What Type of Beauty Shopper Are You?

Posted on March 21, 2012 by 5 Comments

I was cashing out from my local drugstore the other day and upon climbing into my car and dumping the recently purchased bag of goodies on my car seat I got to thinking, “Why is it, that I can never escape this store for less than $100.” This made me think about the lengths in which women (and men) go to stay primped and pouty, glammed and glowing and coiffed and concealed every day.

Upon further research online I began to dig in to not only what products I was buying, but why. Did I hear about it on a commercial? Did a friend or blog rave about the benefits? Did some cunning marketing ploy draw me in? Or was it simply life’s trial and error.

According to a study by Total Beauty Media Group, overall spending on luxury beauty purchases has not declined even when an increasing number of consumers are watching their bottom line. Within that study, more than 60% of respondents spent less than one hour or no time at all researching their last purchase. Furthermore, according to Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group, “In the U.S., U.K., and China, prestige beauty is enjoying one of the most robust sales periods ever. In the U.S., for example, beauty sales in both the mass and prestige channels were positive month after month in 2011. From the stellar increases in prestige skincare to the continued gains in makeup, to the double-digit rebound of fragrance, prestige beauty is experiencing a time of unprecedented growth.”

If you think about what the average women spends on beauty products in a year and translate that to the purchase of an automobile or luxury vacation; you would most certainly put in a bit more effort than one hour of research.

So I took the time to walk through an average day of beauty care for myself and pull out some of the most commonly used items on a daily basis and figure out WHY I used them, would I recommend them or had I fallen prey to a poorly influenced decision.

  • Noxema Deep Cleansing Cream, $5.00 (As I have begun to age, my skin has become increasingly dry, this product helps maintain a balanced skin tone and I have used it on and off since I was in my late teens. This was recommended by my dermatologist.)
  • L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Smoothing Shampoo, $6.00 (This was recommended by my hairstylist to help maintain color in between salon visits. I didn’t want to pay a fortune on hair maintenance and have been impressed with this product’s ability to keep me vibrant.)
  • Pantene Pro-V Hair Color Preserve Condtioner, $11.00 (No two ways about it, I have long, thick hair and every other conditioner has failed me. This is the best for me based on sheer trial and error.)
  • Degree Ultra Clear Pure Clean, $3.00 (Hands down the only deodorant I have found that will not leave white marks on my clothes. I danced competitively for many years and must have tried every solution on the market to avoid white streaks in between quick costume changes, this is the BEST.)
  • Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter, $13.00 (I am 6 ½ months pregnant and preventative stretch mark care is top of mind. In my first trimester I read about this cream on almost every mom or parenting blog I read. Time will tell on its effectiveness but so far, so good.)
  • L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara, $6.00 (I have tried just about every mascara brand on the market, Dior, Benefit, CoverGirl, Lancome, YSL, Clinique and every time I come back to L’Oreal for the brush design, color, strengthening and ease of use.)
  • Laura Mercier Moisturizing Foundation, $42 for Winter and Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation, $42.00 for Summer (This was a recommendation from a friend after expressing my displeasure with many of the foundations I had tried. I wanted something that didn’t cake on, blended easily, offered me a winter and summer option for the changing weather/skin condition, and was reasonably priced for the length of time it lasted. I have been using LM for nearly two years and am in love.)
  • Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, $3.00 (I use this multiple times a day and if one cannot be found, you might find ME experiencing a mild panic attack. I am addicted. In fact, one Christmas my husband bought me a wholesale package of them for my stocking.)
  • Bonnie Bell Liquid Lip Smacker, $2.75 each (I have been an avid lip gloss user for most of my life and tried everything from Mac Lipglass to NARS and Bobbie Brown but at the end of the day, Bonnie Bell Liquid Lip Smacker in a variety of yummy flavors – peach being my current favorite – is the best daily solution I have found. My lips don’t stick together, my hair doesn’t get caught on my lips, it squeezes into the smallest of clutches/wallets and my husband will still kiss me with it on.)
  • Charlotte Ronson A Perfect Kiss Lip Gloss, $14.00 (I have already confessed my addiction to lip gloss and balm but I also do enjoy a bit of color when appropriate. While stocking stuffer shopping this past Christmas I completely fell prey to the marketing of my latest obsession. I currently own “Sophia” and “Annabelle” and use one of them several times of a week. Check out who they are named after on Sephora’s website.)
  • Palladio Rice Paper Blotting Tissues Natural, $4.00 (Continuing to smear power on your face throughout the day to remove the inevitable shininess is only going to clog your pores and give your skin the caked look that nobody really wants. These blotting pads are an excellent midday touch-up alternative. I carry them with me on a daily basis. I was referred to this brand by a former colleague who swore by their effectiveness. After trying other brands like Boscia, I agree.)
  • Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, $7.50 (I actually bought this for my husband for Christmas following a referral from a colleague. Being pregnant, I have used more of it than him! I used to be an Aveda Hand Relief kinda girl but after using this magic potion, I have officially switched after many years.)

So what did I take away from this little exercise? I am a true product junkie….but not in the traditional sense. I take the time to hear what other people have to say about their products and I research new categories through trusted blogs, but when all is said and done, I am a trial by error kind of consumer. I head out and try the latest offerings from drugstore to luxury brands and then I form my own opinion and preference based on my experience.

What kind of beauty shopper are you? Please share your thoughts, products suggestions or perhaps try one of mine (trust me, they are tested AND approved).

March Madness – The End of Productivity or Best Time of Year?

Posted on March 16, 2012 by Comments Off

While some consider Valentine’s Day a chance to celebrate love for another human being, others view it as a sign that their one true love is quickly approaching – March Madness.  Most often beginning in early March, March Madness (otherwise known as the “Big Dance”) is notorious not only for propelling college basketball teams to super stardom but also for its effect on people’s ability to concentrate at work. Often cited as the most unproductive time of the year for many companies, March Madness is either seen as an evil event costing businesses millions of dollars or the best time of the year – bringing friends and coworkers together. For example, MSN recently found that more than 50 million Americans participate in March madness office pools, leading to estimated annual losses of $2 billion.

So, where did it all start? Why is March Madness such a big deal today? Has it always been this engaging? With the President of the United States now filling out his own bracket, the Big Dance not only attracts crazy sports nuts but has captured the attention of us “general” consumers (me included). Whether you’re dedicated to watching every single game (from regular season to conference tournament to championship game), are only watching to ensure your team makes it all the way or are hoping for a Cinderella Story, March Madness is now viewed as a consumer “holiday” of sorts – a time of year when people are allowed to watch sports at work without feeling guilty, are encouraged to challenge their boss on who has the winning bracket or trash talk in open forums (yes – trash talking is necessary when it comes to college sports).

In addition to the ever-growing popularity of March Madness, it’s been interesting to watch how companies and brands un-related to the sports industry are capitalizing on the March Madness craze and bringing their own products and services into the conversation. A couple fun one’s we’ve come across include an all-Madonna bracket, a Hello Giggles’ Sweet Sixteen candy bracket and a smartphone bracket. Whether building brackets for their leading products or challenging consumers via social media, companies are finding new and unique ways to engage with their audience by capitalizing on the March Madness phenomenon.

So, whether you’re hoping a one seed will take the victory or are rooting for your own Cinderella Story, where do you stand on the ongoing March Madness debate? Is it the end of productivity or the best time of the year?

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