I was interested to see this billboard in the Stockholm underground. For two reasons.
Swedes have good non-native English. The second-best in the world, after the Dutch. Probably mainly because they do not dub their television shows, leaving them in the original language and using Swedish subtitles. And partly because Swedes are very well travelled. WorldAtlas puts them at number 3. Much of their television and in-store advertising is in English. Names of beauty products and makeup are often left in English. English phrases often pop up in the vernacular. I was, however, very surprised that an insurance agency used the word beautyprodukter instead of the proper Swedish skönhetsprodukter. Unless they are trying to attract a young audience who would be attracted to the ‘cool’ language mix.
The second thing that surprised me was that they would insure beauty products. It shows how the beauty market has exploded over the years. Fillers, Botox, and other treatments became more commonplace and accepted. This was then followed by a huge market opening up for make-up – thanks, in part, to the enormous beauty community on YouTube. During covid the emphasis moved from makeup to skincare.
Before, La Mer was the priciest skincare, with 60ml pots selling for about €200. The price-point was a shock at the time. Nowadays you can buy skin creams that cost over €8000. Look at this list!
This was in my local beauty store today, and costs €1364.
So in that sense, you can understand wanting to insure these treasures. But how would you do that? Beauty products have an expiry date, there could only be a few drops left in the bottle, you may not have the receipts.
I love beauty products. I love taking care of my skin. I have done since I was about 10 years old. Personally though, I don’t think any of these creams have any great effect. I am loyal to my favourites, not because they make me look younger, but because they make my skin feel comfortable and moisturised, even when I wake up in the morning. And I love the ritual of cleansing, toning, moisturising.
What do you think?
I’m with you – beauty products are fascinating and the routines are enjoyable, but the time and money I want to invest are strictly limited. When I’ve been in well-paid jobs I’ve enjoyed using Dior products (and even now, when money’s a bit tight, a Dior Cinque Couleurs eye shadow palette is a fabulous investment). When I have less ready cash I’m happy with much lower-priced products. I cut my beauty teeth on good 1970s cleanse-tone-moisturise routines and they will be with me until I’m too old to care. I’ve flirted with washing my face, but always come back to using a cleansing milk and following with a toner, speaking of which I’m always amused when modern young things accuse all toners of being astringents, as if we were using paint-stripper on our faces. There were always toners suited to different skin types. I have such fond memories of products I used in the past which are either long-gone or have changed beyond all recognition. Oh, what I’d give to still be able to buy Vichy’s cleansing milk and toner in the pink-lidded bottles which stepped in at the ‘waist’ and then out again. Or to be able to walk into Culpepper The Herbalist and pick up a bottle of Elderflower Water which I used as a skin toner for several years, and their Stephanotis toilet water and bath salts.
My mother had loads of wrinkles and a big scar on her face so she taught me beauty routines when I was 10 so that I ‘wouldn’t end up looking like her’. I think she scared me into skincare but over time it became a relaxing ritual I wouldn’t be without. I love wipe-off cleansers and following up with a toner. My first cleanser was Pond’s Cold Cream, my toner was also Pond’s and my moisturiser was Oil of Ulay. I seldom use whole ranges, rather mixing and matching what my skin likes. At the moment I am loving Lancôme Confort Cleanser and Pixi Glow Tonic toner.