Packaging Versus Reality: 11 Products That Are Better Than They Look


(Image credit: @FRESHLENGTHS)

Instagram is changing the face of beauty as we know it. Brands like Glossier, Sand & Sky and Milk Makeup have all enjoyed huge growth by using the social platform as a space to engage a devoted following, but there’s one key factor to having such omnipresence across channels dedicated to everything visual: product packaging. Whilst a few years ago you might have been happy to pick up a new moisturiser based on a recommendation from a friend, now you’re more likely to buy one because you’ve spotted the Millennial Pink packaging or apothecary-inspired dispenser on your feed.


(Image credit: @GXIAYAN)

Although the #shelfie hashtag has been used over 1.3 million times, it’s not just the rise in beauty bloggers sharing the contents of their enviably sized bathroom cabinets that has caused this shift in product perception. Whether it’s a cute tube of lip balm captured artfully tumbling out of your favourite influencer’s It bag or a carefully curated product lineup making an appearance in the backdrop of their #ootd, fashion girls are also keen to share their beauty finds with the most gorgeous packaging.


(Image credit: @MONIKH)

So where does that leave the beauty products that are just as good (if not better) in terms of performance, but are burdened with packaging that isn’t as attractive? I believe there’s a host of skincare, makeup and hair items industry insiders and stylish women use daily but that they’ll never share on Instagram. These are the products that genuinely work, and will be repurchased time and again, but to put it bluntly, just don’t look that great. Scroll down to discover some truly excellent beauty formulas. Just remember the old pre-Instagram adage: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

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Mica Ricketts