Wednesday 2 December 2015

What Factors Influence You When Buying Cosmetics? | #LetsTalk

So if you’re anything like me you’ll have drawers and shelves full of endless make up and beauty products. From anti-aging lotions and potions that claim to be able to remove 10 years from your face, or foundations that promise you an airbrushed, “flawless” finish, I am a sucker for them all. But I wanted to find out WHY do I believe the hype? Why are there so many products in my collection? Have they ended up there due to clever marketing ploys and attractive packaging? What goes through my mind when I decided whether or not to add the new product launches to my basket? 

This is as much of a post to start a discussion with other beauty obsessed readers as an intervention for myself knowing I have way too many products and only one face.

To brainstorm; from the top of my head some of the reasons my why cosmetic collection has grown so much over the last 3-4 years are:

  • My addiction for browsing through drugstores (superdrug is like my second home)
  • My love for anything with nice packaging
  • My obsession with Beauty Blogs and YT Beauty Gurus that make me go out and buy everything they mention.
  • Wanting to achieve a “flawless” look.
  • Enjoying the art of actually applying make up.
  • A general interest in the beauty & cosmetic industry.
  • Wanting to have my brows and highlight so good that I can justify the use of the term "on fleek"

Are any of your reasons the same as mine?

But while doing some research for this post I came across an interesting study. The study entitled “Most “Scientific” Beauty Product Claims are Bogus” suggests that all of these “dermatologically tested and “clinically proven” claims that are scattered around our media outlets are so vague that they don’t actually mean a single thing. Yet as consumers we buy into these and think they are our next beauty must haves. But why is this? Is it because when we believe it’s a product that experts use or have recommended it suddenly makes them more appealing and reliable? 

Talking of recommendations.. The study also found that the most appealing and influential adverts are the ones that include some form of endorsements. If you are a fellow blogger/ blog reader or have even clicked on Youtube recently you would have noticed the huge wave of partnerships between influential online personalities and high end / drugstore beauty brands. This is the modern day endorsement deal. Gone are the days when advertisers had to fork out millions to get the hottest actor or actress on their commercial or billboard. Now all they have to do is offer a free product (& compensation in some cases) to established bloggers/vloggers and their viewers will flock to shops to pick up this recommended product. I am not going to lie, I’ve done this a couple times myself. As much as I like to convince myself and think I’m fully aware of marketing ploys and understand I cannot always 100% trust every beauty recommendation or review I still get suckered in when I hear some of my favourite Youtubers rave about how amazing certain products are. I shouldn’t do it, but I do. The reason my shelves are stocked with Liz Earle products is due to the fact it’s been praised by so many people on the online community because let’s be honest as a drugstore kind of girl I would have never looked at the brand twice before that. 

This is a great advantage for brands and companies – yet not so great for my bank balance.

I remember the time when actually spending about £20 for a foundation for MAC was something I had to wait to get as a birthday or Christmas present. Spending that much money on one make up item for myself was pretty unheard of – yet now I’m sitting in a room with a draw full of Estee Lauder, Illimasque, MAC, Make Up Forever and Dior foundations and wouldn’t bat an eyelid at spending an average of £30 regularly. Is this because my disposable income has increased so the value of the amount has dropped or is it because I have become suckered into buying what these big brands are selling? 

(Don’t get me wrong I am a huge drugstore girl at heart too..) The same brand loyalty exists for less expensive brands too. I am the biggest fan of Maybelline. My raving post about some of their best products goes to show I would pretty much try any foundation, eye pencil, liquid eyeliner or mascara they bring out because I feel like I can be almost certain that they will be fantastic because they've never failed me in the past.)

This is where quality comes before perception. In fact, the other day I got a compliment on my lashes and my friend asked what I was wearing. You see she's a high end make up junkie and feels she can never find amazing products in the drugstore. So when I let her know it was a £8.99 bottle of Maybelline's - Lash Sensational she was so surprised and told me she would never have thought of picking that up for herself. Why? I feel we equate price with quality which isn't always the perfect correlation. 

I still swear by my £1 MUA Khol Eye Pencils over any high end alternative.

Another interesting study says that women in particular buy products based on emotion. The study states "consumer satisfaction is greatest when the cosmetics brand helps to strengthen positive emotions through the perception of 'caring for oneself' and removing feelings of worry and guilt about not taking care of one's appearance,". Do you agree with this point? Do you feel good about yourself when you’ve got your hands on that anti-aging or wrinkle prevention cream? Do you think this is an act of looking after yourself?

I remember the first time I got my hands on an anti-wrinkle eye cream. I was loving life. Although I couldn't actually see any change in my skin I was so proud that I was taking the right steps and thought “yes this is gonna make me look so young when I’m old” but there is actually no proof that it works or is working.. Yet the emotional attachment made me believe I was making sure I look youthful forever, Does it work? I highly doubt I will even remember the cream when I’m in my 50s to test it out for myself.

Packaging. An absolute buzzword in the blogging community. You cannot give a review of a cream, foundation, eyeshadow palette or lipstick without mentioning the packaging and giving it a rating. So why is this actually so important? Personally, as a blogger I love seeing products that will photograph well and drive traffic to my blog .. But what's the reason for people who don't blog? Subtracting the practical aspect to make the product easier to use – why is this so important? 

I threw the question out to some of my fellow beauty fanatics on twitter and here is what they had to say:

Interestingly enough a lot of people stated the price of a product was the main driving force behind their decision of whether to buy or not to buy. With smaller, less expensive brands upping their game and delivering amazing quality products I think the need to fork out a lot of money to look "beautiful" is no longer needed.

With that being said.. Send me links to some of your beauty dupes posts so I can grab a bargain. No Aarti don't shop!

I would love to know what makes you buy certain products? What is your thought process? Do online recommendations play a huge part or do you go with brand loyalty? Are you a sucker for pretty packing like me? Or do you love experimenting and would give anything a go?

I'd love to hear if some of you are on the same wavelength as me!

Let me know below!

Also thank you to all the bloggers who gave me feedback.
Please follow their blogs/twitter & show some love:



  1. I always look for nice packaging and great reviews! Reviews are super important because I want to know what I am getting!

    1. Me too!! I such a sucker for fancy packaging!

  2. Your blog is very interesting. Your level of thinking is good and the clarity of writing is excellent. I enjoyed so much to read this post. I am also a blogger, you can follow my blog here Loyalty for Banks


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