Inside the House of Modern Beauty

Inside the House of Modern Beauty

1024 576 Kelcy Heringer

How our one-of-a-kind experiential event is helping to bolster the modern beauty marketplace.

RealSelf built an online platform that has brought aesthetic consumers and providers together for more than a dozen years. One of the results? We’re now in a unique position to help promote a thriving modern beauty ecosystem that benefits everyone involved—providers, consumers, and even brands and influencers.

Continuing to optimize the experience is one aspect of doing our part to help promote a thriving aesthetic marketplace. But we also know there’s a huge opportunity to do this work offline, where beauty consumers ultimately live out their lives with their procedure results.

About 34% of the female U.S. population ages 25-70 is considering having a cosmetic procedure. However, among those interested in procedures, about half feel uncertain about the treatments that are right for them, and a significant number feel that it’s a topic that cannot be openly discussed with friends and family.

That’s why it only made sense to expand the RealSelf experience into the offline world—replicating what RealSelf did online with a real-life experience that brought industry brands, doctors, and consumers together. We knew this could work wonders for helping consumers make sense of the world of possibilities at their fingertips when it comes to modern beauty treatments.

Enter the House of Modern Beauty. RealSelf launched this live beauty experience at South by Southwest in 2019 (read our recap here) and have been steadily honing the event series with each new instance. We capped off 2019 with the New York City installment of the house, where many of the lessons we learned from the previous two events truly took shape. Here’s a look at some of the themes that informed the latest House of Modern Beauty.

1. House Party! We Stepped Up the Celebratory Vibe Even Further

We think the fact that there have never been more options for beauty consumers is something to be celebrated, and consumers increasingly agree. We all know that having work done was once something to be masked, danced around, and whispered about (“Maybe she’s born with it?”). But of course, the tide is turning: when it comes to aesthetic procedures, consumers are becoming more confident in their decision making and less bashful about sharing with others.

We’re amplifying that attitude at the House of Modern Beauty. Far from a sedate and sober event, it’s intentionally fun, communal, and celebratory. December was the first time, for example, that the house featured a DJ and a bar with complimentary drinks for attendees. These types of subtle but impactful touches were a cue to consumers in attendance—and the nearly 600,000 people following along on social media—that having unprecedented choice and access to aesthetic procedures is something consumers can and should revel in. More than a few of our New York guests told us they felt “safe” talking about beauty treatments and that the house had “great energy.”

2. Getting Engaged: Demystifying Aesthetic Procedures Through Experience

Experience breeds confidence, that’s why consumers being able to sample cosmetic treatments was core to House of Modern Beauty from the beginning.

The New York event saw us continue to optimize how consumers sign up for and experience treatments at House of Modern Beauty, and these touches let us service more than 900 treatments for attendees during the two-day public event—with consumers giving us a thumbs up on quality.

This matters because it will help us scale the event itself and equip us to provide attendees with ever better procedure experiences on site—helping to make the prospect of visiting a provider’s office something that feels welcome and familiar, not foreign and anxiety-inducing.

The house features onstage procedure demonstrations. And of course, attendees can also see the real life before-and-after results of other attendees having procedures onsite. We know that the entire end-to-end experience at House of Modern Beauty is key for helping us to elevate more consumers’ perceptions of having an aesthetic procedure.

3. Hands On: A Guided Experience With RealSelf

House of Modern Beauty was also an impactful way to draw the connection between using RealSelf to find the right aesthetic provider and enjoying a successful aesthetic procedure. In December, our team introduced more in-person touchpoints at the event that aligned with the digital experience on

Staffed review stations helped us increase onsite reviews in New York tenfold from what they were at the first House of Modern Beauty in Seattle (offering a lesson to providers: it pays to ask for reviews, and to have a staff member guide patients through the process). We also had a medical director, Dr. Richard Reisch, on site for the first time in the series.

Lastly, our Find Your Doctor station let consumers pivot from having a treatment onsite to finding a local provider that offers the treatments they’re interested in—a successful addition that also suggests ways we might integrate providers more directly into the onsite experience during future House of Modern Beauty events. Stay tuned!

4. Going Together: Supporting a Modern Beauty Community

Community is one of the most coveted aspects of the experience, from reviews that help consumers build trust and confidence in providers like you, to RealSelf Insiders who volunteer to open up about their treatment experiences, amplify them on RealSelf and social media, and give providers their unvarnished feedback.

Take a look around the House of Modern Beauty and it’s clear—this is an event where consumers bring their friends, and where community is a centerpiece of many of their experiences at the event. Our team facilitated community (and learning) with panel discussions that encouraged interaction; by inviting social media influencers who amplified their live experience to their online communities; and by getting star power—modern beauty role models—in the door with appearances by celebrities including Molly Sims, Jenny Mollen, and Katherine McPhee.

Consumers trust each other. Getting affirmation from real life loved ones, and from influencers who speak authentically about their experiences, is critical for scaling the market for aesthetic treatments.


“The atmosphere was pure joy!” “I felt like a child on Christmas Day!” “So caught up in the moment!” “It would be worth [a] plane ticket!” These are the types of things anyone would want the consumers in their marketplace to say about a full-day experience with the services they provide.

They’re also real statements from House of Modern Beauty New York attendees.

When our team returns from each installment, we take a moment to bask in these types of reactions from excited attendees—but only a moment. The next step is to compare notes, crunch the data, and cull the best aspects of the weekend to apply to the next stop. Stay tuned as we bring House of Modern Beauty to a slew of exciting events and locales throughout 2020.

Kelcy Heringer

Since 2015, Kelcy Heringer has overseen marketing at RealSelf, the world’s most popular aesthetic treatment website. As Vice President of Marketing, Kelcy guides the strategies that attract and engage the active community of aesthetic providers on RealSelf. Prior to joining RealSelf, Kelcy’s 10 years of experience include medical marketing at Allergan, as well as marketing and product management at Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

All stories by:Kelcy Heringer