Beautypedia: A Recent ‘OMG’ Moment

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

To be honest, doing “field work” for Beautypedia is always stressful. Though I’m certain I’ll probably never be exposed as working “undercover” for Beautypediaat the cosmetics counters, there are a fair amount of nerve racking encounters (pun intended) that take over when I’m trying to get information that you know someone doesn’t want you to have, regardless of whether you are entitled to it (and when it comes to ingredient listings on cosmetics that is absolutely public information).

Before I came to work for Beautypedia, I was easily intimidated by cosmetic counter people; they always made me feel “sized up,” and less aware and informed then they are. Now that I have learned quite a bit doing my job here at Beautypedia and reading Paula’s reviews and accumulated research I know these salespeople are pathetically misinformed and I can see that the judgmental arch in their brows is completely meaningless.

A recent OMG moment took place at a Clarins counter. I approached with my Beautypediacoworker, and we browsed the displays, picking up testers and trying to seem interested while we scanned for the specific item we were seeking. The counter person greeted us, and I explained that I was doing some pre-Mother’s Day shopping for my Mom who has very sensitive skin. Before I bought her anything, I explained, I’d need to check the ingredient list with my Dad to be sure that it didn’t contain any of her “no-nos.” This all seems plausible enough, and well within my rights as a consumer, so once I’d found the $80 jar-packaged anti-wrinkle cream I sought, I began to jot down the ingredients on a small notepad.

Before I’d finished the first row of ingredients, the lady stopped me and said, “You really only need to write down the first five ingredients.” She looked me square in the eye, and continued, “The rest aren’t really that important.” Really? Really!! That’s interesting because the product’s claims showcase the inclusion of specific extracts, and in this product, which has 42 ingredients total, the ingredient featured by name on the box is #18! So if the first five ingredients are the only ones that matter, then why boast about the 18th ingredient? Doesn’t make sense, does it? Needless to say, I wrote down all 42 of the ingredients, and walked away, shaking my head in disbelief once again.

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