I was super excited to read Sali Hughes interview with Millie Kendall MBE (formerly of Ruby and Millie cosmetics) where she talks about her new business venture, Beauty Mart, which opened last September. Not being based in London, I won’t be able to rifle through the shelves of the physical store on the 3th floor of Harvey Nichols anytime soon, but I was equally excited to discover their online store, which stocks the best in cult beauty buys such as Embryollise Lair Crème Concentre and Daniel Sandler’s Watercolour Blush. Items for sale are cherry picked from beauty brands, rather than stocking the full range – Kendall believes this shows their commitment to quality, and as a consumer I’d agree it gives me the belief that the products they stock are tried and tested by people in the know.
I like the design of the website – they’ve gone for a striking red and black theme, quite different from what one might imagine of an online beauty store (white tends to feature more on beauty sites, probably to foster the subconscious link to all things clean and fresh?). I personally like the design, although it doesn’t look as sterile as some simple and perhaps competitors but I quite like that, it gives the feeling that you’re shopping somewhere a bit rock ‘n’ roll, with people who know how to be cool!
In terms of the items they stock, they wanted the store/ website to have a ‘curated’ feel with hand-picked items and I like that there is a full range of price points on all product types, something Kendall is at pains to point out was a conscious choice, to cater for women of all budgets. As well as some brands I was sort of expecting, there were a few featured I wasn’t familiar with such as DHC and Besame. The ethos of the website would encourage me to venture into these unknown brands more so than if I had seen them on Cult Beauty or Look Fantastic, which I think is a result of clever marketing and a good understanding of the consumer. I’m sure I’ll be ordering some bits and pieces from the website, and I’ll let you know how I get on!
Kendall confirms they are planning on expanding into the high street, with an aim of opening three discrete stores (rather than concessions) before the end of 2013. I love the concept of this store, and I’m crossing my fingers that they open a branch in Scotland sometime soon!