Me at a mirror by the window, monochromatic pot of Chanel in hand. Something rich but delicate, camellia scented perhaps. There’s gentle sunlight pouring through the window, warm and welcome. Breathe in, breathe out, calm. That’s how I imagine it will be when I finally allow myself to buy a Chanel moisturiser off my luxe wish list.
The psychology of consumerism is a weighty topic which I’m certainly not qualified to take a deep dive into, but there are some things I can touch on. Studies have shown that we crave the scarce. Speaking generally, the value in our eyes increases when a product is expensive, hard to find, limited edition- this is no surprise. Maybe it begins in the schoolyard nowadays, a friend with a great backpack, or it’s online, but the concept has been around long before the advent of tv advertisements or instagram. We want to hold something precious in our hands. That’s ok. To say that we’re entirely beholden to social media stars is a little patronising, since human beings are complex and simple in turns. However it is true that when we want something, we’re buying into more than the product itself, we’re influenced by those we admire and seek to emulate. This is certainly true where it applies to skincare and beauty. Personally, I want a product that works. But there are other things that I like: aesthetically pleasing packaging in keeping with my particular taste, a brand behind it that I can believe in. Enjoying the process is almost as important as the end results. Relishing in the possibility that comes with window shopping (or endlessly scrolling through Sephora) and discussing pros and cons with like-minded people. Who has the best vitamin c serum? Where did you get that highlighter? Is your sunscreen made by an ethical brand?
I’m a writer and an artist as well as a skincare nerd, so the visuals and stories are especially important to me. I’m curious about the visions conjured up when we think of the skincare we want. To feel nourished, pampered, glowing, healthy, glamorous, clean, free. Luxury products attract the stylish, the exacting. The picture painted for us brings longing and comfort- more than it should, arguably, but it’s such a human thing.
Now we come to my current wish list. I’ll freely admit that I have expensive taste when it comes to skincare. Here I’ll list what I’m looking for, and the occasionally esoteric reasons behind the list.
What: Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Crème
Why: Because as a child I read that Marilyn Monroe put Chanel No. 5 in her bath.
For as long as I can remember, Chanel was the standard for iconic luxury. The first high end cosmetic I ever bought was from Chanel. I was drawn in by the story of Marilyn Monroe wearing only Chanel No. 5 to bed, her red-lipped allure started it, and my Mum’s copies of Vogue cemented it in my mind. Using Chanel always feels special, a kind of graceful bolster against the challenges of day to day life. This moisturiser is on my list for the Australian summer, as I want weightless nourishment for my frequently dry and delicate skin.
What: Biologique Recherche Lotion P50
Why: Because I’ve seen it on the shelves of serious skincare lovers who I know and trust.
An insider favourite, some would call it a must have for anyone who’s really, really serious about skincare. When so many glowing individuals recommend a product, I can’t help but covet. This water-like toner exfoliates, while also providing moisture. It’s formulated to rebalance the skin’s ph, which is a quality I look for now as I’ve found it really helpful for my skin. While the scent is usually described as unpleasant, I don’t think I could feel anything but fresh and pampered while using it. Side note, I heard it contains myrrh which delights me for some reason!
What: Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum
Why: Because I imagine an overgrown vineyard, where a fresh breeze sweeps in off the ocean and mist dews the leaves every morning.
A facial oil-serum with a following that’s a mile long. This product is very pricey, but with its super-power reputation and an ingredient list that includes bergamot, evening primrose, sea buckthorn, neroli and nettle, I don’t think I’ll ever stop wishing for a bottle. Between the stunning name, and a special application method that was developed for it, the Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum is about as indulgent as a product can be.
What: Everything from Pat McGrath Labs
Why: Because I see the luscious colours, the subtle shimmer, the impossible gleaming on a slick instagram feed.
Pat McGrath is a trailblazing creative genius. I admire her work so much, and each and every instagram post has me starry eyed. From rich and vibrantly pigmented eye palettes to the most flattering lipstick shades, Pat McGrath Labs offer an editorial product that will surely turn each application into a glamorous ritual.
What: Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil
Why: Because a stunning bottle of honey infused oil would be such a luxurious experience.
There’s just something about honey. An antibacterial and nourishing substance, honey has been part of beauty for centuries and it’s one of my all time favourite ingredients. Whether it’s in my tea, on my toast, or smeared across my face! I love it so much that I even forgive the stickiness. As someone with long hair, an oil is a necessary part of haircare and this Gisou oil (and it’s accompanying products) would be just perfect for a daily infusion of soothing extravagance.
What: La Mer Crème de la Mer
Why: Because I love the sea.
There’s no other brand that puts a song in my head and a sigh in my chest like La Mer does. I’ve heard and read about great results, especially from the signature Crème de la Mer, but I know that the images and feelings they evoke are also a part of the appeal. Each product contains what is called Miracle Broth™, a formula for radiance and renewal. How beautiful are those words? How hope filled and spirit lifting!