March 11, 2009

are you loyal to any beauty products?

My friend Mannequin wrote to me yesterday:

"I have NO beauty products (including shampoo) that I am completely loyal to and I wonder, have I just not happened upon the right products? What about YOU? Have you any loyalties to ANY product? I mean, changes are great when we're talking beauty products, but I know a few women that use the same brand names regardless. They are so loyal that they just change WITH the product. Or not. Loyalty does not seem to be prevalent when talking make up and personal care products, does it?"

I have been thinking about this question all day, and I decided that instead of replying just to Mannequin, I would share my opinion with everybody here on the blog.

I'll start off by saying that I don't have a straight yes or no answer, because I believe there are many different factors that need to be considered when talking about beauty products loyalty.

First of all, I have to say that I would love to find the perfect beauty products and to just stick to them.

At the same time, I am not sure if I am capable of doing so.

What I mean is that I feel that even after finding a great product, I would still keep looking for something better.

And this is where I believe "personality" plays a part in loyalty.

There are people that, like me, are not easily satisfied and that think that there is always something better out there, and it's just a matter of looking for it.

But of course, as soon as I find something better, I pat myself in the back (good job!), and quickly start looking for something even better! You get the idea...

To use an example, I love Narciso Rodriguez "for her" perfume: it smells great and it could pretty much be the perfume for me, the one I could be loyal to forever (I always wanted to have a signature scent.)

Yet, whenever I'm near a perfume counter, I will smell any new perfumes in front of me!


Curiosity. But also as a reassurance that these perfumes are not "better" than my Rodriguez.

Or, to see if one of these perfumes could be even "better" than my Rodriguez, and if that were the case, I know I would buy it immediately and make it my new "favorite".

So the infinite search for an undefined pleasure continues forever...

Another reason why I keep smelling, even though I have a winner at home, is because of the fact that after a while the new inevitably gets old. Our bodies and senses are always invigorated by something "new".

And, at least in my case, there is also the fun factor of the search itself.

To recap, so far we have seen the "never settle" personality, the "the new is better than the old" personality and the "excitement of the chase" personality.

At the same time I am sure that there are plenty of "find comfort in the familiar" personalities, and maybe these are those few women that Mannequin was talking about, women that are able to be loyal to one product.

And maybe the women that are able to stick to the one product are also women that never change their hairstyles, that don't rearrange the furniture in the living room every six months but are perfectly happy with the same decor for decades, and that have been going to the same restaurant for years and years. And there is nothing wrong with that. It's just different personalities.

One last factor that probably plays a part in sticking to a product or not, is the loss of the initial efficacy after prolonged use.

After using the same product for months and years, what sometime happens is a change in performance of the product.

A cleanser starts leaving a film on your skin, your shampoo starts drying your hair, your deodorant doesn't work as well anymore, your perfume smells different on contact with your skin...

Whatever the reason for these changes, the solution is usually the same: a change of product.

Mannequin mentioned shampoos.

I thought I had found the perfect shampoo in the Kerastase line. I loved the smell and I loved what it did to my hair. Unfortunately after prolonged use, the results weren't the same anymore, as if a spell had been broken.

I don't know the reason why, I just know that after about 6 months or so, my hair felt limp and weighed down by the same product that once made it look voluminous and shiny.

And that's a good enough reason for me to move on to the next product.

Maybe our skin and our hair get used to these products and don't react to them like they used to in the beginning. Maybe it's even an allergic reaction to a constant exposure to the same ingredients. Who knows?

One solution is to find a few great products and to rotate their use, not giving our bodies time to react negatively to them.

Or maybe the solution is to learn to be a little more content with what the beauty counter has to offer us and to stop looking for "miracle products".

What do you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks so much for addressing my confusion issue.
It's good to know that I'm not completely in the dark with everyone else having found a miracle potion.

I never thought about it but I think you hit the nail on the head. THAT'S why I can never stick with one product, it does seem to lose it's effectiveness. It seems to me a perfect balance to gather favorites and rotate those, as you so expertly recommend.

And you're right. Those same women I spoke of are loyal to everything. Loyal is great but not when it becomes a hindrance to progress. I guess when people say, "I only use X brand", they mean currently.

Thanks NY Spender! I knew I could count on you for the answer. It's great to have a beauty consultant!
And I'm going to have to take a whiff of Narciso Rodriguez perfume next shopping trip!