Trending: How Much are We Willing to Pay for ‘Fakes’ that Work?!


It was my birthday recently and I found myself in the pleasant position of having a little more cash than the other eleven months of the year – so I decided to treat myself to a new beauty product. Some kind of cult classic, with a hefty price tag… perhaps some Crème de la Mer or that Tom Ford perfume I’d been oogling for so long.

f55053109553e2a8c8ce17917b360086Normally, that’s not me. Normally, when it comes to my beauty ‘regime’ (sorry but seriously doubt more than a handful of people in the world actually have a ‘regime’), I’m becoming one of those dreaded ‘own brand’ lovers that brands hate. My granny layered on thick wads of Astral moisteriouser til her last days, my mother just loves Aldi’s Lacura serum and slowly I’m being converted to cheap and cheerful.

Yes, I’ve some serious loyalties to a number of ‘luxury brands’ (who doesn’t) – Bobbie Brown, Benefit and Mac to name a few but slowly over the past 3 years, some seriously cheap products have snuck onto my essentials list. Lacura is one of them, as is Boots Vitamin E own brand… but even non ‘strictly beauty’ items have found there way to my bathroom cabinet… items like industrial tubs of coco butter and bottles of olive oil.

So maybe I decided to treat myself because I never get to splash out anymore. Maybe because I feared turning into my  mother – who refuses to treat herself to the point were it gets a little hearbreaking sometimes. Either way, whilst wandering the wonderland of Grafton Street (or thereabouts) I was dragged into Oro Gold – you know, the mysterious little store located behind Louis Vuitton?

I say dragged because that is the level of hard-core sales tactic deployed by the chain. They’ve a very specific formula. You are offered samples. You are asked your age… You are asked if you’d like to try a free product test. You wander in and are given a seat. They test their signature product on your wrist. It seems to work, remarkably well. You see the bobbles of dead skin roll come away. You’re left with a baby softness on one square patch on your arm…
Instantly hooked.

They say a ridiculous price… you negotiate. Hard.** You see the beautiful packaging…the seller will tell you about the precious 24K gold particles in the ingrediants. They will show you a cert… they’ll talk about lifting power, new technology and antioxident powers from gold. The warning signals start going off…

One part of me was screaming ‘Get out! It’s a scam! Gold? Seriously? Come on!’. The researcher in me checked the online reviews via the mobile and the ‘science’ behind the beauty benefits of gold… there were none. Gold is one of the most boring, nuetral elements known to man. So in some ways, no surprises there. How the product works is through its primary ingrediants. These are always the ones listed first on a label folks. Gold is listed last – if you were wondering. The main ingrediants essentially make a glue similiar to that of PVC. I’m sure you remember rubbing little rolls of PVC off your hands in primary school… that looked remarkably like skin.

So yes, the product used a rather clever bunch of smoke and mirrors… and yes there were some ‘fancy ingrediants’ that were pretty pointless and some ‘special effects’

… but at the end of the day, the product worked.

I decided to go for it.

After 3 weeks of using I’ve far less blemishes or pimples, the fine lines around  my eyes are reduced and my skin (particularly lips) feel super soft.

So do I care that the marketing of this product was total bull?

It’s annoying. There’s certainly something deceptive about it, but in the end, I dont’ think I do. Finding a product that works is a rare gem. And for me, so long as the brand does not – say – violate human rights, test on animals or infamous for their environmental effects… I don’t think I mind what I’m using.

What about you? Does it matter if the marketing/’science’ behind a beauty product is true… or is that all now just a language we can decode? Is it just part of our romance with beauty products – like the beautiful packaging or the carefully produce certain smell of some products?

Does any of it matter, if the product works anyway? Let’s here your thoughts!

P.S. My full list of beauty essentials is available here on Pinterest.

Any questions or opinions just hollar to us here or at @Rachel__Ray.

**I’m not going to give out about sales tactics at this point. A lot of people say they are ‘forced’ into purchases by hard sells but I’m inclined to say ‘tough’ guys. Unless there’s genuine deception involved, we’re all grown ups and we all should be able to manage and value whatever little personal finances we have. So I’ll leave that there and urge you not to visit this particular store if you can’t take the sales heat.**



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