What do women want?

What do women want?

I know it’s rather a curly question for a Monday, but it’s been playing on my mind since I saw Elizabeth: The Golden Age last night. At first I thought the answer pretty straightforward: I want, need, would kill for Cate Blanchett’s porelessly creamy complexion. But as I hurtled home wondering how many layers of the Cate-endorsed SK-II would be considered excessive, I remembered some research that made me wonder how many other women would do the same.

Apparently, most Australian women don’t buy into celebrity beauty. Or maybe they just don’t admit it…

Earlier this year, Clinique commissioned a global campaign to find the holy grail: the real “truth about beauty”. Women around the world were polled on a host of questions, including whether celebrities featured in advertising influence our beauty decisions. Surprisingly, most women throughout the world agreed that a famous face won’t swing them either way. And, astoundingly, women in the celebrity-soaked US were the most emphatic about it. In Australia, the majority (45 per cent) of the interviewed said the same: celebrity doesn’t necessarily sell.

The sentiment was even echoed when beautyheaven ran our own poll about celebrity scents. Most of you said that you didn’t need to like the personality to love the perfume: it’s all about the scent itself.

So it just me, or does everyone else wonder why celebrity endorsement deals have become de rigeur?  

In the past few months alone, Reese has been recruited as chief Avon lady, Drew has autographed the dotted line for a leading role at Covergirl, Cate’s gone global ambassador for SK-II and more ‘human brands’ than ever have their own perfumes and beauty products. Geez, it must be getting tough for a standard model to get a gig.

So are beauty marketing bigwigs missing the point? Or are we more seduced by celebrity spokeswomen than we might admit?

The big beauty brands must be banking on tickbox number two. And getting more than a little something out of it. Just last week, “sources” revealed to Women’s Wear Daily (wwd.com) that sales of Lancome’s Tresor have spiked by 20 per cent since the lovely Kate Winslet began starring in ads.

So what do we women really want? Images of ‘everygirl’ beauty, or ideals that we know are airbrushed but tell a lovely story anyway?

I’ll admit I’ve got a toe in each camp – and a little SK-II still on my skin. It’s a really good question…

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