In the midst of the pandemic, both customers and brands are looking for new ways to experience beauty and the traditional retail space. Enter Beautyque NYC Co-Founders Sonia Khemiri and Sylvie Giret, two woman who have made a major pivot to a new interactive, virtual shopping, education and beauty brand experience – all from the comfort of the consumer’s home. Both Sonia and Slyvie are French born but US-based business women who met and started collaborating together after they created their own skin care lines.
At Beautyque, customers are given the opportunity to understand and make their own choices for beauty and wellness. Before shopping, Beautyque’s primary mission is to help consumers understand, learn and even in some cases engage with its beauty partner brands. An added bonus is the integrated 3D virtual experience customers can experience when visiting the store.
BITB had the pleasure of speaking with Sonia and Sylvie to learn more about Beautyque NYC and how the two women are leading the way in reinventing the retail experience for customers.
Tell us about Beautyque NYC. What was your inspiration for developing an interactive virtual shopping, education and beauty brand experience?
Sonia: Shopping online is a bit boring. Beauty stores are too concentrated on selling products, and often all products look alike because they follow trends. Lately, beauty retailers and brands have started to talk about intimate care and beauty supplements. Many brands unknown to the public have valuable missions and effective products that you hardly hear about.
We have personal experiences because we are both indie beauty brand founders and we understand first-hand that reaching our customers in a crowded industry is challenging. When a person wants to find out about her/his beauty, learn more about what makes her feel beautiful, consumers need to do research, find videos on Youtube, read books, go to events… We want to have all this in one place. This is the reason we have our 7 pillars at Beautyque where we talk about Mental Empowerment, Sensuality & Sexuality, Nutrition, Skincare & Makeup and more. We want all this in one space where women/men can find inspiration to be “bien dans sa peau”. Because of the lockdown, consumers have changed the way they consume beauty products. There is a tendency to simplify their routine and adopt to using less but more effective products. In addition, they are not able to go to stores for safety reasons, and they might not be able to do so for a long while. We conceived Beautyque to fill this void.
Where do you see Beautyque NYC in a year, two years, five years?
Sylvie: Beautyque NYC was initially meant to be a Brick and Mortar store in Soho NYC. We shifted to the virtual space concept in result to the COVID-19 crisis. We are laser focused on improving the technology we are using in order to be the closest possible to what a real store can offer. We are structuring our platform in a way so that customers find all events and products that they cannot find anywhere else. We want to be the place to go for people who want to learn about beauty from head to toe and be the point of reference to find what’s next. We are certainly going to open the physical store as an extension of what we do when the circumstances are safe, adding a value to what we do online.
In addition, we are developing our technology to be able to offer it to other businesses, large or small, outside the beauty industry. These are tough times for physical space businesses and it’s our duty as entrepreneurs to build something to help other businesses also reach their customers. The scope is large, but for now we will offer manufacturers, trade shows, and retailers in the beauty industry a platform that is totally adapted to their needs.
As beauty experts, you probably take great care of your skin. What beauty products are in your cosmetic bag and on your bathroom vanity?
Sonia: This is a tough question as I love all of our products because we choose them!
Ever since I was a teenager, I have always loved to indulge in skincare. I use natural products and I believe in science, and so a mix of both worlds are perfect for me.
As I have psoriasis, my skin is sensitive and any toxic ingredient makes my skin react very easy in a negative way. My skin speaks to me. I love using Croon Exfoliator when I am in a lazy mood. It removes my makeup off in a second without effort.
I can’t get enough of the clarity serum by Fresh Faced, even if I do not have blemishes or acne. This serum gives me the fresh effect and the benefits of the mandelic acid in a pump. I mix them sometimes with the shield serum from For The Biome to have a glow on my face and the incidental Sun Smart from Skinergies to provide a perfect glow without greasy residue. The PRIORI Skincare Eye Serum has a dramatic effect on my puffy eyes, and I love it too. When I need something thicker on my face I add either the LIFT + PERFECT Total Rejuvenation Cream from Lift Lab Skincare which is an absolute powerhouse of proteins or some CBD moisturizer like the high luxe from Sweet & kind. On the makeup side, I am a fan of Madame Gabriela Sydney at 8 am and The Sexiest Beauty Kitten. I am not a heavy foundation user but I use the amazing concealer mixed with my oil Sabrah from Sunia K. or the tinted moisturizer from elevate CBD cosmetics and the chocolate diamond eye jewel and mascara are so perfect for a fast, clean and beautiful makeup. And what is totally new in my skincare routine is the intimate care part – Rejuvenate from Rejucream became almost a habit now and I love this!
Sylvie: Since I have dry skin and I am not a youngster (on the older side), I favor products that lock moisture and protect against accelerated aging. Same for my hair. For the hair, I recently discovered the brand Masami that uses an algae powder harvested in Japan, and it’s a wonderful line.
For the face, I use my Skinergies Incidental Sun Smart Serum that I mix with different moisturizers every morning. I like the ones from Vera Moore, YON-KA Paris or Codex Beauty, and Lena & Lina San Francisco, which are full of ceramides. When my skin gets a bit tensed during the day, especially when spending the day in front of my computer, I use a spray; the Adapt Essence Spray from For The Biome is really helping, with its unique blend of skin biome friendly mushrooms. I also use either the Rose Water Spray from Sunia K. or the invigorating mist from YON-KA Paris. They’re both very refreshing and give the skin a boost. At night, I usually cleanse with an oil, and the one from CODEX is really nice. I mask once or twice a week, and I rotate the products, between From the Biome, Olecea Beaute who have a very nice Charcoal mask (my daughter likes using it, too), and the sheet masks from Lift Lab that are so convenient. Lift Lab is one of my go-to for the night, with their unique protein complex technology that is doing magic on my skin. I also like using Lena and Lina’s Ceramide Serum, and some oils, either from si SKIN Organics or Sunia K. And once in a while, when I want to get my pores super clean, I use the Clarity Serum from Fresh Faced Skincare. I never go to bed without the Liplove Lip mask from The Sexiest Beauty as it plumps my lips and restores moisture so well.