Dear reader, last Saturday I decided to visit a cosmetic shop ( how odd ! isn’t it?), to have a look at what’s new in the skin care world…
My Justin Bieber fan friend
I asked a very close “beauty addict” friend of mine to come along for this little trip. Why not make it a bit more fun, right? My friend is really the wild and extroverted type, willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to get the latest thing, but most of all she’s good at tormenting your ear drums every time she makes another cosmeto-orgasmic discovery. She does those high pitched noises. Think Maria Carey, that’s what it’s like. I call it the Justin Bieber fan effect Effect. 😛 )
She can easily pull a justin bieber scream ten times in twenty minutes. Of course, I’m saying this, but I’m really fond of our little “Justin bieber” fan… 😉 Little side note: As a matter of my personal safety, and to avoid retaliations, I obviously can’t mention her name… My blogging days could come to a very abrupt end if I would… (Uh, you wouldn’t do that, L…, would you? You love me too much for that, right? Right?)
Anyway, back to the story, or to the cosmetics store. Despite public transport being late all the time, we finally got there… the temple of beauty. We’ve hardly entered the shop that my friend dashes off and disappears into a crowd of those perfect girls wandering along the shelves… You might be wondering at this point: why didn’t you follow her? You’d never find her again in that crowd… Well, don’t worry about that, I’m not stupid, I’ve got a trick for that… If I want to find her back, I just have to listen, her screams are unmistakable! 😉
So without much effort, I found her again, in front of the cosmetics shelves in the back of the store… picking up things here and there… She showed me a product: “look at this, what a pretty bottle! And look at that model, she’s great, she’s really well known!” I took a serious look at the formula, and replied “Let’s just keep going… This one’s a pretty big rip-off, actually, the INCI formula is really rubbish…”
And she puts it back, looking disappointed… To be honest, I felt a little bad about ruining her fun… But hey, she might as well spend her dollars on products that are actually worth it, and frankly, it’s not like there aren’t enough to choose from… so once again we bravely set out on a quest for a jar of happiness. The same thing happened again a few more times.
Left or right?
In a way, I feel like I’m representing the rational side, the voice of reason, the analytical way… the left side of the brain. And my friend, the emotional, intuitive, passionate way, or the right side of the brain. I’ll spare you every bits of our conversation, but if you’d summarize the arguments we used, it would be something like this:
- I love the color of the cosmetic packaging!
- This smells great!
- She’s so pretty. This model is so cool!
- This is a new cream, it’s the latest must-have!
- This brand is really trendy.
- It has a good INCI formula.
- It’s good value for money.
- The tests look serious.
- The texture is well-adapted to your skin.
- This serum will last you three months.
- There’re too many allergens in it, you’ll get sensitive skin…
Well, obviously, I’m exaggerating it a bit. But ultimately, when you think about it, everyone of us has decision-making criteria that belong to one of these two categories, rational or emotional. Of course, most of the time it’s a mixture of the two, and every once in a while you can get arguments that contradict each other, sometimes even so much that you can’t choose. (Does that sound familiar to you?)
Some people listen more to rational arguments, while others let themselves be carried away by the more passionate kind of criteria… but all in all, deep down, rightly or wrongly, we believe we’ve made the right choice, or at least the choice that suits us the best…
And to finish our story, we did find her something… she was crazy about it. And objectively speaking, it seemed a good product to me… (I was relieved, because there was no way we were leaving that store without her having that characteristic look of joy on her face again, that really makes me happy 😉 ) Deliberately or not, the brands themselves often “choose” one predominant way, which then resonates with those consumers that prefer the same way of thinking… For example: Clinique, Avène and Laroche-posay are brands that are left side dominant, whereas I’d say Guerlain and Lancôme are more on the right side. (Of course, that’s just my view… 😉 )
This dichotomy strongly depends on the kind of product being studied. Of course, the same arguments won’t apply to a nail polish and to a skin cream… In my case, for example, the dominant brain hemisphere is the left one, of course (because of my education), even though sometimes I too can be seduced by a remarkable packaging… It’s not all black or all white… Because in fact, things are far from being that simple.
And what about you? Just between you and me… are you more the rational type? Do you want to see facts, figures, evidence and concrete things ? Or are you more like my friend, do you want pretty things, and to have a good feeling about a product, should it talk to you, seduce you… and the rest doesn’t matter…