It's gonna get sappy up in here.
So, beauty product ad copy, it’s a thing. We already know what a fucking liar it can be, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Today we’re going to talk about great products that due to a tired translator or an overworked copywriter have ended up with descriptions that range from nonsensical, to insulting, to just straight up weird.
So without further ado, I bring you *cue theme music involving trumpets probably* GREAT BEAUTY PRODUCTS WITH INEXPLICABLE DESCRIPTIONS!
Skinfood Royal Honey Hydro Cream:
“A hydrating treatment cream with royal black honey and royal jelly extracts that replenishes moisture and transforms skin into a nice honey-glazed complexion.”
...transforms the skin into a nice honey glazed complexion. Why am I getting the sense that the translator doesn’t know Korean well enough to translate idioms properly?
Regardless, after trying it, I am in love with this moisturizer. It leaves my skin so smooth and so soft and seems to have faded the acne staining I have on one cheek from getting a zit in the same place before my period for three consecutive months (I hate that zit). If this is what a honey glazed complexion looks like, well then glaze me, baby.
"Kinerase ultimate night moisturizer is an elegant cream clinically proven to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, texture and color variance in the skin. Advanced technology creates an 8-hour moisture reservoir for overnight skin rejuvenation and rehydration."
First of all “an elegant cream” sounds like a Martian trying to emulate our beauty copywriting techniques and subtly fucking it up. Second of all, can we please stop using the word “technology” in beauty copy, it sounds like the cream is made of tiny robots that I dunno… capture atmospheric moisture and coat my skin in it. Sadly, the cream is not made of tiny robots. That said, it’s a really nice moisturizer. It hydrates deeply without being heavy or pore-cloggy, and I hoard bottles of it obsessively from whenever it goes on sale on Hautelook. I’ve been using it for years. I’d go to like 5 different Sephoras in New York to get samples of it when I was dead broke and living there because this is seriously a holy grail product for me. I’d even go so far as to say it really is an elegant cream.
“Siberia and the Far East contain the world's only remaining untouched natural resources and flora. The plants grow here naturally, freely, abundantly. Accustomed to constantly fighting for survival in the harsh climate, wild grasses have great resilience in Siberia. To use this living energy for the benefit of health and beauty, we apply a minimum of artificial additives, use advanced technologies and strictly control all stages of production. Because of this, the wild grasses can reveal their potential. Natura Siberica is not just natural cosmetics and not just cosmetics made from herbs. This is Russia's first organic cosmetic line and it really works. Highly active wild grasses from Siberia and the Far East. Modern formulas with the highest quality content of plant components. At least 95% of ingredients are vegetable origin. Certified organic extracts and oils. Free of petrochemicals, silicones, parabens, artificial dyes. Do you want to restore your skin elasticity and youthfulness? Night Mask is specially designed for wrinkle correction and regeneration during sleep, when the skin is possible for recovery and the saturation of nutrients. Altai sea buckthorn nourishes and moisturizes the skin. Malva pulls, providing a natural lifting effect. Kladoniya snow contributes to the active cell regeneration and slows the aging process. Collagen cells actively updated, increasing skin elasticity. Vitamin E softens skin.”
The translator was obviously tired that day -- “when the skin is possible for recovery”?? A lot of this stuff just makes no goddamn sense. For example the wild grasses grow naturally, freely, and abundantly, but struggle for survival in the harsh climate? Isn’t that contradictory? What do they mean by "highly active" wild grasses? Do the grasses to calisthenics? Parkour? How are they so active?
That said, this rich creamy mask is the perfect treat for dry parched winter skin. I love to slather it on my hands and neck before bed (it’s a little rich for my face, but for someone drier it would be fantastic) and wake up with baby soft, hydrated, happy skin. Also it smells nice and sort of fruity and basically I just approve of this stuff.
“Discover a new way to blush. Hourglass has fused Ambient Lighting Powder, the cutting-edge collection of finishing powders, with an array of vivid cheek colors, creating a hybrid product that is unique, contemporary, and revolutionary. Unlike traditional blush, which tends to be flat, Ambient Lighting Blush uses Photoluminescent Technology to exhibit depth and dimension. The airy, lightweight powders contain optically transparent particles that amplify the colors to a multidimensional level—effectively reinventing the way you view blush. Each handmade blush is formulated using an advanced miscelare technique to create the perfect balance of pigment and powder, and no two look alike. ("Miscelare" means “to mix” in Italian.) The six shades ranging from soft coral to cool pink are a wardrobe of captivating accent lights for cheeks. They deliver a radiant, natural finish and offer buildable color to imbue the entire complexion with an otherworldly glow."
OK, first of all an “advanced miscelare” technique means you fucking mixed it and you just told us that. If you're trying to make mixing it sound fancy just say miscelare technique and don't tell us what it is. Second of all, photoluminescence doesn’t mean what you think it means as far as I can tell. Third of all, colored powder isn’t a "technology" and "optically transparent particles that amplify the colors to a multi dimensional level" makes no sense as a phrase. Colors don’t have dimensions, shapes have dimensions.
That said, the blushes are really pretty and don’t clog pores and blend beautifully even if the diffused heat shade does look kind of like a compact full of raw beef. (Seriously, look at the product image, and tell me it doesn’t.)
Invisible Gloves Hand Cream by Eveline Cosmetics:
“INVISIBLE GLOVES CONDITIONING AND PROTECTIVE HAND CREAM has a unique quality. Wraps the hands in an invisible layer to protect the hands from environment effects. Great to use if your hands are in water. This moisturizing cream is a 12 hour protection.”
First of all, this stuff is called invisible gloves, which is hilarious on its own. Gloves are one of those things you lose instantly anyway, making them invisible would just add a whole new layer of difficulty to glove wearing. On top of that we have another overworked translator who gives us phrases like “wraps the hands in an invisible layer to protect the hands from environment effects.”
However, I’ll be damned if the stuff doesn’t wrap your hands in an invisible layer that protects them from environment effects, because this stuff seriously means no hangnails ever again.
"Absolute mystery ingredients, put the "starfish" born again turning Solutions Starfish extract 70% contained Volume, moisture, wrinkle and whitening, Renew until five kinds Lee turning complex solutions."
I’ll admit I bought this partially because the description is so delightfully opaque. “Put the starfish born again turning Solutions” -- solutions to what? Who knows? Well honestly, everything apparently. It has a fantastic texture, almost Jello-y when you first scoop it out of the jar, and then smooth and silky on the skin. It leaves my skin incredibly soft and happy.
So yeah, beauty copywriters are either exhausted at the very prospect of having to come up with a new way to say “it moisturizes your face skin” or hilarious jokesters hiding comedy gold all over the internet. So, next time you’re on the Sephora website, actually read the little blurb on the product -- it’s often really really funny.