With Mecca stores temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian skincare and beauty giant has hatched a plan to deliver the in-store experience digitally.

“We went to our Mecca community and asked them what they would like from us,” says Marita Burke, creative director at Mecca Brands. “[They answered] first and foremost access to product, and in equal measure access to beauty inspiration and advice.”

On March 24, the team launched an around-the-clock beauty broadcasting platform called Mecca Live, followed by virtual beauty consultations on April 7.

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Mecca Live covers beauty news, product launches and interviews with industry experts, such as Doctor Dennis Gross and Carrie Gross (from luxe skincare label Dr. Dennis Gross); Jess Hatzis-Walker, founder of Aussie company Frank Body; and Jenny Smith, lead make-up stylist for Nars Cosmetics. Mecca TV, which is part of Mecca Live, has video tutorials on make-up looks, skincare treatments and self-care routines. Right now you can learn why lipstick texture matters, how to perfect your brows and how to nail glowing, dewy skin.

If you’re looking to shop – or learn to make the most of products you already own – book in a complimentary, personalised skincare and beauty consultation. Choose from a 15-minute session or a 30-minute lesson on make-up, skincare or fragrance, all conducted over FaceTime or WhatsApp video calls.

And if you’re someone who, even pre-coronavirus, dreaded busy stores, you might find the online experience more pleasant than the IRL one.

Foundations and concealer can be matched to your skin tone over video, and you don’t have to remember which products you normally use – you can do as I did, and show your skincare consultant what you already own. They’ll talk you through the benefits of each product and explain the best way (and order) to apply them. It’s a great way to reignite your excitement for what you already have at home, and it won’t cost you a cent.

Now’s also a good time to experiment with new products and ingredients (no one’s going to see you if you break out or go too heavy on that bronzer) and learn how to do a DIY facial.

“Customers are using this time to get on top of skin concerns and reset their skincare regimens,” says Burke. “[They] are asking lots of questions about things like acne, pigmentation, ageing and redness.”

So will virtual services continue beyond the pandemic? “Absolutely,” she says.

More video classes are on the way, and the platform will soon broadcast interviews with Doctor Yannis Alexandrides of London’s 111Skin; Carisa Janes, founder of Hourglass Cosmetics; Gucci Westman, founder of New York cosmetics brand Westman Atelier; and Rae Morris, one of Australia’s most renowned make-up artists.

Book your virtual service online or call Customer Service on 1800 007 844.