Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Demotix and moisturiser

Yesterday I went in search of a new moisturiser. Having finished every single sample I'd ever been given (let it not be said I am not doing my bit for the credit crunch), it was time to get something new.

I made the mistake of saying, "Well, I'm not really loyal to a particular brand when it comes to moisturisers, and I'm happy to try something new." The salesperson licked her lips and then ushered me over to a section of the shop that had some really expensive looking stuff, "This", she said, looking as though she were holding a golden chalice, "will not only give you 24-hour moisturisation, but it also acts as a natural botox."

? Who the hell said anything about botox? Do I look like I need botox?

She continued, "And, you can use it as a day and night cream and around your eyes." She was selling hard.

I'd been taken like this in the past - romanced into loving something only to get to the counter and find out it costs a fortune, by which time I am too in love with it/too embarrassed to pull out of the deal. I wasn't going for it this time.

"How much is it?" I asked. "93 pounds," she said casually, for 50ml. Yes, forget the oil business, cosmetics is where it's at if you want to fleece people and make a fortune.

Unsurprisingly I didn't go for it. In fact, I was pissed off that the first thing I get shown is probably the most expensive product in the shop. That, in my mind, is also not good salesmanship. Rather, she would have been better off showing me a less expensive yet effective brand and I would probably have got a few things, were we not in a recession that is.

I walked out of there with something a lot cheaper, and can happily report that the sun still came up this morning, well, not visibly, and my skin looks pretty much how it always does. But moisturised.


There is a great website called Demotix, which is kind of like a You Tube for news from around the world. People send in images, film clips and stories from their respective necks of the wood, be it Iraq or Fiji, and it's uploaded. News for the people by the people. The creator is a guy called Turi Munthe, who is the grandson of Axel Munthe of 'The story of San Michele' fame. My friend Patrick will get a kick out of this I'm sure.

You can write anonymously if you so choose, and they even have a way of scrambling encoded image data to protect the identities of people who send stuff from countries where the police hack into your account and are a little too eager to knock on your door and beat the crap out of you for showing what's really going on. This kind of democratic unbiased form of reportage really appeals to the champagne socialist in me.

Check it out here Demotix

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