Beauty brands create Instagrammable, experiential destinations

Millennials are characteristically experience-oriented, so much so that the majority would rather have a cool experience from a brand than a cool product. This preference is driving product-based companies to create activities around their offerings, from festivals to theme parties to interactive museums. Lately, beauty brands are catering to this desire with experiential, photo-worthy spaces.


To showcase its playful ethos and promote its latest foundation range Hello Happy, Benefit Cosmetics created Hello Happy House, an immersive exhibit in London taking visitors on a journey through different states of happiness. The activation consists of four rooms devoted to specific themes, such as relaxation or fun, with each containing highly Instagrammable activities, including a bounce room and a glitter shower. Visitors can also attend happiness workshops led by Laura Jane Williams, a happiness expert and the author of Ice Cream for Breakfast, to learn how to be more playful and avoid self-judgment. Following the London location, the Hello Happy House will travel to Bristol and Cardiff.


Although young people can shop online to their heart's content, they're increasingly choosing to go to physical stores for the experience it provides that can't be matched in the digital realm. Glossier is catering to this preference with the recent opening of a store in LA, the brand's second brick-and-mortar location. Much more than a place to buy products, the shop is specifically designed as an Instagrammable destination reflective of the brand's aesthetic. Along with Millennial pink floors and shelves, the store contains Glossier Canyon, a photo-worthy room that replicates the popular destination Antelope Canyon in Arizona, with nature sounds and a mirror for taking selfies.


Earlier this year, for the launch of its user-generated Instagram page @WeLoveCoco, Chanel opened a Beauty House in LA providing interactive experiences and share-worthy fodder celebrating the brand. As the account is populated with content from consumers, Chanel offered a dedicated space and products for people to show their admiration for the brand. Visitors could explore rooms, trying on makeup physically or virtually. They were also immersed in the world of the brand through the house's decor, which included a swing made of Chanel's iconic chains and a bathtub filled with pearls.