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The Rules of Attraction

by Caitlin Agnew
February 15, 2024
Caitlin Agnew

The psychology behind surrounding ourselves with beautiful products—and why form and function always win.

With the advent of the “shelfie”, beauty products went from being tucked away in the medicine cabinet to becoming an object of desire on display. Who hasn’t lusted after a beautiful Diptyque glass candle that’s been transformed into a makeup brush holder? Or an iconic bottle of Chanel No 5, which is so beautiful it holds a place in the permanent collection at the MoMA? 

It’s not just a matter of keeping up with the Joneses—wanting to be near beautiful things is in our biology. Studies have revealed that the sight of an attractive product can trigger the part of the brain that governs hand movement. It’s instinctual to reach out to touch attractive things, and using products in pretty packaging makes it easier to be consistent in our routines. Plus, the investment in high-quality products usually includes a delightful user experience, whether that’s through a pleasing colour, an attractive shape or a well-chosen font. 

From skincare to hair care and nail care, here are some of our all-time favourite products to admire.

Manta Healthy Hair Brush, $45
Manicurist Complete Serum (15 ML), $20
Olverum Pure Radiance Facial Oil (15 ML), $112
Manicurist Cuticle Softener  (15 ML), $20
Adipeau Active Face Cream (50 ML), $120
LoveSeen, Cate Lash $24.50

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