The Rise Of Immersive In-Store Beauty Experiences In A Post-Pandemic World

With Covid almost behind us, and patrons returning to stores in large numbers, beauty brands are going the extra mile to engage with and create meaningful conversations with the consumer. Gone are the days of only swatching shades and product samples being handed out. Over the years, MAC’s Makeovers and Benefit’s Brow Bars became a hit. Brands have now realised that these ‘immersive experiences’ are the need of the hour. Think skin analysers, lip bars to create your lipstick shades, personalised engravings on products and what is not being done in-store! We take a look at how brands are indulging their customers with some new-age immersive in-store beauty experiences in this post-pandemic era.

Kiehl’s Healthy Skin Assessment Tool

While Kiehl’s has historically provided complimentary skin-care consultations, its new Healthy Skin Assessment Tool takes it to the next level. This tool has been selected by educational experts at Kiehl’s and provides an assessment of two attributes of healthy skin – the strength of the skin barrier and the hydration of the epidermis. The tool comes with Kiehl’s designed customer-facing app to personalise the experience for the customer. Shikhee Agarwal, AVP, Kiehl’s India says, “Kiehl’s has focused on each consumer interaction with great care and this tool would surely enhance the experience. The pandemic has taught us how technology and moving ahead is an integral part of life, hence the Healthy Skin Assessment Tool would help consumers in contactless shopping. This combined with the virtual consultation offered on the website is surely a game-changer in the skincare industry.”

The Kiehl’s Customer Representative is an integral and trustworthy part of Kiehl’s shopping experience and is crucial to personalise the results recommendations. The use of the diagnostic tool and iPad with the branded app adds a modern, measurable and scientific element to the consultation. The Healthy Skin consultation experience promotes product trials and repeats engagement with Kiehl’s Customer Representative and the store.

SUGAR Cosmetics’ Makeover Stations

beauty experience immersive in store

This homegrown beauty brand offers Makeover Stations at all its 120+ high street stores, exclusive brand outlets, and kiosks across the country. Each of these ‘SUGAR Makeover Stations’ is a dedicated space at every store with well-equipped lighting, mirrors, seating arrangements, and a SUGAR makeup expert who provides a full-face makeover to anyone who visits the store and is open to experience the products. Vineeta Singh, Co-founder and CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics, says, “We at SUGAR Cosmetics have always focused on building wholesome buying experiences for our consumers, offline and online. These Makeover Stations help the store staff to engage with the consumers, assisting and educating them about personalised makeup tips & tricks which would work for them. And simultaneously helping consumers to truly experience the quality of SUGAR products, creating a connection between them and our brand.” The brand also undertakes experiential marketing initiatives including contests, games, ‘swatch’ parties, free makeovers and more on occasions like Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc. to create deeper engagement interaction with its customers.

Health & Glow’s Skin Expert Tool

Health & Glow has launched an innovative AI-powered dermatology smart tool H&G Skin Expert for its consumers. H&G Skin Expert is an advanced tool that aims to recognize every skin type to create a personalised skincare routine recommended by dermatologists, complete with recommended products, as well. Consumers can avail of this service anytime on Health & Glow’s website, mobile app as well as in-store with trained skin experts available for a guided experience. The Skin Expert is a free service crafted to decode the science and enable the consumer to pick and use the right products suited to their specific skin type and build the right skincare regime, with the help of dermatologist-approved products. What makes skin expert unique is that it is brand agnostic, as all recommendations are as per dermatologist guidance with no preference or promotions for any specific brand to the consumer. This makes it an unbiased and reliable method to create your very own personalised regime.

To use the skin expert tool, a consumer is required to follow the mentioned steps: answer a few lifestyle-related questions, upload a selfie on the app/website and complete the skin analysis form. After this, the skin expert tool through its AI and dermatology-powered mechanism gives a detailed analysis of the skin based on 10 factors and a completely personalised skincare routine suited to their skin type. This personalised regime (with detailed steps from optional to highly recommended and mandatory) provides an ideal skincare practice that includes day and night routines, along with a complete list of dermatologist-approved product recommendations that the users can directly purchase from the health & glow website, app or store.

The skin analyzing technology has been built in collaboration with dermatologists after utilising thousands of images of different skin types and conditions to map its accuracy. The tool is developed to provide recommendations to different ages, genders and skin types. This feature has witnessed an amazing response with over two lakh tests being performed by users across the country to date.

Colorbar Play & Engravings

Colorbar’s introduced a range of bespoke services that lets you personalise your purchase. They have a ‘Make Your Own Lipstick’ service where you choose from over 1000+ shades of lipstick, choose the fragrance and wait for it….engrave the product with your name, monogram, or message! This service can be availed at DLF Promenade and Khan Market, Delhi Colorbar Exclusive brand store. Other services are available at certain locations at Colorbar stores across Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru including engraving your name, message, or monogram on any beauty product. This works well as a gifting option as one can have different messages or names engraved across lipstick bullets, eyeshadow palettes and more.

Enrich Beauty X La Mior Custom-Made Lipstick Bar

At the new Enrich Beauty stores, one can now indulge in its innovative Lip Bars where you can get personalised lipstick made in 30 minutes. An in-person experiential process this is a hit with all lipstick lovers. One can customise to create any shade they wish to add to their lipstick shade kit.

Enrich provides 16 colour pigments that can be mixed in up to 4 shade combos to further produce an infinite array of colours. You can make a completely new shade, and wait for it, even name it if you like since your colour is exclusively yours! Remember your favourite lipstick shade that you’ve been scraping out of the bullet? If you can’t find the same shade you once loved, simple – make it! The Lip Bar will help you reproduce your favourite lip colour. The lip bar even has a consultation card that will record the formula of your lipstick so that you can reproduce it later again. The Lip Bar assistant will help you swatch colours till you approve one, you then get to choose a matte or crème finish and also choose from three fragrances – rose, peach, and coconut, and voila, your custom lipstick is ready.

Boddess Beauty’s Experiential Store


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The brand has developed innovative functionality to bring the touch and feel aspect of beauty into the hands of customers through features like a virtual try-on, and skin analysis tool and doubled down on the consultative approach to beauty shopping such as professional one-on-one interactions with expert associates. So, at the Boddess store, customers can check out and avail services at the Hair Bar, Nail Bar and also try Skin Analyzer. Ritika Sharma, Founder Director, House Of Beauty (Boddess), says, “Since founding, we have taken a lot of our learnings from the online space and integrated it into our first flagship store to bring highly requested features into the physical shopping experience e.g. hair, nail and brow bars inside the store.” She adds, “Discovery and engagement are a critical part of a customer’s beauty retail journey. Customers need the right tools and knowledge, to enable a well-informed decision. We want to ensure they receive a product that fits them. An experience-based store is a mix of tech engagement and personalization to answer beauty/wellness queries.”

So, at the hair bar, customers can get blowout or styling services. The nail bar offers art and extension services for guests. The specialised brow bar and one of their star services from Anastasia Beverly Hills help customers guide them on brow shaping techniques that work for them. These brow salons can also be found in independent ABH stores across Delhi and Mumbai. Customers can walk in or book these appointments online. The hair and nail bar are paid services offered at the store.

The stores also have ‘magic mirrors’ that work as skin analyzers. It allows guests to play around with cosmetic products and helps their decision-making process. “Our tools and guided services provide our guests with a holistic retail experience driving engagement, testing and education,” adds Sharma. Additionally, product discovery and check-out screens are placed at the entrance of stores to assist guests as they navigate their beauty journey.

MyGlamm’s Experiential Store


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Towards the end of 2020, MyGlamm launched a 3000 sq. ft. flagship store in Mumbai’s Juhu neighbourhood, designed and brought to life by School House, a leading beauty creative agency in New York City. The MyGlamm beauty experiential store blurs the lines between physical and digital retail by offering consumers spaces for private, autonomous physical experiences with publicly shareable community and co-creation of digital experiences.

Darpan Sanghvi, Founder and CEO, MyGlamm, says, “We recognize that the answer to physical retail in a post-Covid world is not to scale down, but in fact, to scale up to create a true experience for the consumer.” He adds, “We have created an experience that brings together co-creation and shared artistry between brand and consumer to disrupt the conventional trial-first concepts for beauty with a flagship that redefines beauty retail’s role for physically socially distant yet digitally socially communal consumers. If our consumer has decided to step out of the house, we endeavour to make it worth her while.”

The store features spaces like the MyGlammXO Secret Lab where members of MyGlamm’s loyalty to the programme can test digitally crowd-sourced formulations physically and then relay their feedback back into the digital space to further product co-creation. There are also MyGlammXO Beauty Creator Booths that keep in mind their consumer’s love for creating content; these private content creation booths are equipped with the latest technology, including adjustable light settings where influencers and other guests can go live, share looks with their friends and audiences, and more.

The store’s Glamm Zone is where artists and creators can experience one-on-one consultations with MyGlamm beauty experts and technicians and consumers can test their looks in a variety of light settings, while the Glamm Lounge are lounge area throughout the store including self-guided beauty tutorial stands, complete with virtual try-on apps available for creating curated seasonal looks and discovering recommended products virtually. Sukhleen Aneja, CEO of Beauty and FMCG division, Good Glamm Group says, “We are going to expand smaller versions of the experience store with other G3 brands included in them.” She points out that the Creator Booths worked well in terms of creating content and giving exclusive spaces for customers to do makeovers, while the Glamm Stage helped them host a lot of events and masterclasses which kept the audience engaged.

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