Are DIY beauty regimens the way of the future? We hope not
With the United States losing its triple A credit rating last week, frugality seems to be the order of the day once more. The chief philosophy of the frugal has always been DIY – do it yourself. Over the years we have seen this philosophy become more and more popular, with people decorating their own apartments, cooking gourmet meals at home, even brewing their own beer at home.
But what about your beauty regimen? Especially here in New York City, professional styling has long been a feature of many women’s lives. With a huge population of working women, having that place to go where someone knows what they’re doing is a godsend for many. But even apart from that, there is the rest and relaxation element too – when you can sit back, close your eyes and let someone else do all the nit-picky beauty work so you don’t have to, it lifts a weight from your shoulders.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, we’re not huge fans of the DIY beauty scene that has been emerging of late. “Getting the professional look at home” is the new marketing agenda for the big beauty brands. Clearly an attempt to take advantage of the changing financial status of the average consumer, this move will no doubt prove successful in certain sectors.
Isn’t it a little patronizing though? In fact it is patronizing on two levels. One: These big beauty brands are pretty much saying “you have no idea how to make yourself look good, you need to buy our products if you want to resemble a human being again.” Two: They are effectively saying that the years of training and experience that beauty professionals possess is worthless – this magic Olay potion will do the trick!
“The goal is for simple application with professional results. Getting people to look like they had a makeover but they did it themselves in 15 minutes is what everyone is going after,” said Stu Dolleck, president of NuWorld, a leading cosmetics contract manufacturer, speaking to Women’s Wear Daily.
If your goal is to do something in fifteen minutes that would normally take much longer, there is only one name for that; a quick fix. And that’s fine if that’s how you promote it – we all need a quick fix beauty solution when we are short on time (or money). But the issue is that that’s not how it is being promoted – these products are being presented as miracle solutions.
Expecting beauty corporations to act responsibly – or indeed to promote the merits of hard working beauty professionals – is somewhat naive of us of course. We don’t even suggest that you don’t buy these products – we all need a well stocked beauty kit and there’s no doubt some of these products will have their plus sides. But what we do want to do is highlight the benefits of going to a pro when you can afford it.
As we have said before, these people are professionals and that means something. Whether we’re talking about manicurists, hairdressers, waxers, skincare experts – these people have spent years learning their trade and they practice their skills day in and day out. When you are in the hands of a professional, you can relax and let them do their thing, safe in the knowledge that they know what they are doing. No instructions to read on the back of the bottle, no trying to multi task while your nails dry.
Think about it like going to the dentist. You wouldn’t try and pull out your own tooth when you get a toothache – or at least we hope you wouldn’t. You would go to a professional to get it taken care of. However, while you wait for your appointment, you’ll most likely take some painkilling drugs like Tylenol or Advil. Well, those are the quick fix solutions, like the DIY beauty products are the quick fix solutions of your beauty regimen. Ultimately, when you want something done properly, you go to a pro.
Whatever your situation, you can never replace your manicurist with a shiny bottle of Maybelline, or your hairdresser with a bottle of brown stuff featuring Kim Kardashian on the box. And we think that’s a good thing, because you can’t beat the professional touch. There is no better resource for expert beauty advice than a trained and experienced professional, and ironically that advice is more necessary than ever with all these new products flooding the market.
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