Monday, June 08, 2009

yes, i'm a brand hound

on the plane i was reading the hopelessly out-of-touch berlingske sunday lifestyle magazine MS (which strangely doesn't seem to have its own pages on berlingske's website). as i've written previously, my impression is that they keep the editorial staff of the very posh sunday magazine somewhere in an underground bunker where they have no access to the rest of news staff and as such have no idea whatsoever that there's a financial crisis raging.

but to distract myself from the fact that the plane was completely packed and the guy next to me had his elbow firmly planted on my side of the seat (damn those short flight small planes), i lost myself in a one-page article on all of the gorgeous new perfume bottles being designed by industrial designers like ross lovegrove (the new narciso rodriguez essence) and karim rashid (the new kenzo amour) and a must-have clear glass dildo designed by jean nouvel for yves st. laurent last year (see, i said they were out of touch).

and in thinking about the out-of-touchness, i thought briefly guiltily about my pass through the duty free. wherein i bought a new yves st. laurent mascara (the one that makes your real lashes look like fakes (thanks for the recommendation tangobaby)) and a new mac paint pot in painterly (love that name) and looked in vain for the wonderful new prada infusion de fleur d'oranger. i was a little shocked not to find it, as the duty free in CPH is generally one of the better-stocked i've visited (and i've visited a lot of them). so i had to content myself with a couple of spritzes of the sisley 1 and 2 (there's also a #3, but i didn't have enough arms) (#1 and #2 are wonderful and expensive (600DKK/$115 for 100ml), but are now on my covet list (especially #2), which just smelled better and better the longer it was on me.

i found the prada when i got to oslo (which is where i'd seen it in the first place) and because it's a small (read: travelable) 50ml size, i got it and some origins shampoo and conditioner (since that girl failed to pack any).

now that's an awful lot of brands. generally speaking, all of my skin care is origins--youthtopia, a perfect world, make a difference, checks and balances, modern friction--i'm a sucker for those clever names and all of them have scents that i can stand (as in not much scent at all to compete with all the perfume i've got goin' on).  i'm not loyal to one particular brand of perfume, as we well know, tho' i do think i have every scent ralph lauren makes, so that's the closest i come to brand loyalty on fragrance.

i'm a faithful user of estée lauder futurist age-resisting foundation (i love that age-resisting thing). the nail polish i have is overwhelmingly chanel with the occasional mac for the more wacky colors. chanel totally got me hooked way back in the mid-90s with vamp. i adored that color. eyeshadow is all mac at the moment, tho' i do a bit of bobby brown and the occasional dior. eyeliner goes between mac and estée lauder. lipstick is all mac at the moment, but there have been times when it was all estée lauder. (i think it's the same company behind both, so it probably doesn't really matter).

but the fact is that they are all brands, brands, brands. and i've been like this as long as i can remember making my own brand choices. but why is that? i no longer buy women's magazines and the only time i see ads for such things is the odd copy of vanity fair or when i page through the glossy mags at the hairdresser or when i read berlingske's infernal sunday magazine. so what makes me so loyal to the brand names?

i've actually tried with both foundation and eyeliner to go to more off-the-shelf sorts..max factor or l'oreal or the like, but honestly didn't like them as well as i like the futurist--it just goes on better and looks better and feels better (you get that? better.). and as for the eyeliner, many eyeliners will make your eyes water, which just kinda defeats the purpose.  i was a faithful l'oreal mascara user for years until i discovered the yves st. laurent and actually only went looking for it when i could no longer find the l'oreal one i liked (i think they stopped making it).

and i'd like to think that my faithful long-term use of good skin care products has helped me have less wrinkles than many people my age. (nothing to do with living in a place where the sun doesn't shine that much or the fact that i've never smoked. nope. gotta be the youthtopia.)

but am i just a victim of years of advertising and societal pressure which makes me think i need all that product in the first place. or is it just because i would rather douse myself in perfume than shower on a regular basis? or are the brands really better?

what brands are you loyal to and why?


Ady Grafovna said...

I am not much of a brand girl. I rarely wear make-up, and when I do I just get what is on sale. I wash with basic Ivory soap and have since before I could choose on my own. I do not use many hair care products and my shampoo is usually whatever is on sale too. Even with clothes, I tend to buy vintage things and handmade items rather than a name brand.

The one thing that I am VERY picky about is peanut butter. We do not eat meat and peanut butter is a staple in our house. I cannot tolerate any pb that is not JIF. I can seriously taste the difference. I can see and smell the difference too.

Sometimes, the brand is just better.

will said...

I'm partial to only one brand of cleaner: Water.

I wear $12. Costco jeans. I only buy shoes costing less than $50. and I buy other stuff at the Eddie Bauer outlet store. But my woodworking tools are all first class and I use an iMac computer. Priorities.

Janet said...

I am so-so on brands. i am with you on the ralph lauren perfumes. don't know if i have every one, but several. i also like CK and some Abercrombie & Fitch. i'm careful about perfumes, tho, because i get migraines occasionally & that seems to be one of the things tha can trigger one. haven't smelled this yet, but love the bottle of danny seo's new organic line. see it here:

julochka said...

ady - that's funny b/c when i lived in the US, i was totally a skippy girl. :-)

bill - don't even get me started on the other stuff. but iMac for sure (and nikon). :-)

janet - will check that out. not sure i've seen danny seo.

in general, i'm not this way about clothes, unless gap counts. i only have gap jeans--but they just fit me best. the other stuff clothes-wise, i'm cool with whatever i like, it doesn't have to be some special brand.

spudballoo said...

Hmm, excellent question. I'm more of a brand flirt although I've stayed loyal to Eve Lom cleanser and moisturiser, Chanel mascara and eyeliner and Mac Studio Fix foundation. Oh and Chanel and Bourjois nailvarnish.

Other than that, there's a bit of Chatacaille going on for eyeshadow, some Bourjois, occasional forays in to Bobby Brown and Mac.

I like Laura Mercier lipgloss and powder.

I adore Chanel 19, and currently like something flowery (peony?) by Stella McCartney.

Great post. I used to spend a week a month on the road and got very familiar with duty free at London Heathrow and then all over the world. But Heathrow is the best.

Happy Days.

Oh, should you need to know, my boys love my Bourjois sparkly silver eyeshadow the bset for themselves. And like to use my Shu Umura (spelling?) powder brush to clean the windows with. Shudder.

Liz Fulcher, The Fragrant Muse said...

Your posts make me long for the old days when my clothes were Prada and jewelry 18K. I loved this aspect of living in Europe.

Now, however, I work in the dark and it's so physical that I've considered permanent makeup cause everything else slides off my face. On the other hand, I work in my barefeet and the piggies like that.

I'm not overly loyal to any brand of makeup except Bare Minerals which really does make my skin look better. I have rosacea and it hides the pinkness really well. And I like Revlon lipstick, but I think I have a weird attraction to the way it tastes...

As far as skincare, I've tried everything from cheap to expensive and have come to the conclusion that sunscreen, rest, water and eating well are the only things that truly make a difference.

I love the way you photograph of perfume bottles.

I can't believe it. I swear, my WV is: gosimpli

heidikins said...

Part of me wished I cared about perfume as much as you do--because I love reading about it!

Sadly, I have 2 scents I love and have worn for years, one for winter, one for summer.

....And that's all she wrote, folks.


Meri said...

I love the fragrance St. John, the one that was discontinued for a while and then brought back because so many devotees like me complained. What I rue, however, is that the fragrance doesn't come in an unbreakable bottle. I just parted with $95 for a bottle of eau de toilette at Nordstrom, because the fragrance is now a Nordstrom exclusive and can't be bought online, and when I got it home, the bottle inside the cellophane-wrapped box was shattered. I tried to salvage what I could by pouring it into a designed fragrance bottle with a glass stopper, but it had pretty much soaked into the box and the shopping bag. At least my bathroom smells heavenly -- but that's a damn expensive air freshener.

jane said...

i do love my brands especially hair products. then one day i ran out of hair gel (i have wild curly hair- so basically a tragedy) and tried almond oil ( i was desperate...) It worked great. And am now devoted... you have no idea how much money i´m saving... now if you want to talk face creams...

Char said...

funny - I'm a brand hound on certain things and on other things I don't care at all. my downfall is purses.

rxBambi said...

Ummm, unfortunately I am a brand girl. Wish I didn't care so much but I just am. One thing that I can't change: eye make-up REMOVER has to be Lancome. All others sting my eyes. Also, shoes and purses have to be good ones. And cereal. My sister makes fun of me. But I'm the one she calls her 'narcisister' so it's ok...

Seaside Girl said...

Can you please teach me how to do this make up conversation thing? Honestly I long to be a real girl (a la pinochio)(I have no idea if that is spelt right but the wooden boy freaks me out and I can't be bothered to check) Latest make up came free with daughters teen magazine. Thats bad isn't it?

WV word - steripme - oo la la...

Optimistic Pessimist said...

I'm a packaging whore...and I know I shouldn't be but I am. Sometimes I can resist the temptation, but usually I cave.

paris parfait said...

Oh Prescriptives - I've been using their skin care and cosmetics since they launched in 1980! And I'm a Chanel nail polish girl too, almost as long as I've been using Prescriptives. I also like Sisley skincare, some Clarins products and Origins. Christian Dior waterproof pencil eyeliner. As for perfume, I switch alltime fave Paco Rabanne's eau de Metal (weird name, but great perfume) was discontinued add I've never found anything else that compares. Although Chanel's Allure is nice.