For this blog post, I chose beauty items (all purchased from Sephora) that literally shape my lifestyle and create this concept of “aethetisization” of my everyday life.  These products all contribute to personal branding and allow me to appear as the person I want to be or I think I am.  As we discussed in class, the process of “aesthetisizing” is essentially adding intangible value to an object or a concept that can usually stand on its own.  

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  The first product I have here is the “Skin Renewal Mist” from Amore Pacific.  I use this religiously as if it were my job.  This mist claims to “provide immediate and long lasting hydration and skin radiance,” which, even if it didn’t, I wouldn’t doubt for a second in my mind.  Why? Recently, this brand has been gaining immense popularity for caring enough to grow and harvest its own green tea in Jeju Islands and channeling these ingredients into high-performing skincare products (not to mention, the gorgeous Sienna Miller being the endorser).  This brand has been so extremely fetishized through ad campaigns and publicity, that I wouldn’t for a second question the effectiveness of this mist.  Even just reading the ingredients and looking at the bottle makes me feel like my skin is getting more hydrated and vibrant. Having been an Amore Pacific customer for a while now, I can seriously testify to the emotional investment I have for this brand.  If I run out of this mist or any other product, I HAVE to purchase a new one the day of or I freak out and feel like my lifestyle has been suddenly shaken.  I can honestly just go out to a CVS or Duane Reade and buy the same product from a different company (for cheaper too!) but that factor of reliability/trust and emotion I have given whole-heartedly to Amore Pacific doesn’t allow me to purchase anything else.  And this kind of desperation is where I can say that the exchange value way exceeds the use value of this product. I know, so pathetic.

 

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  The next product is a tinted sunscreen and a “Face Treatment Oil” both by Clarins.  I wanted to combine the commentary for these two essentials because I never usually use one without the other.  First off, I don’t really wear make up that often because I’m lazy and also because I have really sensitive skin so I need to be careful of what I apply on my face/body.  However, I do wear it has become my lifestyle to wear sunscreen everyday, regardless if its rainy and gloomy, and even apply it several times throughout the day if I feel that I have sweated it off, etc.  Clarins is a brand that I have used throughout my past and for that I have it has won my trust so I though I would purchase a highly popularized tinted sunscreen so that I could kill two birds with one stone and also use it for coverage.  The face oil is a product that I bought intentionally to use with the sunscreen.  Knowing that I have drier skin, I thought adding a drop or two of the face oil into the sunscreen would be more appropriate and comfortable for my skin, which is an example of combinational inventiveness.  As Holt says, it is important to highlight the difference between objectified cultural capital and embodied cultural capital, which emphasizes the “how” in using an object versus just having the object.  By combining the two products, I feel as though I have personalized these mass cultural objects that are now unique to me.  Also I think that in this particular case, I have shown HCC qualities because I had researched beforehand and known the traditional uses of each product, which in turn allowed me to be a connoisseur and showcase my personal style of application.  

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   The last and final beauty product I chose is a Nars “Yu” Satin lip pencil.  I mentioned above that I don’t ever really wear make up and as you can see, I ironically purchased a bright pink lip pencil which is totally out of character.  Looking back at the time of my purchase, I guess this was me unconsciously being an omnivorous consumer.  I think the idea of adding something colorful to my beauty product collection was exciting to me.  And the overwhelming shelves of all different sorts of products at Sephora, almost always never let you leave without shopping for something you don’t need, yet again.  However, this omnivorous purchase inevitably led me to only apply a smidge of the pink and combine it with a nude lip shine/chapstick that I was more comfortable with.  My use of combinational inventiveness, again, gives me the option to still be myself even with a product that is out of character.  Everything can be customized to your own liking if you have the certain knowledge of not only the product or service, etc., but most importantly of yourself.  Understanding your own preferences and likings will help create consumer identity that will be unique to only you.  

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