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Byrdie Beauty Lab

Entered in Digital Pivot


nitiative. Up to 250 words.

Since 2013, Byrdie has set itself apart from legacy fashion and beauty publishers by staying ahead of the curve, naming new trends and must-have products, and welcoming all readers behind the beauty curtain along the way.  The Byrdie team works to capture the voice of its generation, creating content around topics that readers care about most, while demystifying intimidating skills, services, and ingredients. 

The Byrdie Beauty Lab is Byrdie’s annual pop-up event that provides readers and consumers a tangible peek into the beauty industry, including behind-the-scenes know-how from highly-regarded industry experts and the ability to play with brand new products. When the pandemic started, Byrdie acted fast to adapt the event to meet the moment, adjusting programming to create the most accessible, highly-produced virtual beauty event of 2020. 

Known for its commitment to representation and expansion of traditional notions of beauty, the Byrdie team took advantage of the opportunity to offer a similar feel to the traditional event, while delivering on the Diversity and Inclusion Pledge it published on the site in June. Byrdie has an intuitive understanding of the current issues affecting their 8 million monthly readers lives, and utilized the Byrdie Beauty Lab to inspire readers, work toward greater inclusivity, and act as a model for the beauty industry right now.

Strategy and Execution

This year, Byrdie adapted the Byrdie Beauty Lab to remain nearly as engaging as its in-person event despite its virtual setting, adjusting its typical in-person programming to create a highly-produced digital event. Instead of basking in exclusivity, the Byrdie Beauty Lab was completely free for all to attend, extending an invitation to anyone and everyone interested, no matter income level or background, to learn from the industry’s top experts for a day inside the beauty industry. While the event was open to all, the event still raised standards, offering a beautifully filmed, interactive digital experience unrivalled in the beauty space this year. 

The first-ever virtual iteration brought digital content to life through 8 virtual sessions including masterclasses with top industry professionals, skincare and wellness workshops, and a panel discussion celebrating Black creators in the beauty industry. Over 800 attendees received a free gift box (valued at $250) filled with editor-approved products, intended for use along with the masterclasses, so viewers could practice skills and test out new products at home. 

The sessions offered real-life experiences that embodied Byrdie’s key pillars: representation, expertise, and transparency in a beauty industry ripe for a shift toward a more inclusive future. The team built a chat box feature to allow the audience to talk with experts in real-time. Sponsors like Peach & Lily and Strivectin made it possible to provide the completely free gift boxes, delivered to attendees’ doorsteps to recreate the in-person feel of playing and experimenting with all things beauty. 


The Byrdie Beauty Lab occurred with a total of 1,376 viewers. Within an hour of releasing tickets, the 800 curated gift boxes, complete with products from the event sponsors, were claimed, and the team offered more. The average view time for users was 19:02 with an average of 192 views per session. The most engaged session was the Makeup Masterclass with celebrity makeup artist Nikki DeRoest with a total of 183 engagements and 303 total views. Overall, users watched for a total of 26,600 minutes throughout the eight sessions. 

Most importantly, Byrdie proved that a more inclusive beauty industry is possible. In June, Byrdie released a Diversity and Inclusion Pledge on-site, complete with measurable KPIs to hold themselves accountable to their more than 8 million US monthly visitors. Byrdie’s highly specialized content brings in nearly 8MM monthly US unique visitors, a 44% growth from 5.6MM in the past year. Byrdie has seized every opportunity to embody its values and commitment to accessibility, inclusivity, and representation, and making Byrdie Beauty Lab as high value as possible. Being completely free and allowing readers to engage with industry experts around topics like supporting Black creators in the beauty industry were a few of the ways that Byrdie hopes to prove a more positive model for the beauty world moving forward.


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