Trend Alert: Smashbox's 3D lip printer

Trend Alert is a new series here on the Voxburner blog, introducing you to the latest brands, products and services that are trending with 16-24s.


You might imagine that there’s little place for real-world shopping in the lives of the always-connected teens of today. In fact, Generation Z prefer shopping in person to online, and a fun in-store experience is a major factor affecting where they spend their time and money.

Beauty brand Smashbox has combined this trend with another insight about Gen Z: their love of individuality and customization. Visitors to their London store can use a special 3D printer to create their own printed lipstick pattern and watch it being made. This results in a unique experience not available in other beauty stores, and a product that doubles as a souvenir.

One of the key retail trends for 2018 is stores manufacturing Instagrammable moments. From Topshop’s VR water slide to Magnum’s ‘Design your own’ pop-up shops, brands are boosting their visibility on social media by inspiring their customers to do their marketing for them. A high tech in-store innovation might cost as much as a TV advertising campaign, but when your target audience is social media obsessed and trusts their peers over brand marketing, it’s a much smarter investment. Not to mention the PR potential!

Smashbox is one of the biggest beauty brands on Instagram, with 3.8 million followers on their @smashboxcosmetics account. The 22-year-old Californian company was founded by the great-grandsons of Max Factor, came of age in the digital era, and was bought in 2010 by Estée Lauder. Its vibrant online marketing makes clear that the products are aimed at a young, cool audience. Celebrity fans include Kim Kardashian, and Teen Vogue listed Smashbox as one of the top 50 brands that today’s “it girls” love.


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Image courtesy of WGSN.