Oct 5, 2009

Happy Birthday L'Oréal!

A happy birthday is in order for the beauty juggernaut L'Oréal! The world's largest cosmetics and beauty company turned 100 this year. Fabuleux!

It's hard to believe this powerhouse was started by just one person. French chemist, Eugene Schueller developed an innovative hair color formula and began manufacturing and selling it to Parisian hairdressers. Today L'Oréal is a multi-billion dollar global company known for its cosmetics, fragrances, hair and skin care products. I mean who doesn't own at least one L'Oréal product? L'Oréal also owns several other well known brands such as Redken, Kérastase, Maybelline New York, Lancome, Kiehl's, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics and Fragrances, YSL Cosmetics, Skinceuticals and La Roche-Posay to name a few. I know you own at least one of these products! The company in fact, now produced more than 80,000 products and has 23 brands under its belt. In addition it creates 7,000 new formulations annually. Translation? On a daily basis, scientists are inventing over 19 different formulas to make up new products.

What's amazing is what they've endured in their time as a business. In this current economic recession we've seen many companies in this industry forced to close. It's incredible to think that during all the dramatic twists and turns of the past century (recessions, wars, even the Depression) L'Oréal has remained a steady staple. Through out the hardest times, the iconic brand was even able to emerge as global conglomerate.

They're also no stranger to how major world crises affect women's beauty habits. Think post-World War II, ladies "putting their faces on" and never leaving the house without your red lipstick on.

With tough times ever present L'Oréal decided to do a survey on how women's beauty routines and habits are adjusting and being affected by the recession. The questions were asked to 4,000 women in the US and five European countries. Surprisingly they found that women have no desire to give up or cut back on their favorite products or services despite the economic crisis.

Here’s what else the Beauty Barometer study found:

*Nearly half of American women believe wearing makeup gives them an advantage at work and makes them feel more in control. (I don’t think I've ever gone sans makeup at work-even if that’s meant running a little late ;)

*The majority of women surveyed believe wearing makeup makes them feel more confident and believe it improves their self image. (without eyeliner and something on my lips I definitely feel self conscious)

* Proving that beauty is recession-proof-nine out of 10 women in the US and Europe reported no change in makeup usage despite the economic crisis (Yup, no changes have been made on my end)

*Women won't compromise on their hair either-when it comes to saving money, most U.S. women surveyed (63 percent) have not cut their hair to make it less expensive to maintain

* The three most popular makeup items U.S. women rely on are lipstick, mascara and foundation

*72% of U.S. women believe that wearing makeup cheers them up and makes them feel better about life. In fact, 1 out of 4 U.S. women surveyed said they recently bought a makeup item to cheer themselves up during this recession

* Nearly 40% of U.S. changed their hairstyle to cheer themselves up while 1/3 of women in the US and Europe have changed their hair color for the same reason

* U.S. women are twice as likely to polish their nails to cheer themselves up than are French and German women

While many people need to make cut backs right now and there are always far more important items to keep replenishing than a jar of your favorite expensive face cream or tube of red lipstick, it's sometimes much more about the confidence your fav items give you. Confidence has a very powerful effect on people. What this survey shows is that woman still want to look and feel good. So even if you have to keep recycling the same few outfits over and over in your wardrobe, if your hair looks good and your lips are glossy and bright, you'll still be able to feel like a million bucks. There in lies the magic of beauty products. It's a relatively cheap confidence and morale booster.

Do find these poll results accurate as to how you feel? Would you be able to go to work without makeup on? Do you feel better and more confident with it? How does having it on or off make you feel? Furthermore, have you been cutting back on purchasing any of your beauty staples or services because of the recession? Let us all know!

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