Feeling Plucky?

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January, surely, is the longest month of the year, writes Rebecca Mann. Yes, I know my calendar tells me it has 31 days – exactly the same as March, May, July, August, October and December. But every year, somehow January seems to last as long as all those other months put together.

There are several reasons for this, not least the combination of cold, dark nights and a dearth of alcohol. I am well aware of the many advantages of Dry January, but as the month progresses I am not so much still on the wagon, as being dragged along behind it, flailing, while cradling a bottle of gin.

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Tweezerman’s Luxe Edition Mini Crystal Brow Kit

On the plus side, I’m spending so much time in the gym, I’m surprised they’re not charging me rent. And I have overhauled my grooming routine, in a desperate attempt to repair the ravages of the December festive season. At my age and stage, however, simply slapping on a new shade of lippy is, frankly, the beauty equivalent of turning up after an earthquake with a dustpan and brush.

Hence my commitment to cleaning up my act – literally. It may be a Welsh thing, but like The Guardian’s beauty columnist Sali Hughes, I firmly believe that cleanliness is next to godliness. I have never understood consumers who happily shell out hundreds of pounds for top-end lotions and potions, and then apply them to less than pristine skin. Chez Mann, we wash for Wales.

The other thing I am evangelical about is eye brows (stay with me). Put simply, brows frame the face. A correctly shaped, well-defined brow takes years off, and it’s cheaper than a face lift. But, as always, you need the right tools for the job.

Step forward Tweezerman, the global go-to brand for brows, which made its travel retail debut last year with Zwilling Beauty Group, which is championing the beauty tools category in the channel. Don’t be misled by the name. Tweezerman does much more than tweezers, offering an award-winning portfolio of products which are ideal for travel and gift purchases, and which, Zwilling believes, represent excellent incremental business opportunities. (Where necessary, special sets and compacts with no sharp instruments can be created.)

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Tweezerman’s 2014 Isaac Mizrahi Limited Edition Designer Series Collection

If the kit I received as part of Tweezerman’s innovative Ambassador Program is anything to go by, retailers should start to take note. My set contained a Slant Tweezer, a Point Tweezer, a Pointed Slant Tweezer, a Mix ‘N Match Runway Collection Mini Slant Tweezer, Browmousse, a ProCurl Lash Curler, a Folding ILashcomb, a Brow Shaping Scissor & Brush, a No-Slip Skincare Tool (for – sorry, brace yourselves – tackling blackheads) and a Eyenhance Brow Definer and Highlighter Duo – all presented in a portable, vinyl roll-up case.

Every single item looks great, performs beautifully and was pounced on gleefully by my teenager and her friends (to date an exemplary litmus test of success).

There’s even a long-standing fashion tie-in. This year, Tweezerman will partner with Isaac Mizrahi to create its latest Limited Edition Designer Series Collection, described as an annual compilation coveted by fashionistas, beauty aficionados and design enthusiasts alike.

Mizrahi has created a motif of neon splashes and candy-esque circles to adorn Tweezerman’s best-selling Slant Tweezer, Mini Slant Tweezer and Filemate nail file (complete with travel-friendly snap-close case). Previous Tweezerman brand partners include Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Betsey Johnson and Cynthia Rowley.

In short, it could be time for travel retail to tool up. Zwilling, Tweezerman, Philips, GHD, Talika, Clarisonic (L’Oréal) and Braun, among others, all offer a variety of appliances, devices and beauty tools whose potential is virtually untapped in the channel: on the ground, at sea and inflight. There’s a range of price points to suit every pocket. And a great choice of products that target both men and women, of all ages and ethnicities.

Nuance has already dipped its toe in the water, by partnering with Zwilling to create an innovative beauty tools concept, at selected European airport destinations. It will be interesting to see who is next to follow suit. Like nails and hair, beauty tools is another segment worth keeping a close (and impeccably groomed) eye on, within the ever-evolving P&C arena.

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