Being a ‘beauty fan’ is a pretty broad term to use, so I’ll personalise it a little. I love the transformation, freedom and fun that I get from makeup, clothes and hair and skin products. They make me feel good and occasionally they make me look good. I think makeup should be for everyone and I think getting excited over a new lipstick colour that perfectly suits your complexion is totally fine. Whatever makes you happy, right?
However, what I don’t like about the beauty industry is some of the bullshit that it comes with it, and this is especially true when it comes to their copy.
Selling things is difficult, and everybody expect companies to twist the truth a little, however you can take it too far. Whilst looking through a magazine today I actually had to stop and re-read a facial cream review that stated it contained ‘rare diamond particles believed to have been found in space.’
I’m going to give you a moment to let that sink in. And yes, you read that right.
Diamond particles believed to have been found in space.
Now first off, the word believed basically covers up the ridiculous lie that they’ve just spouted. I can believe that hedgehogs are secretly watching me sleep, but I don’t have any proof, and so can’t start sending letters to St Tiddlywinks asking that they keep all hedgehogs at least 100 ft away from me.
Secondly, I’m not sure if there has ever been a correlation between space and good skin. You don’t get astronauts coming back from a voyage going,
“Well, I nearly died, but look at how radiant my face is.”
We’re not shooting models up to the moon for a quick beauty fix.
So even if this was actually true, and someone is out there collecting diamond particles from space to shove into face creams, there’s no proof that this will actually help with anything.
The whole diamonds in skin care is a topic for another day, but never the less, from the research I’ve done, it sounds pretty pants.
However the idea seems to be that we’re going to look at the description, go ‘ooh space’ and buy the stuff. For £599 I should add. £599 for fake space diamonds crushed into moisturiser. The disbelief continues to grow.
Another copy technique that is used far too much is adding scientific words to product description, and hoping that no one will actually look them up.
I’ve seen ‘patented Fibre Actives’, I’ve seen ‘Micro Moisture Serum’ and products that claim to repair strands of hair – so actually take hair that is breaking and thinning, and fill it up, presumably with…more hair? And this is just from a shampoo.
I have a confused face on while writing this, I can’t imagine what the copywriters face looked like.
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of shampoos and conditioners and serums and face creams that can really make a difference to your appearance, and science is involved. But actual science, not made up stuff that just sounds vaguely clever.
It is possible to thicken your hair, but at the moment it’s only with drugs that can increase your risk of heart attacks. Maybe one day there will be a shampoo that can help with hair growth without any side effects, but for now vitamins are more likely to make a positive change. Makeup isn’t magic.
Products work differently for different people, but I find it annoying when advertisement treats consumers as though we’re idiots and are going to be overawed by the words ‘patented’ and ‘diamonds’. In fact products with ridiculous copy like that are more likely to make me scoff and put it back (not that I could ever afford a £600 face cream).
It makes me realise that the beauty industry is even stranger than I first thought, and although I’ve been inspired by it many times, it is possibly run by crazy people.
So embrace the crazy, but be wary of the bullshit.