How has your career and/or educational background helped you make purchasing decisions?

I’m a behavioral health provider so I’ve learned a lot about behavioral economics and how brands encourage purchasing, as well as how to evaluate media and advertising claims. This has helped me see through some misleading sales tactics and gives me a foundation to understand ingredients/packaging components so I can make my own opinions instead of relying on what other people say.

These are some sources that I’ve found helpful (they’re old but there are newer versions too)

  • How to Lie With Statistics (book)
  • The Tiger That Isn’t (book)
  • Freakonomics (book, blog, and podcast)
  • Planet Money (podcast)
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I’ve dealt with my skin for 40 years and have a great dermatologist that helps me. I know what ingredients are bad for me and what ones really help me

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I’m a General Nurse Practitioner and My educational background, Ancestry, and military years have allowed me to use lesson learned in Countries I’ve visited and the ones I am a citizen of to the pick items good for ethnic skin and preservatives in items that can be very harmful to the skin of people of color.

My grandmother back in Trinidad used to make all things with Coconut oil and Shea butter and that kept the skin clear and glowing, However I remember when I would live in the states none of the items used there were available here so I would try different items. The environment and items available, were horrible on my skin. When in the military and college I started using Chem class to look up items and made a few items for my skin myself. (disclaimer, not saying that is the best idea) it just worked for me.

I asked questions of the locals for items to protect my skin when stationed in Japan and I Saudi Arabia.

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I can’t say how my educational background influences my purchases because I don’t know how I would purchase if I didn’t have my education. I can’t go back and “undo” my education to make a comparison.

I can, however, say that my past employment as a Cosmetics representative greatly influenced and influences my purchases. Learning the what, why and for whom of cosmetic treatments and makeup made a difference in how I approached my skincare as well as how I sold products to customers.

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Ooh I really need to start seeing a dermatologist regularly again. I’ve been so busy with work that I stopped going but I used to do annual checkups even if nothing was wrong, just to monitor things like sun damage.

Wow that’s such an interesting background! I see more products now for varied ethnicities, but overall the default is still products for those with European skin. I really hope manufacturers keep up the trend of expanding their offerings so that EVERYONE has access to quality products!

What was the main difference you noticed between what kinds of things you’d learn as somebody who sells products, vs what info is available for consumers?

avantgarde I hope so as well and I think things are going in the right direction with some beauty producers. I just would like it to stay part of the program and not be a trend as we are not a trend and appreciate the ability to buy items just as freely as others that enhance our beauty. There are a few Cosmetic companies that have gone above and beyond for inclusiveness and others that decided well since, we cant figure it out, let’s buy a company started by a woman of color and just sell what they made. I think all women should have the freeness and ability to walk into a store and find items they find appealing.

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I’ve definitely gotten a vibe that for some brands the inclusivity is nothing more than a trend, glad I’m not the only one who sees that! That said, I think some brands genuinely care and I hope they’ll lead by example so the inclusivity becomes a standard rather than an exception.

I agree with you 100%. This was a great conversation starter.

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@avantgarde That’s a good question. Considering my initial Cosmetics Rep employment was in the late 80’s and much of what I learned has been in effect for decades now, I won’t subject you to eye rolling by sharing all of it.:slight_smile:

But the big difference between the information I gained as a rep vs a consumer was that most consumers, myself included, didn’t actually know what was best for their skin or complexion. There were so many women who used the wrong products and wrong colors. When I noticed this, I would offer to give them a makeover, cleansing their face of what they wore into the store and starting from scratch, treatment and makeup. For the majority, this made all the difference in the world.

Gaining information as a rep vs a consumer was the equivalent of using an abacus vs a calculator.

The biggest takeaways from what I learned as a rep was the need for sunscreen, neck creams and eye creams. As a consumer I thought the use of those was simply a choice some women made. But as a rep I learned they are vital.

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I’ve gotten more strict about making sure I use SPF, face lotion, and eye cream but I haven’t really ventured into neck products before. In your experience, is it important to buy something specifically for that area or is it ok to use face lotion?

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@avantgarde I have on occasion used specifically packaged “Neck Creams.” But I got tired of all the extra products. I started using on my neck whatever I was using on my face, UNTIL I took a photo of a pendant and saw my neck.:anguished::grimacing:

Long story short, it. was. not. pretty. I had just begun using LifeFlo Rosehip Seed Oil on my face and neck shortly before I took the photo. I took another photo 2 weeks later and the transformation was extremely noticeable. I posted my results.

Answer to your question: I believe you can use a product that isn’t tailored for the neck as long as it’s a quality product and is formulated with elasticity in mind.

Before & After: Life-Flo Pure Rosehip Seed Oil

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As a licensed Cosmetology Instructor and having worked for Esteè Lauder for quite some years, I’d say that both have serious influence over what products I use. Primarily because I have had open access and discount prices on luxury brands for most of my adult life. I’m a very loyal consumer and tend to stick to the same brands for majority of my purchases, that being said, I also subscribe to Ipsy Plus, Allure, and FabFitFun and do enjoy the curated product discovery.

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WOW I want that oil after seeing your pics! Lol I’m in bed now but I’m so tempted to go look at my neck in the mirror.

What are your thoughts on all the Estée Lauder brands? Does the quality vary a lot per product line or is it mostly the same stuff repackaged at different price points? I’ve heard arguments for both and don’t know which to trust!

I literally laughed out loud when I read that you were in bed, but wanted to look at your neck!

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The quality really does differ in the brands. I personally never recommend Clinique. Just not impressed with the products, to me they’re great starter makeup (14-22 years old), but then it’s time to graduate to real skin care and makeup. It’s crazy what quality makeup can do for the skin. I’m a loyalist of Bobbi Brown, because the skincare is a perfect combination of science and technology while utilizing natural botanicals. I love love love eyeshadows from Too Faced. They are moderately priced and a great bang for the buck (large pan sizes, true to color shades that are opaque and workable with minimal fall out. Plus they smell AMAZING!)

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I think the people who are moderately educated tend to spend less than those who are of lower lower class. Just my opinion though.

There’s plenty of data about this. It’s true in some ways, but not necessarily across the board.

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