Skip to main content

The Cost of Beauty

You saw a beauty product. It seems like the solution to all your problems, then you look at the price tag. And you decide that living with that problem seems like a better alternative to buying the product.

We all know, through experince, that the price of a product has little or no relevance to the efficiency of the product. Sometimes Lakme's simple lotions do the job better than Forest Essential's pricy lotions.

beauty productsImage by roberto_berna via Flickr
So exactly as a consumer do you pay for? Just the cream? No.. Most of you are knowledgeble enough & will know that we also pay for branding & packaging. But that is not all.
Digging into my learnings during my MBA here is a list of some of the common things you pay for:

1. The Marketing, Advertising & Branding: Like the fancy sounding name? You better, coz you have paid in part the fees to the professional who came up with it. The hoarding, the adverstisement, the models, the branding, the website - you have paid for all of it. & these things contribute quite a bit to the final cost. After all if the company didn't bombard you with front page ads, would you be influenced to buy it?

2. The Supply Chain Cost: Yup, you have paid for the distribution, the logistics, the storage. All that which has enabled the product to reach a store next to you.

3. Breakage Cost: During all this transportation, there are some fragile bottles & tubes that get damaged. These cannot be sold then. Who then makes up for the cost? You do. You pay either directly or for the insurance premium on these consignments.

4. Stolen/Misplaced goods: Transporting goods across the length & breadth of our country can be a herculian task. Sometimes consignments get stolen, or misplaced.

5. Research Costs: The study that the company did to prove its efficacy to you, you sponsored it.

6. Product Cost: And yes of course you pay for the actual product, & its exotic angel dust ingredients. You also pay for the various dud products that the cosmetic chemist came up with before this break-through product was created.

7. Packaging cost: the designer who created the cute-as-a-button packaging to the colors & the actual cost of packaging. All accounted for by you.

This is not to say that the company is wrong in charging you for all of this. After all, if it were not advertised, distributed to your local store, tested for efficacy & packaged correctly, you would have never managed to lay hands on it. Plus you want the product to be researched for any potential side-effects so it is not you who erupts into boils like a guinea pig.

The only way to avoid these costs is to create your own products, which while being cost-effective may not be as good or safe from a microbiological point of view.

The solution to this is to become a little more demanding as a consumer, as well as more aware. Don't buy products that seem to invest heavily in branding, but not in the reaseach & product. After all your skin benefits from the product & not the strength of the brand name.

Don't like the packaging? Make your voice heard on online review forums. Think the product stinks?  Let other consumers know. As consumers we need to let the companies know that they cannot just feed us tall stories.

Read about the ingredient list, become an educated consumer. Identify the active ingredient (generally the first 5 on the list) and look for cheaper or better formulated products. Only then will you get the bang for your buck.  Or should I say the pink for your blush.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. the best article i ever read on a beauty blog tanveer..

  2. @Pavani: Thanks Girl! Glad u liked it :)


Post a Comment

Hey! Thank you for taking the time out to add your valuable comment. I will revert as soon as possible.


I delete blatant self-promotion and comments where it is clear the post material was not carefully read. If you are not going to bother to engage with the post, I am not going to bother posting your comment.

I also delete ALL comments with links - even if the link is to your blog.

Don't be mean to other commentators - it serves no purpose other than showcase your own personality in a bad light.

Popular posts from this blog

Reetha, Amla & Shikakai Home Made Shampoo - Weekend Experiment

Good Morning Lovelies, I hope your weekend was fun. Mines was, well, ho-hum, but anyways, we are not talking about that here (let’s save that cribbing for twitter).
I have been suffering from quite a bit of hair fall since some time. I have tried changing products to using intensive conditioning and the works. It stops the hair fall for while, but then it rears its ugly head again.
So on lark, & for lack of better things to do, my best friend & I decided to make some Reetha – Amla – Shikakai shampoo at home. This century old ayurvedic herbal concoction is reputed to not only strengthen hair, but also darken it and stop hair fall.
I got the 3 biggies from a local kirana store. All 3 are priced at 15 Rs for 100gms.

How to: Soak 5 pieces of Shikakai, 4 balls of Reetha  (Soapnut) & handful of Amla (Indian Gooseberry)  in about 500 ml of water overnight. In the morning, heat the mixture on gas till it just starts to boil. Let it cool, when lukewarm mash all the amla, reetha and…

Skin Care Myth: Sunscreen will stop you from Tanning

Image via Wikipedia I know I did a recent article on skin care myths (read it here), but I don't know how I forgot to mention this particular myth. In any case I think this warranted a post on its own.

Myth: If I use a suncreen regularly and religiously, I will not tan. 

Fact: This is a very simplistic statement. But before I bust this myth, kindly bear through a science lecture. This is to bring all readers of all backgrounds on the same knowledge level.

Lets define sunscreen (from Wikipedia):Sunscreen (also commonly known as sunblock or sun cream) is a lotion, spray, gel or other topical product that absorbs or reflects "some" of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation on the skin exposed to sunlight and thus helps protect against sunburn. Sunscreen helps protect only against direct DNA damage as it cannot dissipate UV as harmless heat.

The SPF of a sunscreen is a laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen — the higher the SPF, the more protection a sunscreen …

I made "Washed Ghee" at home and it turned out great!

Yesterday I posted about the importance of fat in our diet. While doing research for the same I came across the recipe for "Washed Ghee" or Shata Dhaut Ghrita (100 times washed ghee).

After I read about this miracle at home cream, it was inevitable that I would try to create this cream myself. All I needed apparently was some cow ghee & water.

So I made it last evening. And here is how it went.

For those readers who haven't read the earlier post: Hundred times washed ghee is prepared from organic cow milk ghee by washing it in purified water, repeatedly, 100 times in a copper vessel, using a specific prescribed method while chanting some mantras

This procedure transforms the ghee into a soft, cooling, nourishing, silky unguent that is used as a traditional moisturizer and anti wrinkle skin cream. It produces radiant and glowing skin, especially for people with easily inflamed skin. It can be used as a daily face and body moisturizer or for facial massage. Apply it for…