Clothes Show Live 2013

Clothes Show HaulClothes Show Live 2013 is the first one I’ve ever been to, on this occasion I had free tickets but I’ve always wanted to go! The fashion show was great and was themed ‘You’re Invited To A Weekend In The Country’ which featured dancing, a live performance from Stooshie and 7 scene changes which showcased all the clothes perfectly. I went on the Friday which was the first day so over the course of the event which runs until Tuesday there will be different artists performing at the start of the fashion show.

The NEC which showcased the event was much larger than I could ever imagine! Lots of people were in attendance and a huge variety of stalls were selling jewellery, clothes and make up and for those interested there were also careers stands available to help those wanting to get into fashion.Barry MBarry M was a popular stand and it wasn’t unusual to see the crowd carrying these bags, and for £10 it was such good value. Im not sure if all the bags contained the same colour  items but mine had 2 glitter pots in purple and brown shades which were quite cute, 5 nail varnishes which I loved apart from the dark pink and limited edition neon green colour but that’s purely because they were too bright for my liking. The limited edition ‘Lilac Foil; is such a lovely shade and ‘Pink Iridescent’ is glittery but the Silver varnish is perfect for Christmas!  It also comes with a pretty pink lipgloss, a mascara and 3 eyeliner crayons in baby blue, glittery gold and another lilac shade, the goodie bag is perfect for any occasion and contains so many items! A lovely touch to this was the fact that all the items came in a little Barry M PVC handbag as shown in the photo which meant that the items stayed together nicely in the larger shopping bag.

Models ownNext up in my goodies is Models Own which like the Barry M bag came with quite a few bits and pieces! Apologies for the bad photo, with this set came 4 nail varnishes which 3 of were my own choice,  I opted for all glittery shades which were ‘Banger’ a mix of blue, green and purple glitter, ‘Absinthe’ which is a green glitter polish and ‘Obsidian’ a black glitter shade. The free varnish already in the goodie bag is ‘Show Stopper 2’ which features Clothes Show Live on the lid so it’s possibly an exclusive shade to the event but im unsure, like the Barry M set this contained eyeliner pencils in white, brown, black and glittery black, 2 lip balms in Tangerine (the round pot) and Bubblegum, a small mirror which was a nice touch, a nail buffer (not in photo) and 4 double ended eyeshadow brushes. This set was also £10.   

So Susan and Jelly Pong PongJelly Pong Pong and So Susan were small gift bags believe it or not, they came with 4 items each in cute little gift bags (2 for each brand) this were £5 each and look so lovely, admittedly I have never used these brands before but for £5 why not? I am unsure if the brands are linked to each other as I had 2 lip and cheek sublime for So Susan but one was in the Jelly Pong Pong bag… To begin with Jelly Pong Pong came with a 2 in 1 eyeliner and eye shadow in plum, a bronzer duo, a ‘Wide Awake’ pallete to brighten complexions which I cant wait to try and of course the cheek sublime

For So Susan again for £5 it had the lip and cheek sublime, a pure luminizer, an 8 hour cheek stain and a eyeshadow pallete, for such a low price it gives a variety of different uses and best of all none of the products are tested on animals!

RimmelRimmel London was one of the first goodie bags I brought due to seeing lots of people having them but being honest I wasn’t very impressed with it. For £5 a small bundle was dropped into a large bag and by the look of the poster it seemed a full size foundation was included but it was only a tiny sample, the package was called Retro Glam and features a lovely burgundy shade of ‘Desire’ nail varnish, Scandal-Eyes Mascara and a full bottle of fake tan which I gave away as I don’t use fake tan, but maybe the fact I don’t use fake tan made it disappointing along with the sample size foundation, had it been the regular size then I would have been happy enough with the goodie bag.

Elle MagazineElle Magazine had a small goody bag for £3 which features this months edition and January’s edition of the magazine, a black kohl eyeliner and a OPI Nail Varnish which you could have in red or a gold crackle effect, the only problem with this goodie bag was that it was quite heavy to carry! So if you are going to the event id save this till last as unfortunately I brought it right at the start and was stuck carrying it around for a good few hours.


Consumerism: The Beauty Industry

A consumer is an individual that has the power to choose what they themselves consume, they understand what it is they wish to consume and what effect it will have on them, be it for desirable purposes or for identity status. Consumerism can be determined by Marx as “The mode of production of material life determines the general character of the social, political and spiritual process of life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being but, on the contrary; their social being determines their consciousness” (Hiebert, Ungurait and Bohn, 1991: 484).It seems that in order for individuals to consume then society must determine what is out there for them to do so e.g. mass culture. The consumer culture is saturated with the buying and selling of commodities which are dominating the society, the consumption can be determined by factors such as consumer status or the simply the pleasure that it may bring to them, consumption is pushed further than the essentials needed for survival such as food, drink and clothing.  Consumerism can be linked to mass culture, Dwight Macdonald states that mass culture is a “manufactured wholesale for the market” the consumer has no influence as to what is put out onto the market for them to purchase, corporations take little consideration over what the people want and will mass produce the products they wish to put out.  Mass culture or ‘Fordism’ is “an approach to the organisation of capitalist enterprise characterized among other things, by the large-scale assembly line production of standardized universally targeted goods”(Hodkinson, P, 2011, 289)“For each new class which puts itself in the place of one ruling before it, is compelled, merely in order to carry through its aims, to represent its interest as the common interest of all the members of society, that is, expressed in ideal form: it has to give its ideas the form of universality, and represent them as the only rational, universal valid ones” (Storey, 1998: 192)

Stating again Marx’s take on consumerism and the consciousness of a being, being determined on society, this can be linked to ideology  “a systematic framework of social understanding motivated by a will to power or a desire to be accepted as the ‘right’ way of thinking” (Lacey, 2009, p.100) Consumer markets can take advantage of impressionable consumers by determining what the ‘right’ way of thinking is, currently teenagers are under the impression that image is everything so companies can take this into account when advertising their products.  With capitalism the body is seen as an investment as well as consumption, it is treated more so as an object that can be dressed differently by what is currently being dominated in society.  A few years ago fake tan was quite popular, large consumptions of it would be taken by individuals in order to have the look that was dominating society, recently made more popular by the likes of television programmes such as The Only Way Is Essex (Towie).

Towie CastAlthough a consumer determines what they choose to consume with the underlying signs being possessed by the fashion and cosmetic industry it is hard for the consumer not to be fully happy with their selves, the signs which advertisements show for example for an anti-ageing cream is that you can be truly happy and look youthful if you use the product and if you don’t use it then you shouldn’t feel comfortable with yourself, although you can’t fully stop the ageing process the consumption of these types of products will make you feel like you’re doing so. The widespread image of a distorted body image is maintained by large corporations as well as the media, by simply watching an advertisement or reading magazine information is being consumed, it is up to the individual whether or not they act upon what they have seen.  This helps the understanding of the current media landscape as with press media consumers can be influenced by what they read, they would then spend their ‘leisure’ time trying to find the correct goods to change their identity.

Special KAccording to Baudrillard “The idea of leisure-time expresses a new puritan morality disguised as hedonism.  Time in capitalism is turned into private property, especially as leisure-time.  It is bought (through labour-saving devices) or earned (such as holidays), then consumed in an appearance of wasting it.” (Robinson, A, 2012) There is little meaning towards leisure time now as individuals are either worrying about their appearance and identity or are consuming more products. With the current body image representation being thrust at individuals through the media then during their free time impressionable teenagers could be altering their bodies through dieting and cosmetics, the powerful cosmetics industries make consumers challenge their appearance, they can’t truly feel comfortable with their selves without altering their bodies to fit in with society.   Although it may seem like free time to the individual consumer in a sense they are still working towards something which in this case would be to change their body.  

Dove Beauty CampaignIn postmodern society Baudrillard presents the idea that “the consumption of goods, images and fashions has become so all-encompassing that not only the economic base, but by any sense of an external or determining reality, disappears.  (Lister et al, 2003)  This idea is linked to hyper-reality and shows that beyond the commodity there is nothing else there, with a commodity such as body image it is hard to see what is real as all different messages are being consumed as to what consumers should strive to look like and changes as society progresses.

*images from Google


Bi, Y. (2012). The Political Economy of the Contemporary Media and Cultural Production. Asian Social Science. 8 (4), 36-39.

Fiske, J (1996). Understanding Popular Culture.  London: Routledge. 24

Hodkinson, P (2011). Media, Culture And Society: An Introduction. London: Sage Publications. 286.

Kellner, D (1984). Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis of Marxism. California: University of California Press. 243.

Lister, M, Dovey, J, Giddings, S, Grant, I & Kelly, K (2003). New Media:A Critical Introduction. Glasgow: Routledge. 230.

Robinson, A. (2012). Jean Baudrillard: Critique of Alienation. An A-Z of Theory. 1 (3), 1.