Too Faced Cosmetics Manager and Alumna Justine Vazquez Talks Trends and Experiential Engagement in Retail
Visual Communications Alumna Justine Vazquez graduated in 2010 and is now a manager on the Visual Merchandising and Store Design team for Too Faced Cosmetics, headquartered in Irvine near our Orange County campus. We caught up with her to find our more about her career, trends in visual merchandising, and experiential engagement in the retail environment.
Tell us about an upcoming Too Faced event and your design involvement? We are currently developing new fixtures that speak to our new franchise collections that will be permanent and will continue to expand within the overall Too Faced brand. For example, we are working on developing a core gondola that features all of our core products as well as two additional separate gondolas that are specifically for our Peaches and Cream and Tutti Frutti collections. Each of these stories have a very different look and feel so we have to ensure we are using the right colors, materials, copy, layout, and imagery to truly unite the products with great visual merchandising to successfully inform the consumer what it’s all about and why they need it in their life. We also have a few pop-ups that we will be designing that focus on each franchise collection, this is where we can have a lot of fun exploring interactive merchandising through color, visuals, lighting, smell, and audio to successfully tell the collection’s story within a larger space!
What are the trends in visual merchandising? Currently there is a lot of interactive merchandising being utilized across many brands through the use of technology. For example, now-a-days you can use a touch screen to take a picture of yourself and try on makeup without having to physically do so before buying. Another one is lighting; I’ve seen a lot of different lighting techniques being used to highlight products and focus attention through use of color and intensity. Lastly, another big one is a lot of brands are taking a more simple/minimalistic approach with clean merchandising and neutral color tones to really let the product itself be the hero.
What is experiential engagement when it comes to the retail environment? In the cosmetics industry, it is every brand’s goal to stand out in the sea of existing brands within the retail environment. In order to achieve this, we execute in store events whenever possible to interact with consumers, play with the use of lighting and color on our fixtures, and have even incorporated scents that are hidden within our gondola to support new product launches. For example, when we launched our Sweet Peach collection, we had an actual peach scent inside of our gondola that dispensed every so often so that it literally smelled like peaches whenever customers walked by.
Describe what you do for Too Faced Cosmetics: I currently am a manager on the Visual Merchandising/Store Design team for Too Faced Cosmetics. My team is specifically in charge of global brand identity and design for institutional/permanent points of sale. It is our responsibility to determine and maintain the global brand standards through the use of specific materials, specialty treatments, etc.
What do you love about your job? I love being a part of building the future of a brand’s image through visual merchandising. With Too Faced growing so rapidly, there are so many new opportunities that are offered to us daily that create new challenges and excitement as far as being able to execute certain elements and fixtures.
How did FIDM prepare you for your career? FIDM prepared me for my career by giving the necessary tools and projects through relevant courses that were current in the industry in order to build and broaden my skill set. Each class was extremely beneficial, challenging, and made me more confident in my craft as I progressed through the program. The fact that FIDM recruits instructors who are active in the industry is truly invaluable to students. I loved that the projects and case studies were based on real life examples that would come up as if you were currently on the job.
How did you decide on your major? Ever since I could remember, I have always been drawn to anything visual related. When I read the description of the Visual Communications program at FIDM as a high school student, my heart and mind were immediately made up and it just felt so right for me! What I loved about Visual Communications was the wide range of career opportunities and paths you could choose within it. The VCOM program touches on every visual career you could have which builds confidence in students no matter what road they decide to go down in the visual world since you end up being well versed in all of it by the time graduation approaches!
Any advice for current FIDM students? Keep on keepin’ on! I know each quarter is jam packed from the second you start each class with projects on which you’ll spend hours upon hours and many all-nighters to complete. Just remember that you are in the best possible school that wants you to be successful in the field and the instructors want to develop your skills so that you can handle and tackle anything that comes your way once you are in the industry! Everything you learn in each class is dead on accurate and completely necessary. Even now I still reflect on certain things instructors said to me and still use what I learned in school in my everyday work life.
What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to elevate Too Faced’s brand image through the use of strong and captivating visual merchandising. I want to dream up and execute fresh and new ideas that will help get us to the next level. It’s an exciting time to be a part of a brand that’s experiencing rapid growth and gaining serious momentum on a global level!