Our mothers taught us it’s what’s on the inside that counts. However, it’s a little different when it comes to beauty products. In the ever-crowded beauty universe, a great product has to have more than just an exceptional formula. It must also have a smart, attractive look and be consistently easy to use. Below, we detailed the three rules for perfect product encasement. KATE HELFRICH, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR OF SEPHORA COLLECTION
#1: Packaging must communicate with more than just words.
The best product packaging contains subtle cues to entice the customer and convey its message. For example, if it’s a shiny lip gloss, there should be reflective or metallic elements on the packaging. Or, if the product is all about color, there should be a clear window to display the saturated pigments—rather than opaque packaging covering it up. Basically, when you hold the product in your hand, you shouldn’t have to think twice about what it actually does.
#2: Packaging must support the formula.
The product’s encasement must be tuned into the item’s technical needs. If the formula is light-sensitive (as in, then the color will fade with exposure to light), the package might have to be coated with a special UV film. On the other hand, if the product has a high water content, then the package may have to be air-tight—to keep the formula from drying out and looking like a plot of cracked earth.
#3: Packaging must be accurate and durable.
Crazy but true: There’s a formula evacuation test for beauty products that come in tubes or pumps. If the product has never been opened before, and the user has to pump it more than 20 times to get out the first drop of product—you’re in trouble, and you’d better find a new pump, stat. The product has to dispense easily and accurately for it to be considered ready for sale. Additionally, there’s a drop to make sure that when a product hits the floor from a certain distance, the hinge doesn’t pop or the cap doesn’t break. These tests certainly don’t involve skyscraper distances, but are enough to do some damage and show the potential of destruction. After a failed drop test, the developer may decide to reinforce the packaging or put it in a carton for extra safety.
SEPHORA COLLECTION Luster Matte Lipcolor
I just love how the saturated color pops out of the vial, and the soft matte cap communicating the matte finish is a perfect touch.
Dior Addict It-Lash Mascara
Look at the logo carved into the side, so obvious yet understated. And the slick matte jet-black packaging matches the jet-black formula inside. I also love the chubby handle, which makes using the wand super easy.
SEPHORA COLLECTION Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation Aerosol spray-based products are tough to develop; they can be messy and malfunction easily. This mist foundation sprays like a dream every time, and the look is just flawless. I love the outside every bit as much as the inside.
Too Faced The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette
The packaging is shaped like squares of a chocolate bar—which is the theme of the whole palette, with rich smoky and neutral hues. The shadows even smell like cocoa!
TOO FACED / The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette
SEPHORA COLLECTION / Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation
DIOR / Dior Addict It-Lash Mascara
SEPHORA COLLECTION / Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color