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All About Augmented Reality, Fashion and Beauty

17 Jan

You have heard another buzz term being put out there recently – ‘augmented reality’. While this may sound like something from The Matrix,  it’s actually a new breed of app technology that’s taking the world by storm.

So what exactly is it?

Augmented reality is one of the newest innovations in the electronics industry. It superimposes graphics, audio and other sense enhancements from computer screens onto real time environments.

Just like with the 3D technology and the glasses-free 3D technology, this is actually an old concept that didn’t develop further because there weren’t gadgets or devices to propel a mass adoption.

With the latest generation of augmented reality apps, there’s a lot of fun to be had on your phone. Here are some of our favourites:

eBay's app

eBay's app

  1. eBay’s app allows you to try sunglasses on virtually! You can choose different styles, fit the glasses to your face using a pinch and zoom measurement and then purchase the perfect pair, right from the palm of your hand!
  2. Google Goggles [iPhone, Android. Free.] This augmented reality app from the search colossus uses your phone’s camera to provide text and image translations plus information on landmarks and works of art. One major caveat: you need a data connection to use it, so know your roaming fees.
  3. Cyclopedia: adds Wikipedia information to your reality. When you move your iPhone around, the app will automatically dig up information and display it on your screen.

5. Star Chart: gives you your very own virtual star chart on your iPhone. Just point your iPhone to the sky and this app will tell you what you are looking at.
How’s fashion and beauty embracing it?

Burberry's AR show

Burberry's AR show

AR might be a catchy thing to do with mobile, but it also goes beyond this. Retailers are using it. In April last year, Burberry celebrated its Beijing store opening with an AR catwalk show in which holographic Burberry-clad models appeared to walk among the live models.


Hugo Boss had a ‘media wall’ which allowed customers to ‘dress’ models onscreen, who responded to their movements – walking, looking and moving with them.

As with fashion and beauty, there’s an element of fantasy here and that’s why it works:

Shiseido's Magic Mirror

Shiseido's Magic Mirror

Shiseido’s Magic Mirror, now touring British department stores, is an AR-facilitated make-up simulator that allows shoppers to test products without being smeared with unsuitable makeup.

So you see, it’s as limited as your imagination allows it be!

Have questions about social media? Get in touch at hello@theteacupagency

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How Magazines Are Getting Clever With Social Media:

31 Aug

As magazine readers spend more time online, publications are thinking about how they can use social media work for their advertisers.

Marie Claire has recently pulled a very clever move which means it is using social media as a way to make the publication stronger.

“Timed to coincide with the key fashion season, the Hearst Magazines title is introducing a contest on its Facebook page where readers can vote to win beauty and fashion products that have been chosen by the magazine’s editors. The “Gotta Have It!” contest will feature a different Marie Claire advertiser, like Michael Kors, YSL, and DKNY, each day for 30 days. To participate, readers have to “like” the product as well as the magazine, and the more people vote and like the products, the more publicity they’ll generate for Marie Claire’s advertisers.”

Condé Nast has also introduced a Web tool called Condé Nast Social Sidekick, which streamlines content from six fashion and beauty titles, letting their advertisers get involved with the most popular and shared content. Gucci is the first brand to step up and sponsor the unit.

Who says social media will be the death of magazines?

Facebook Statuses Now Include Brand Tagging

17 Aug

In a recent move that’s set to help brands on Facebook grow even more, the social networking giant has allowed brands to be tagged in user’s statuses.

What does this mean?

Well, that basically anyone can talk about you, and when they mention your brand’s name, they’re given the option to tag your brand in their status, which links to your Facebook page. Simples!

The benefit of this is using it in competitions, as we’ve seen MUA Cosmetics doing very nicely:

MUA on Facebook

MUA on Facebook

The brand reported that this resulted in 7000 new likes, which is very well executed indeed. The great thing about this is that it’s really easy to track who’s mentioning your name, as the tag shows up on your business page’s wall.


Blogger Spotlight: Katie’s Beauty Blog

10 Aug

Here at Teacup, we love bloggers. We love their versatility, their talent and the sheer warmth of the blogging community. That’s why we decided to have a regular feature called ‘Blogger’s Spotlight’, to really showcase the talent out there.

The angelic-looking Katie Snooks

The angelic-looking Katie Snooks

Our first post of this series focuses on the ever-s0-incredible Katie Snooks – a beauty blogger with a great flair for photography (she has just graduated from a degree in this after all!). Read on to see how this very pretty beauty blogger gets it so right (and with over 1400 followers on her blog, she’s doing something right).

You’re obviously a very talented blogger, but how did it all start for you?

Thank you!  I started my blog as a hobby during the second year of my photography degree.  I have always been obsessed with makeup and photography – and so a blog seemed an obvious way to bring my two passions together (and a way to chat about makeup without boring my friends)!  I blogged for around seven months before I started getting hits and now, here I am.

What do you do for a day job and does it complement your blogging?

I’ve just graduated from university so now I’m looking for a job in photography.  I work as a customer consultant/make up coach in The Body Shop part time and have done for the past six years, which is probably what made me so crazy about all things beauty.  Working there is a good way to follow makeup trends and to be able promote my blog to customers that I do makeovers on.

One of Katie's many tips on makeup

One of Katie's many tips on makeup

As a photography student, what would be your dream photo job?

I always thought I wanted to be a beauty photographer, but now because of my blog I couldn’t imagine just taking photos of make up – I’d want to play with it all too!  I’d love to work with a magazine as beauty editor/photographer.

Who would you most like to photograph?

Awh that’s a tough one!  I’d love to photograph a really charismatic guy; Ben Whishaw, Johnny Lee Miller, Desmond Harrington (that way I could swoon over them at the same time!).

What blogs inspire you?

A few of my favourite blogs;, .  I love blogs that are honest, that talk about different topics; beauty, fashion, books, music and ones that are easy to look at with their own, clear photographs.

Katie shows off her flair for fashion as well as beauty

Katie shows off her flair for fashion as well as beauty

What makes a good blog post?

Honest, funny and easy to read content and good photographs.  I like reading reviews and people’s personal opinions on products and topics.

What’s been your best/worst experience as a blogger?

Best experience – talking with other girls about makeup, getting to meet other bloggers, being invited to blogging events and the freedom of being able to be speak about products I’ve tried and loved or disliked.

Worst – negativity in the blogging world; although I haven’t been affected by it, it upsets me to see other bloggers having a hard time with ‘anon’ readers being harsh.  And how much time it takes up, haha!

How do you manage juggle your blogging, tweeting and everything in your day to day life?

I tend to do most of my blogging in the evenings or in any spare time I get – it takes around an hour for me to get one post up (planning post, taking photographs, writing, editing) and so its quite time consuming but I also find it relaxing.  I have a blackberry phone which has a twitter app so I can tweet when I’m out and about.  In the last few months of university I found it really difficult to juggle my final project, my dissertation, blogging as well a trying to maintain a social life; my friends do often ask me in disbelief how I fit it all in daily!

Advice for new bloggers?

Enjoy it!  Do it for yourself, talk about things you are passionate about:

Mid last year, between eye shadow swatches and shampoo reviews, I wrote a post on my favourite books because I am a complete bookworm.  I wasn’t sure how my readers would find this as it had nothing to do with beauty, but it’s an interest and love of mine and so I took a gamble and posted it – surprisingly my readers really enjoyed it and I got some amazing feedback on that post.

Be yourself, personalize your blog, let your personality shine through!

If you were to recommend one product to Teacup’s readers, what would it be?

Oh my gosh that’s difficult! Probably either Batiste Dry Shampoo (lifesaving product!) or anything made by Sleek Makeup (affordable and great quality.)

And there you have it folks, everything you need to know about the very talented Katie. Go over and read her blog at

Treat Social Media Like Real Life: Don’t Ignore Your Customers

9 Aug

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates”

Mr Gates certainly had a point here and it’s something a lot of brands are still ignoring. Despite many brands embracing social media and having presences on everything from Facebook, to Twitter and more, some people still don’t know how to use it properly.

It has come to our attention that several brands are using Facebook and are engaging with their fans, but are doing something crucially wrong. What’s that you ask?

They’re deleting Facebook comments, or even worse – banning users from their Facebook pages.

Never before have brands had the opportunity to be so close to their customers, so the worst thing about this is that you might have deleted that user, but that person uses social media and chances are they’re on Twitter too. So everybody is going to know that you’ve deleted them, which isn’t going to give the best impression.

A Small World

People talk out there…and they will be talking about you, your brand and exactly what they think about it. Some of these people are bloggers, who are influential and someone who your customers trust more than brands. This is worth bearing in mind.

The best thing to do is to use these negative comments and learn from them. These comments are sometimes a lot more honest than you’ll receive in general, because these users are not afraid to speak their mind and that trust is worth its weight in gold. Talk to your customers – they want to be heard.

A two-way relationship

Only listening to and responding to positive comments won’t allow your brand to grow online – there’s no scope for that. So take those negative comments and really use them to turn unhappy customers into happy customers.

By engaging with users in a way that allows for them to feel listened to, you’re going to do better in sales, have more of a welcome on social media and more than anything – create a positive online brand awareness.

Happy tweeting

Some of Teacup’s friends also told us that they experience a lot of brands who also don’t know how to fully use Twitter. This is a shame, as this is a very powerful medium and brands have the world at their feet through this microblogging site.

Brand’s main sins were only retweeting content that was about themselves, or not engaging with users on Twitter. That’s the normal sin on Twitter – only talking about you. Who wants to be in a one-way conversation? You would hate it at a dinner party, so why do brands think this is okay on Twitter?

Take an interest in your followers, create conversation (but don’t interrupt user’s conversation – it’s not very respectful to just butt in!), and make sure you know who your brand’s influencers are and what they’re talking about. Don’t ignore them either, otherwise they will start shouting!

Make sure you talk about things that aren’t all business related – it’s all about humanising brands. People want to know you’re not a robot.

Basically, it’s simple. Brands should act like real people in real, everyday situations:

  • Don’t be rude
  • Don’t ignore people
  • Don’t just delete people
  • Do talk about more than just sales
  • Do engage with people
  • Do talk about more than yourself
  • Do ask questions

Do you think we’ve missed anything? Do let us know – we’d love to hear your views!

Social Media Mondays: Fashion and Beauty Digital Happenings

27 Jun

Top 10 social media luxury marketers

Bulgari's social media campaign

Luxury brands are now jumping on board all things social media. It’s important to see at this point who’s doing well and what lessons there are to be learnt. Top mentions go to Bergdorf Goodman, Bulgari and Dolce & Gabbana. Creative campaigns, consumer interaction and Facebook commerce are all highly commendable acts!

Beauty Companies Embracing Social Media in the US

Just showing what everyone’s starting to realise – that consumers really do believe their family and friend’s recommendations over standard advertising. Examples given are the success of Old Spice’s “Smell Like A Man, Man” campaign and how the agency behind it created about 200 personalised YouTube video responses starring Mustafa to questions posed by both celebrities and consumers. Estée Lauder’s successful Facebook profile picture makeover with “Your Face Your Style Your Profile” makeover/digital photo programme.  All highlighting that social media can work creatively and effectively in tandem with advertising, marketing and PR channels.

What if social media was a high school?

Social media class of 2011!

Social media class of 2011!

A quirky little piece about what each social media channel would be if it were a typical American high school character. I.e. Twitter would be President of the Gossip Girl club, Google would be in the International Millionaires Club!

Move over, Mumsnet! Meet the new breed of cyber mothers

As mummy bloggers came together to the CyberMummy conference in central London, it’s now being stated that Mumsnets for conversations, blogging is for creating a business! But it isn’t stating anything that isn’t already known, that mummy (and others) bloggers can monetise their blogs and make money from the opportunities it offers.

Infographic reveals the best times to post to Twitter and Facebook

The Science of Social Timing

The Science of Social Timing

There’s many things to consider for bloggers and brands when tweeting. Not least of these is timing. How can you be sure you’ll get the best response, depending on the time? How do you account for different time zones? KISSmetrics also thought about this and went about answering it with a new infographic called ‘The Science of Social Timing.’

Here are a few key takeaways from the Science of Social Timing infographic:

  • The best time to tweet is 5PM ET
  • 1 to 4 tweets per hour is ideal
  • The best days to tweet are midweek and on the weekends
  • The best day to share on Facebook is Saturday
  • The best time to share on Facebook is Noon ET

Beauty Bloggers Help Design Mac Collection

1 Jun
Beauty Bloggers Help launch Mac Collection

Beauty Bloggers Help launch Mac Collection

It just shows that beauty brands are taking notice of all you hard working bloggers out there! Mac recently worked with a group of beauty bloggers who worked with the brand to design eye shadows and lip glosses! They’re out on June 21st.

The bloggers included:  The Makeup GirlTemptaliaLipstick Powder N PaintBeauty Blogging JunkieAfrobellaBeauty MaverickMakeup and Beauty BlogNitrolicious and The Shades of U

Will you be buying the collections? What do you think of Mac working with bloggers and which brand would you like to work with?