The Best-of Series: Skin Care and Cosmetics

Cosmetics and skin care are a thriving international market, and for a long time the industry was controlled by a handful of multinational conglomerates who owned nearly all the smaller brands we knew and loved, but smaller, home-grown companies are increasing.

Cosmetics and skin care are a thriving international market, and for a long time the industry was controlled by a handful of multinational conglomerates who owned nearly all the smaller brands we knew and loved, but smaller, home-grown companies are increasing.

With each country having their respective ‘go-to’ brands, online retail has assisted many of these localized companies to branch internationally. When online beauty influencers entered the scene, cosmetic brands saw the perfect window of opportunity to reach condensed, niche markets seeking advice and product recommendations from their trusted channels. Online tutorials and unboxings are at an all-time high on Youtube, with influencers counting for 60 percent of beauty content views on the video streaming social network. So how have these brands managed to make it internationally? Well, pop-up shops are a great way to start!



Goal: Engaging physically with their largest online shopping market

Location: Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco USA, London UK, and Toronto Canada

When: Summer & Fall 2018

Having been birthed from the blog of former Vogue intern Emily Weiss, this cosmetics brand has experienced groundbreaking brand awareness amongst the American public in the last year. With successful permanent shops in Los Angeles and New York City, this cosmetics brand saw it only appropriate to tap into in-demand markets in the USA, Canada, and the UK, testing consumer appeal and further engaging with their consumers. Having previously based their consumer testing on the blog, the brand is now transitioning into the use of pop-up shops to better understand the products desired by the immediate live feedback of their audience.


Skin Care & Home Fragrances

Goal: Expanding international presence into Asia

Location: Hong Kong, China

When: Spring 2018

Having grown from its first store location in Amsterdam in 2000, Rituals has successfully expanded its physical presence with over 200 stores worldwide in 14 countries. Influenced by ancient Eastern traditions and ‘rituals’, their product line offers a range from home fragrances, teas, candles, and skin care. After their recent and successful expansion into the Middle East’s airport travel retail channel (with a pop-up location in the Abu Dhabi International Airport) Rituals has made moves into China’s massive consumer market with their new 2018 pop-up shop at T Galleria by DFS in Hong Kong. “[This] represents a major breakthrough for us in travel retail in Asia with our new pop up being located in Causeway Bay, one of the busiest and most popular centers of Hong Kong.” said Neil Ebbutt, director of global travel retail for Rituals Cosmetics.


Korean Jeju Island Skin Care

Goal: Introduce a new skin care line – Green Tea

Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

When: Spring 2018

Korean naturalism-oriented cosmetics brand ‘Innisfree’, is known for being South Korea’s first all-natural brand, with many of the product ingredients being sourced from Jeju Island. With a steady international roll-out of physical stores, the South-Korean cosmetics and skincare brand is now a household name across much of Asia, and has an increasing presence in the Western world, with 2 storefronts opening in NYC since 2017. Introducing their new Green Tea product line, Innisfree opened their first pop-up shop in the Saigon Center, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Alongside the new product line, the shop featured consumer engagement sections such as the Hydration Station, Hydration Wash Zone, Beauty Wash, Green Tea Store, and the Green Tea Zone.


Cosmetics subscription service

Goal: Consumer engagement and interaction, Build brand awareness in the UK

Location: London, UK

When: Winter & Spring 2018

Smack dab in the center of London’s Soho, NYC based Birchbox successfully launched yet another pop-up shop. A perfect location to capture the West-End shoppers, and lure them in with the vibrant displays and bright lights contrasting perfectly through the windows of the black Victorian exterior. With this pop-up shop, BirchBox aimed towards consumer engagement and building UK brand awareness for their sought after monthly curated cosmetics subscription boxes, now available beyond the American border. With their business model focusing on providing small mini’s of their favourite monthly cosmetic brands to subscribers, this pop-up offers full-size selections of their top 100 selling products. In addition to their individual wide product offerings, the Soho BirchBox pop up also offered events, the chance to customize your own box with your choice of 5 products, and a chance to win the BirchBox Hamper (including all 100 of the full size best selling products).

KKW Beauty

Fragrances and Cosmetics

Goal: Create a physical atmosphere aligning with KKW online brand, Increase sales

Location: Los Angeles, USA

When: Summer 2018

What’s better than snagging a Kim Kardashian West beauty product before it sells out? Snagging one in person! The model, reality star, and top-influencer launched her cosmetics company in 2017 and has seen exponential growth with her self-endorsed product range in make-up and fragrances. Her unique branding, which included perfume bottles taking the shape of Kardashian’s recognizable curves, transpired into the physical pop-up location. The LA pop-up featured giant-sized versions of her eye-shadow pallets, as well as 3-foot versions of her concealer. This larger-than-life pop-up quickly became the talk of Tinseltown, as only KKW would have it when she surprised consumers by ‘popping-in’ for a visit to the new location – sending fans, and customers into a social media frenzy and only further promoting her brand.

Jo Malone

Personal and Home Fragrances, Skincare

Goal: Promote new communications platform and interactive branding

Location: Heathrow Airport, UK

When: Fall & Winter 2018

Yet another brand capitalizing on the travel retail industry, Jo Malone London launched an interactive and unique travel retail pop-up in Terminal 2 of London’s Heathrow Airport. In the high foot traffic of London’s busiest airport, Jo Malone managed to create a scaled down version of their London townhouse headquarters, for those who missed out on a visit while in London town to catch up on their way out. The Travelling Townhouse in T2 follows the brand’s 2017 launch of a consumer-facing communications platform – The Talk of the Townhouse consolidating their branding and consumer interactions across their social media, e-commerce, and brick & mortar locations. This pop-up features an interactive and exciting setup, driving traffic into one of the oversized signature Jo Malone gift boxes where consumers can engage with the brand by interacting with screens to identify a set of matching windows and win a ‘fragrant gift’, successfully meeting their goal criteria!


Natural Skin and Hair Care

Goal: Increase brand awareness, Consumer engagement, and interaction

Location: Christchurch, UK

When: Spring 2018

Branching away from the typical mall or shopping district pop-up shop, this international cosmetics brand known for being all-natural in content and packaging has popped up at a well-known Dorset hotel – The Kings. This one-day event is a sneak peek into the variety of ways in which brands, particularly cosmetic brands, can engage with their audience at little cost in fun and unique ways. By collaborating with the hotel known as being both a luxurious and quaint location ‘the jewel of the Dorset coastline’, the two companies hosted a one-day event filled with a morning of mini treatments, including head and arm massages using their signature massage bar, as well as a LUSH bath bomb making tutorial, followed by brunch and the chance to browse The Kings’ very own LUSH pop up shop! This unique pop-up was an easy way to engage a niche audience.

Pop-up shops are a unique and engaging way for cosmetic brands to showcase their product line with testers and tutorials to interact with and engage consumers. If you are interested in learning more about how to open a pop-up shop capable of showcasing your cosmetics line, check out for more information, and to browse thousands of spaces available worldwide.

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