Exclusive: Ulta Beauty and Lush are among the first to attend Metaverse Beauty Week

On Tuesday, Neutrogena, Ulta Beauty, Lush and Lottie London were announced as the first brands to attend Metaverse Beauty Week. The event will take place on June 12-16 in Decentraland, Roblox and Spatial. It is marketed under the slogan “Reality Gets a Makeover”.

The brands and retailers participating in the event aim to both engage their existing fans by bringing them into a digital space and connect with social gaming fans who are already active in Web3 environments. For their activations, the brands will reinterpret their products as AR filters, digital wearables and gamified tools.

For some brands like Neutrogena, this is the first step into a virtual world. Neutrogena’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, filed trademark applications for digital goods in March 2022. For others, like Lottie London and Lush, MBW offers an opportunity to test their Web3 initiatives in a larger environment.

The ethical cosmetics company Lush is well known Left Instagram and Facebook in November 2021 after the spaces were deemed “not good places for the brand”. In addition to introducing a Metaverse activation during MBW, the community building effort also includes managing a dedicated Discord. It also has 81,000 fans on an existing community-run Lush subreddit, making it the top 5% of Reddit communities. Lush executives are confident that the brand’s audience is keen to engage more with the brand through web3. “For us (attending MBW) it’s about community. For their involvement in the metaverse, we want to reward them with something very special that they can’t get in stores,” said Annabelle Baker, Global Brand Director at Lush. The exact details of Lush’s planned rewards for MBW visitors are still under wraps.

Lush opened its first Metaverse space, Lush House, in Decentraland in March. This was reflected and coincided with an IRL lush house that popped up during SXSW in Austin. The brand recorded 1,000 visitors at the Lush House in Decentraland from March 11th to 30th.

“Our event for MBW will be more sensual in terms of colour. We’re going to take a cue from one of our best-selling products and include our own label’s music,” Baker said. The brand will also incorporate aspects of synesthesia from their Lush Spa. In addition, the Metaverse’s largest bath bomb will be revealed, which will melt before the eyes of the users. Lush will reveal new experiences every day in a designated Decentraland Wellness zone.

For Lottie London, MBW will mark the brand’s third foray into the Metaverse. The company launched two Decentraland activations in May last year – one around prom season and the other in collaboration with celebrity nail artist Chaun Legend. Each of the experiences attracted 2,600 visitors and offered users proof of attendance (POAPs) and wearables. For MBW, the brand is introducing gamified vending machines in Spatial where customers can try product-inspired skins. The brand is also hosting a mini-game in Roblox that will give users a timekeeping while collecting Lottie London’s TikTok bestsellers. Points earned during play are converted into real branded product prizes.

“All of our branded POAPs and wearables from our 2022 activations were stolen very quickly, so we eventually scaled up and reproduced a larger set,” he said Nora Zukauskaite, Global Brand Director at Brand Agency London, parent company of the Ciaté, Lottie London and Skin Proud brands. “Now we’re trying to do different activations and introduce and familiarize our audience with new spaces. We’re also addressing the audience that’s already there – we’re working to understand their needs so the experiences we deliver aren’t intrusive, but rather complement what they’re doing.” The brand will launch its MBW activation apply in advance of the event on social media.

“Right now, these activations don’t directly contribute to sales, but they do a great job of engaging and telling your brand’s larger story,” said Zakauskaite.

“MBW will be a live, publicly accessible pilot and we will be sharing the results,” said Bridey-Rae Lipscombe, co-organizer of the event and CEO of creative agency Cult London. “We wanted to have a true mix of mass and indy brands to showcase the possibilities of the metaverse to all curious beauty marketers, no matter their budget or growth stage.”

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