I think a lot about beauty. Which would seem pretty obvious, seeing as though I spend a huge proportion of my life writing, talking and reading about it, but it goes beyond the sort of “formal thinking” that sees me researching skincare ingredients or scrutinising the longevity of a face base. I think about beauty when I see a striking woman as I walk down the street, or hug my Mum and smell a new perfume. I think about beauty in the supermarket, when I pass a magazine stand, when I flick through a cookbook, when I sort out the laundry. It’s something of an obsession.
And I’ve noticed, recently, that although I am becoming more and more passionate about beauty as the years go by, I seem to be developing a certain amount of disdain for many of the makeup and skincare trends that are prevalent today. Is that an age thing? Or do lots of women feel the same way as me? I’m a thirty-seven year old woman with a disposable income, very little free time and a penchant for nice things that give me a lift and a morale boost when life is stressful and relentlessly chaotic. I don’t need to know “three FREE ways to remove blackheads with household objects!” or “how to apply foundation with the sole of your shoe” and I definitely, absolutely one hundred percent do not want to cover myself with glitter. Unless it’s on a dress. I don’t want to overline my lips to the point where they look almost grotesquely heavy, or wear false lashes so big that I can barely open my eyes. I love a flawless look as much as the next person, but I don’t want to wear makeup so exaggerated and weirdly perfect that I end up looking like a Disney Princess!
Which brings me neatly to the new You x Max Factor campaign, which represents – to put it bluntly – beauty for grownups. Beauty products designed for busy women, tips and tutorials that won’t make us want to eat our own hands with frustration and (again, being blunt!) advertising that will make us want to buy stuff. The campaign puts confident, busy women in the spotlight; it wants to represent the women we find inspiring and to cater for our beauty needs rather than following the latest craze.
Ultimately, it taps into who we are and what we want. We’ve got careers and passions, we are working on personal projects such as writing novels or house-renovating or building garden sheds; we make lists of things we want to achieve and keep journals where we record our progress. Some of us have families or are struggling to have families, most have been through important life changes or powerful, life-changing experiences. All sorts of things are going on, and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t be represented in the world of beauty. It’s Beauty with Depth, as the campaign describes it.
Beauty with Depth is a pretty accurate description of what I personally like to see when I’m buying into beauty. It might be something in a video or image that’s humorous or cheeky, rather than bolshy or all-out power-woman, but it’s just that little bit more – that added character – that makes me sit up and take note.
An interesting bit of background material, because I do love some stats; the You x Max Factor campaign has been launched in response to a huge global survey that Max Factor carried out, interviewing women aged 30-55 about beauty, confidence and the sorts of products and advertising that they would like to see. The results were fascinating; only 17% of the women in the study felt that beauty advertising was aspirational – only a tiny 10% felt that beauty advertising represented relatable women!
And this idea of women in advertising being “relatable” is incredibly significant, because 88% of the women believed that beauty is a combination of appearance, personality and charisma. It’s not just about looks – it’s about character, and 80% of the women interviewed said that beauty advertising didn’t represent women’s character, which they feel is a key aspect of their beauty.
And so Max Factor, in response to the survey, are completely changing the way they develop and advertise their products – from recognising that women are often incredibly busy (we need quick-fix makeup and plenty of it!) to using women in their advertising who are confident, have life experience, who feel that beauty is not just a flat image of a characterless face.
What do you find inspiring or aspirational in beauty? (Ruth’s Mini Survey time.) Does beauty advertising speak to you in a way that you like? Or do you find it flat, or condescending, or falling short of the mark? Do you want to be sold perfection, or does an appealing personality and little dose of humour do it for you every time? Answers on a postcard. You can find out more about the Max Factor You x Max Factor campaign on their Facebook page here and watch the campaign video below!
This post is an advertorial for the You x Max Factor campaign.