At the same time some might feel cheated that 50% of their favourite glossy is made up of adverts, as a beauty copywriter it’s a DREAM. Imagine continuing professional development that’s sandwiched between style tips and stories, while also being oh-so-readable from the comfort of your sofa.
Plus, half the fun of studying how our favourite serums and moisturisers are marketed lies in the game of spotting how the beauty copywriter got through the legal minefield. After all, selling the secret to ageless skin or “miracle formulations” can quickly land you in trouble if your promises aren’t considered legitimate by the powers that be (hello ASA)!
However, for this very same reason beauty copywriting is a breeding ground for creativity; a place where a cleverly positioned adjective or senseless imperative can convince consumers to part with their cash, and the beauty copywriter to stay on the right side of the legal team.
In this spirit, I’ve outlined the reasons why the following ads from La Mer, La Prairie, Charlotte Tilbury, Dior and Chanel work so well, and why you still might catch me at the beauty counter…
Here La Mer hints to transformation going beyond your skin, selling the dream of a new you complete with “endless rituals”. Days of self-care followed by candle-lit dinners and cosying up with a book, perhaps? This oil has it bottled.
I also love the idea of healing my hydration (cheeky alliteration and alluding to something that needs “fixing”) and its strong call-to-action to boot.
La Prairie gets poetic coupling precious-stone product shots with wording that conjures up equally rich and whimsical imagery. Notice how the rhythmic copy seems to float – as if by the same magic that sees “stardust absorbed by your skin”; a claim strategically held up by abstract reference to the beauty (as opposed to the product) on the first line.
A brilliant example of effective beauty copywriting being inseparable from well thought out design.
The amount of xoxo adorned emails in my inbox even has me believing I have Charlotte on speed dial for all my beauty woes. The brand’s signature use of the first person is coupled with oodles of personality, evoking a real sense of proximity and community belonging. That’s how you do tone of voice – darlings!
Dior gives us a lesson in legal with this example from their Capture Youth range. Just as brands might ask you to “imagine” perfect skin, keep an eye for promises to “fight the appearance of signs of aging”, or how the skin “appears toned, smoothed and reinvigorated” – a beauty copywriter sleight of hand, if you will.
You’ll also find beauty copywriting being deliberately vague. Here we are “preserving youth capacity” (I have no idea either), and also claiming “a Dior worldwide first”. Not a world first, but a first in the world of Dior. Genius 😉
Finally, Chanel reminds us that sometimes, the best copy is no copy. Here in-house artistic director Jacques Helleu plays to the brand’s heritage, combining iconic no. 5 ads in a visual feat of storytelling. Bravo to the beauty copywriter for putting their feet up on this one.
In need of a beauty copywriter? With 4 years’ experience writing for L’Oréal –not to mention being a self-confessed skincare addict with one too many eyeshadow palettes – Maisie is well positioned to help. Speak to her about your project (or even your favourite beauty finds!) here.
Staring at a blank page? Unlock an eclectic list of 100 eloquent and impactful adjectives to inspire your communications.
For luxury copywriting inspiration, sector insight and to stay in the loop with everything happening in the studio, connect with Maisie on Instagram @theluxurycopywriter.
By Maisie Prior