Online beauty store, INÉS, is all about hand-picked luxury finds sourced from around the world. Founders Zoe and Sarah, consciously curate each and every item that is listed on their website, ensuring quality, and a mix of staple products and luxury. They explain the philosophy behind the business, and why INÉS is so special.
Why did you decide to start INÉS?
After moving back to New Zealand, we had a shared frustration of a number of our favorite beauty products and haircare brands not being available locally, despite these cult brands already being readily available internationally.
Why make INÉS an online store?
Technology and social media are such amazing tools, and all our channels lead to our website, so it’s a great starting point for us. Online shopping is certainly on the rise—it’s our preferred way of shopping. Being online means we can reach a wider customer base all around the country. It’s great that customers have the ability to jump online and purchase from us at any given hour of the day.
What makes INES different to other beauty stores?
We are the sole stockist of a number of brands we carry, so that itself sets us apart. However most importantly, we feel it’s the overall experience in shopping with us. We take a lot of pride in the details, down to the packaging and delivery of each purchase no matter the spend. Whilst a lot of our products are price accessible, we still maintain a premium shopping experience.
We have also started to build a great community around INÈS. Offering a lot of one-on-one support for customers, and placing emphasis on education and information. We have a content space called ‘World of INÈS’, which we frequently update with tutorials, skincare guides and beauty profiles of local women. INÈS is a brand as much as it is a retail platform.
Why is it so important to consciously curate each individual beauty item?
Ideally we don’t want to be selling or championing multiple products that have the same function. We are seeking out beauty products that have a specified purpose and place within a regime. We do want to be able to offer options that cater to different budgets and preferences, and all these to be of an equally great standard. However we don’t want to overwhelm, so a tight curation is important to us.
What do you look for in a product before deciding to stock it?
Everything we stock, we try, and if we love, we bring it in. A lot of the products we stock we’ve personally been using for years or have tried and loved in the past. When seeking new brands, we like to know that it fills a gap in our offering, for example we just welcomed a beautiful all-natural brand, Josh Rosebrook, to cater for our customers who prefer natural skincare.
Do you have a favourite range or item that you stock?
No favourites! All our products and brands feature in our personal routines. However, we do love both our French haircare brands, Christophe Robin and Leonor Greyl. They are revered institutions in Paris. We use multiple products between both brands and never has our hair been healthier. It is easy to overlook investing in haircare and hair treatments. We are strong believers in our hair offering. Both brands are plant-based, and have the most beautiful perfumes. They really are beautiful.
What excites you most about the beauty industry at the moment?
Transparency. It is incredibly easy to self-educate and become very well versed in skincare now. There are communities of information sharing on the beauty industry. More brands are responding to this and treating the consumer like an expert by being visible with ingredients and formulations, and the science behind their products. It feels like a more authentic space, which is great.
Words: Georgina Shearsby-Roberts