Beautyque NYC, a disruptive retail marketing platform conceived by two French born, US-based female entrepreneurs and indie brand founders, Sonia Khemiri and Sylvie Giret. They launched the first-ever beauty 3D storefront, which provides an in-depth and interactive marketing platform for its more than 25 brands and nearly 10,000 consumers. As it continues to propel forward with both brand and consumer growth, Beautyque has launched new value-add programs to further increase the personal touch and education its members gain from participating brands.
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“Besides pursuing our efforts on the technology and showcase level, and on growing our community of consumers, we are stimulating consumer engagement, and developing the discovery mission of Beautyque,” explains Co-Founders Sonia Khemiri and Sylvie Giret.
Beautyque has just launched its Discovery Box program where consumers can test high-quality products for a flat fee of $15 and no subscription required. “Our members can take the time to discover new brands through enhanced content and a unique sampling program – the Discovery Box,” Sonia explains. “Consumers can select up to six samples in a single box, including a maximum of three deluxe samples. This selection allows users to personalize their box for what most interests them for beauty and wellness products.”
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The deep reach to Beautyque’s members doesn’t stop with the sampling box. “They can learn more and get answers about their wellness and beauty routine thanks to our live events, and they can discuss together thanks through our newly created Facebook BeautyQlub group,” Sylvie says. “There’s nothing else like Beautyque out there.”
Beautyque surveys its beauty enthusiasts on topics such as makeup use during the pandemic, and it also spearheads Brand Evaluation Programs for its brand members to provide them direct product feedback from a focus group testing process.
Also new is the BeautyQlub Tested selection. “Every time a product is tested by our members in the scope of the focus group, we add it to the selection,” Sylvie adds. “An enhanced content section with members reviews is also in development.”
I was fortunate to chat with Sonia and Sylvie and get the rundown on Beautyque, the industry, and themselves.
Why Beautyque? Where did your idea for Beautyque come from?
“Beautyque was born from the many challenges that independent beauty brand founders face. We are indie beauty brand founders ourselves — so we decided that instead of staring at this wall before us, we would break it down and build a door. Beautyque is a door for both our own brands and for others.”
“Beautyque was originally meant to be a physical store located in SoHo NYC. We intended to create a place where indie brands could have their own dedicated shelf space and meet their customers, host events, market their brands, and sell their products. Our role was to provide them with a unique retail environment where they could build brand awareness and foster engagement with their consumers.
On the other hand, we didn’t want to offer what every traditional retailer is already offering to their consumers. We firmly believe that beauty is not only about makeup and skincare. There is French saying — “être bien dans sa peau” — which means “feel good under my skin.” To achieve this, it takes not only physical confidence, but a combination of mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. We embody this at Beautyque by hosting live events with experts in mental health, fitness and nutrition, sexual wellness, makeup and skincare, and more. By holding these one-of-a-kind workshops, we’re able to educate and inspire our audience, while introducing them to the right brands and products to help them achieve their own definition of beauty.”
What were some trials you had to overcome during your entrepreneurial journey and how?
Sonia: “When I look back on our journey, one of the greatest trials was overcoming the fear of investing in another venture and facing the possibility of failing again. My first entrepreneurial venture was opening a marble manufacturer. That was a big undertaking for my first try. I didn’t have the necessary experience, and when I jumped in, I found I didn’t like it. Although it didn’t work out in the long run, I learned a lot. I’ve learned many things from previous ventures that didn’t pan out, and each one was a valuable lesson. The most important thing I learned is to always do my best, continue expanding my knowledge, and try every possibility before moving onto the next.”
How did you take your brand from the idea stages and turn it into a fully fledged business?
“In business, or just life in general, it’s all about actions. Think thoroughly through your ideas, and then act upon them. Everyone has ideas — very good ideas — and what makes the difference between getting somewhere or not, is the actions we either take or do not take.”
“With Beautyque, our vision was clear, because the need was lived and experienced by us. We started by putting things on paper until we had made something that looked like a business plan. We set short-term milestones for ourselves in the form of concrete, measurable actions. We created a website, compiled a list of brands we wanted to target, and sent them emails to see if they had interest in our proposition. Once we got confirmation that this was a common need among other indie brands, we went on to the next step, which was securing brands to join Beautyque and rent our physical space. Everything began falling into place, and we were moving forward.”
How has Beautyque pivoted since the Covid pandemic?
“When the Covid pandemic hit, we were already in the midst of negotiating a lease for our physical store. We had to pivot our strategy, and quickly — so we moved our concept to the digital space. However, we knew that a standard website wouldn’t be able to fully translate the vision we had for our brick-and-mortar store. While we didn’t invent the 3D technology, we created the combination of an e-commerce website, marketing platform, and 3D showroom all together to serve both customers and brands simultaneously.”
“We acted fast in conceptualizing our new digital strategy, and we officially launched www.beautyque.nyc on May 13th, 2020. We are now continuing to develop everything in the digital space, and we’re focusing everyday on how to improve the end user experience and create meaningful engagement with our customers.”
Thoughts on “Brick and Mortar Retail is dead?”
“Humans are social by nature — we need to go out and about, meet people in person, touch, smell, feel — and nothing will ever replace the feeling of the real, in-person shopping experience. So, we do not believe brick-and-mortar is dead, but it is definitely changing dramatically and will continue to do so after the pandemic.”
What does Beautyque offer?
“For our brands: Brands in beauty, health, and wellness have the ability to showcase their brands in a virtual 3D shelf viewed by over 7,000 visitors per month. We offer a space where brands can test-run their products, evaluate how the community responds to their products, and enhance their brand awareness and consumer engagement through our growing community of over 12,000 beauty enthusiasts. Beautyque is the perfect mix of what a marketing platform, live showroom, and traditional retailer can offer.”
“For our customers: Our goal is to offer more than just safe and highly effective products from mission-driven brands in beauty, health, and wellness — we’re building a community of men and women and bringing them a unique discovery experience, as well as online programs and events designed to help them discover their own definition of beauty.”
What products do you dabble with? (Fave 2 or 3 beauty products)
Sonia:” I love nature and science, and in terms of beauty products, I fall in love with both in the category. LIFT+PERFECT Total Rejuvenation by LIFTLAB Skincare is the ultimate medical-grade serum that I can’t go to sleep without — it’s rich in cell pro protein, and I love the texture. The Mattesheen S-Proof Liquid Lipstick by The Sexiest Beauty in the shade “Kitten” is my best friend for wearing a mask during Covid, and I cannot do a Zoom call without my AmazingConcealer from AmazingCosmetics.”
Current winter skincare routine?
Sonia: “I take time for both my day and night routines. I wasn’t used to doing this before, but with the pandemic, it has become an enjoyable moment in my day for me to think and relax (and sometimes think about nothing). I know, I have many products available in my bathroom, but you definitely don’t need that many products to have an effective skincare routine in the winter!
Usually, I take a bath in the morning to get me set for the day. I use Masami Mekabu Shampoo and Conditioner, especially when I have many Zoom meetings. I use the Verbena Citrus Body Scrub from Ida Body Care 2 to 3 times per week. After my bath, I hydrate my skin starting with the eyes, face, body intimate, and finally the hair. For my eyes, I either use TTC fx330 Tightening Eye Serum from Priori Skincare, or the LIFT+FIRM Eye Cream from LIFTLAB Skincare.
For the face: I start with a few drops of oil, either my own brand Sunia K., Kadalys, or si Skin Organics. After that I use a serum. I either mix serums together, or apply one by itself, depending on the state of my skin. I usually choose between Skinergies, Olecea Beaute, Priori Skincare, or Yon-Ka Paris. Furthermore, I use peeling masks and exfoliators for my face either 2 or 3 times per week. I rotate between Priori Skincare, Olecea Beaute, LIFTLAB Skincare, Elevate CBD Cosmetics, or the Daily Exfoliant Cleanser from SkinKick.
For the body: I use the Firming Cocktail Hydrating Whipped Body Cream from Alban Muller Cosmetics, the Nutritive Precious Oil from Kadalys, the Verbena Citrus Body Lotion from Ida Body Care, or the Gold Shimmering Body Oil From Exsens. (Sometimes I even mix a few of the products.) I also like to finish with a body mist. I usually exfoliate my body once or twice a week, either with a dry brush like the one we have from Ida Body Care, an exfoliator in the bath, or an exfoliating glove. Since we started Beautyque, I’ve also added the Rejuvenate Daily Vulva Moisturizer from Rejucream into my routine, and I can say that it makes a difference!
For makeup: I first use a primer, either from BE+RADIANCE or AmazingCosmetics. I use my AmazingConcealer every day. I usually mix a foundation from BE+RADIANCE with a few drops of my Sunia K. oil, or sometimes I only use the tinted moisturizer from Elevate CBD Cosmetics. I always use a bronzer from BE+RADIANCE, and either their blush, or a blush from dome Beauty. I can’t go without eyeshadow and the Black Magic Mascara from dome Beauty — this is must for my everyday! I finish with a touch of lipstick, which is usually the Mattesheen S-Proof Liquid Lipstick in the shade “Kitten” from The Sexiest Beauty.
At night my routine is a bit shorter, and faster. I double cleanse my face, and I LOVE this part of the routine because I know I am going to rest! Using the Musaclean from Kadalys, I massage my face with it and then use a hot towel to wipe it off. After my makeup is removed, I use a cleanser from LIFTLAB, Priori, or Kadalys again, wash it off with water, and pat dry with a towel. For hydration, once again I start with the eyes. I massage my eyes with ‘Eyes’ for Jasari by Virginia Stone or the Youthful Eye Concentrate by Alban Muller. Just like my morning routine, I always use a drop of face oil, and I also use a night serum, either Musalift from Kadalys or Cellular Code from Yon-Ka Paris. I finish with a moisturizer from LIFTLAB or Yon-Ka Paris.
To learn more, visit: www.beautyque.nyc