Pandemic or no pandemic, Beauty Addicts get their fix

ALMOST 10 years in the industry has got to mean something. Last week, Rustan’s Beauty Addict, the loyalty program for Rustan’s The Beauty Source (the source of luxury beauty brands like La Mer, Chanel, and Tom Ford in the country) celebrated almost 10 years of beauty since its founding in 2013 in an event at the Shangri-la Plaza Rustan’s branch with games at beauty counters to win prizes.

The various Rustan’s Beauty Addict Events “adopted various themes to communicate different aspects about beauty,” said a company statement, including Beauty Neon and So Surreal in 2015 and 2016, Beautiful You in 2017, Beauty Before Time in 2018, and The GLOW Beauty and Beats in 2019, “which recognized music as an essential means for self-expression, beauty and freedom.”

Jackie Avecilla, Marketing Head for Rustan’s Beauty told BusinessWorld, “It actually started, I think like a campaign; an event.” For the original Beauty Addicts campaign, they had a temporary membership card, but guests and shoppers alike gamely signed up for it.

Elaborating on the reasons for building a separate loyalty program from its Frequent Shopper Program (FSP), she said, “The Rustan’s team saw that there’s really a big opportunity for the beauty shoppers. We noticed at the time that a lot of the customers come and just shop for beauty (products),” she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed things and like many other companies, Rustan’s made the swivel towards online, including holding their popular beauty event in the virtual world.

“Rustan’s Beauty Addict Event held its very first online celebration in 2020 to continue the yearly gathering of enthusiasts despite the challenges present at the time,” the company statement said. The theme of that year’s run was Face Forward, which “called everyone to tackle the times ahead with beauty innovations that help face the future fearlessly.” In 2021, it held another online event with the theme “Transcend.” “In addition to self-care, it highlighted another aspect of beauty — which is love and care for others,” said the statement.

“Buying skincare has never stopped, even during the pandemic,” said Ms. Avecilla on their performance during a time when many people were locked in at home. “That was what we saw in terms of sales and all. People were still buying — I guess they really wanted to take care of their skin, right?”

Now that the world has mostly reopened, makeup sales have gone up as face-to-face interactions have gone back nearly to normal (masks are still on in many circles, though). “Talking to some of the girls in the counters, that’s what they said. People still really want to use makeup, even if they’re wearing masks,” said Ms. Avecilla. “We’re seeing a bounce back of our makeup brands. I’m always in masks, but I still want to wear a lipstick under that, or foundation, powder.”

She has observed the changing behavior of the beauty customer since the loyalty program began in 2013. “A lot has changed in terms of the sophistication of the customer, especially with the rise of the internet and social media. They see a lot of brands, options, and styling tips. Not like before, you don’t really get that,” she said. “Now, because of that, they look, and then they want to look for that product. So, they come to our stores.

“We’re happy, because I think it’s all about self-care and self-love. We all went through a lot during the pandemic, right?,” she said. “They want to take care of themselves. Part of that is really also looking good inside and out.”

As part of the Beauty Addict celebration, from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, every purchase of P2,500 entitles Beauty Addict Members to one raffle entry for a chance to win four days and three nights for two at the Peninsula Hotel in New York City. Members can double their chances of winning and get two raffle entries for every purchase of P2,500 when they use their HSBC card at Rustan’s the Beauty Source.

“I heard there’s travel revenge the same way that there’s shopping revenge,” said Ms. Avecilla.

Other month-long promos include a complimentary Rory and Sloan Mini Croft bag for a minimum single-receipt purchase of P20,000 when customers shop in-store or on-call from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31. For more information on promos, check out the website — JLG

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