Beauty Marketers Know When You Feel The Ugliest, Sell You Make Up In Return

A new study by marketing planning agency PHD has identified the prime times during the week when beauty marketers should sell products to women.  Surprisingly (or perhaps, unsurprisingly), they say that beauty ads are the most effective when women feel the least secure about their looks.  Wait, ads that feed on personal insecurities?  You don’t say!

The findings of the “study,” created from survey results, basically show the schedule of women’s attitudes towards their appearance, documenting when women feel the best (Friday nights) and the worst (Monday mornings).  Take a peek at this infographic from Adweek if you want to see more of what they found.

Taking an exploitative approach, PHD recommends that advertisers peddle their products during the start of the week.  As described by Bustle.com, it’s an “Encourage/Empower” approach — encourage the use of that new lipstick, praise them when they buy it.  As explicitly stated in the press release,

Monday becomes the day to encourage the beauty product consumer to get going and feel beautiful again, so marketing messages should focus on feeling smart, instant beauty/fashion fixes, and getting things planned and done. Concentrate media during prime vulnerability moments, aligning with content involving tips and tricks, instant beauty rescues, dressing for the success, getting organized for the week and empowering stories.

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Though the study isn’t exactly ground-breaking (because, let’s be honest, who feels good on Monday mornings?), the simple fact that marketers are being encouraged to use this information to effectively prey on a woman’s negative self-attitude is alarming and problematic, especially in a society where a hyperrealistic standard of beauty has become the ideal.

Because beyond just selling a lipstick or concealer, what beauty marketers are attempting to sell is a supposed means to gain a larger sense of self-worth.  And that, in and of itself, is not empowering in the least bit.

 

Get a K-pop Complexion: Audrey’s Guide to BB Cream

When Audrey first wrote about BB creams in 2008, it was the latest thing in Korea. The oddly named “blemish balm” originated in Germany as a post-treatment cream for laser surgery patients and was later co-opted by Korean women to create the ssaeng-uhl (bare-faced look) coveted by the nation’s most beautiful actresses. (Even Korean men have taken to wearing BB cream.) Considered a staple in every Korean woman’s beauty regimen, BB cream is now sweeping the U.S., but thankfully for us, the newest iterations have a greater range of shades, coverage and textures.

When Harvard Business School grad Grace Choi first tried BB cream, she liked the finish but had trouble finding a formula that matched her skin tone, especially for different seasons. “I’m more yellow during the winter and more olive/brown during the summer,” says the 29-year-old Korean American. “Asian BB brands offer a very limited number of shades which do not suit the vast majority of diverse American women,” she adds. But she also found that many BB creams currently in the U.S. market didn’t give the same coverage and finish that the Asian BB creams were famous for. So Choi put her medical science background to use and formulated her own brand of BB cream. With 10 different shades, seven work for Asian skin: the Yellow line finishes more golden, while the Olive line has a more brown/tan undertone.

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BB CREAM TIPS:

* Apply like you would a sunscreen. Put a dime size dollop on your fingers and spread evenly on face. The cream will sink in and adjust to your skintone.

* Apply with fingers, says Choi. “It’s much easier to control and spread than with a brush or sponge.”

* The right shade is important with BB cream. Use one that’s too light and it can look masky. Can’t find the exact shade or right texture in a BB cream? Because BB creams provide buildable coverage, you can mix and match for the perfect formulation. I like mixing a lighter textured cream in a more golden shade with a thicker one in a paler shade, like Estée Lauder with 3Lab, before blending on my face.

Here, we review the best BB creams out there (even one for men!).

Sheer Coverage

Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening BB Base

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Skin Perfector (great for young skin, BB novices)

DermaE Evenly Radiant BB Creme

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm

Dr. Lewinn by Kinerase Instant Perfecting BB Cream

Vichy ProEven Mineral BB Cream

Estée Lauder Day Wear BB Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme

AmorePacific Moisture Bound Tinted Treatment Moisturizer 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact

 

Sheer to Medium Coverage

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Bright Fit

Amarté Natural Finish BB Cream (an editor favorite!)

Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream (another editor favorite)

Cailyn Precious Blend BB Cream (broad range of 6 shades)

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector 

Christina Choi Cosmetics BB Cream (great shades for medium Asian to dark skin tones)

DHC BB Cream Foundation

Comodynes Urban Cosmetics BB Color (darker shades available)

 

Medium to Full Coverage

Grace Choi Porcelain Skin BB Cream (the widest range of shades, especially for Asian skin, in either matte or dewy formulations)

Dr. Jart Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm 

Dr. Jart+ Renewalist BB Beauty Balm

3Lab Perfect BB Cream (super anti-aging skincare ingredients)

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream (tons of shades available)

Too Faced Air-Buffed BB Creme (an editor favorite!)

 

FOR MEN! (Yes, we haven’t forgotten you!)

Miracle Skin Transformer MEN SPF20

Tried any of the BB creams on this list? Tell us what you think!

Want us to test a BB cream for you? Let us know!

Get a K-pop Complexion: Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector

Coverage: Sheer to Medium

Shades: 2 (Light/Medium and Medium/Deep)

Price: $12.99

Benefits: SPF 15; antioxidant vitamin C; hyaluronic acid, lipidure microspheres and glycerin for 24-hour moisturization; mineral pigments.

Review: Testing the Light/Medium shade, we found that the cream felt lighter than other BB creams. It goes on smoothly and easily, blending in fairly well and sinking in fast. The color seemed to adjust to our light-medium Asian skin tone. When applied, it looks dewy, a little shiny. This has buildable coverage, so if it looks too sheer, apply more for more coverage. We like this for BB cream/foundation novices and those who don’t need much coverage.

For the Medium/Deep shade, we found the texture to be thick and creamy with a lot of coverage. Some thought it blended into skin nicely; others thought it took a while to sink in, but had better results after using it with a primer. The finish is glowy, but not oily, and lasted all day.

For more BB cream reviews, click here.

Get a K-pop Complexion: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB

Overview: A great BB cream for teens or makeup novices.

Coverage: Sheer

Shades: 5 (from Light to Deep)

Price: approx. $7.50

Benefits: SPF 30, oil-free, a 70% gel-water formula with “no heavy ingredients.”

Review: This has a very light texture, it goes on smoothly and it melts in super fast. The finish is very sheer and, surprisingly, the Light shade is not too pink. Make sure to pick the right shade, though, or else it won’t blend into skin well and will look like it’s just sitting on top of your skin. This is definitely good for BB cream novices, teens or 20-somethings, or those with naturally good skin.

Read more reviews on practically every BB cream on the market here.

Asians in Fashion | Model Amber Chia Stays Glam with Asian Grandmothers in Esquire Malaysia

Every once in a while, I appreciate the quirky fashion editorials from the magazine world. This recent editorial featuring Amber Chia and three lovely older ladies brought out a chuckle in me because it brought a whole new meaning to the term – Girls’ Night Out. Snacking on some late night munchies? Mahjong? Amber Chia being the designated driver for the entire night? My kind of fun.

Check out the rest of the editorial below!

Amber Chia - Esquire Malaysia, August 2013 - 2

Amber Chia - Esquire Malaysia, August 2013 - 3

Get a K-pop Complexion: Grace Choi Porcelain Skin BB Cream

Grace Choi Porcelain Skin BB Cream

Overview: The widest range of shades, especially for Asian skin tones. Get it while you can!

Coverage: Medium to Full

Shades: 10 different shades (3 with yellow undertones, 4 in olive undertones), all in either a dewy or a matte formulation

Benefits: SPF 30 broad spectrum, adenosine for anti-aging, arbutin for dark spot repair, Korean pearl extract, oil control, hypoallergenic, oil-free, paraben-free

Price: $34

Review: Creamy texture that goes on well, sinks in smoothly. The perfect amount of coverage for Asian hyperpigmentation, but still sheerer than a foundation. The finish is a little shiny, so you’ll need to blot or powder the T-zone. You can’t beat the range of colors — find the right shade and it seemingly melts into your skin. The best part is you can order a deluxe sample set to try out all the shades, and the price of the sample set is deducted from your full-size order.

Want more BB cream reviews? Click here!

Cosmetic Surgery & Asian Career Women

It’s no question that in today’s society there is a constant desire for women to look beautiful, and Asian countries are definitely not immune to these pressures for perpetual good looks.  Media images perpetuate and affirm a certain, supposed “standard” of acceptable and desired beauty — light skin, straight hair, large eyes, small face, and tall.  To achieve this ideal, many Asian women resort to means like skin lightening creams in the Philippines, double-eyelid tape in South Korea, and of course, cosmetic surgery, the beauty industry in Asia is serious business.

But, what if these procedures and beauty products had a purpose beyond just vanity?  Would you do it?  In countries like China and South Korea, it seems that more and more women are going under the knife for more than just their looks.

According to Joanna Chiu for The Daily Beast, in China, the potentially dangerous procedures are seen as investments that are seen as a way for women to gain an upper hand in the job market.  Wen Hua, author of Buying Beauty: Cosmetic Surgery in China tells the Daily Beast that “the idea that beauty is capital “epitomizes the idea that good looks are the key to increased opportunities for social and career success.”  And this isn’t just hearsay.  As seen in the piece, 10 years ago, 90% of job ads targeted towards women were exclusively for under-30s.  For many government jobs, women must meet a certain height requirement.

The article later describes the story of Liu, a woman pleased with her cosmetic surgery, but also discussing her procedures as a necessary investment in her future, saying she got her job partly due to the fact that she was beautiful.

In South Korea, where cosmetic surgery rates are already well-known to be the highest per capita, things are quite similar. As Sharon Heijin Lee says in an article for CNN,

In Korea, for a woman to be capable, it’s not enough just to have a certain skill set ” she said. “You have to be beautiful as well. After the Korean economic crisis in 1997, competition for jobs led to the surgery boom; people trying to get a leg up in the job market any way they can.

Of course, this is definitely not to say that this is a phenomenon is one that is exclusive to Asia, but such quotes and statistics are reflective of the problematic and global pervasiveness of beauty being seen as just as important factor in the job hunt as someone’s abilities and qualifications.  It places an unnecessary importance on physical attractiveness where it shouldn’t be.  Women are put on a high pedestal, left with the difficult pressure to be seemingly flawless, by virtually any means possible.

Though we’re all about feeling confident and proud of yourself, feeling beautiful is something that you should define, on your own means and on your own terms, not dictated by those around you.

Photo courtesy of Google/Getty Images

Ask Audrey Staff | What’s In Our Bag? (Summer Edition)

Its time to pull out the sundresses and shorts- summer has arrived! Here at Audrey, we’ve noticed that the products we use during the summertime are very specific. Maybe its the sun or maybe its the mood we’re in during the summertime. Whatever the reason may be, we all have our essential summer items and we’re here to share them with you! Read more to see what’s in our bag this summer!

 

 

stilla

“I love using Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. It’s true to its name, it has great staying power, which is essential for someone like me with oily skin. Plus, the applicator is easy to use!”


rayban

“Its easy to forget that the sun can also be harmful for my eyes and not just my skin. This is where sunglasses come in! Ray-Bans are basically  the little black dresses of the sunglasses world. Keep this is your bag in case you have unexpected summer adventures and need a pair to match most of your summer looks.”

BB

“For summer, I lay off on the makeup and load up on sunscreen. I generally just use a BB Cream with SPF (I currently have DHC’s BB Cream in my current rotation). This particular one blends really nicely – feels so weightless and provides great coverage. ”

mac1

“For an extra glow/shimmer, I finish off with MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightescapade - it feels very luxurious”

laura-

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer.Since it’s hot and you don’t want to have sweaty make-up/ foundation on, you just use concealer. I LOVE THIS CONCEALER! There are different shades to match your skin tone. This helps just cover blemishes and it doesn’t feel heavy.”

kiehl-s-lip-balm-#1

“I enjoy using Kiehl’s Lip Balm! It works well and smells good. There are different flavors. I’m currently using the coconut one.”

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“I’ve been wearing the Victoria Secret Fantasies collection for as long as I can remember. While I usually opt for warmer scents like vanilla, the new Beach Dreams Collection is perfect for the summertime.”

coco

“Since the sun is out more often in summer (and I sit right where we get a direct amount of sunlight from the ceiling), I like wearing quirky baseball caps to shield my face at the office. Like this one.”

 

aveeno

“For sunscreen, I use two: for the body Aveeno’s Protect and Hydrate

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and for the face, Bona Clara’s Hello, Sunshine! Universal Fluid SPF 29. The latter is pretty awesome because its non-sticky, comes in liquid form – and you can blend it in your daily moisturizer for extra protection. My skin is pretty sensitive – and thankfully, this is a sunscreen that hasn’t given me any breakouts on the face.”

 

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Marc Jacobs x Sephora: Our Favorite Beauty Collaboration of the Year?

Marc Jacobs, who’s renowned for his own line, as well as his work with fashion house Louis Vuitton, will soon be coming out with a beauty line in collaboration with beauty retailer Sephora. The 122-piece collection will be Sephora’s first global launch and will include concealers, color correctors, and lacquers, among some other products. You can get your hands on the goods this summer on August 9th!

Click on more for more pictures of the line!

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From Architect to Make-up Entrepreneur I UNII Cosmetics’ Minna Ha

Minna Ha of UNII Cosmetics (Courtesy of The Collective)

Los Angeles-based Korean American Minna Ha has made a name for herself in the makeup industry by founding UNII Cosmetics. Taking a hands-on approach in the development of her line, she has created an “innovative, re-usable and chic” makeup palette that has been featured in publications such as Marie Claire and Real Simple. Read our Q&A with Minna to find out more about her and to read our review of the UNII palette!

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