Monday, 21 June 2010

Pretty Yet Poor Packaging

There’s little more frustrating than opening up a shiny new product, adoring the contents but dreading using it again because of the frustrating nature of the packaging encasing it. If you have spent the time, energy and money creating something that is a pleasure to apply, then why pour it into something so clearly unworthy?

I love Philip Kingsley’s haircare range. A Trichologist by trade, this is a man who has built his career and become an expert in all things scalp and follicle-related. His Elasticizer (£25.00 for 150ml) is a deep conditioner legendary for giving celebrities the silkiest locks in the business and it is my weekly treatment must. When I suffered from an itchy, occasionally flaky scalp, I looked no further than his Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo for aid. It worked but I broke nearly a nail a day on the bloody bottle it was presented in. If you are affluent, you will be lucky enough to purchase Kingsley’s shampoos and conditioners in the large 1000ml pump-action bottles (£47.50) but if you wish to try the products short-term or, like me, you are travelling somewhere and need something compact and convenient, the small 250ml bottle (£14.00) is the best option for you. If you have fingernails made from pure steel. The problem lies not in the shape or texture of the bottle but rather in the lid itself. Plastic, with the tiniest ridge imaginable, it is nearly impossible to open outside of the shower, let alone when water and shower gel is thrown into the awkward, swearword-inducing mix. Phil, even a screw cap would have been better than this nightmare scenario. This is a classic case of poor packaging preventing me from purchasing this product again; even though it is utterly amazing. The Elasticizer, however, in its gloriously easy-to use scoop pot, remains on my bathroom shelf to be re-stocked until I am no longer residing on this Earth.
A long term sufferer of oily eyelids (I won’t get wrinkles for a while but it is a pain), I jumped for joy when I heard Benefit was launching another eye primer, Stay Don’t Stray (£19.50). I was even happier when I tried it in the store, found it worked and promptly bought some. I was less pleased the next morning when I tried to make my new purchase dispense some product and it refused. Perhaps I was being impatient, I thought. I took the offending tube back to Benefit where even the helpful (and patient!) shop assistant couldn’t make it function. She got me a new one and that wouldn’t work either! Third time lucky, she sent me home with a new one. This bugger works far too well and dispenses enough product to prime my entire face and body and a waste of product equals a waste of money for me. I will buy some Muji plastic pots and reluctantly decant but, at the fairly hefty price of £19.50, I would have hoped that Benefit could have designed something that might actually work properly first time. I love the rest of their products and especially like their funky 50’s design ethos but this product, despite working better than anything I have used previously, has made me feel a little bit disappointed.
Come on lovely beauty brands, please sort it out. I want to buy lots your products without fear of losing a finger or looking like a particularly well-primed Jordan!

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