Schools are nearly back and so am I. A little round-up of recent rumblings..
Firstly, Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month begins today:
The Eve Appeal is the only UK national charity raising awareness and funding research into the five gynaecological cancers – ovarian, womb, cervical, vaginal and vulval. Please get yourself checked – and be aware of the signs that you should be looking out for, more of which here: eveappeal.org
I have a long list of blog posts to write and products to talk about, kicking off with the things that made it into my holiday travel bag next week.
Clarins Double Serum vs Estee Lauder ANR: I’ve been asked numerous times about the comparison between Advanced Night Repair and the new Double Serum. Aside from brown packaging, the only things they have in common are that they are the Hero products of their respective brands. ANR is designed to be used at night, but is oil-free and Double Serum can be used AM and PM, and is two separate water and oil sections automatically mixed upon application. They’re both technically serums that fight against signs of ageing, albeit in different ways. Play with them, pick one, you don’t particularly need both, although they won’t do any harm to the benefits of each other if alternated for those of you that already have both.
‘Dupes’ in skincare: This has been on my radar for a while but raised its head again this week. I personally tried to move away from using the term ‘dupe’ when referring to skincare a long time ago, I genuinely now feel it’s only relevant in colour, where the products in question are cosmetic, not treatment/skincare. It’s much easier to pass off a drugstore red lip as designer than it is to pretend that an alcohol and propylene glycol-laden glycolic product is a match for a superior formula.
It’s something a lot of us have come across when discussing The Ordinary in particular* and although I am absolutely not referring to The Ordinary in this case, they certainly are the brand most-talked-about online in terms of ‘dupes’ in skincare. I don’t think that’s fair, as it’s based solely on their price, not the formulas. I’m referring specifically to knock-offs of popular, best-selling products that you always see popping up somewhere usually made by retailers trying to cash in on a good idea that has already been done. It works to a certain degree in medicines/drugs. Nurofen Plus is much more expensive than Boots’ Own ibuprofen and codeine, but they’re essentially the same thing.
Without delving too far into it outside of a dedicated blog post, while there are absolutely overpriced ‘statement’ ranges in the skincare world, making ridiculous claims that they can’t back up, there are a lot of great brands, with excellent products made of brilliant formulas, and in skin, formula is King. A brilliant formula cannot be ‘duped’. You can take the basic premise of that product, and stick one of the ingredients in a much cheaper formula, slap it on sale and call it a ‘dupe’, but unlike the red lip, your skin will not pass it off as the same thing. The proof is in the pudding. Buy the best skincare that you can afford, from brands you trust, based on personal recommendations from people you trust that have tried it and you should be ok.
The only thing being ‘duped’ when buying substandard skin products is you. And your skin.
China/Animal Testing: Yet again, one that could probably do with an extended blog post, but when Nars recently announced that they are to start selling in China, the whole animal testing issue reared its head again. Not that it ever goes away, but it certainly brought it to the forefront. With BBB reporting that Dermalogica are about to follow suit, it shows no sign of abating any time soon.
I thought it would be useful to (briefly) clarify some points about selling in China, as there is a lot of conjecture out there, and very little fact.
- It is possible to sell in China without testing on animals. If you are shipping products directly to customers (known as B2C) by post, you do not have to submit anything for animal testing. The problems arise when you want to sell in bricks and mortar stores. Amazon and ASOS make a fortune in China. FORTUNE. To be clear, the beauty brands sold on those sites do not have to test their products on animals.
- It currently costs $35,000 USD per item, and colour to submit your products to the Chinese government for animal testing. Ergo, if you have 15 types of lipsticks and they all come in 25 colours that will be $13,125,000 before you even get your product to the office for shipping.
The general consensus is that very little testing is actually done, it’s all about the cash. For example, for NARS to submit the paperwork on about 285 skus, the Chinese government would have sent them an invoice for around $10,000,000 USD, depending on how many SKUs they submitted. Tidy. That’s a small drop in the ocean considering the Chinese market is still unquantified (and untapped) but expected to reach $44billion USD by 2019. 10 mill is pocket change.
Something nice to finish – I know you’re not all on Instagram (Why!? Honestly it’s the best.) but for those of you that are and maybe missed some of my recent suggestions, here are five of my current faves if you fancy a follow:
@susiejverrill – brilliant instastories and gorgeous babies. What more do you want?
@emilydougherty Beauty & Fitness Director for US Elle mag, Emily posts mesmorising videos of her (and now others) smashing up lipsticks and arty spillage of nail polish. Impossible to look away.
@ellesophie Beauty Director of UK Elle, Sophie never hides behind filters and shows a mixture of quick videos of her doing her face on her commute and creative shots of product, along with having the best lips in the industry. And they’re hers. How rude.
@evachen212 Eva is the Head of Fashion for Instagram and posts fashion/kids and car rides and all of us are sad that Tao has finally outgrown his daily unswaddling.
@lauraloumakeup Laura is a working makeup artist on Instagram, not an Instagram ‘makeup artist’, if you catch my drift. If you follow her now you’ll be in time for her Halloween posts, which are equal parts brilliant and terrifying.
See you next week!
*(in defence of The Ordinary, I have never seen them pretend to be anything other than very affordable, basic formulas, and they’ve certainly never been tacky enough to send out press releases calling themselves ‘dupes’ and naming other brands. Well, not to me anyway!)