• Anastasia Pentias

TBN: Opinion Edition- Which Beauty Brands Do I Buy?

I consistently stay away for certain brands. Sometimes, they might even release a product that I've long been wishing for, but, still, I don't go there. My beauty consuming choices are dictated by my own brain algorithm, where the price/quality/brand ethics ratio needs to be balanced.

I have studied and worked in Communications. I know how to create brand identity, write copy and spin, which means that I'm (almost) immune to marketing. I seek out the information and not the message around a product. But, when I do perceive a message that doesn't agree with what I believe is important in life, I react in a negative manner. Kylie Jenner, Jefree Star, Kat Von D, these are all people I don't wish to support with my hard-earned money. I don't think they are beneficial to anyone but themselves. And you CAN be beneficial to your clients and yourself even when you are selling something as superficial as makeup. Beyond her genius products, look at what Charlotte Tilbury stands for: strong women, of all backgrounds, all ages, all ethnicities: 'Beautiful before, beautiful after'.

Other brands are simply too expensive for me. Not only because I literally can't afford them on a regular basis, but also because I don't believe they are worth the money. I will go up to the upper-middle tier but never the really expensive brands. One face cream is not worth 300 euros. I get Botox, mesotherapy or fractional laser for that money. Brands such as La Mer, Cult51 and La Prairie make products that I have tested and found less effective for my skin than those of Drunk Elephant and Sunday Riley. Please remember: what skincare can do for you is limited (with the exception of potent retinol). No, I cannot firm my face with a cream, nor can I rewind 15 years because the pot costs my salary. I would only recommend two brands at a high pricepoint: DCL (expensive) and Sisley (CRAZY expensive). Both give wonderful, instant results and are worth the money if you can spare it. Another absurdly expensive product I find truly unique is the Omorovizca Hungarian Mist. It's heaven for your skin but hell for your budget.

For the same reason, on the makeup side of things, I refuse to buy products from Tom Ford, Viseart, Pat McGrath, Natasha Denona etc. I don't spend 150 euros or more for a palette. Are they excellent? Yes. Can you replicate the exact result with brands at a small fraction of their prices? Abso-bloody-lutely. I am plagued with common sense, so they are out.

There are also brands I buy with caution; I have them on 'approval pending' status. Too Faced make good products but have found themselves involved in industry scandals for allegedly mistreating collaborators which is uncool, at best. Drunk Elephant are another example. While I understand the need for a unique and convincing brand identity, it is unethical to make unsubstantiated claims about your product. Drunk Elephant have a distinctly pseudoscientific approach. Their 'Suspicious Six' stance is predictably vague because it has no real ground to stand on. People will give you so many chances. When you continuously deny any adverse reaction because your products are supposedly super pure (a ridiculous concept as we could react to anything) or backtrack on your previous manifestos like they did with retinol, at some point consumers will go elsewhere and so will I. In contrast, I greatly appreciate brands such as Lixir and Healgel that offer super-sophisticated formulations with a clear, honest marketing message. The dermo-doctor creator of both brands, Colette Haydon, is obviously as averse to BS as I am.

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photo via https://www.tomford.com