Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Choose or Lose

Is the beauty industry here to provide choices or sell to us?

  • Just to sell to us! (73%, 1,639 Votes)
  • Provide choices! (25%, 554 Votes)
  • Other -- I'll tell you in the comments! (2%, 49 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,242

Feel free to elaborate on your answer in the comment section! :)

Thanks to CeeBee for today’s poll!

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42 thoughts on “Is the beauty industry here to provide choices or sell to us?

  1. jen

    clearly they are here to sell to us, bc that is the point of any for-profit business. but bc there are so many choices, the competition creates great products! it doesn’t matter what size you are, shoes and makeup always “fit” 😀

    • Chynna

      I agree, the whole point is for them to make money. A smart company knows it needs to provide choices in order to get us to buy their product instead of someone else’s, so choices are presented in the forms of new ideas/tech, packaging, colors, scents, options to give your some control (make your own palette, click for amount of product delivered), and pricing. A business needs to make money to be successful and a good ones will be successful by giving you some form of choices.

  2. Sometimes I feel like the size of the company is inversely proportional to their desire to provide choices for their customers.

  3. They are definitely here to sell to us, its profit making after all…but in the process of doing that to better the competition, they end up givins us more choices, its a bit of both

  4. Providing choices is part of selling to us: being able to tell us that they have something that their competitors don’t have can get buyers to plunk down money.

  5. I really think its a mix of both lik

  6. I really think its a mix of both MAC comes with collections to get ppl to buy and the permanent collection for chioces.

  7. Marie

    To sell to us. Thinking otherwise is naive imho. Their only goal is to earn money. Sure, they provide choices but it’s because it’s a competitive system, and brands have to innovate and better each other if they don’t want to fail.

  8. Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that the most prominent reason is to make money… they are businesses after all. But they need to provide us with enough choices so that we feel the need to buy more.

  9. Kelly C.

    Both, really. They’d like us to think its all about choice, but really the motive is sell sell sell!

  10. miranda

    i feel that it’s both. all of the brands in the beauty industry’s sole purpose is to sell but by making all these things to sell, your giving people tons of choices.

  11. Steph

    I would say they go hand in hand. Cosmetics is very lucrative, but in order to keep selling to us companies have to keep providing us with choices.

  12. Angelcat47

    I believe that the bigger companies,such as EL,Lancome,etc are here to sell to us.The smaller,niche companies,such as Inglot,Illmasqua,etc. are here to provide choices.I also believe,however,that niche companies can get so large that they become like the large conglomerates and care only about sales.I think a good example of this is Tarte.It may not be there yet,but it’s getting there.

  13. I think it depends on the brand. When Estee Lauder bought out MAC and Smashbox, there were drastic changes to both companies. They started to focus on sales instead of substance & quality. Ultimately, the industry wants to make money, but some companies do want to offer good choices. What I find to be strange is that they most often offer products geared toward people they think will buy. For example, a lot of companies don’t offer foundation shades for darker skinned women, and I noticed that lot of brands have made their lines “hip”, as if they are trying to appeal to older women as well as younger women.

    • They also don’t make foundations LIGHT enough either. I have never found one at the drugstore and MAC doesn’t have a shade light enough for me either. :( I guess they think there aren’t enough of us at the ends of the spectrum for it to be worth it to make products for.

  14. Eileen

    The beauty industry is there to sell to us AND to offer us choices although their raison d’être is, of course, sale of product. In order to sell, though, they make sure to offer a wide variety of products at numerous price points.

  15. Melina

    of course they want to sell us.. but i believe they give us sooo choices…
    i work for a well known brand, probably the biggest in the indistry, (will not name it here)… and when we had our training for the brand they trainer told us to make the customer feel happy.
    and u know i feel good when i see a customer happy when she/he buys products because i know i helped someone.. and made their day! :)

  16. Traci

    I believe that from the beauty industry’s perspective, of course they want profit, they are after all a business. However, I think it is their responsibility to provide their customers with choices that are high quality at the right price point. If they want to continue making a profit, they have to cater to us and keep us happy, otherwise we won’t be buying!

  17. The beauty industry is a business, so they are not here to do charity. They provide us so many different options because they are trying to earn money.

    If all the makeup was the same I would not buy 10 different mascaras, they would have the same effect. But we have the waterproof & non waterproof, water resistant, lengthening, volumizing, curling, separating… We have all kinds of needs and the beauty industry is here to take advantage of that. I’m not saying thats wrong, I’m saying that’s business!

  18. TexasMommy

    I think it’s mainly to sell sell sell, but with so many brands it does offer us choices as well.

  19. I voted just to sell to us although I don’t know what I would do if suddenly all make up was dissapearing from planet!!!
    Its that I feel that it is a need that has been created to us. We dont really “need” it. But we go buy like crazy and get obsessed over using it!

    • It is true. Vanity is a part of human nature. When I needed to do a persuasive speech for my speech class, I talked about how cosmetics are not a modern thing. I found out that in 3000 BC China, women used to mix yellow pigments with oil and paint their foreheads with it for a golden appearance. Archaeologists found a lip painting kit in the tomb of an Egyptian queen. It was over 5,000 years old and contained red henna, crushed beetles & pulverised ants. The desire to look good is not a contemporary one.

  20. Jessi

    To sell to us…But I don’t think there’s anything negative about it O.O heck that’s just business…. They’d be stupid not too…I think there are deffinitely people in the business who’s purpose is both. They want to make a profit (duh otherwise they wouldn’t be marketing a product) but they want to make that profit by providing choices and good quality products that people will enjoy.

  21. Laia

    OK, sure they give us choices, but their main goal is selling their products to us. In fact, I have the idea that we don’t really need more than half of what they try to sell us because it’s just unnecessary but they’re smart and they make us want it for no reason. Ohhh the marketing!

  22. Fitrah

    Am I the only one that doesn’t understand this question? The purpose of business is to make money. I feel like I’m missing something…

  23. CeeBee

    Overall, it’s all about the almighty dollar I think.
    MAC irritates me immensely with such frequent collections of LE products, because it creates a “BUY NOW OR YOU’LL MISS OUT!!!” scenario for the consumer. Lovely for MAC because more often than not, it means demand is so great it is guaranteed to sell out quickly, equal parts joy and misery for the lucky ones and those who missed out. But I think in those cases, it’s really important to assess the product (which is why Christine is so helpful!) because if it’s an adequate or mediocre item, then are we buying because of hype or because it actually that great?

    Alternatively, I think sometimes I think cosmetic companies only offer us so many choices because they don’t know what we want!

  24. holly

    I think different companies have different intentions. Obviously in this day and age everyones wants to make money and be successful, however I think a small amount of brands really do want to offer customers a wider range and better choices and those aren’t always given enough credit! :)

  25. Kris

    I feel like I understood the question differently than most… For me, make-up has been around for thousands of years. So you’ve always had a make-up provider and a consumer and a monetary dynamic: from that perspective, yes, the beauty industry aims to sell. But what’s more important is the fact that make-up is a characteristic of our history/society, and we’ve never gone bare-faced yet: today, the beauty industry provides choice. Mineral, non-allergenic, cruelty-free. etc: we get to choose between so many different things!

  26. Mimi

    It’s both. Yes, many people will say the dollar is more important now and it probably is. However, there was a time when there were people who made products to meet the needs of others because society demanded it. However, now we have instances where companies MAKE our problems and make the solutions to our problems.

    For instance, did anyone see the last episode of the Colbert Report where he was talking about Dove’s new line of deodorants that would make armpits look beautiful? He says that the best way to make money off of women is to tell them what’s wrong with them first, and market them the solution, and I completely agree with that. It’s what the cosmetic industry has come down to, with all the competition.

    Maybe it’s just me… I’ve never really complained about the appearance of my armpits.

    • beth maiorana

      You make a brilliant point here; so obvious that I would have missed it totally had you not brought it up here ! Thanks for this … ;-))

  27. Maggie

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to make such a broad generalization either way – I think a lot of companies, particularly big-name brands, are in it primarily for profit-making. But I get the impression from some small companies/indie brands that they’re also there to offer high-quality/reasonably priced alternatives to big brands.

  28. Helen

    Of course, to sell to us – but they can’t do that WITHOUT offering choices.

  29. Shannon

    To sell and to provide choices :)

  30. Kris

    I think what’s unfortunate, especially as a woman who does genuinely enjoy cosmetics and gets a lot of pleasure out of finding just the “right” product or combination for me, is that it’s still very clear that what the beauty industry is about, first and foremost, is money. I’d agree that it’s a business, like any other, and I don’t think that makes ANY product somehow “bad,” because the producers of it want to make money; still, cosmetics more so than really most other consumables sells us all on the idea that something about ourselves is inadequate without them. One of the above comments mentions that we all have different beauty needs, realistically speaking none of us *needs*, we just want. I’m fine with the cosmetic consumerism for ourselves personally, a little part of me jumps in teeny joy when I figure out how to keep my eyeliner on my waterline all day or when I figured out how to create “smokey” eyes, but we can’t pretend that there’s anything altruistic about the beauty industry itself. Some brands offer cruelty free options, some have lines devoted to charity, and that’s super awesome, but the concept is still built around selling us on dissatisfaction with however we look, and motivating us to “improve” it, specifically to improve it with THEIR products.

    They’re pushers, and that’s fine. And we’re buying it, and that’s fine. But we ought to see it for the transaction it is.

  31. beth maiorana

    By definition, this “industry” is for generating revenue- for themselves; they will more effectively achieve this by ensuring that the consumer has a variety from which to select. Bottom line: it’s a business, first and foremost !! x0x0 ;-))

  32. Well, like many others have said, you have to provide choices in order to sell. But the main goal is to make money, as it is for most other corporations. I do PR and Marketing and honestly, it’s all about trying to convince you that you need products when sometimes you might need them, or that it’s GREAT quality when it’s actually crappy. That’s why I love beauty blogs; before it was all magazine editors hawking make up that often turned out to be crappy, even though they RAVED about it. Still happens; that’s why I skip make up recommendations in magazines, and go to beauty blogs instead.

  33. They exist to sell to us. The mark-up on cosmetics is astronomical! I can’t think of another industry where we pay so much for such minute quantities, a lot of which are preservatives and fillers.

    But because the beauty industry is just out to profit, I like to “vote” with my money. I am conscious of the fact that the choices I make when buying stuff can influence what they try to sell me. I try to buy products with no parabens, petrochemicals, etc., and not tested on animals. Although sometimes I am lured simply by an excellent product with great value (I’m coveting UD’s Naked palette!). But that encourages other companies to try and come out with similar products to compete, which is great because it gives us choice (hello, Tarte’s new neutrals palette, it reminds me of Naked).

  34. Saydie

    The late Charles Revson said:
    “We sell hope in a bottle” referring to Revlon Cosmetics (Book: Fire & Ice)
    …The goal is to sell many, many, bottles!!

  35. Saydie

    The late Charles Revson said,
    “We sell Hope in a Bottle” referring to Revlon Cosmetics (Book: Fire & Ice)
    The goal is to sell many, many, bottles!!