HUGE, New York / IL MAKIAGE / 2019
Il Makiage is the defiant beauty brand that embraces an unapologetic, maximalist approach to makeup. After decades of dormancy, Il Makiage set out to relaunch in the U.S. with a major splash in the crowded beauty space. Il Makiage 800-piece makeup collection was created with uncompromising attention to detail and glamour and we wanted Il Makiage’s public expression to exemplify their ethos.
For the launch of Il Makiage, we decided to go against the minimalism dominating the beauty industry. To do it, we decided to declare the death of minimalism and celebrate all high maintenance women out there, bringing back bold striking looks, with a tone of voice that resonated with bold, sassy, successful, unapologetic women.
In 2018, the US beauty market was living in the era of the “cool girl”: The no makeup, clean face, guys’ girl that dresses in jeans and tees, and can go to a baseball game with the boys to chug beer and eat hotdogs. However, we found out through research that 42% of the millennials have more that 8 steps on their beauty routine, and 46% feel more confident when they spend time on their appearance. So in a world of minimalist, unadorned beauty startups, there was a space for Il Makiage to be defiant, and distinctive. So we set out to disrupt the market and put an end to minimalism, by ushering millennials into a new era of maximalism.
For the launch of Il Makiage, we decided to go against the minimalism dominating the beauty industry. To break through the clutter, we had to find a unique tone of voice that resonated with bold, sassy, successful, unapologetic women. And we did it. First, with copy. We let go of all copywriting rules and spoke as these powerful women do. We wrote headlines with cheeky, saucy language (including some cursing) that used pop culture references that went from movies like Apocalypse Now to Mean Girls. Then, with photography. We enlisted Tony Kelly, one of fashion’s most renowned photographers, known for his cinematic, stylish, theatrical and sexy looks, who brought to the campaign a riot of color, a lick of gloss and tons of irony. These two elements created the voice of the Il Makiage world, a voice that cannot be mimicked or replicated by any other brand in the market.
The campaign definitely struck a chord with the audience, who started taking selfies with our billboards. During the opening of our Soho Pop-Up Shop in NYC, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, lines were around the corner, with an average wait time of 1-hour to get into the store. Within a day of the launch, Il Makiage’s main product, the “Woke Up Like This Foundation”, was sold out online, and about 2M people visited our page. Since the launch, the brand was still growing tenfold month to month, and Il Makiage is now one of the top five fastest growing brands online. In the end, Il Makiage single-handedly started a cultural conversation about the comeback of maximalism in beauty, and the need of celebrating confident, successful and independent women who are unapologetically their most extra self.