Vending Machine Beauty

  • by Maria Denardo
  • posted at 11:59 am
  • October 14, 2010

The longer you live in the Big Apple, the shorter a New York minute becomes. If you have to wait over 2.75 minutes from the time you enter a Starbucks to the time you leave, it’s too long. If you’ve been standing on the platform for 5 whole minutes and your train has yet to arrive, it’s a catastrophe. If you’re stuck behind a tourist walking up a crowded stairway or a busy sidewalk, the world has ended. Sound familiar? With so little time in a day New Yorkers, along with people all over the world, want to capitalize on each and every minute. So do retailers.

Vending machines are all the rage in Japan, and for the past year beauty-stocked machines in the U.S. have grown in popularity. Why deal with a miserable salesperson when you can pick up your favorite perfume or face wash without a line, without ‘tude, and all in a matter of minutes? Love it! Interactive product information, touch pad capabilities, and credit card access make these one-stop shops our new favorite friend. Proactiv, Sephora, The Body Shop, and U*tique have jumped on the bandwagon by creating their own stand-alone “stores.” Chalk full of over fifty beauty products from name brands like SmashBox, Dior, Boscia, Bliss, Philosophy, Givenchy, and Bare Escentuals, these kiosks can be found in the Dallas (DFW), Las Vegas (LAS), Houston (IAH), Indiana (IND), Tennessee (BNA), and New York (JFK) airports as well as mall and retail locations across the country.

The simplicity and accessibility is an obvious plus but there may be a downside. If these kiosks keep multiplying, does that potentially mean less American jobs? Can a vending machine really affect the way a corporate giant like the beauty industry runs? Or is it just a nice accessory along the way to the airport bar? Will we all become anti-social makeup wielding basement dwellers who only come out at night to hit up the local vending spot? Only time will tell. For now, I have one eye fixed on the positive and the other on the JFK vending machine. Do you think it carries Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Little Red Dress?

Maria Denardo

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