New ways of buying products are cropping up all the time, but the Beauty Library is a true innovation in the experience of beauty shopping.
Walking into a department store’s ground floor beauty department is one of life’s great thrills. All twinkly, bright lights, floral, heady, woody scents from competing perfume counters, silver, gold, shiny, white, clinical surfaces ahead – as far as the eye can see. The beauty department is a haven of hope. Hope that you will be able to achieve the perfect winged liner. Hope that you will walk away with the magic potion of making you look ten years younger. Hope that THAT eye cream will forever banish dark circles and forever give you that natural glow. Hope that the beauty department can pat, smudge, massage and rub all of your beauty woes away.
Whilst the beauty department is, and possibly forever will be, THE place you turn to when in need of some beauty retail therapy, the Japanese (of course) have come up with a new way to try (and shop) new beauty products.
Introducing Nendo’s Beauty Library. A hybrid of a beauty boutique and a café, the newly-designed conceptual space offers customers a way of enhancing their inner and outer beauty at the same time in the same place. Located on a street just behind Aoyama Street in Tokyo, the contemporary space is designed to allow customers to browse organic beauty products on a tablet and order them to try as if they would a beverage… whilst ordering a beverage.
This ‘new breed’ of shopping for beauty products is all becoming a part of a personalisation trend within our modern lifestyles. Everything we consume, eat, watch, do, read, listen to is all tailored to our own tastes and now even the way we shop for our beauty products is purely personalised. What is more personal than sitting in a café with your friends on your lunch break, and pondering over beauty samples and salads?
We’ve seen ‘gimicky’ cafés before with the Cereal Killer Café and Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, but the Beauty Library is less about the gimmick and more about the practicality of combining two pastimes in one. A girl has to eat, and she also has to take care of her skin, combining the two and makes it a lunch date worth penciling in.
Nendo describes the Beauty Library as “for nature’s way”, as all the products, both beauty and food are organically sourced and the atmosphere relaxing.
Department store shopping can be a thrill, but can also come with the burden of brushing off overly-pushy sales assistants offering you all manner of products that you have no interest in. The real pull with the Beauty Bar is that there is no pressure to buy anything, apart from maybe an organic juice. You simply sit down, at an ordinary table or a specially-reserved area of ‘self study’, order the product samples and get applying. All products are fitted with QR codes that customers can then scan with their mobile devices and purchase online later. These QR codes are also filled with information about each product and the ingredient properties so the customer can make fully informed decisions about their skincare preferences and purchases, hence where the name ‘Beauty Library’ derives. The space itself actually resembles a library, all simplistic warm shelving, backlit with LED lights so as to enhance the beauty of the products themselves; the library-like feel of the café enables customers to feel personally attached to the products and services themselves, as one would whilst reading in a library.
Presenting beauty products as books is a new way of looking not only at the products but as the industry as a whole. It’s giving them real value, showing us how valuable they can be.
So the future of beauty shopping is valuing the products on offer, valuing the time, effort and talent that went into producing and presenting them to us, valuing the importance of a buying experience.
Image(s) Source: Nendo