Estée Lauder has partnered with Philips Lighting to continue building on their commitment to creating the perfect customer experience at the makeup counter. Most department store ambient lighting is designed for general visibility, and not for the special needs of beauty assessment.

According to Nancy McKay, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Estée Lauder, the brand’s beauty advisors would often struggle to find the perfect foundation match, and would sometimes even lead customers to the nearest window to use natural light.

Faced with this challenge, Estée Lauder began a search for better in-store lighting for its makeup counters in several department stores in the U.S. and Asia. Philips had conducted extensive research on shoppers and retail lighting, discovering that customers want lighting that is flattering, looks natural, and that resembles the setting for a particular occasion or time of day. They also studied the degree to which skin tone and cultural backgrounds impact lighting preferences, and as a result they were able to create a system that can instantly adjust the lighting to set the proper scene based on a diverse range of settings.

“Philips understands how color, temperature and brightness affect skin tones,” said McKay. “They displayed an understanding of our customers and their needs. What Philips designed made sense, and was exactly what we were looking for.”

The collaboration was unveiled at the Estée Lauder Beautiful Skin Studio, a unique experience that features a personal consultation by a beauty advisor using lighting technology from Philips. The private studio space—first available at Lord & Taylor’s flagship store in New York City—enables customers and beauty advisors to choose the right foundation for the right lifestyle situation. The lighting solution is embedded in the studio’s mirrors and provides different levels and shades of white light—from very cool and bright to warm and cozy. The beauty advisor selects the desired scene for the customer—daylight, office light or evening light—by simply touching a button on a pre-programmed iPad.

Based on the success of the initial installations—renovated counters have experienced a significant increase in sales—Estée Lauder has now implemented the new Philips Lighting-based Beautiful Skin Studio in three U.S. department stores, along with additional stores in Australia and Hong Kong, and have plans for many more.




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