Posted by: | 27th Jan, 2011

Not a Covergirl

Taylor Swift endorses Covergirl's new Natural Luxe line.

I bought my first cosmetic item with the help of a Shoppers Drug Mart cosmetics lady in Grade 9. That experience is significant not only because it was my first make-up purchase, but it also shaped a strong and enduring attitude that I have towards a certain cosmetics brand still to this day.

She inferred from my youthful and makeup-free appearance that I needed some guidance in choosing an item to buy. I picked up a CoverGirl eye shadow as we walked by the cosmetic displays.

Oh you don’t want to buy this one,” She told me, frowning in disapproval as she examined the product, “this brand uses a lot of harmful chemicals – it’s not good quality”.

From that day on and for the last 6 years, I’ve always swept by the Covergirl display stands – never lured by their glossy campaign ads, celebrity endorsements, or new product displays. Only once – I succumbed to the advertising promises of their Fantastic Lash Mascara campaign and bought their mascara. However, it irritated my eyes, further guiding me to disassociate myself from this brand. And a little more research shows that a number of Covergirl products contain a relatively high amount of toxic chemicals, and some of its product s were banned in Europe.

The Fantastic Lash mascara commercial that lured me deviate from my Covergirl boycott.

The image in my mind of lathering and piling on creams, liquids, and powders filled with toxic chemicals that seep into the skin and imposing long-term damage is powerful enough to make me boycott Covergirl products to this day. Covergirl brands itself as clean, fresh, and healthy, with product names such as “Fresh Complexion Foundation”, “Clean Liquid Makeup” and radiant celebrity spokeswomen – but the negative image I’ve associated the brand with is too overpowering.

I understand this is not the experience of the typical consumer – Covergirl is extremely popular as one of the top cosmetic brands in North America, and many women continue to love and advocate its products. But I would remain unconvinced by their advertising campaigns until they reformulate their products to become more skin-friendly and inform consumers about it.

For an example of how a company dispelled negative attitudes about “unrealistic and unattainable” ads in the beauty industry through a highly successful campaign for the “average woman” and for women of all ages, see Dove’s campaign video, below.

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