CEW 2

I love it when I can pair my passion for all things beauty with another engaging topic-careers.  The Cosmetic Executive Women’s (CEW) “Women In Beauty” series gives me the opportunity to do just that.  Just this month, CEW sat down with two powerful and talented leaders in the beauty industry.  Remi Kent is the Global Associate Marketing Director for Olay and Shannon Petree is the Divisional Vice President and General Merchandising Manager for Walgreens. Both executives offered their insights on the beauty industry, trends, and career advice.  Here are a few of the highlights.

On Trends:

Both Kent and Petree agreed that natural products are the trend right now. However, Kent acknowledges that “there’s some skepticism in harnessing the power of nature.” She explains, that Olay used top dermatologist to confirm that Olay product results were real.  She adds that they will continue to do that going forward.  Since so many brands tend to make the same promises or boast similar ingredients, Petree says that “as a retailer I always ask what is the point of differentiation.”

So what is the next big thing in skin care, besides natural, anti-aging and mineral products?  Skin care for men.  The joke of the evening was that men used to have only two products but now they have three.  Well all of that is changing.  You may have to share some shelf space, because brands are creating more products tailored to meet the needs of men, including body washes.

On Career:

Remi Kent suggests that you always have a vision for your work.

  • Don’t just think about what is today, but what could be in store for tomorrow.
  • Be you.
  • Always have big ideas and have them come to life.
  • Have good people around you and invest in them.
  • Have good mentors who will advocate for you.
  • Always over deliver.

Shannon Petree, left her position at WalMart for Walgreens.  She spoke to the CEW audience about easing transition between cultures.  She says she spent the first thirty days in her new position listening and learning the culture.  She offered the following insight on choosing career opportunities.

  • When faced with a career opportunity ask yourself, would I regret not having those experiences?
  • Care about the people.
  • Always be humble. Always be hungry.
  • Don’t get hung up on titles. Always be the go-to person, the obvious choice. That makes you a leader.

Before the evening was over, someone asked where are consumers getting their information on what products to buy.  Both panelist agreed that beauty awards from various magazines is one avenue.  How long that will be a trusted resource remains to be seen.  So I had to ask if they thought that beauty bloggers had made any impact on the consumer and the industry in general. “Absolutely,” Kent added that blogs seem to be a trusted resource for reviews and product knowledge for many women. Petree agreed that feedback from both bloggers and consumers is always welcome and helpful.  That was good to know.

It was definitely a beautiful and empowering evening.  To learn more about CEW, click here.  For photos from the event, click here.

Read Remi Kent’s bio, here.  Read Shannon Petree’s bio, here.

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