11.19.2016

Bath and Body Works 'Reinvents' Itself Once Again

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but Bath and Body Works' prices are the only things that can hurt me.


   It's no secret that Bath and Body Works is good at what it does. With enticing product names and a "buy it before it's gone" strategy, Bath and Body Works is winning at the soap selling game. There is no company, in my opinion, that can compete with Bath and Body Works. 
Now, don't get it in your head that Bath and Body Works is some angel sent from heaven to make you and your home smell great. No, Bath and Body Works is a bully. They get you hooked onto their products and the aesthetic that arises from them and then they raise the prices sky high. 
   I started shopping at Bath and Body Works about five years ago when the little PocketBac hand sanitizers were only $1.50. (I know this because I still have a couple of them... dud scents that I can't seem to use up). Today I stopped by my local Bath and Body Works location with a ten dollar off coupon for the sole purpose of buying some wallflower refills and some hand sanitizer. I noticed that some of the hand sanitizer containers were $1.75 and others were $2.00. I knew that the price raised to $1.75 in the spring when I was in for my summer scent shopping spree. 
  After my purchase I began to think, is this really worth $2? I'm getting one fluid ounce of stuff that smells like berries or whatever for two bucks. I remember the good old days when PocketBacs were 5 for $5 not 5 for $6!
    Don't get me wrong, I love hand sanitizer and I keep some with me wherever I go. I use it as a perfume touch up instead of a germ killing warrior. After lunch I like to make sure my hands don't smell like the food I ate. In middle school, if you had Bath and Body Works scents, you had more street cred. Purell never became popular, possibly due to the lame scents and packaging. Bath and Body Works has a very uniform and fun way of presenting themselves which appeals to not only teenage girls but middle age women as well. Bath and Body Works is a treat for anyone to enjoy and boy, do you get hooked... meaning you won't think twice about a newly inflated price. The product is the same and there are always new scents to check out. 

     Are those scents really new? 

Classic Signature Collection Scents
      Questions have been raised if Bath and Body Works takes 'old' scents and renames them for the change of the season. Now, they might do that with discontinued scents that didn't do so hot but I don't see them as the type of company to take, say, Leaves, call it The Spirit of Fall, and send it out as a Christmas scent. (That scenario was entirely fictional)
    Bath and Body Works does seem to be pushing out new scents faster and faster lately. Quite frankly, I can't keep up anymore. When you bombard your customers with new things they lose excitement for every launch. I definitely see reusing scents as a possibility but as a true blue customer, I hope that's not the case. 
     Renaming your products is honestly the stupidest business move I could possibly think of. Let's take this product that has sold only 45% of what we anticipated and then rename it, put it in a different package, and sell it again. What about the customers of that 45%? They bought it because they liked it and now when they go to buy it again, they are not guaranteed to buy it under a new name. I am capsized with a discouraging feeling every time I approach the hand sanitizer table at my local Bath and Body Works. Why? I never see the same hand sanitizer twice anymore! How can I stock up on my favorites when my favorites are gone after a month? What a poor strategy!
     Bath and Body Works needs to stop discontinuing scents a year after they launch. I remember getting really hooked on the Pink Diamond hand sanitizer just to find out it was a discontinued seasonal product. I've got nothing against seasonal products but give people some time to fall in love with it! 
   Also, if you're going to discontinue a product, let everyone know so they can buy every last item in that scent if they want it.
    ALSO, who is Bath and Body Works trying to appeal to with their new hand sanitizer packaging? Let's put cartoon owls or a possibly alcoholic pink drink on our products! There's no middle ground anymore! I'm not a pre teenage girl and I'm not going to waltz around with my pink drink hand sanitizer. 

Review of my 2016 Christmas Collection Haul


   It's Christmas so that means my all time favorite scent was in stock (thank goodness it wasn't discontinued): Black Tie. Black Tie is a classic seasonal Bath and Body Works scent that smells like the best dressed guy you could imagine. It is described as having notes of 'aromatic sage', dark tonka bean, and rich sandalwood. All I know is that it smells like really good cologne, so I bought three of them.
     I stood around the PocketBac table for a good ten minutes, going through every engaging hand sanitizer possible. Mint Blossom was one that I wanted to buy but due to the amount of glitter in that one fluid ounce container, there was no way in hell I was carrying that with me to use at school. The glitter factor knocked a majority of the new scents out of question. 
      I reluctantly settled on two scents: Holly Jolly Berry and Coconut Chill (which in big letters on the packaging reads 'I NEED A SNOWDAY'). I wasn't impressed with the cartoons on the packaging of a majority of the hand sanitizers though I did buy Coconut Chill which features a polar bear sledding down a hill decked out in a red scarf. On the other hand, Holly Jolly Berry features a fuchsia colored drink on the rocks with a sprig of holly as a compliment.
    The punny names such as 'Ninjabread Man' and 'Santa Jaws' were a huge turn off as well. Even with my scents, I like to be taken seriously. Last year I picked up Sparkling Snow, London, New York (Red Apple Sparkler), and Winter Wonderland... all scents without cartoons or punny names. 
 The biggest difference between the two besides the packaging was the price! Oddly enough, some of the new winter scents were marked as $1.75 while the others were $2. Holly Jolly Berry was twenty five scents less than Coconut Chill (which resembles the classic Caribbean Escape scent). 
     Overall, I was neither disappointed nor pleased with my trip to Bath and Body Works. I really wish the price inflation would subside or flat line. I also wish that Bath and Body Works would return to the company I know and love... a company built on signature scents, not a company that's constantly reinventing something before it has a chance to be good. 

11.04.2016

Calm Your Tits: Vogue Proclaims "Death of Cleavage" & Creates Social Media Outrage

Explaining British Vogue's controversial statement the cleavage is dead


  British Vogue has recently announced that cleavage is dead. I find this ironic because yesterday I was thinking the exact thing. Fashion has moved towards showing shoulders, legs, midriffs, and anything but cleavage.
  Admittedly, it does seem a little ridiculous to proclaim that "cleavage is dead". Nobody reads a magazine and follows it to a T. The fashion "Bible" that is Vogue is not really a Bible at all. Vogue is a mere compilation of ideas and fashion news that the reader can use to develop personal style. At least in my mind, that's the definition of a fashion magazine.
  The hot topic article, written by Kathleen Baird-Murray, a journalist I cited in my post "Spring Cleaning Doesn't Just Apply to Your Closet", is just an observation of what celebrities and designers have been doing lately. Right now fashion is either one side of the two extremes: excessive skin or tastefully placed skin. In haute couture and on the red carpet, skin has been the "wow" factor that propels so many star's careers. Though many stars are opting for more modest red carpet ensembles as of late. Gone are the days when it was shocking to see someone's belly button at an awards show. Eric Wilson, about two or three years ago wrote an article on nudity in advertisements. His claim was that we've become accustomed to seeing skin... there's no shock value left, we've seen it all. 



Cleavage isn't dead... but it's taking a break from the spotlight this season. "Sexy" body parts take turns. Boobs have been stepping down as the fan favorite and as a result I've noticed a huge rise in booty appreciation. Males these days care less about the business in the front and more about the party in the back. Not to sexualize my own body, but cleavage, when used tastefully, is a powerful addition to an outfit. 


  The one thing that's really making me frustrated is the internet's reaction to Baird-Murray's thoughtful article. One Twitter user said, "Vogue has apparently said breasts are no longer fashionable. That is not how bodies work fam". That is not what Vogue is saying. Vogue isn't saying that having big boobs is an unfashionable physical trait. Vogue is saying that showing off cleavage is distasteful this season. Personally, I don't think Vogue would ever say a physical trait that people cannot change is out of style (like a big nose or small ears). Vogue is just keeping their readers mindful of small things that may go unnoticed like the lack of cleavage being shown in garments this season.