As an experienced Journalist who’s been around the block, I often get asked what industry I work in. Do I document current affairs? Am I capturing the latest political movements in Europe? Do I work for newspapers or online news or magazines? And every time, when I utter the famous-last-words, ‘I report on cosmetics business news’, I’m met with confused, ‘I wish I’d never asked’ faces of industry outsiders who a) have no idea what I’m talking about and/or b) assume I review lipsticks for a living and am a vacuous airhead as the blonde mane and highlighted cheeks suggest. And while, yes, I have reviewed a lipstick or two in my time (and Charlotte Tilbury, if you’re reading, I’m happy to trial the whole collection if needed), I always give myself a mental telling off for fleetingly feeling my job of writing about this industry is anything less significant or important than any other form of news reporting. Alas, it’s clear that the cosmetics world as a whole is all-too-often tarnished with the ‘superficial’ brush, and that whether you report on the front or back end of the market, you too often fall under this damning header.
However, I’m going to shoot down that title, and here’s why. Not only am I an intelligent and learned journalist, I wholeheartedly believe in this industry, to which I have dedicated nearly 15 years of my career. Yes, here at wonderful Global Cosmetics News, we cover the back stories to the brands; the mergers, acquisitions, financial reports, environmental coups and marketing movements – if it’s happening, we report it. But rather than being a market with a mindless product, I believe it actually revolves around empowerment. Yep, you heard it right. Cosmetics, personal care items, and sleek and shiny packaging are empowering for both men and women in their day-to-day lives.
In the words of John Chave, Director General of Cosmetics Europe, the European trade association for the cosmetics and personal care industry, “But what if cosmetics and personal care products are important to people in ways which go beyond the surface? What if the motivation for using them is very much more than vanity?”
Indeed. And if the association’s stats are anything to go by, the cosmetics world certainly does go beyond personal vanity. Talking to male and female European consumers in ten countries from various backgrounds, it was discovered that 80 percent of consumers thought cosmetic and personal care products have a positive effect on self-esteem and social interaction while 72 percent of consumers feel cosmetics and personal care products improve their quality of life. Likewise, according to Chave, who spoke to Eurativ.com, the study found that ‘90 percent of consumers thought that good personal hygiene was important or very important in their quality of life (much more important than a rewarding job)’.
These figures consolidate my pride for the industry I work in because, let’s face it, quality of life is of paramount importance isn’t it? And that new Charlotte Tilbury highlighter of course – Chars? Any chance?