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Beauty and the B… Brazil?

June 2015

By Glaucia Holzmann, Sao Paulo

Brazilian women have a thing for foreign brands, especially from Europe and the US.  When talking about cosmetics even more – international brands take quite a while to enter the Brazilian market – we, women from Brazil travel abroad or ask friends and family to bring our favorite products.  When the brand is in Brazil it usually costs 3 times the price and therefore; we continue to buy them abroad. 

When M.A.C. came to Sao Paulo, back in 2002, it became the favorite cosmetic store for a high end, updated women, due to its modernity, clean style, minimalist concept store, effective and with an amazing color pallet.  The packing is also gorgeous.  M.A.C. speaks to these sophisticated, younger, bold women through these concepts.  Other brands are considered either too conventional or too expensive - like Chanel or YSL – and others too common – like Revlon or L’Oréal.  When you buy M.A.C. you feel you are purchasing modernity, meaning you are updated and stylish.  And when you put the products together in your cabinet it also looks great.  The brand thought about every detail to make you feel good.  While working in a cosmetic project in Brazil, with social class C, I many times heard: “When I go to a party I use Avon and in my purse I take M.A.C. make-up to use at the restroom, so I can show off to my friends”

Fragrance ID

Cosmetic and perfume are the same.  We also have to travel/ask abroad or purchase it for 3 times the normal price.  I use a very classic perfume from Cartier, Eau de Cartier, it’s difficult to find it, even abroad because it’s not in fashion, but most good department stores and Amazon have it.  I believe a fragrance has to belong to the person.  When I chose Eau de Cartier I knew none of my friends used it and I wanted to have an exclusive fragrance that I could be remembered for. 

Up to now, I don’t tell people what perfume I use because I don’t want them to smell like me J.  It’s like an ID, a Trade Mark.

I recently did a project on fragrances in Sao Paulo and I found out that younger women (Millennials) do use what’s in fashion and that fragrances from Victoria’s Secret and Marc Jacobs are pretty much purchased among them.  I also discovered, and I do that too, Brazilian women use two kinds of fragrances: a mild cologne, more citric during the day and perfume during the evening.  Due to the heat, citric fragrances are a preference in Brazil during the day while the sun is out there.


Beauty & Cosmetics
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Sao Paulo
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