October 07, 2010

Guest Rant: "How DARE they change the packaging on me?"

God I love Petra's (Eli's sister) rants. I love them so much I let her write about them and I publish them on my blog even when they make little sense. Read and giggle, my loves!

By Petra Gimbad

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!” I dialed Kahani’s number. “KAHANI!”


“Gotaminute? They changed the packaging!” My mouth was too dry to froth.

“What packaging? Slow down, I can’t understand you.”

“The packaging! St. Ives! Apricot Scrub!” I screeched in the pharmacy.

“I don’t get it. You’re mad!” said Kahani. As always, Kahani was very patient with me.

However, this time – Philistine, I thought ungratefully.

“There is no integrity! How can they change the packaging?”

“You can’t expect the company not to change the packaging to please you.”

Red dots floated into vision. “Yes I can. Can I write about this for your blog? This is an atrocity!”

Bless her, she started to laugh.

Kahani may not get it, but I do. My relationship with cosmetics is similar to that which I share with food: highly sentimental and incredibly emotional.

I love all foods and beauty products that remind me of my mother. When I missed my mother overseas, nothing comforted me more than a bowl of porridge or soupy noodles. They reminded me of slow breakfasts, 4 hour conversations. Some mornings, there was so much love in the room my heart could burst.

I love the sense of continuity you get from using products the womenfolk who came before you used to preserve their beauty. Especially with unique and iconic products. (Products that I define as iconic, so there.)

Certain products are perfect as they are when they are attached to the women we love – particularly the amazing ones who fought quiet battles in the home and raised daughters such as I.

For instance:
Hazeline Snow moisturizing cream. Was I the only person who raised uproar when they switched their packaging...

...to the current?

I have never gotten over this. What happened to the silver cap? I WANT MY SILVER CAP.

At one point, they tried changing the cream’s texture from firm and crinkly to soft – just like any other cream. How were we supposed to heal cuts and burns (never mind I exaggerate slightly)? To soothe our sun-burnt faces at the end of the day? My aunts kept a container in the fridge, always – I loved the sensation of cold cream on my face. Thankfully, the company saw sense (hopefully in the form of falling revenue) and returned to older and better ways. I’ve a moisturizer I can turn to when I break out.

Lesson: Some of the old ways, like corsets, are bad. But Hazeline Snow moisturizer is very very good. If they bring back the silver cap even better. Silver cap. SILVER CAP.

Nivea crème. My sister Elizabeth can vouch for my love of Nivea and Eucerin products. Firstly, they work (for me) – basic, no frills, cheap. Secondly, the smell is comforting. Thirdly, they receive regular kudos for people choice beauty award polls and from models – I recall a model saying nothing touches her body but Nivea.

However, importantly, they’re made German-made. Have you seen a German hiker? You can spot one from a mile away from the impeccable hiking boots (drool), the well-woven and even-weight-distribution backpacks, the metal water containers, the durable and well-cut pants. Friends from Germany and Austria who’ve seen dermatologists use Nivea, not luxury brands.

I rest my case.

A major point in favour: European Union manufacturers of skincare and cosmetics are obliged not to animal-test under EU law. Kahani can expand on how effective this is better than I, and there are now animal-testing laboratories in Malaysia (because companies outsource their testing) but at least the push is there. And we’re animal-friendlier than we used to be, one reckons.

But. At one point, they switched the packaging from this...

...to this -

I know that we can still get the good old aluminium tins, but for shame, the smaller pots are sold in plastic containers. Why? What’s the justification for this? Where is their sense of romance? Don’t you like hearing the dull ‘thunk’ of metal when it rolls off a table and on the floor?

My childhood masseuse used this stuff. In metal pots. It’s a good enough reason. DON’T ARGUE WITH ME.

Lesson: noisy moisturizer is good. Can’t misplace it.

Now, St. Ives.

Here’s the old:

Here’s the new:

Bawl. Isn’t the former far more endearing? It’s a legendary product. It ain’t broke. Why are you trying to hurt its feelings?

Lesson: Scrubs have feelings too.

Back to my conversation with Kahani.

“I don’t get why you’re so worked up about this.” She sounded amused.

“Kahani. Would Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream have caused a stir without attempting the original packaging and design? I mean, they brought it back. Where would Chanel No.5 be if had we changed the scent and the bottle? Where is our historical integrity? Do they have no loyalty to their original customers? Kahani… Kahani?”

Don’t get me started on Vaseline.


Connie De Alwis said...

oh my goodness, I think I just broke a rib from laughing. This should become the first thing I read every morning!
Ah yes, just seeing the Nivea metal tin reminds me of the scent.

Anonymous said...

omg..I have been reading this blog for a while but this is the first time I had to comment. I so agree with you...funny I thought I was the only one..:)

Indulgent Diva said...

This is a crack-up! Love your post!

Foxy Frangipani said...

Hahahahhahaha thank goodness I read this post before my dreaded meeting!

(I want the silver cap back too haaa)

Anonymous said...

hahaha, so funny

but i do think the same as you, not just the cosmetics, but other products too

why can't they stay the same?

coz for me, there are some kind of sentimental value over there

Tine said...


That cracked me up big time. I was livid when they changed the Hazeline Snow packaging. I remember the days when I had the occasional rash on my body, and I'd hear the soothing uncapping of the silver cap, and all is well again when Mother applies it on me.


meipinggg said...

O: actually, my mum was desperate when she found out that hazeline snow changed their packaging too! ):<

and the st ives, i will never know it's packaging ever again. T___T the packaging use to catch my eye a lot of times, but i don't think it will now. ):

Syen said...

HAHAHAHAHA.... Petra, you're seriously hilarious.

Personally I'm not really offended by change of packaging, unless of course the newer packaging has major flaws in them. Then I would probably go, "WHYYYY???"

But I do think that some packagings are classics and should remain as they are.

rinnah said...

LOL, I never really thought about it until you put it so eloquently but yeah, I want the old packaging of Nivea and Hazeline back too! :D

xenobiologista said...

Zam-buk still comes in tins. Oh nvm...that's not a cosmetic.

Anonymous said...

Where can I buy hazeline snow pleas? I lice in sydney, lower north shore

Tan Cherlyn said...

Hi im selling the 100g yellow bott in singapore.