There is an advert for a hair care product running on British TV at the moment. I’m afraid I can’t remember the product, or even the brand. If you recognise it from the description please let me know. It features an attractive reasonably normal young woman describing how she uses a product to make her hair look better. It sounds unscripted – which no doubt means that considerable care was put into the script – and there are numerous obviously deliberate continuity errors to give the illusion that it has been cobbled together from a number of takes. The lighting is subdued and the set is made up to look like a normal bedroom. Continue reading
Someone just starting out as a cosmetic scientist has asked me if they should start a beauty blog. They have been told that they should be careful. What should they do? Continue reading
I was a bit slow off the mark with this one. When the Beauty Brains started their podcast I tried to find it on iTunes but couldn’t locate it. So I gave up. I should have persevered because I needed to search not for ‘BeautyBrains’ but ‘TheBeautyBrains’. So when the penny finally dropped I was already several months out of date. As they get an episode out every week, I had quite a backlog to catch up on. I still haven’t quite got to the current one, but I am not far off now. Continue reading
One of the bloggers I follow is Big Fashionista, who was very angry this morning. A clothing company had asked on Twitter for bloggers to work with them. She enquired and found that they were offering bloggers the chance to contribute free copy to the company’s website for which the reward was a link back and a tweet. Asking for something in return for next to nothing is not exactly endearing behaviour. BF’s anger was however directed at the high handed and arrogant way the request was made. Continue reading
This is the first draft of an article I have written for Personal Care Magazine. It may well change before it appears there.
As soon as the bandwidth on the internet became wide enough to cope with images comfortably, women started using it to talk to each other about their clothes and their makeup. Fashion and beauty blogs started to appear and have continued to do so. There are now more beauty blogs than anyone can count. There must be hundreds of thousands of them just in the UK alone. All this activity has had a huge effect on the way personal care products are marketed. Nobody in this business can afford to ignore what is going on online. In some cases new product lines owe their very existence to the new media. Continue reading
I know that a lot of people who read Colin’s Beauty Pages are beauty bloggers. So I thought you might like some tips on how to cut through the hype behind beauty products to get through to the reality. Here are three things to bear in mind when looking at the science stuff that sometimes gets used in the promotion of cosmetic and personal care products. Continue reading
Cosmetic Design Europe have done me a favour by doing a report on something I had sort of half noticed. When a brand gets a celebrity endorsement, part of the deal can be access to the celebrity’s social media presence. This has a sort of inevitability to it given that it is harder and harder to get people to pay for creative output. (I type this while listening to Spotify – I am still paying for the music but a fraction of what I used to shell out on records and CDs.) Artists need to be creative not only when coming up with their stuff, but in turning that hard work into hard cash. Continue reading
BB creams have taken the beauty world by storm over the last two years. Are the consumers demanding what they want from the industry? Or is this marketing people cunningly foisting a trend on an easily led public? There is certainly a lot of interest in them as this graph from Google Trends shows. Nobody was searching for BB creams until early in 2008. Since then interest has steadily grown. In 2012 interest really started to pick up and shows no sign of having peaked yet.
But despite all this excitement, I think that a lot of people still either haven’t heard of them or haven’t quite worked out what they are about. So what are BB creams? The BB cream started in Korea, where they have been around for a long time apparently – I am not sure how long. They are a combination of a foundation with a moisturiser. If that sounds to you like what we used to call a tinted moisturiser, well that is basically what they are. There is nothing wrong with that of course. Tinted moisturisers can, but usually don’t, also contain a sunscreen. BB creams don’t have to, but usually do contain a sunscreen. So basically the innovation is making a virtue of being multifunctional. When I first started seeing BB creams the three functions were just that, foundation, moisturising and sun protection. Continue reading
Who is the most influential person in the beauty world? Well I am working on it, but it isn’t me yet. It is hard to work this kind of thing out. I started considering job roles like the head of L’Oréal or the editor of Vogue. But without resorting to Google I don’t know their names off the top of my head. Surely the name of the most influential person in my line of business ought to be on the tip of my tongue? When I framed it like that it occurred to me that all of us who make a living actually making and selling beauty products are not at all influential. We spend all our working hours trying to produce what the consumer wants. Continue reading
When you are developing new products it is very easy to mess them up. I think more disasters are caused by spoiling good ideas than by trying to get a bad idea to work. Here are a few ways to convert soaring swans into frumpy turkeys. Continue reading