Thursday, 8 October 2009

What the hell is that?!

Has anyone ever thought about why certain products are packaged in certain ways? Especially those which you find hard to use in their current state?  Ever wondered why some companies are hit and miss with their packaging?

I'm talking mainly about three products.

The first product is mascara.  I never know when my mascara is finished, no matter how much I use it, it never finishes.  I used a Rimmel mascara for a year and it was still going strong.  Now, seeing as you're meant to chuck your mascaras away every three months and you get a lot of product in each tube, I think that "someone" should come up with a way to make the shelf life of mascara longer.  Obviously that's not top of the agenda for many scientists out there who are trying to find cures for far more pressing issues but maybe some cosmetologists should look into that?

I think mascara tubes should be clear so that you can see how much you're using and how much you have left so you're not caught short.  I can't see how having a clear mascara tube can be more expensive than having one which is plastic, coated in colour and then coated with text? Is it because manufacturers are scared that we won't like what mascara looks like? I think we're adult enough to realise it's just black stuff.  Lipglosses and clear mascara comes in clear tubes so I don't know why mascara gets special treatment? You could still print all the needed info onto the casing of the mascara so all laws would be complied with.

My second gripe is UDPP.  EVERYONE hates the packaging on this and those who don't are lying.  I don't know why UD haven't taken more notice of customers who dislike the packaging.  They took a slight bit of notice and changed the shape of the wand which doesn't really help matters because what do you do when you come into the bottleneck? I assume it gets stuck.

The shape of the bottle would mean (in my mind) that it can't be the easiest shape in the world to produce and that you'd need some nifty machine to carve out the exact same shape.  I'm sure it would be cheaper to just put the product into a squeezy tube a la Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I know UDPP goes off quickly when exposed to air but TFSI comes with a screw on lid which UDPP could mimic.

It kinda seems to me that UD KNOW how good their product is and can rely on the fact that people keep buying it and depotting it themselves so that THEY don't have to change the design of the product themselves.  Surely there are cheaper ways for them to make the packaging which would result in lowered costs of production for them and ease of use for the customer.  I personally wouldn't mind paying the same price for it if they changed to cheaper packaging as it is a really good product.

My last product is the Barry M blusher that everyone has been raving about recently.  Questions were asked as to why the Natural Dazzle packaging looked so nice whereas the blusher packaging made it look cheap.  Barry M's people stated that they made the choice to provide an affordable product over how the packaging looked.  That confused me a bit, if that truly was the reason then why did the Natural Dazzle come looking like the younger sister of NARS? Surely both would have been packaged the same?

At the end of that long rant, I ask you guys the following:

  • Which products do you detest the packaging of?
  • How would you improve packaging on certain products?
  • How much of a role does packaging play when you're deciding to buy a product? e,g. are you put off by cheap looking products and more drawn in by expensive looking ones or is the actual performance the sole factor you judge a product by?


  1. Ooh... questions!

    1. I dislike anything that I have to "dip" my finger into to get product out. Not 'cos of hygiene but purely 'cos I hate getting crap under my fingernails. Oh and I don't like those lipglosses with a plastic applicator moulded onto the end of a squeezy tube (like Juicy Tubes)

    2. Nozzles... they're *always* good.

    3. I judge the performance of the packaging more than how it looks. Like, I won't buy lipglosses in the aforementioned packaging. Just hate applying them. It would have to be a *really* good product for me to purchase it. So yes, packaging is very important.

    Nice food for thought xx

  2. This is a very interesting post seeing as I am working on a packaging project at work right now, and have been asked to consider some of the very same things!

    Pet peeves for me are packaging that's too bulky (who needs room for all those mini brushes I'm just going to throw away anyway) and face powders that don't have mirrors (my main gripe with MAC MSF Natural.. who wants to carry a separate mirror?). I've also never understood why Chanel/Dior give you these lovely velvet pouches for all their products, only for it to be despoiled in my handbag minutes after it's come out of the box seeing as every speck of dust seems to cling to it. (Same goes for NARS rubber packaging.. it ALWAYS looks dirty!).

    On the other hand, I think the packaging for the ELF Studio concealer pencil is wonderful - the lid doubles as a sharpener and the end doubles as a concealer brush. If they can deliver great packaging for the prices they do, it really is a challenge to everyone else to come up with something great!

  3. when it "appears" my UDPP is empty, i cut it open at the top, bottom and right below that curvy middle bottleneck and and there is so much product left in there!! it's like a whole new bottle of primer potion, it fills up an entire MAC glass jar. i've vowed to not buy UDPP again and will stick with TFSI and my MAC paint pots. cool post and thanks for sharing your honest thoughts!

  4. Lipglossiping: You know how I love asking a million and one questions, couldn't disappoint! Finger dipping does annoy me too because when I apply makeup, my fingers never do what I want them to do. I also don't get why everyone loves the Juicy Tubes applicator, it's pants! My favourite application method for glosses is the way my YSL one is (watch out for it in a later I may do tomorrow), it's a brush and it coats my lips perfectly. I don't know how I feel about nozzles, I have eye creams with nozzles and they annoy me because I put too much cream on but nozzles are good for other liquids, like foundation.

    I'm not sure where I stand on packaging, I used to be a snob but now if it works, it goes in my bag. The only qualm I have with some products is that the packaging can't take a beating. Obviously you can make palettes delicate because people won't take them every day but if a lipstick breaks within a week, questions must be asked.

    Anita: Hey stranger, where have you been?! I agree with bulky packaging which is not needed, I put my face on whilst on the tube and it's annoying having to remove a million things. Useless brushes annoy me too. However, I think if you had a product which had a brush, mirror and cake as product, you wouldn't get too much product. If you check my L'oreal goodybag post, there's a bronzer/blusher I won and that has a mirror and brush and the actual product is VERY thin on the ground.

    I will have to check ELF out as for some reason, I haven't paid them much attention. I think the reason that Dior/Chanel give those velvet pouches is to make the product look like a real high class product, I don't think they thought the dust idea through though. I always thought NARS would be easy to clean, that is so not the case!

    Betty Girl Make-up: Hey, welcome to my blog :)I have only ever bought one bottle of UDPP and it's still going strong now, I've depotted it and all. I'm going to test out TFSI next and if it's better, I'm switching because the depotting isn't easy!

    Thanks for your comments ladies



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