When Makeup Marketing Goes Too Far

For my “day job,” I’m a public relations consultant, so the PR and marketing campaigns behind our favorite beauty products fascinate me (dream job = beauty editor *cough* just saying). I like to stay up on new product launches, and one in particular has really piqued my interest…so I started asking some questions. At what point do we become so demystified by the marketing that it turns us off from the product? Just how much will we pay for the brand name of a consumable item? Is the efficacy of the product really all that matters? To get to the bottom of these questions – and to make sure you get the best products at the best prices – let’s dig a little deeper into the world of makeup marketing.

History

Arguably, Estee Lauder was the original queen of makeup marketing. When it came to spreading the word about her products (before the internet existed), her motto was “telephone, telegraph, tell-a-woman.” She also invented the concept of offering a gift-with-purchase to draw in customers. As someone who worked for a company under the Estee Lauder Companies umbrella, I can tell you that those practices are still very much used today. Her approach was anchored in making women look, and therefore feel, better about themselves, and the industry really hasn’t moved beyond that method.

Today’s Tactics

While I believe most beauty companies have good intentions, they still have to turn a profit in order to stay afloat and be competitive. The good news is that the makeup industry is, for the most part, recession-proof. However, one can’t deny several brands use campaigns that promote a distinct focus on youth, looking flawless, and the general feeling that their beauty products will make us “perfect.” That notion, coupled the new Influencer culture (which is nothing new, but Influencers themselves have taken on a new arena – think bloggers/social media personalities/celebrities who peddle this or that product that “you MUST try!” only because they are getting paid to promote said product and/or were given the product for free) can breed a skeezy atmosphere, that, frankly, turns me off completely.

Doing a Double Take

That launch I referred to earlier is the new Pat McGrath Labs eye shadow kit, Dark Star 006. You receive five eye shadows, an eyeliner, and a brush with a price tag of $130.  That comes out to $18.57 per item, and, to be sure, these are expertly crafted products. Plus, the packaging is so cool – everything comes encased in a bag that, once opened, scatters iridescent sequins.

The campaign is built around scarcity (her first few offerings flew off the shelves, never to be created again), exquisite imagery (just scroll through her Instagram feed), and targeted Influencers. It was genius, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy the kit even though I’ve purchased her incredible products before. What halted me was the price tag – I just didn’t think the products were collectively worth that much.

And I’m not alone. Here are two screen shots I grabbed from Sephora.com’s reviews of the kit:

So, getting back to my original questions: while Pat McGrath is beyond respected in the makeup artist industry, her name alone isn’t enough for some (myself included) to justify spending that amount on this kit even, as one reviewer notes, if one can afford it. Personally, when I debated getting the kit for 15% off during the recent VIB Sale (bringing the price down to $110.50, or just under $16 per product), I still couldn’t pull the trigger; after being honest with myself, the only item I really wanted was the sparkle gloss, which I can easily make on my own, and I wanted to say I owned the kit. Thus, those reasons weren’t enough for me to purchase the kit

{A previous Pat McGrath Labs purchase}

In Conclusion…

I believe that many luxury products are worth the money, but I also believe in getting the best value. For example, I use La Mer and LXMI moisturizers, but drugstore mascara. And, yes, in many cases you’re paying for packaging and the brand name, so you have to discern whether or not something is worth it for you and your lifestyle. One way to do that is subscribe to this blog (shameless, I know) so you can get honest reviews as I am neither on anyone’s PR list nor sponsored (yet??).

Thanks for taking time to stop by Electra Lane, and feel free to hang out with me until next week/leave your comments on Instagram @ElectraLane! -JY

 

References:

7 Brands That Changed the Beauty Marketing Industry

Boosting beauty in an economic decline: mating, spending, and the lipstick effect

EsteeLauder.com

Yost, J. (2013). Defending Public Opinion Towards Beauty. (If you actually want to read this, email me.)

Photographs c/o The Next Web, Google Images, EsteeLauder.com, Sephora.com, and Jessica Yost

 

Game-Changing Skincare

For all the alleged negatives surrounding social media, all that face time has made many people up their skincare and makeup games, which has forced skincare and makeup companies to create phenomenal products. Additionally, there’s a demand for social consciousness – sustainability, giving back, superior ingredients and humane testing practices – so if your company can crack that code, it will set itself apart in a beyond saturated industry.

Especially when it comes to skincare, I think there’s added pressure because, since we now are so aware that skin is our largest organ, folks are willing to pay a premium price for the good stuff. Not to sound hyperbolic, but

I have found the all-around, perfect skincare.

When I worked for La Mer, the vast majority of my clients are what I referred to as the “teachers and soccer moms” demographic – super hard-working women who had a ton of responsibility, not a ton of disposable income, and wanted to take excellent care of their skin by purchasing the best anti-ageing skincare they possibly could. So, they would purchase one ounce of La Mer and stretch it as long as they could; and their skin – and confidence – improved.

There’s plenty of conspiracy surrounding La Mer, but as a devotee for nearly seven years, nothing else works as well for my skin. Still, I realize it’s not for everyone, and I also realize this area isn’t where many want to spend their money. So, all things considered, I would like to introduce you to a beautiful company that checks all the boxes. Meet LXMI.

Derived from the pit of a nut from a plant that grows in the Nile Valley called Nilotica, this relative of shea butter has incredible restorative, healing and hydrating properties. LXMI (pronounced luxe-me) offers two moisturizing formulas – the Pure Nilotica Melt, a buttery “balm-to-oil” that sinks into skin without feeling greasy, and the Creme du Nil, aka Cream of the Nile, which is a lighter formula containing Nilotica and other delicious ingredients.

I’ve tried both products by purchasing travel sizes, and I ended up buying the full-size Creme du Nil to seal in my serums and potions at night. I’ll get the Pure Nilotica Melt for the cooler months as it’s marketed as a sleeping mask, but it’s a bit too heavy for me right now.

You might be thinking, “If this is so great, how come it isn’t widely available?” According to the website, Nilotica needs to be sourced in a sustainable matter (and that’s expensive), plus, it’s a newer company. The genius behind the brand is that they take care of the sourcing issue, as well as giving back to that community, by employing local women to harvest the Nilotica. I mean…LXMI’s official hashtag is #BeautyforHumanity. Wow.

So how much will it cost you?

$300? No. $100? Nope. For 1oz of the Pure Nilotica Melt, it’s $48; 1.2oz of the Creme du Nil is $58. It’s available through the LXMI website, as well as Sephora. I highly recommend stopping by the website, though, and read all about this brand, how great it is for your skin, and all of the good that it does for the women of Uganda.

In conclusion…

If you’re looking to elevate your skincare routine with a whole product that is good for your skin, good for the planet, and one that supports and empowers women, take the leap into LXMI.

Enjoy your weekend!  JY

 

 

Images c/o Author, quickmeme.com, and LXMI.com

Sephora Beauty Insider Sale – Spring 2017

Twice a year, I love to stock up on my favorites from Sephora during their sale – especially the luxury items. Before you can even start shopping, though, make sure you’re a part of Sephora’s Beauty Insider program. It’s free to enroll, and you can work your way up to some amazing perks – think free two-day shipping, free deluxe samples, and early access to sales PLUS extra percentages off items (like this one!). Here’s this year’s schedule:

VIB Rouge: 15% off from 18 – 24 April with code ROUGESPRING

VIB: 15% off from 19-24 April with code VIBSPRING

Beauty Insider: 10% off from 20-23 April with code BISPRING

For an added bonus, Sephora works with Ebates, the site/app that literally pays you for shopping online. Sign up HERE (Full disclosure, I get a kickback when at least two people sign up, so THANK YOU for using my link! Once you sign up, you’ll get your own to share.).

If you’re like me, you keep a running list of your wants and “needs” – I’ve been prepping for this sale for weeks – but if you need some inspiration, here’s what I’m picking up.

Hair

Invisibobble Original Traceless Hair Ring

I’m so excited to try these because as someone with slippery hair, these promise to keep everything in place during a run.

dpHUE Clarifying Shampoo

I love this new-ish brand by Kristin Cavallari’s longtime colorist and am excited to restock this product. A clarifying shampoo dissolves not only all the product build-up, but also all the natural oils your scalp produces; a GOOD clarifying shampoo does all of this without stripping any of the good stuff. I’ve always used the shampoo by Neutrogena, but this one is a game-changer. I thought my hair was clean, but I had to apply this shampoo THREE times to finally get a gentle lather.

Skincare

Dermarche Labs Roloxin Lift – Gold

These masks are like a face lift that also plumps. I have a pretty deep laugh line – after using this mask, it was gone! The results only last a day, but if you have a special event this. is. a. miracle.

Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydrating Lifting Mask

We know how much I love a sheet mask (more HERE), and I recently used this one before a big night out – it was perfect. This is an excellent prep before makeup because it leaves your skin slightly tacky, which is the best canvas for long-wearing makeup.

Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

My friend Kristin introduced me to this little gem (shout out!). While I still love my Bioderma to remove makeup, this product cannot be beat for dissolving all traces of glitter and eyelash glue.

La Mer

La Mer has landed at Sephora! In other words, we can actually get it on sale now. If you’d just like to dip your toes into La Mer (see what I did there?), I can’t suggest The Lip Balm highly enough. Find a dupe, also available from Sephora, HERE.

Makeup

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream Plus SPF 50+

Restocking this amazing cream – it slides on your skin and makes it look perfect, while providing sunscreen, all day long.

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Eye Shadow Palette

Every shadow color you will ever need! This palette covers all the bases for any look you desire, and you can purchase a separate shimmer or metallic shadow if you want a little oomph. Read more about this palette and how to use it HERE.

Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer

You know the concealer I’m constantly raving about (if not, more HERE)? Now’s your chance to try it yourself.  My favorite use for this is as a highlighter at the end of my makeup to bring everything together.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored High Shine Lip Lacquer Gloss

As I mentioned last week (check it out HERE), I use this gloss as my everyday go-to. It gives you a gorgeous, high-shine finish with zero stickiness. There are so many colors, from sheer to opaque finishes, and this will absolutely carry you through the Summer months.

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Please *SUBSCRIBE* to my blog so you never miss beauty tips and tricks – it’s like a little nugget of fun dropped right into your inbox every week. Also, come hang out on Facebook and Instagram (@electralane) for even more makeup and skincare fun. Have a great week! -JY

Images c/o Author and Sephora.com

 

The Ultimate Wedding Touch Up Bag

This week my husband and I are celebrating a big anniversary, so I’m feeling all nostalgic. I’ve prepped a beautiful bag to keep me fresh throughout my festivities, and I wanted to share what’s inside with you because this is also the perfect kit for brides to use during your wedding reception or on your honeymoon.

Pick a Gorgeous Bag

I still have (and use!) my precious little Orla Kiely makeup bag from my wedding, so choose something that’s both sturdy and functional, as well as one that makes your happy. For my anniversary, I picked this gorgeous Ted Baker with cherry blossoms:

Since we’re doing a month-long staycation in Washington, D.C., I love the iconic cherry blossoms on this bag – and especially this year because the delicate blossoms pulled through some rough weather against all odds, just like a good marriage (awww…).

Get Practical, but Stay Pretty

It’s not fun to think about body odor, but trust – you do not want to be caught without a few ways to freshen up. Still, you can make this process fun by choosing out-of-the-ordinary items. I packed a lovely little deodorant, some antibacterial wipes, my perfume in a travel size, and my favorite mints:

Skincare with Flair

Long days and nights of dancing, being outside, sweating, laughing and crying can take a toll on your skin, so it’s important to have a few tricks in your bag. My favorite makeup remover sticks from Almay are a must for cleaning up mascara smudges and travelling lip gloss; I also use them to remove concealer, but more on that later. Keep a multi-purpose balm on hand for lip balm, to groom brows, hydrate cuticles, and a myriad of other uses. A refreshing facial mist keeps you glowing and looking awake, and an eye cream – especially in roller ball from – tightens and brightens. Finally, I have to have a luxurious hand cream:

 

Makeup Must-Haves

It goes without saying that you should have your lipstick or gloss on hand, but I think it’s important to also keep some concealer with you, too. Remember those makeup remover sticks? When your under-eye concealer starts looking a little crazy, just use them to remove everything under your eyes, apply some of your eye cream, and tap on a fresh layer of concealer. This trick will instantly refresh your entire look! Finally, have a pretty powder compact with a mirror so you can touch up anywhere as well as have something to set your concealer. If you’re dry like me, and powder doesn’t look the best, take advantage of the new blurring technologies to set your makeup.

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I think having a special bag filled with some of your favorite beauty items is such an affordable indulgence because you’re not only giving yourself permission to feel beautiful, but you’re creating memories as well – whenever you use that lipstick or inhale that perfume, you’ll relive some of life’s most precious moments. And while it’s important to treat yo self, remember that the best makeup is a sincere smile; so even if you aren’t a bride, it’s the perfect time to do a little beauty spring cleaning and update your makeup bag.

Have an incredible week, and please stay in touch @ElectraLane on Instagram!

Images c/o Author and Google Images

Master Class with Melanie Mills

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a master class with Emmy award-winning makeup artist Melanie Mills. And it was amazing. So this week, I want to share some of the top things I learned (I took pages upon pages of notes!) that will help you add a little – or a lot, let’s be honest – of glamour to your everyday makeup.

{Melanie Mills and a fangirl}

The master class was held at my hair salon, Sylists @ North (the cutest salon with the most amazing service!) and they did a top-notch job hosting – check out the scrumptious treats:

After we had some time to chat, we all sat down to take in the gloriousness that is Melanie Mills. Personally, I am 100% on board with her makeup philosophies because she’s all about looking glamorous, false lashes, and glitter. In fact, she wrote a book called Glitter and Glam that I highly recommend if you want to know more about how to do your makeup like a pro.

{Image c/o MelanieMillsHollywood.com}

Our gorgeous model, Laura Rose (@lauraroseyoga), arrived bare-face, but left like this:

{So. Gorgeous.}

Melanie started with a daytime look, then bumped the look up for nighttime. In case you’re wondering why you need to do that, take a picture of yourself in daylight and then at night with a flash. It’s darker at night, which means you need bolder colors so they show up, plus there’s usually a flash which causes you to look washed out unless you have more color on your face. It’s worth the extra 15 minutes!

{The calm before the beautiful storm}

The top three things I learned:

Baking = Caking

I HATE baking. So much. I appreciate it for stage makeup, but you have to take your time and you have to do it right. When you see everyone on YouTube and Instagram baking every day, you start think you’re crazy because you really hate the trend. Thankfully, sometimes it takes someone who’s won an EMMY (!) to set you straight. Melanie said, “Baking equals caking, especially on mature skin…it’s called baking because it looks like flour” While there is a time and place, it’s certainly not necessary for every day makeup.

Keep Lashes Intact

This is a two-for-one tip! To get a really great curl, sometimes it’s fun to curl your lashes after applying mascara. The problem is that method can rip out your lashes. The solution? Powder your eyelash curler first with a light dusting of translucent powder. And for false lashes – this one blew my mind – Melanie suggests not trimming them to fit your lash line because it messes with the integrity of the lash. Instead, use individual or cluster lashes, or find strips that are already a good fit.

Don’t Forget Body Makeup!

“Completion is key!” Melanie mentioned a famous late night talk show host (*cough* whose last time rhymes with mole bear…) who hates having makeup applied to his ears. The problem is that, especially under TV lights, this makes his ears look super red compared to his face. The same thing happens when you do this gorgeous makeup on your face, but neglect your neck and chest. One of the best solutions is to invest in good body makeup, especially now that we’re headed into the warmer months. Melanie has an insane line of body makeup, called Gleam Body Radiance, that tightens and brightens your skin. It can be used as a primer and illuminator, too. I purchased the Disco Gold shade, but will be heading back to purchase Rose Gold as well!

For more of Melanie’s tips and tricks, make sure to order her incredible book and follow her on Instagram @Gleam_MelanieMills. Thanks for joining me this week, and let’s stay in touch on Instagram @ElectraLane. If you like the blog, please let your friends know so they can join the fun!

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