thisisanexperiment. no, really. it is.


Posted in Beauty, Fashion, Interest by thisisanexperiment on December 16, 2010

In my Retail Management class, we learnt that beauty products are often placed near the entrances of departmental stores / on their ground floors, precisely because they are impulse products. How many of us can attest to that? I know I can.

Recently, I stumbled across an article that might help explain why women all over the world spend good money for beauty products. The article “Flattery Will Get an Ad Nowhere” by Pamela Paul, is based on the paper “The Self-Activation Effect of Advertisements: Ads Can Affect Whether and How Consumers Think About the Self,” by Debra Trampe, Diederik A. Stapel and Frans W. Siero, The Journal of Consumer Research.

I thought it was too interesting not to share.

APPARENTLY it doesn’t take much to make a girl feel plain. Just looking at an object intended to enhance beauty makes women feel worse about themselves, according to a study from the April 2011 issue of The Journal of Consumer Research.

The study looked at how women responded to an image of something (say, a high-heeled shoe) depicted in an advertisement and as a simple photograph with no advertising context. According to the authors — led by Debra Trampe, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands — advertised products, unlike unadvertised products, affect both whether and how the viewer thinks of herself afterward. In other words, an image of the high-heeled shoe in a stylish advertisement is likely to trigger a sense of inadequacy.

Of course, you’d anticipate ads featuring Lara Stone and Chanel Iman would make most women feel less than lovely. But here’s an interesting catch: the ads in the study did not feature human beings, or the model approximation thereof. While social-comparison theory holds that people gain information about themselves by looking at other people, according to this study at least, they also gain information about themselves by comparing themselves to objects.

In four different experiments with female undergraduates, beauty products were divided into two categories: beauty enhancing, such as mascara and perfume, and problem solving, such as acne cream and deodorant. One group of students was shown ads for both types of products; another group was shown simple images of both, without advertising.

Those who were shown advertised beauty-enhancing products were likely to think about themselves more afterward than other women would. Perhaps not such a big deal. But the thoughts they had about themselves (when asked questions such as “How attractive do you find yourself?” and “How satisfied are you with your body?”) were decidedly gloomier.

In advertising, implicature refers to the implicit message carried out by an image in an ad. The presence of a cashmere scarf next to a lipstick, for example, can imply luxury and softness. This is established Madison Avenue thinking.

But, the authors suggest, the very fact of the ad itself also conveys meaning to consumers. According to the study, “advertisements displaying beauty-enhancing (rather than problem-solving) products are likely to remind consumers of their own shortcomings.” This, in turn, makes them view themselves more negatively. The authors quote Christopher Lasch, who back in the 1970s said “modern” advertising “seeks to create needs, not to fulfill them; it generates new anxieties instead of allaying old ones.”

What does this mean, other than a plummeting sense of self-esteem after putting down a fashion magazine? “You might expect that a deflated sense of self could lead to lower buying intentions,” said Dr. Trampe, a question she plans to explore further. Or, perhaps, the true basis for “shopping therapy.”


So the next time you (and I) think we should buy that new miracle product, maybe we should think twice.

Side Note: You know what else makes you buy more? Facials. Suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly), you have all sorts of skin problems that must be remedied immediately, like dark eye-circles, etc. But then again, maybe they just highlight what problems you had, that you were previously blind to. Whatever it is, I think I need me some eye-gel, pronto.




Gone with the Wind

Posted in Art, Beauty by thisisanexperiment on June 1, 2010

I really hate being full but having cravings/an ‘itchy’ mouth. RAWR.

After reading the best book ever (Shantaram), I had been having difficulty finding books that I could really get into. Reading and finishing ‘The Constant Gardener’ proved to be the curse-breaker, and now I’ve gone on to borrow ‘Gone with the Wind’, ‘The Hobbit’, and ‘Cook with Jamie’. Say hello to weathered pages, small print, tired eyes, and foodporn.

I borrowed ‘Gone with the Wind’ partly because I was utterly impressed by the movie. If you haven’t watched it, go get it! It’s like a retro SATC- CRAAAAAZY costumes that are part over the top and part pure decadence, immense sets, and well, 2 DVDs long.

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Posted in Beauty by thisisanexperiment on February 2, 2010

All I can say is, she’s very very very very pretty. Wow.

Also, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking ‘what beauty products does she use? HER SKIN IS SOOOO NICE’


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I am so festive, I bought this

Posted in Beauty, Fashion by thisisanexperiment on January 28, 2010

Another one of my slow but steady Chinese New Year acquirements.

A throwover mesh top perfect for layering.


Also, I like his hair. It looks like it’ll be real fun running your hands through it. All poofy like. Yum.


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Posted in Beauty, Fashion, Interest, Life by thisisanexperiment on November 13, 2009

With the conclusion of each project presentation (last one today! went well :D), I find my To Get List growing. It now stands the following items:

1. Eyegel

2. Eyeliner

3. Lipliner

4. Toms- I have it in my head that it is the only suitable pair of flats to bring with me on my Middle East-Egypt trip.

5. That Vintage Dress

6. DSLR (this is more of a long-termish goal)- it was too addictive and fun playing around with it tonight. Dear Photographer, please send the photos soon!


Also, I have officially jumped on the Lipstick bandwagon- Wine Red. Remind me not to skip the eyeliner in the future though, my eyes look too tired without it.


Wants and then some

Posted in Beauty, Fashion by thisisanexperiment on November 12, 2009

One, I think I need Toms.

Two, I think I need this for my dry skin around the eyes.

Screen shot 2009-11-12 at PM 05.21.54

Looks mother expensive though.

As is number Three, Jimmy Choo for H&M. Didn’t see anything that stood out for me, but if you’re interested, click here to see more.

Dear Friends who are where H&M resides, do check out the collection for me!!!!!


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Frizzy Hair

Posted in Beauty by thisisanexperiment on July 16, 2009

Humidity + Hair = Frizzy Hair


Posted in Art, Beauty by thisisanexperiment on June 21, 2009

via JPG

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Posted in Beauty, Fashion by thisisanexperiment on March 22, 2009

I’m sorry. I’ve just had this song stuck in my head FOREVER. I always feel like chuckling to myself whenever that phrase (see Title of Post) comes up. Yes, I’m deprived like that.
Anyway, I was just listening to my ipod when I noticed that some of my favourite songs come from the ’80s!

Let’s see…there’s Cyndi Lauper, there’s some Eurhythmics “sweet dreams are made of theeeeseeee”, Duran Duran “who do you neeeed, who do you loveeeee, when you come undoneee”, and various mambo classics. Right, I actually have a point to this inane post.

And the point is, for all the shoulder-pads and bad hair days of the 1980s, it actually is (if you look in the right direction, and with the right amount of moderation) a pretty (as my friend would say) “Sexay Fun Time”.

Besides, you know that reverting to the 80s right now wouldn’t be out of trend exactly- Gucci sent models with Boy-George-inspired-make-up-galore down the runways for their Fall 2009 collection. And I’d never thought I’d put ‘sexy’ and ‘boy-george’ together in a sentence, but that is the truth!

Taken from

Put your Face on

Posted in Beauty by thisisanexperiment on February 6, 2009

What does make-up and cosmetics mean to you? Whether it’s part of your daily routine, or only something you bother with on special occasions, make-up is something that helps you to play a role -whether its classy like Audrey Hepburn, or edgier- or express yourself and your identity, I believe.

My daily look is centralised on the simple swipe of liquid eyeliner, exaggerated cat-eye flick and all. But lately, with everyone drawing the same cat eye, and after almost a year of the cat-eye on almost a daily basis, I have grown weary of it.

Which has prompted this search for a new ‘look’! These are some of the looks that I’m very very attracted to.


Twiggy, style icon of the ’60s , has this look as a trademark. The lower lashes are actually not lower lashes at all, but drawn onto her skin with eyeliner! Apparently, she takes up to an hour to complete her eye make-up! Now that’s dedication.
I love how the pop of colours work so well with both those with fairer skin and darker skin tones!





I shall attempt all these one day. Although I’d probably save the last one for a party or something.

What about you guys? Is variety the spice of life? Or would you rather stick to your routine 100%?

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