The only thing standing between a woman and a perfect look is a pothole. This, along with Bobbi Brown and an arsenal of her makeup artists, of course. Tomorrow, 40 of the brand’s makeup artists — 20 in New York City and 20 in Los Angeles — will partake in the Bobbi Brown x Uber Retouch campaign, driving around in Ubers to give makeup touch-ups to riders in 10 minutes or less. They will use items from Brown’s new Retouching Collection, as an expansion of the original Retouching Powder into a brand. The Uber makeovers are part of the launch and promotion of two new retouching products, which are hitting stores this week.
“I’ve never sat in my bathroom and done my makeup,” Brown told WWD Tuesday of only applying makeup “on the go.” Her venue of choice is a backseat of a car, whether it’s en route to a black tie event or going to dinner with her husband in the suburbs.
“I’m really good at it. When we go to the golf club for dinner I leave the house with no makeup on, and it takes us exactly six minutes to get there,” she said, which is exactly how long it takes her to do her face.
This is why it was essential that there was a moving vehicle and a backseat of some sort involved in the launch of the Retouching franchise. The collection, which started with a Retouching Powder two years ago, is getting two new additions: a $32 Retouching Face Pencil that comes in 10 shades and a $46 Retouching Wand that comes in nine shades. According to Brown, the Retouching Pencil, Wand and Powder even and smooth out skin, giving the appearance of having been “retouched.”
The Bobbi Brown Uber rides will be available between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. In New York City, the cars will service riders in Manhattan, Williamsburg and Dumbo and in L.A., throughout Santa Monica, Venice, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, Hollywood and Downtown L.A. Once users enter the promo code “BOBBIBROWN” in the promotions tab, they’ll see a “BOBBI BROWN” option in the app and be able to request a Bobbi Brown car for a ride and touch-up once the activation starts tomorrow at 5 p.m.
Participating SUVs and sedans are wrapped in Bobbi Brown campaign imagery of either Face Pencils or Wands, and each ride will be free — including makeup application and product in the wearer’s skin tone.
The Retouching products are the brand’s biggest push for the fall season, she said, and in addition to the above activation, the campaign will be supported with digital content and advertising, as well as influencers who will also promote on their own social channels.
The Wand in particular is being positioned as an alternative to foundation, according to Brown, who is targeting a younger, Millennial customer who might find the light coverage, quick results and pen as a form factor appealing. She compared this to the pencil, which is “denser” and better for targeted areas such as under the eyes or covering a blemish.
The plan is for each makeup artist to hit four users per hour, according to Brown, and if you multiply that by four hours and 20 stylists, that unfortunately only means about 320 people per city will be able to experience the service. Brown herself will also ride around New York City in an Uber for a portion of the evening, surprising users with touch-up tutorials.
“It’s a fresh approach to connect with someone else whose business is about servicing on-the-go consumers,” said Peter Lichtenthal, president of Bobbi Brown. “Here, we have products for busy women on the go to touch up in an on-the-go way, so we said, ‘Hey, wouldn’t this be a great relationship for us to have and then share that synergy out on our social platforms?’”
In addition to the brand’s paid efforts, producing content that will live on its owned channels and influencer outreach, Lichtenthal said the goal is to get the women who experience a retouch in an Uber talking about it on their social channels and in turn, influence their personal networks.