środa, 17 września 2014

How make-up changes women | The story of a young girl and a recent study


I really like watching other people, I don’t deny it. I enjoy observing their consumer behaviours in different situations but in a psychologist’s and marketer’s point of view. A couple of months ago I had a very interesting observation and I just thought I’d share this story with you.

I was at the airport waiting for my flight very early in the morning and I had nothing to do with myself so I started watching people who were passing me by. I was sitting opposite the MAC (one of make-up brands) counter and if you already know about my passion for beauty industry you probably won’t be surprised that I was watching with a huge interest women who were shopping there.

There were two teenage girls that caught my attention – one was taller and older than the other and I thought they must have been sisters because they looked very much alike. The older one (let’s name her Sarah) was mostly interested in lipsticks, trying on some of them, while the younger one (she will be called Jenny in this story) was standing next to her waiting patiently for her sister to make a purchase. In the end Sarah decided to buy one of the lipsticks and they were just about to leave the counter when Jenny suddenly stopped and talked to her older sister. After exchanging a few words with her, Sarah turned to the beauty consultant and started explaining something to her while glancing at Jenny at the same time. The saleswoman looked at Jenny, then picked some of the foundations and turned to Jenny introducing her to those small bottles of a make-up cosmetic. The girl sat on the chair in front of the mirror and it seemed to me like it must have been her first time with a beauty consultant, because she hadn't been wearing any make-up (at least I didn’t notice any cosmetics on her face from the place where I was sitting), probably because of her young age. In the meantime there were two other women who were buying MAC cosmetics and because there was only that one saleswoman who had to service all the customers, Jenny was waiting patiently to be served as well. In the meantime she was chatting with her sister who was accompanying her with this new experience and I saw on Jenny’s face that she was a little bit stressed and excited at the same time. I remember exactly that I was staring at them and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Finally the beauty consultant came to Jenny, she watched her face carefully, picked up one of the foundations that she brought earlier and then she started to apply it gently on Jennie’s face with a brush. When she finished she told the girl to look at herself in the mirror… and then the magic happened! She was sitting opposite me so I saw exactly the expression of delight on her face when she was examining her reflection in the mirror. She was so excited and she couldn’t help but smile to herself (and her sister of course), so it didn’t surprise me that she decided to buy that foundation after all.

A few minutes later they finally left the counter with their new purchases and they headed up to two boys who were standing about 5 meters from them. They must have been traveling together, because the boys were looking after Sarah and Jenny’s suitcases while the girls were buying cosmetics. And then I saw a completely different person in Jenny –  although in my opinion she looked almost the same as before, now she was blooming and she was touching her face when she was (as I assumed) explaining to the boys what had happened and why she was so excited. It was really clear that she treated it as something new and exciting.

This story is an excellent example how companies sell us experiences rather than products. Although the girl bought the cosmetic which aims to improve her appearance, the most noticeable was her internal transformation – she was experiencing something luxurious and special. She went to the MAC counter as a shy, teenage girl and she left it as a self-confident young woman.

And this is the power of make-up – it can help women to boost their self-confidence or even self-esteem, which is confirmed by studies. A few months ago Space NK (British cosmetic retailer) has released an infographic “How makeup changes us” which gives us an insight into the impact of make-up over time. According to the studies, make-up not only changes how other people see us, but it also changes our perception of ourselves. If you are a woman and would like to know more about how make-up is influencing you, you should definitely read this! :)


When it comes to you, do make-up cosmetics help you change internally, besides underlining your natural beauty? Or maybe you know some beauty brands that provide great experiences to their customers? Share your thoughts in comments below! :)

Photo: startimes.com

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