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25 Year Celebration

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5 Beauty Commercials from the ‘90s
We Will Never Forget

Posted by Joann Marks on Monday, August 3rd, 2015

It’s hard to forget a catchy jingle or amazing commercial. The ‘90s had plenty of both. Many of these products became iconic because of the huge advertising push behind them. Here are 5 beauty commercials from the ‘90s we will never forget.

Click on the images to watch these masterpieces yourself!

Top 90s CommercialsEx’cla.ma’tion Perfume
Who could forget the Ex’cla.ma’tion song and the fabulous ‘90s polka dot dresses in the commercial? It was a fun commercial that aired all the time, and it’s no small wonder that the perfume is still sold today. Ex’cla.ma’tion is a very fresh smelling fragrance that contains both floral and fruity notes. And it was so affordable it seemed that everyone had it.

Top 90s Commercials-3
Noxzema – Rebecca Gayheart

“Your face belongs to Noxema”! Noxzema nailed it by casting Rebecca Gayheart. With her carefree curls and beautiful skin, she seemed to be naturally beautiful. And you believed that you could attain the same seemingly pore-free skin if you just got a container of Noxzema! Noxzema may be a lot older than you think – it was created in 1914. However good advertising and the fact that they don’t change the original formula (which really works), has kept Noxzema relevant.

Top 90s Commercials-2Pantene Pro-V
Who didn’t buy a bottle of Pantene Pro-V after seeing the commercial of model Karen Mulder showing layer after layer of beautiful golden hair? Or Miss USA Kenya Moore displaying perfectly silky tresses for the camera? We’re not sure what type of magical things they did behind the scenes to get hair to look so perfect for these commercials, but it was inspiring to watch.

Top 90s Commercials-1

Neutrogena
Speaking of poreless, Neutrogena found the right celebrity when they used popular actress Jennifer Love Hewitt as a spokesperson. Her skin was rivaled only by Noxema’s Rebecca Gayheart. Of course it helped that she was the star of the hit show Party of Five. The commercial featured Jennifer Love Hewitt with glowing skin, minimal makeup, and of course a ‘90s staple – a denim jacket.

Top 90s CommercialsHerbal Essences

With so many hair care brands on the market, it’s hard to stand out. Herbal Essences managed to do that in their infamous ‘90s commercial with a girl who washed her hair in the airplane bathroom. The whole time she’s shouting ‘Yes!!!’ and making everyone on the plane wonder what’s going on in there. And she emerges from the bathroom with perfect tresses. Now of course, no one would want to wash their hair in an airplane lavatory, but the commercial made you pay attention to the brand for sure.

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1990 to Today – The Magic to Interviewing & Hiring

Posted by Joann Marks on Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

My first hire was a really big deal. I mean, I had hired people when I worked for Almay but now I was paying this person out of my own pocket! And the person had to work in my house because that was where my “headquarters” was. And they had to like my dog and my cats. So, I did a ton of research on how to hire people and what interview questions to ask and put out that first ad.

TracieI found the most perfect first employee ever. To this day, I don’t know how I got so lucky. Her name was Deanna and she lived a few blocks away. She used to be a district manager with Kinko’s and also had administrative assistant experience. She was with me for 5 years all in all and together we did some fabulous work. When she decided to leave (with her husband’s custom building business booming), I thought I would just die, but miraculously I found another perfect employee – Tracie. This hiring stuff sure seemed easy.

In 1999, Tracie was in her third year of college studying business. After about a year with me she started getting offers from other companies, so I knew I needed to give her a bigger challenge. She liked working for a small upstart company, so we came up with a plan for her to build our own demo agency. At the time, we were using an outside agency with mediocre results.

Amy2At that point the company, such as it was, was pretty new and didn’t have much money. But I did have a townhouse and Tracie needed a place to live after college. So we made a deal. She got the townhouse rent-free and a 10% commission, and from there she proceeded to build the agency to profitability within 4 months. She did everything herself: sold the events, found and trained the talent, built their demo kits and took the kits to Fed Ex! The day of each event, she called every store and made sure the demonstrators were there on time in good order. She worked 7 days a week practically around the clock, rarely taking time to eat (and I am not sure she showered much those days). Within a year, we had to hire our next employee to help her. That’s when we got Amy. Amy came on board part-time and never left. She is now our Director of HR and Accounting – a double-duty job in which she truly rocks.

After about 3 years of nonstop labor, Tracie told me she needed a change. By that point, we had hired a few more people to help her but it was still a lot of work. So we found a new agency director and Tracie took on a new position – VP of Sales – which she holds today.

SunnySince I had hired a few people so well, I thought I had this hiring thing down pat. But after my next assistant, Kristen, stopped being my assistant, I became a “Murphy Brown” boss – I went through about a dozen assistants before finally landing on a brilliant little firecracker named Sunny. The day I interviewed her I thought with a name like Sunny she was going to be one of those really annoying perky people. Since I had just gone through two assistants in 2 months, I was not overly optimistic. The other applicants all had major red flags (drug arrests, pet shoplifting, are you kidding me?) so I figured what the heck, you’re hired.

Sunny was (and is) awesome. She was like a sponge and learned so quickly that within months she was indispensable. Today she is our Director of Operations.

We are lucky that we now have a thriving business full of wonderful employees. But in the 25 years I have been in business and hiring people, the one thing that has not changed is that there is no magic interview question that will let you know the TRUE value of that person. Some people interview wonderfully and are complete duds and others might not say the perfect thing during the interview but become the best employees.

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Five 1990s Products That are Still Classics Today

Posted by Joann Marks on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

There are definitely some questionable styles from the 1990s that should be kept in the past. But there are some products that have stood the test of time; very impressive since most beauty products get discontinued after only 4 years of life. Here are 5 of our favorite 90s beauty products that you can still get today.

Almost-Lipstick-duo-B4Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick
The smartest thing Clinque ever did was to take a lipstick shade launched in 1971 and repurpose it in their ‘Almost Lipstick’ formula. Black Honey Almost Lipstick amazed because it was one shade that looked great on most people. In the 1990s wine colored lips ruled, and the Black Honey shade was on-trend. It actually looked Goth (yet another 90s trend) in the tube, but was actually sheer. And because of its lipstick and balm hybrid formula, it kept lips hydrated. Thankfully, the shade is still sold today so new generations can enjoy it.

vampChanel Vamp Nail Polish
The Goth look became mainstream in the 1990s – dark lips and nail polish were in! Chanel Vamp nail polish was the perfect blend of dark burgundy with red tones that flattered many skin tones. Uma Thurman even wore the shade in Pulp Fiction. You can still buy this polish from Chanel (it’s now $27) and almost every nail brand has a shade that matches it.

lipslicks-lipgloss copyCoverGirl Lipslicks
In the 1990s CoverGirl came out with a unique lip balm with lipstick combination. Offered in just a few shades, the colors looked bold in the tube but applied sheer for a natural fresh look. After all, you needed something to go perfectly with all the floral print outfits! CoverGirl hasn’t changed the product much for the re-launched version – CoverGirl Lipslicks Smoochies.

a50bc280-350x262Caboodles
Although technically launched in 1987, Caboodles makeup cases had huge success throughout the 1990s. The inspiration? A picture of Vanna White (another fabulous 90s icon), using a plastic tackle box to organize her makeup. The best part about the Caboodles was the space. You could stuff makeup and product galore and still have room to spare! The Caboodles of today are a little more refined looking and don’t offer the same fun garish color combinations, but you can still get a taste of the 90s with the Caboodle’s classic.

81nlQojzQ-L._SX522_Caruso Professional Molecular
Steam Hairsetter

Before the pin-straight, flat-ironed look of the 2000s, big hair ruled the 1990s. Whether you put gel in your natural curls, teased your to the sky, or roller set your hair, volume was in. The Caruso Professional Molecular Steam Hairsetter felt pretty groundbreaking back then. It wasn’t just a simple hot roller set, it also used steam to get the look making volume a breeze. Of course, if you had frizzy hair you had to be fastidious with your technique/hair products while using it, but all in all it’s no wonder this product is still available today.

Join in our 90s nostalgia with our monthly contest! To help us celebrate our 25th anniversary, send us your 1990s circa picture and be entered into a drawing for a $250 donation to your favorite charity.

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Cosmetic Promotions in the News
Featured in WWD

Posted by Joann Marks on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

WWDBy Faye Brookman for Women’s Wear Daily

Joann Marks probably knows more about the mass-market beauty consumer today than most in the business. As the founder and chief executive officer of Cosmetic Promotions, a beauty marketing company, she performs hundreds of store checks masquerading as a customer.

As Marks celebrates the 25th anniversary of her company, she uses that bird’s eye view to identify — and help solve — major challenges mass beauty chains face in the competitive beauty battlefield. Although she’s observed the enhancements retailers have made in stores, she noted there is still a lack of testers — a huge point of difference in the race against specialty stores. Another issue is that despite the addition of more beauty advisors, many aren’t approaching the shopper in an efficient manner. “The days of ‘Can I help you,’ are gone. They [beauty advisors] need to truly engage with the consumer and that is hard to do when you are stocking shelves or running a cash register,” said Marks.

Marks acknowledged selection in mass market doors with rows and rows of merchandising is challenging. “It can be overwhelming to walk in looking for a new products and seeing a 40-foot wall. Sometimes just finding someone to ring up your purchases can be a challenge,” she noted. Fragrances in particularly are tricky because testers are locked up. “Also, the mass beauty department is not normally a destination department. Mass is not only competing with department stress, but also Ulta and Sephora, which are destination places.”Demo Photo 2

She’s seen vast changes since she started her company in 1990 which at first was a side business devising end cap displays and a newsletter for beauty associates. Judy Wray, now the category manager for cosmetics at Rite Aid, nudged Marks into the business. At the time she was a buyer at Revco and asked Marks to create a newsletter for Revco’s associates to help nurture sales. Word of Marks’ success spread to other chains. She left her full-time job to focus on growing Cosmetic Promotions. Over the years she expanded from printing into a full-market company offering everything from in-store demonstrations (she has 1,500 professional makeup artists) to beauty box programs. Her goal is to bridge the gap between vendor and retailers. “Beauty manufacturers run national marketing campaigns, but they can’t effectively customize marketing programs for each retail chain,” she explained. Retailers on the other hand lack the resources to customized marketing programs for all items in their assortments.

Marks can be nimble when reacting to market demands. “It seems every few years we have a shift in how people want to promote,” she said. When retailers zeroed in on the ethnic market, she devised a sampling program with products for black and Hispanic shoppers. Next up was marketing to teens, so she came up with a Teen Program. “Currently, most of our work is providing interactive tool kits for vendors at all the chains,” she said. These kits include coupons which Marks said result in a higher rate of return than standard freestanding inserts. “We average about a 22 percent redemption while freestanding inserts are only about 1 percent to 2 percent.” She said the direct distribution and training used in tandem with the coupons encourages usage and drives online visits, too. During sampling programs, Marks said retailers’ Web site hits “spike,” too.

By adjusting her services to react to market demands over the past 25 years, Marks has increased her own sales — doubling her volume in the last five years. Recently, she saw a need to implement new technology to enhance live training. An interactive clicker system that grades students during the in-person sessions improves employee retention, she added.

Those who have worked with Marks call her a master at developing a sales concept from idea stage to execution. “Nothing leaves her facility without being checked and double-checked,” said Bradlee Farnworth, who worked on projects such as Cover Girl shade promotion rollouts with Cosmetic Promotions.

When Coty needs in-store demonstrators, Cosmetic Promotions is the “go-to” source, said Carolyn Goodrow, national account manager for Coty Beauty. The Cosmetic Promotion team, in fact, was influential in getting Coty’s Sally Hansen Miracle Gel off to a strong start.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAAnd Marks is crucial to efforts at Walgreens. According to the manager of strategic business development for cosmetics at Walgreens Michelle Hobson — who has worked with Cosmetic Promotions since 1997 — the chain has worked on training and continuing education efforts. “One of the most significant projects we’ve worked on together is around the recent relaunch of our “SaturDate with Beauty” program,” Hobson said. “This involved a strategic redesign around our participating suppliers, the event scope, training and education, and the actual event kits. Joann is intimately and personally involved in every project that we work on, from the first conference calls that identify scope and approach to the end result.”

To commemorate the anniversary, Cosmetic Promotions is donating $250 a month to a charity chosen from clients’ favorite causes. The e-mail campaign encourages those who work with the company to send in pictures of themselves from 1990 and the name of their charity.

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The Perfect 90’s Makeover? Here’s How

Posted by Joann Marks on Friday, March 13th, 2015

Who doesn’t remember a well-meaning Cher and Dionne giving Tai a makeover in the 1995 classic movie Clueless? As if! Not only was the movie fantastic, it was also the embodiment of ‘90s fashion and beauty trends. Like Tai, here is everything you need to get the perfect ‘90s look.

90s Makeover-1Wine Colored Lips

If you look at any 90s movie, you’ll see that a deep berry lipstick worked its way in there somehow. The look was opaque so don’t be shy about the application. To mimic the precision of the perfect ‘90s lip, use a lip brush (very popular then) to apply the lipstick.

90s Makeover-3Strong Brows
Get your eyebrow kit out because the ‘90s was about full eyebrows. What’s interesting is that the supermodel most famous for her brows today, Cara Delevingne, would have made the perfect magazine cover in the ‘90s. When filling in your brows, fill in both the bottom and the top for maximum effect. You would be amazed at what a huge difference it makes when you fill in the top part of your eyebrow with dark shadow. Always use a brow brush or even better, a clean mascara wand, after filling in your brows. It will look more natural that way. This is especially important when using an eyebrow pencil.

Highlight and Contour
The ‘90s standard was a light color on the lid, darker color in the contour, and a lighter color on the browbone. This is more or less still done today. The most popular shades were in the brown family.

90s MakeoverLipliner That Shows
Outline your lips in shade a tad darker than your lipstick! In the ‘90s it wasn’t a sin to be able to see your lipliner, it was actually more fashionable that way!

Matte Foundation
The foundation for a 90’s look should have a matte finish and be full coverage. Unfortunately, foundation colors weren’t that great back in the ‘90s, so many women could be seen with a clear foundation line on their jawline. You don’t want to bring that back, but be sure to use setting powder over your foundation for that full coverage look.

90s Makeover-2Smoky Eye

Kate Moss brought this look to life. It’s a horrible phrase, but the ‘heroin chic’ took some work. Get a very dark grey or black shadow (a shade darker than what you’re comfortable with) and smudge away. Smudge and smudge until it looks like your eyes are just effortlessly dark and mysterious. Tip: Apply kohl eyeliner as heavily as you can stand, then use a brush to blend gray or black shadow on top. Doing the eyeliner first is a great short cut to the perfect smudged look.

Brown Blush

Use blush on the apples of your cheeks. To really embrace the decade, don’t use more than one shade or use any contouring technique. Just use an earthy shade and focus on the apples of your checks. Bronzers were also very popular in the 90’s – albeit back then they were more on the orange side. But you can use a bit of bronzer as blush like Kate Moss did in the picture above. Voila! You are now ‘90s chic!

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Cosmetic Promotions: Retail Beauty Marketing
Cosmetic Promotions, Inc.
2111 W Pine St. Orlando, FL 32805
Phone: 407-644-9916
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