Make-up as we go along

11 Apr

I have been looking for a book that shows detailed photos of how to apply make-up for a few years now and I haven’t found one yet that ticks all my boxes.

Recently I saw that Napoleon Perdis released a book about how to obtain a flawless finish. “PERFECT, I’LL BUY IT” I thought. I went into Borders yesterday to have a flip through and was most disappointed. The book seems to just be brand promotion… not really a guide to how to do your make up more effectively which then in turn happens to make you want to buy that brand of make up.

I then moved on to looking at Bobbi Browns book. More of the same disappointingly.

Or course, everyone is different and perhaps some people are looking for the type of books they offer, but make up is a visual thing. Why are there so many books filled with essays on eyeliner? PHOTOS PLEASE!

If I was running a fashion magazine, or a beauty brand, I would try and provide as much useful usage information as possible. Something down to earth and easy for people to follow and refer to. What I would LOVE to find is a book that shows how to do basic eyeshadow. Not over the top movie make up. I want it to show photos of a shut eye and walk through steps of how to achieve a look. Seriously, why can’t I find that?

I have some Covergirl eyeshadow that came with a small picture to illustrate how to apply the different colours more effectively. Thumbs up to them and you know what, I’ll be more inclined to buy that brand again because at least I’ll have some ideas on how to apply the colours and which area to apply them to around the lid.

Image courtesy of

I found some books that weren’t too bad, but nothing really captured concept I wanted. Perhaps the glamour industry is not thinking enough about the end use of products and the way to engage customers by providing useful ideas and guides, they are more caught up in the push concept rather than the pull.

Let’s talk about that shall we. Push and Pull strategies are things that are sometimes overlooked in marketing, particularly within smaller companies who have smalled budgets.

A Push Strategy is when a manufacturer uses its sales team to try and induce spending from the customer. This could be by offering discounts, talking up the product etc. It can be a useful strategy when products have low brand loyalty or the product has little or no product differentiation (eg plain flour).  So the product is being “pushed” on the customer.

A Pull Strategy is where the customers want the product and actively seek it. This is brought on with the help of advertising and is most useful when products have high differentiation (jewellery for instance as each designer offers different designs), there is high category involvement and brand loyalty. So the customer is “pulling” the product through with their interest.

Of course, a pull is a more positive path for the flow of goods to take as it is the end user who desires, and is engaged with the product which in turn creates a positive purchasing choice by the store who knows that there are sales ready to be made. However, both push and pull strategies should be as strong as each other.

Note to self: See how long it takes for a magazine to take my idea and run with it. 🙂


5 Responses to “Make-up as we go along”

  1. karl 02-97152272 April 11, 2010 at 8:39 am #


  2. belindabel April 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Well Karl perhaps you can market paperbags as makeup. If you can generate a pull strategy with those let me know.

  3. karl 02-97152272 April 12, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    only a hero would try to market paperbags for makeup-that’s not me.As I previously commented heroes are under attack these days it seems-and maybe non-heroes too.I think women would be surprised how much men dislike makeup on women.Perhaps this doesn’t matter to them if they are egocentric-they would be wearing the make-up for themselves.Fair exceptions to this would be women (or men) who wear make-up to cover severe skin blemishes like ‘port wine’ stain on the face.Years ago there was a range called ‘covermark’ which a woman I knew used to cover scars from an operation to remove a cancer from her face in the nasal region. I have also seen a severe port-wine stain on the face of a middle-aged woman DISAPPEAR after application of solution of coal tar under medical supervision.There you are Belinda-no pull strategy for paperbags-just some push strategy for appropriate use of ‘cosmetic’ items.Regards to you.

  4. belindabel April 13, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Karl I mostly agree with your points on make up… but perhaps you have only ever seen people with terrible caked on over the top make up. When make up is done very minimally and with natural colours, it is hardly noticable yet just finishes a womans face and defines her features.

    Case study: Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Her make up and style has been sort of bland and old womanly until a few weeks ago when obviously someone got a hold her her, fixed her hair and pencilled her eyebrows in. I saw her on the news yesterday and wondered if she had had a facelift or something because she looked GREAT!

    Case Study 2: SA Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond. Her make up is TERRIBLE and every time I see her wonky eyebrows I cringe. She needs to tone it down and find someone to daintily pencil her eyebrows in.

    So I do mostly agree with you Karl and you have some good points, but I think that when applied sparingly, with quality products and good lighting, a woman can look fabulous and very natural with make up on.

  5. Jess August 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    lol @ Isobel Redmond, her eyebrows are out of control

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