Case Study: Smashbox Crystalized Collection

Smashbox Cosmetics was launched in California in 1996 by brothers Dean and Davis Factor, the great-grandsons of the iconic Max Factor. Their unique selling point is that the makeup is created at Smashbox Photo Studios and tested in its tough studio environment. They have also been lauded for their innovative signature product, the Photo Finish Primer, with a legendary formula to minimize touch-ups, makes makeup last longer and look better. Favored by both Hollywood stars and consumers, Smashbox was acquired by Estée Lauder Companies in 2010 and since then has seen its reputation grow. 


The Challenge

Smashbox teamed up with Collabary in order to promote their new Crystalized Collection of cosmetics on Zalando. The task was to use a popular figure in the German fashion industry rather than a fashion influencer to display the best aspects of the products as well as how they can be applied. There was only a short period of time from the brief to the launch of the campaign, so the creation of a holistic campaign for social media and onsite on Zalando, including video production and a customized landing page, would need to be quick.


Campaign Execution

Because of the short deadline and Smashbox’s wish to collaborate with a popular fashion figure in their campaign, Vanessa Tamkan was chosen to create the tailored content. As a model and former contestant of Germany’s Next Top Model (GNTM), Vanessa appealed to Smashbox as the brand had previously worked behind the scenes in fashion shows. They were also searching for a natural-looking and charismatic personality, and with Vanessa’s then-engagement rate of 26% boosted by her appearance on GNTM, she became the perfect fit.

The campaign took place over June 2019 and saw Vanessa create 2 in-feed posts – 1 being an IGTV video – and 15 stories highlighting the Crystallized Collection by using the hashtags #zalandobeauty #zalandostyle #getcrystalized. Additionally, a dedicated Zalando landing page was created, to appear in the header when opening Zalando and for Vanessa to link in stories and her Instagram bio. On this page, the two looks Vanessa has shot were shown and customers could buy the products directly on Zalando without losing the connection to Vanessa as an ambassador. 

First Smashbox look onsite on Zalando

Second Smashbox look onsite on Zalando

The Role of Collabary Collabary’s main role in the process was by acting as an intermediary between the influencer/agent and the brand. This ensured that Smashbox’s expectations of Vanessa’s ability to apply the makeup aligned with their wishes, and secured to organize Vanessa’s video call with a Smashbox makeup artist to get to know how to apply the make-up correctly. Collabary also ensured that the video and pre-shoot would be completed on time and managed the creation of the customized Zalando landing page for the products.


The Outcome

The outcome of the Smashbox collaboration revealed that the campaign was truly successful. The Crystallized highlighter product, which Vanessa promoted heavily, was Smashbox’s best-selling item over the campaign period and even sold out on Zalando. There were 1.9 million impressions from the content, with a staggering engagement rate of 21.31%. Overall, a satisfying ROII (return of influencer investment) rate of 269.00% was achieved.


Campaign images of Smashbox looks on Vanessa Tamkan


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