Sunday, 25 April 2010

Advertising v Allocation

We all know the power of beauty advertising in the glossy mags - and the pressure then put on the journalists to write about the advertisers products in their beauty pages.
So much so that if like me, you are a beauty product AND a glossy mag junkie - you will know what is going to be inside simply from reading the headline on the cover..e.g.

'Top 5 Products you MUST own!' - I know what you're thinking!
'Top 5 Facials you MUST have!' - I know who you're thinking of!
'5 Products to get you in to shape for the Summer!' - you get the picture...

Bit repetitive?


It occurred to me that these lists very rarely contain one thing - what the staff ACTUALLY use!

All companies give their staff an 'allocation' - some very generous - some less so (one very famous MU line cut the entire allocation for their UK staff last year due to the economic crisis in the US - B.A.D. move - B.A.D. - upsetting the people who have to SELL your product - genius).

 So, from the girls (and some boys!) - the REAL products you should own!

Advertising v Allocation!

Waiting lists for: Nail Polishes/Lipsticks

Staff swear by: 
'the best colours and packaging'
HydraMax Serum
'LOVE it!'

Renowned for: Future/Real/Just Skin
What you NEED?:
Talc Free Loose Powder
'Oh my God - you don't realise what a loose powder IS until you have used this'
Mascara Faux Cils
'Permanently sold out for a reason'

Biggest Sellers: Hand Cream, Beauty Flash Balm, Multi-Active Day Cream
What do the staff say you SHOULD be using?:
Tonic Oil
'Not just for pregnant women - I go insane if I am low on this'
Generation 6
'Everything in one bottle - can't live without it'
Hydra Quench Mask
'Fixes my face in 5 minutes' 

Estee Lauder
Best known product: Advanced Night Repair Serum (quelle surprise)
What do the staff swear by?:
Lash Primer Plus
'Does EXACTLY what is says on the tube' 
'Cannot live without it'
'Would pay for it if I didn't work for the company!' 

Laura Mercier
Best-sellers: Tinted moisturiser
Everyone should own:
Hydratint SPF15 in Berry, Rose and Nude
'Perfect for every skin colour'

Renowned for: Spice Lip Liner
Must have:
Lip Glass - all variations - especially clear
'Anyone can use - on its own or over other product'

Renowned for: Orgasm blush, Laguna bronzer, Body Glow
What the team use?:
Mekong Eyeshadow
'The BEST no-red,no-orange brown'
Dragon Girl Velvet Matt Lip Pencil
Check these testers instore - they are always a stub
'the perfect grab-it-and-go red'
'obsessed with it'

Shu Uemura 
Obviously!: Eyelash Curler
Staff were adamant on this one: 
'can be used wet or dry and the best pigment' 
Drawing Pencil Eye Liner in matt black 
'I can do a full smoky eye with this one product in 3 minutes'

Best Sellers: Sisleya, Express Flower gel
The staff order: 
Ecological Compound 
'our best-kept secret' 
All Day All Year
'an unbelievable moisturiser'

Trish McEvoy 
Renowned for: planners
Staff use:
Finish Line
'especially for jobbing make-up artists  - weddings etc - makes everything waterproof'

So - the next time you're at a counter  - say to the staff - 'what do you order on your allocation?'

You may be pleasantly surprised!

Part 1 of 2!

Pictures courtesy of Michelle George


  1. Very interesting post, thanks for sharing! x

  2. Wow - great post! Am going to order some Mekong Eyeshadow right now. Sounds like just what I'm looking for.

  3. I couldn't agree more. The pressure these teams are put under is immense! The pressure to sell through on new products is often increased as they're heavily influenced by tempting incentives set up by the brands. What I've seen going on behind the scenes is frightening..

    My advice is to really make friends with the sales teams, build up a good relationship with them, treat them with respect and in turn, they should give you honest, genuine advice.

    Oh, and taking away allocations! How very dare they!!!

  4. This was a great, insightful post, can't wait for part two!

  5. I think it's crappy to reduce allocations; staff need to be able to recommend products/colours they own and use.

    It is interesting what SAs actually choose to get themselves. I'll never forget a SA telling me to get the Shu U eyelash curler, when she didn't work for Shu U. It made me trust her a lot more than if she'd just pushed all the mascaras etc her line was selling.

  6. Brilliant post. Love your blog and all the advice - the facial post especially provided some laughs here at home!

  7. Hi Caroline! I like using Talc, but Chantecaille is out of my budget, and not highly available here in Canada. Is there anything else you would recommend? Thanks!