British publisher Time Inc. UK has launched a beauty website called Powder that offers personalised product suggestions based on users' self-selected filters, shrewdly wrapped in corresponding editorial content. A box of personalised products (both samples and full-size) can also be ordered for £36 ($52) every quarter.
Consumers create a free profile based on a series of questions determining personal needs and preferences such as age, skin type and budget, plus specific product-related questions including 'what would you like your mascara to do?', or 'how much coverage would you like?'
Users search by product type to receive personalised recommendations, each of which is accompanied by insider tips from beauty editors, mimicking the in-store experience but with the bonus of top-flight editorial acumen. The products can be clicked to buy (users are transferred to brands' e-commerce sites) or stored in a virtual wish list dubbed the Beauty Drawer.
Consumers can also browse the Beauty Feed, a regularly updated section that resembles an online magazine. Health and beauty-themed editorial content is mixed with new product launches and additional tips from in-house beauty experts – all curated to match consumers' previously stated preferences.
The extra level of relevance is music to the ears of advertising beauty brands like French giant L'Oreal (already on board), which are assured of more effective native advertising.
For more on the editorialisation of retail, see Contextual Commerce and Shoppable Content: Publishing. For more on personalised beauty strategies, see Bespoke Beauty: New Retail Strategies, Teen-Targeted Beauty: Retail and Selling Beauty Online.