Read more here of the article by Hayley Bennett].
What are your favorite Body Shop makeup items? Leave me a comment and let’s talk makeup! Oh, and don’t even get me started on The Body Shop Vitamin E Skincare line. Love it!The Body Shop Makeup,