Tuesday 28 April 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Who is the fairest of them all?

Well if La Prairie had anything to do with it we all would be.

This week I've been doing market research on some high end makeup brands.
Given I was a makeup artist (I don't do much these days) and am still surrounded by enough colour to compete with a Picasso collection, I am finding it particularly fascinating.

La Prairie took my interest today. Not its product range but the gobbledygook it uses on its packaging and advertising.

Is it designed to confuse or give the impression it's science based and therefore trustworthy? More than likely both.
Contains unique whitening complex supported by nano carrier systems. Boosts brighter skin & prevents melanin accumulation. Presence of DNA Repairing Complex to fight against oxidation. Discourages additional pigmentation development. Increases collagen repairing & accelerates cell turnover.
What do all those words mean? How does a cream discourage pigmentation development while wearing it at night? 'Hey there pigment, p*** off out of here'. How does it boost brighter skin? 'Hey skin you are looking awfully pretty today'. And who wants a nano carrier system anywhere near their face unless they are floating around in space?

Now I know after years of wearing makeup and working with it, that in the main, one product is generally as good as another. Estee Lauder, for example, owns 18 other makeup brands. Different companies, different packaging, different price? Similar products? Perhaps. However, regardless of the reality, we continue to buy more and more products with annual makeup sales of hundreds of billions of dollars.

La Prairie is a top end brand. Its cellular whitening eyecare night care cream costs $1084 AUD (38,000 rupees, $733 USD, £552). And you just wear it to bed. For that price I would want to be sleeping with not only it, but Johnny Depp as well.

I think that in our efforts to keep or chase youth we should be mindful that despite the promises, none of these magic potions can turn back the clock. However, I do accept that makeup has a positive psychological effect on many women. Me included. I am just not sure we need to be paying as much as we do to get this kind of fix.

The amount spent on makeup actually skyrockets when the economy spirals.
Given the economy is still in freefall, maybe we can share what products work for us before we rush out and make ourselves 'feel better' with a bit of gloss and sparkle only to be disappointed with the results.

What about you? Do you have any products that work for you that don't cost a fortune? Or alternatively, do you use a product that costs a lot but you feel you get your money's worth? Or could you care less about makeup?
The product I swear by is Rose Hip Oil. I wear it at night and it's more effective than other product I have used. And cheap. A brand product I like a lot is Touche Eclat made by Dior which is great for hiding under eye circles or highlighting etc.


  1. Heck I sleep with Johnny Depp for free, product or not :o)

  2. Couldn't care less about make-up! Seems pointless and a waste of time.. but that's just me!

    I do swear by moisturizer for the face though. Body Shop or some Vitamin E cream from the local natural health shop - all at very reasonable prices.

    The best defence in the summer is suntan lotion.

  3. I'm in that couldn't care less category.

    I've put money into skin care- wash and moisturizer.

    I do own "nice" makeup that I really like (Bare Escentuals or Minerals or whatever it's called). But I haven't worn it in at least a month.

    It just isn't a priority for me!

  4. I use Benev's product line and love it...

  5. Yeah, I'd do Johnny Depp too. And a long list of others that my husband doesn't know about!! lol (Actors, people. It wouldn't REALLY happen!)

    I use a primer (lol, really) under my foundation and use Maybelline Liquid Dream Mousse. Or something like that. It's like velvet! I love it!

  6. The cosmetic industry is interesting. We do tend to chase our youth and buy in that somehow we can stave off the inevitability of aging. Make-up does serve people in many ways and that is a good thing, however one must consider the price being paid.

  7. I'm sorry, you lost me after you mentioned sleeping with Johnny Depp... (she said, smiling dreamily)

    Patricia Wexler's Skin Brightening Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 rocks. So does shu uemura's pro concealer for under the eyes and anywhere else you care to cover up.

  8. I'm not a make up kind of girl really, but I do believe in moisturizer.

  9. Estee Lauder -- color corrector to hide my Rudolph-red nose and an under-eye highlighter/concealer that makes the shadows and bags a wee bit less noticeable.

    Mary Kay came out with a mascara a couple of years agao that stays on all day without making your lashes all tarty-looking or leaving smuts. My gripe with this product is that the container is designed to dispense way more than you need until it's almost gone. Having to wipe 3/4 of it onto a tissue and throw it away really bugs me. Why can't they design a container with a diaphragm that could be adjusted depending on how dramatic/slutty the wearer wants to look?

  10. Hey Lilly :) I didn't know you were a makeup artist! Neat! My daughter is a model and I've seen first hand what an amazing art applying good makeup is. I've tried so many different kinds and I don't have an all-time favorite. I think our skin changes and we need to mix things up sometimes. Very true too that expensive does not necessarily mean the best.
    Have a Beautiful Day!

  11. Oh, and I agree with Mind of a Mom, I'll sleep with Johnny Depp for free too :) LOL

  12. If it will make me look like you, I'll use what you're using!

  13. Lilly,

    What continually amazes me is the importance of "white". I mean if you are white, why would you want creams with whitening factors , nano or otherwise ? I mean how much whiter can you get ? Or is it so that all those fruit flavoured and colored make up colors and can stand out ? OK, if you acting in a play all the time.

    And this la Prairie thing sounds outrageous ($1084 AUD (38,000 rupees, $733 USD, £552).) Please. 38,000 rupees gets me a wonderful 2 wheeler, or maybe a return ticket to Australia or London....

    It is catching on here too. These companies succeed in making women feel insecure, while actually implying that all those applications on the face will make them more secure.

    No amount of makeup, of any kind, can hide , how a person is, inside the heart and mind.

  14. LadyFi said it well and I agree with her. Not a make up girl here! :) But I try to moisturize.
    Have you heard of Dermoglos? It´s what I use and it does wonder for my skin.

  15. you just said a mouthful!
    I don't believe in the efficacy of most of the high-end products. Most of them put all that scientific mumbo-jumbo just to make us feel we paid the worth of the product! I do believe that we should moisturize and lubricate our skin as much as possible (inside and out). So I really don't have favorites.

  16. I'm sure you don't really need it, of course, but apart from some lippy and eye makeup, which almost always makes a women more attractive when done well, if it makes YOU feel more sexy and feminine, then it's worth every penny, surely.

    What is this thing with Johnny Depp, though? Fickle! That's what women are!

    Yours ever, George C.

  17. I use Olay Regenerist and Olay Definity...think they're moisturizers, relatively inexpensive.

  18. Lilly this is the kind of blog I love.

    I use Rose Hip oil at night and it is brilliant.

    My favourite moisturiser is Neutrogena Oil free .

    I use Aloe straight from the plant on my face and it's brillant.

    The best mascara is Lancome lengthening mascara.

    Mac do brilliant eye brow pencils.

    Neostrata do a moisturiser with AHAs it's brillant bur pricey.

    For a sunscreen that doesn't give spots. Try Vichy liquid sunblock comes in factor 20 or factor 30.

  19. Hello Lilly, as for me.. (I don't need makeup...rotflmao-why is my nose getting bigger) anyway I only wear it when I have "an Occasion" like the wedding etc.. the yard work doesn't require my best atire!

    Make up - Cover Girl babe' Loreal mascara, Mary Kay eyeliner and blush, Mary Kay alot of chit...

    I am a fan of the Olay Regenerist series, daily regenerating serum. I like Mary Kay moisteriser, I have tried the DHC brand (costly) somethings I like...but most are too heavy feeling.

    I actually just preferr to be natural :-)

  20. Darsden, I could not feel comfortable totally natural. How sad is that? Even to go to the local shops for milk I would have to put on lipgloss and makeup base. I like Dior products the best but my mother has beautiful skin and uses Ponds cold cream. Go figure. Perhaps I am wasting my money.

  21. Lily;
    Now I am a make-up girl.

    I like you, use touche eclat. It's $40 here in the US but worth it...it never cakes or gets in the lines .

    I use Trish McEvoy primer..it glides on and keeps my makeup on.

    I have been using 100 pure mascara because it doesn't make my eyes burn! I have also uesd drug store brands and since I throw them out after 3 months I don't like to spend a lot on mascara

    Don;t have a favorite foundation..have used bare essentials...like it when my shin isn't too dry. Am always looking for the right foundation...tisk!

    Let's see, I like philosophy skincare, and I use MD forte skin hydrating cream.!

    Am going to try your rose hip oil..my face does get dry!

    Am always up for trying something new...but won't spend too much either!

    Thanks for posting this...I had fun!

  22. Sarah (excuse me Lilly I need to talk to Sarah)

    My mother will not do anything before "she has her face on" The rest of the women in the family are pretty much in line with mom. But something happend to the last child (me) I don't follow any "rules" for girls.. I always danced to a different drum :-)

    Oh, I forgot I do Ponds too I use that when I remove my makeup. Your mom sound like me ...less is best...LOL

    No, your not wasting money...I see what it does for my beautiful sister, her daughter...HAVE you seen LOVELY LILLY... Flawless!!!

  23. Darsden we either like painting our face or not. My sister is like you, comfortable in her own skin. Good on you I say. Is there any men on here because they all seem to like the natural look. I have indeed seen Lilly up close and she is an old bag (joking, joking before someone gets upset). She is lovely. She loves makeup but doesn't wear as much as me. She says its all in the application not necessarily the product. I am going to make a list of everyone's recommendations and give them a try.

    Oh hello Lilly, Darsden and I were chatting. I forgot to say that Maybelline still make the best mascaras as Peggy said you should get rid of the regularly. Not many people realise that makeup has an expiry date.

  24. I've been going "au naturale" for the past few years. My teenager, Dani stole all my make up anyway.

    Gina, my older daughter hooked me up with new make up (Bare Essentials) that I keep hidden so it doesn't get stolen too. She works part-time at ULTA so she gets good deals and she often gets free stuff!

    That La Prairie night eye care cream equals an Alaskan cruise!

  25. Ughh that jargon...this a job for The Word Mechanic...Grandpa loves that stuff :)

    Now on to the girl stuff:

    I swear by Burt's Bee's Lip Shimmer. It gives me a little pop of color and the peppermint oil in it feels nice. It's under $5, too

    Maybelline Great Lash in Brown $4.99 and I can get it for almost free with Walgreen's ( Rx) coupons.

    I love Sephora's slim eyeliner pencils. They just rock. So smooth and they blend nicely. I think they are $8. I know you can pay alot less for eye pencils but these are worth it.

    Almay Tru-color in Naked I think I pay about $9 for it but again I use the coupons.

    For blush I use Loreal Tru-Match in bare honey.

    I use Baby-Wipes with Aloe to remove my make-up!

    I didn't realize how much I like talking about his stuff! :)

    Peace - Rene

  26. I think when I was younger I felt like I was missing out and couldn't wait to afford higher-end products. But, I was never entirely convinced they worked any better than their less expensive counter parts. So now, if I can't find it at Target, I'm not wearing it :) And I am happy with what that affords me.

    I have always loved the Serious Skin Care line sold on tv however. I did feel like it was affordable and worked well.

  27. When I have money, I buy the low end of the Nicolas Perricone line because it does amazing things. When I'm broke, like now, I use Philosophy's exfoliating wash and then their spf 20 moisturizer. But my can't live without thing is the Fusion lip plumper, I have a couple other brands that I try, but Fusion is the best.

  28. I love beauty products. Seriously, I have an addiction to "new" stuff. I fall for their empty promises everytime. :)

    Thanks for the post. It and the comments gave me ideas for many things that I want to try now.

  29. Its expensive being female clearly. Males do like the natural look ladies.

  30. Its expensive being female clearly. Males do like the natural look ladies.

  31. Oh, Dear Sweet Lillyness! How wonderful to hear from you! I've missed you too!
    Oh, you're the most beautiful one! Look at your face! You probably don't even need to wear makeup!
    Now, me, being so olden, I must have it! I don't spend a fortune! I mostly use Neutrogena products and am very satisfied with them. Now, the one thing I HAVE to have is mascara! I won't leave the house without it on my tiny lashes! My lashes are absolutely clear without it! Good ole Cover Girl works just fine for me!
    BE a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  32. Hello Lilly,
    Thanks for the great insight. I think all people should learn to love themselves as they are, and use natural ingredients to improve their physical appearances. For instance, good ol' fashioned egg yolk as a mask to tighten the face, baking soda as refreshing micro-granules to scrub the skin (face & body), cold tea bags on eyes to reduce puffiness & dark circles. This is basic and they really do work. Anyway, the cosmetic world, like most fashion-related, health-related and other industries are driven by money. Most don't ever prove their claims which they arrive at by deduction.

    E.g. Vitamin Bcomplex is great for building up the blood and production of healthy new red blood cells. So if I manufacture a product of green tea (par example) and add Bcomplex, it automatically means that this green tea complex is great for the blood too ... not so! Only after I have tested the green tea complex itself, can I make such claim. What if another natural component of the green tea blocks the absorption of the Bcomplex into the digestive system? Aha, then the Bcomplex simply shows up in the urine having offered no benefit, except to me who makes money from selling the blood-boosting drink.

    Lol! I think I went on a bit about this, but I do hate false claims (outright lies many-a-time).


  33. Well ... sometimes I use chapstick and UV protection when golfing.

    OK - that was a lie. sorryI just wanted to fit in!! Johnny Depp is getting some big press here. Did I mention I was a pirate?? Ha haaaaaa !!!!!!

    Big hello from the SpeedyCat from Hollydale :-)

  34. @ speedy, oh speedy I am sure I have seen pictures of you on your blog that show you wearing bright red lipstick...how could I be wrong. But UV anytime, any place is ALWAYS a good idea!!

    @ Lilly - you are a Doctor and I think you are spot on!!!! No-one has mentioned old time recipes that are all natural!!! You didnt go on at all but I do think we should make more of an effort to learn about these things!! Tea bags on my eyes....egg yolks in my hair...guess I can try!!! Thanks and lovely to see you!!

  35. Speedcat-uhmmm the pirate thing might have worked if you would have used argh...instead of ha haa
    LOL, trying to help ya out a lil

  36. I swear by vitamin E oil Lilly but Dr Le Wynn is my favourite..
    I'll have to get some of that Touche Eclat ...I need something to cover up my dark circles!!

  37. well the marketing of skin products is interesting. all this made-up scientific garbage can make you pay more? years ago I brought my daughter a "peeling"? I think it was called that. sounded awful

    maybe there's money to made coming up with weird treatment.

    One thing that can make a lady look much better is beer - that's beer for the guy she's trying to attract.

  38. @ lisleman - why has no-one told me that before now, you mean all that money I have wasted on beauty products and all I had to do was buy beer? ha ha ha - very funny comment. I have used beer on my hair though and lemon juice too. thanks for your great view on this all important topic for many women!!

    @ Dar, you are a great gal you know that?

    @ Kim - funny enough I am off to get some Vitamin E capsules just now on the advice of my sister this morning. You apprently open them up to use. I am sure there must be a bottle you can get instead. Yes Touche Eclat is great, really good. I have been using it for years now. As an artist you will understand the highlighting bit, ha ha.

  39. i probably spend the least amount of money on make up of any woman around..wash my face with ivory soap and use my regular lotion for body and face..

  40. I think makeup is great if it makes a person feel good about themselves. However, I agree with everyone else, you don't need to spend a lot to get results. I always spend more on skincare and less on makeup products. I like Clarins for skincare and use anything for makeup. I really like everyone's recommendations for what they use. Better than a magazine.

  41. I love cheap make-up and it works wonders for me.

    My eye-liners are around 150PHP...$1=48.70PHP :)

    I don't like branded things unless they're given to me by my sisters. :P
    (which are always, always used)

  42. @ Everyone! Wow, there are some great products on here that I would love to try. And there are products that clearly are local to the US. May have to go on a world makeup tour. Maybe I should do a big list up so we can share. I will post it in the community at blog frog - see over to the right. At the end of the day I will always be looking for the next best thing and now there are a few products I would like to try.

    THIS IS A SPECIAL (tongue in cheek) MESSAGE FOR
    CJW666 - Sweetheart is that you? How typical of you to pop up like this. In between girlfriends are you? You just cannot keep away. You know I always was suspect about your real identity. Masquerading as some Engish writer are you? Now I get it. CJW is George W J Clooney well, well. I am not going to explain the numerals but hey we all know what that's about. Fickle? Me? You had your chance George, I waited around a long time and enough is enough. There are 70 million blogs around and more than 1/2 of those are probably owned by gorgeous woman. I am sure they would be beyond ecstatic to know George was knocking at their blog door. I have my eye on Johnny now. Oh and I am surprised you didn't give us your recommendations for makeup products because as you, I know you use way more than I or any woman possibly could.

  43. I love to hear about makeup. I'm a relative newcomer loving it--I've used it for years and years, but I've only recently taken an interest.

    I never needed moisturizer before, coming from hot and humid Texas. But living in England has proved that my skin can and will get dry! I like Boots No 7's line in general :-)

  44. @Lilly: Oo! You can be sooo-ooo cutting sometimes - it's one of the (many) exciting things about you. It's hurtful though to know that you've moved on whilst I was ... er ... distracted.

    Love you always (of course) - G.

  45. PS: Me? Makeup? Au naturelle, babe!

  46. Hi Lilly,

    we gals love to talk about our products for sure. I like Thursday Plantation Aloe Vera gel as my daily moisturiser (made in Ballina, NSW). I have used it for years, I love it. It is also excellent for sunburn.

    I use Cetaphyl, a mild facial and body cleanser for sensitive skin.

    My fave, fave make-up range is MAC. I love their range, it works for my difficult skin. Their range of tones and colours is amazing. I have a YSL skin illuminator that was a free sample when I purchased one of their perfumes. It is running out and I need to replace it soon!

    Ps I attempted to click on your join thingy widget on the right but could not quite get it.

  47. I'm one of those women who really never moisturized on a regular basis - still don't and probably should.

    I can NEVER find the right makeup shade so I usually purchase 2 or 3 in different shades and mix my own. Seems to work for me.

    I swear by L'Oreal Voluminous mascara (I have no lashes essentially.

    I also have no eyebrows and a serious skin cancer scar on my forehead so bangs are a necessity for me.

    I must wear lipstick - more critical than anything I think. I go for pinky/mauve shades most of the time. If I go toward red or orange or brownish shades I look like a witch.

    Powder blush in a tannish shade makes me look healthier.

    I also use a brown liquid eyeliner and rub on a creme eyeshadow (Nars) in a bronze shade which is the very best!!!!

    Drinking water, lots of it, helps my skin. Exercise that makes me sweat and gets my blood circulating also helps.

    Last Fall I had two skin cancers removed (MOHS surgery) on either side of my nose. Skin grafts, etc, etc.... the end result is that I MUST spread a little makeup on it (Or concealer) so as not to frighten little kids.

  48. I find Polyfilla very effective and cheap into the bargain too

  49. I tried the Touche Eclat that you suggested when I asked for makeup tips before...and I ♥ THAT STUFF! I also love a product from Philosphy called "The supernatural" Airbrushed canvas. It is a bit pricey but lasts forever...and it works better than any concealing powder on the planet. I can't live without it!

  50. Rose hip oil? Is it an actual oil you put on your face? What's it meant to do?

    I love olay regenerist serum! It's affordable and it really works.

  51. I do wear makeup and I do wear it quite often but, even so, I feel just as comfortable leaving my house without so much as a stitch of it on. Pretty much depends on where I'm going and/or what I plan on doing on any given day. As long as I'm bathed/showered, have my hair in decent order and am wearing something suitable for out in public...all's a-okay by me, painted face or not. As for "what" makeup I do use when I choose to wear it, though, I usually opt for the "cheapy" type brands; drug store stuff or something like Avon. I find the lower priced items (well, "most" of them, anyway) work just as well as the next guy and, of course, since I'm spending less for each product I buy this also means I can buy alot more other "fun stuff," while I'm at it, too.

    Great topic, by the way, Lilly, thanx for bringing it up. ;-)

  52. @ Allyson - I heard about Rose Hip Oil from an Italian girl whose whole family used it. This is the pure oil I am talking about not another cream with the oil in it. Now you are young so not sure how oily your skin might be. I just use 2 drops or so at night on my skin. It doesnt leave it oily. It is great. Not heavy. Natural.
    Here is a link I found which talks about its benefits.


  53. Where's Johnny Depp?

    I'm sorry, what was this post all about?

    All I can think about is Johnny Depp!

  54. @ Gran, he he. Poor Johnny what a hard life he must have!!

  55. I used to go on with makeup years ago, but as I've gotten older I'm content to be just me! Easier and cheaper.
    June in Oz

  56. I've never heard of rose hip oil! Interesting.

  57. wow, tough one. I'm really not much into make up and I really can't afford to buy the expensive brands.Never had tried any, hehehe Guess I'm lucky to have a not-so-sensitive skin as I can use any brand of moisturizer, facial wash or makeup without getting zits or allergic reaction.Neutrogena is good brand as well as Celeteque and I think they're reasonably priced too. Now for make up, I guess Maybelline is an affordable brand and the products do the job.

  58. I use the generic Neutrogena body oil after the shower. I just love it, and it's cheap. For my face --I've done all the expensive stuff, but it's really hard justifying "La Mer," when that new Oil of Olay Regenerist suits me fine.

    I guess the one thing I always use is sunblock from Neutrogena. That, and walking my dogs at night for the past 9 years seems to have saved me a few wrinkles. Now, I'm working on keeping gloves in the car for when I drive!

  59. @ Kanani - sensible suggestion about the gloves. The sun is so bad here and I try very hard to always use sunblock. Fair skin. I am always looking for a good sunblock so will check that one out. Thanks

  60. La Prairie is a top end brand. Its cellular whitening eyecare night care cream costs $1084 AUD (38,000 rupees, $733 USD, £552). And you just wear it to bed. For that price I would want to be sleeping with not only it, but Johnny Depp as well. $733????? Huh? Really? Damn, I will never be beautiful,... but if I had that kind of money, I would buy that ticket to the US, track down Taye Diggs,... and stalk him. Sigh,.. realizing my life's ambition..

  61. I rely on birthday and christmas presents for skin care. My make up is nearly as old as I am, obviously don't wear it often. I do however go through a bit of mascara, and there is definitely good and bad mascara. I don't care who makes it as long as it stays on my lashes. After all I buy lash lengthening mascara, not undereye dark circle highlighter.

  62. Brigit - that is so true, so much mascara just works its way off your lashes!! But Maybelline has one of the best and the most well priced mascaras strangely enough!


Thanks for your comments.