Why The Best Beauty Copywriting Is Sensual

Estimated reading time: 11 minute(s)

As marketers, we have much to learn from the beauty industry. Our guest writer Laura Olson reveals how skilled beauty copywriters use vivid, seductive language to transform run-of-the-mill products into to-die-for experiences.

Earthy, spicy, sweet, smooth, rich, creamy, lush, light, misty, vibrant, juicy.

What do you think of when you first hear these words? Food, right? Or wine?

Me too. And wow, now I’m hungry. But beyond making your mouth water, this list is also perfect for describing the world of beauty.

Beauty products are equal parts experiential and aspirational. Though they often have real benefits, it’s the feeling these products (or their names and descriptions) create, the mood they inspire, and the experience of using them that customers crave.

Seen the latest green health craze—matcha? All of a sudden this powdered green tea is appearing in beauty products. First, ice cream, then lattes, then vitamins, then lip balm.

Say what? Can you really absorb the benefits of this super-powered plant through your lips?

I’m skeptical. The L-Theanine and antioxidants in matcha are well-documented. but are they concentrated enough in a lip product to meaningfully benefit your health?

It doesn’t matter. A creamy, nourishing balm with antioxidant green tea, infused with sweet vanilla and soothing coconut and cacao butter sounds so amazing and delectable, who could resist?

I’m a skeptic and I’ll probably buy one myself.

But it’s not just about the similarity to food writing. Sensual, descriptive, effective beauty writing is all about desire. It’s about creating a craving where none existed before:

The Art of the Ritual, The Luxury of Refinement

This was the theme for a trio of launches for luxe brand La Prairie. On the surface, the three products didn’t seem very exciting or high luxury

Cleansing, exfoliating and toning? Not so terribly sexy.

But a ritual, now that’s indulgent. Sensual. Says the pack copy:

“This reimagining of the beauty ritual raises skincare from ordinary to extraordinary, creating a sensual experience of beautiful transformation.”

Suddenly, there is an image, an experience to be had, the possibility of not just clean skin, but transformation. You picture yourself in a bathroom, wearing a fluffy robe so white and clean and soft, you might as well be at a spa. You splash your face with water from the marble bowl, spray a fine mist of superpower-infused toner, emerge glowing, youthful, without a care in the world.

Why are the high-luxe formulas of La Prairie so sought after? I’ll tell you a secret, it’s not that they make the wearer look like a teenager again (or we’d all be buying them on our credit cards!). Wait, who decided caviar or platinum was important for youthful, nourished skin?

La Prairie did. They said caviar is a luxury item, our brand is a luxury item. And we are the only ones who can give you this rich, coveted experience. You need it, your skin needs it, and you will be hungry until you get it.

The names, packaging and brand story all speak to indulgence, heritage, and the height of luxe—not just caviar but white caviar. The entire brand speaks to and creates desire. It’s a seduction.

In the world of online beauty sales, enticing copywriting is even more important. Your visitors can’t touch, feel or smell the product, and so your words must seduce all the senses.

You can be the writer who says, “this effective cream is formulated with shea butter, jojoba and essential oils” or the one who writes  “this luxurious cream soothes skin with nourishing shea butter, while enveloping your senses with the sweetly calming scent of Blue Tansy essential oil and the richness of cacao. Your skin is left soft, smooth and hydrated, never greasy, while you drift off to dreamland.”

I know which I would choose. And wow, I’m off to see if there’s a product like that I can buy right now! I think I even seduced myself.

The world of beauty is ripe for sensuous, descriptive copy. And with the right writing, you can create a sensual experience that will keep customers craving and buying your products, again and again.

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Paul Rosevear

What do you get when you combine the soul of a musician with the mind of a writer? Copy that sings. And for the last decade, that’s precisely what Paul has delivered for global brands, bootstrap startups, and everything in between. When he’s not hard at work crafting top-notch communications, you can find Paul hanging with his wife and two young daughters, singing and playing guitar for The Vice Rags, or roaming the streets in search of the nearest slice of pizza.

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