Tales from a skeptical shopper

The first time I googled something it was like magic. I thought for sure that the world was at my fingertips. And sometimes, the world offered me a lot of junk to sort through … many tens of pages of returned findings. But I learned how to narrow my searches and do so with options to find (either word) including “specific phrases”. I have developed some pretty okay google skills over the years.

Last week I decided to put said skills to work and do a little consumer research.

You may remember that I am not one to spend a lot on makeup. Or buy it often. However, my mom was visiting and she wanted to see Bare Escentuals makeup in person rather than on the tv, so we headed over their newly opened storefront at our very own mall and plunked ourselves down in the chairs. Make us over! we told them. Not really. But we were secretly hoping to see some magic occur.

About 30 minutes into it, I thought for sure we had wasted the last half hour of our lives. I was completely unimpressed. I did not take care to hide this from the ‘sales’ girl who suggested I walk into the middle of the mall walkway where there was natural light rather than the horrendous lighting design job they have in the store. [Someone or some team of someones should be fired for that.] Anyway, when I got in the atrium, I couldn’t believe how nice it looked. It was like someone flipped a switch, so I did the same with my attitude  and I bought a foundation makeup kit and mom chose a few things ala carte.

When I got to the car, I flipped down the mirror to see my face and got upset because my face was a different color than my neck. Yuck. I was preparing to make my makeup return and I hadn’t even left the parking lot yet. I figured since I had 30 days I would give it a good try though. Mind you, I like what I use: a $10 Mineral powder that works fine and I can throw in my purse and use and have put back away in 15 seconds if need be.

Being the skeptic that I am, I thought I would hunt down someone elses online input on the i.d.minerals vs. Physician’s Formula. Surely, I wasn’t the only one who had ever wondered in keyboard form how they compared, right?

I soon found myself buried in info. I went from wondering what people thought, to digging in company filings to see where each brand was manufactured and who exactly is that third party that did the manufacturing and what else they do….because I started to think that these brands may be made by the same people. You know, kind of like Old Navy is Gap is Banana Republic, but at a deeper level?

I became quite transfixed with my research. It was such a deep concentration that I knew if the phone rang, it would all be over. I must have had at least 15 tabs open at once and was holding information in my own memory queue, bouncing back & forth between investor relations extensions and Nasdaq filings (really – very interesting!)

Then I remembered some makeup I had bought a couple weeks ago … at the Dollar Store (come on, I couldn’t only buy a pregnancy test with a male cashier! Awkward!) So I picked up some glimmery eyeshadow & a lipgloss. With all the Dollar-Store-China-trouble, I thought for sure it would either cause blindness or burn my lips off my face, but to my amazement, it did neither (and the test was accurately negative). So I threw a 3rd makeup brand into the research pot.

I think subconsciously I was determined to find that Physicians Formula was the same as Bare Escentuals (or one of its couple other names that it goes by!!) But I couldn’t (because its not). I was pretty sure each of the foundation powders looked the same on my face too, but … they really don’t.

The Bare Escentuals makeup is waaaay nicer (granted, no one has told me so just yet.) And it takes longer to apply. As far as I’m concerned, it’s kind of a pain in the butt. But it is lightweight and it stays on pretty well. And what’s 5 more minutes on your foundation when you were only spending 15 seconds to begin with? I mean, its only taking me 19x longer to apply my makeup in the mornings now than before. And costing 6x more. You win some, you lose some, right honey?

I’ll tell you what though … that dollar lip gloss … (see me shaking my head?) … thats the goods right there.

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~ by hthr on October 17, 2008.

4 Responses to “Tales from a skeptical shopper”

  1. What? You took a pregnancy test?!!!!!

  2. LOL … YES and it was NEGATIVE!! You get an A- on reading comprehension 😉

  3. I love the Bare Minerals stuff, mainly b/c my skin doesn’t feel or look all oily and cakey by noon each day!

  4. When you run out of Bare Minerals try Everyday Minerals instead. It’s cheaper and doesn’t have bismuth oxychloride in it (Bare Minerals does and it often causes an itching and burning sensation after a while). I’ve been using EM for over a year now and love it, even though it *is* messier to apply than other types of makeup.

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