I really enjoy Sali Hughes’ beauty columns in The Guardian (and her snarky twitter feed). And since she isn’t a slave to the Gods of Designer Brands, quite a bit of the stuff she recommends is reasonably priced too.
The problem is that in my experience, reasonably priced beauty stuff is very rarely properly packaged. Now I don’t drag my makeup around in my handbag or keep chucking it in a suitcase. And yet my makeup containers rarely survive for as long as it takes me to use up the actual makeup inside.
The hinge on the GOSH cheap-ish blusher (as recommended by Sali last weekend) has broken and is on its second piece of selotape. The printing on the No7 under eye concealer thingy (I’m allergic to the superior YSL version) has worn off so I’ve no idea what shade I need to buy next time and the powder puffs on the No7 pressed powder wear out so quickly I’ve had to buy spares from the chemist. Perversely of course, the actual power compacts are indestructible and you end up throwing perfectly good compact mirrors in the bin because No7 don’t do refills…
Then we move on to Haircare and Skincare. This Nivea shower gell bottle has a rounded top so you can’t leave it upside down to let the dregs gather:
And this Garnier hand cream might be the best one I’ve tried but ever since I broke two nails trying to get the blumin stuff out of the half empty tube I’ve switched allegiance:
These are essentially all design problems. Lovely packaging that persuades you to make a choice at the point of purchase is one thing – but if the same design then impedes usage you’re not going to repeat purchase.
Ben Terrett has a fantastic presentation in his blog archive called ‘I’m a designer, use me better’. He looks at how design can affect environmental impact and save money by solving problems.
Ben’s slide, not mine
If these beauty products were better designed, I wouldn’t be chucking them away half used and defecting to a different brand. So maybe the beauty industry needs to start using their designers better?