Dear Magazine Product Review

23 Aug

This post is for the average women that tried that recommended spray, wax, shampoo, blush and other miscellaneous product of the month and always wondered is it me…

I am your average women that picks up the latest magazine in the supermarket for my monthly gossip fix. Along with indulging in the most recent news about Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston and some random celebrities that we are currently obsessed about but won’t give a damn about tomorrow, I also turn to you oh glorious glossy magazine for fashion and beauty advice. I know your staff get’s the latest products and I blindly trust your product reviews.

ImageYou could say I was naive or blinded by the beautiful women on this glossy book of deceits but I truly trusted the product reviews by big name magazine such as Cosmo, Elle and Vogue. As most Latinas I also asked around my circle of girlfriends too since positive word-of-mouth usually closes the deal for me to trust in a product and make a purchase.


Recently I read a review about Bumble and bumble “making waves since 2001” Surf Spray. Surf Spray is a recipient of the (1st annual) 2012 Details Magazine Best of Grooming Awards. I was curious to try it and  after reading this magazine product review I was sold. I purchased the product three weeks ago from Sephora and just recently had the opportunity to use it.

The results were fatal! I have wavy Latina hair that hasn’t quiet decided if it wants to be straight or curly so it just ends up being difficult. After showering I put the product as directed and assumed I would have sexy touchable wavy beach hair in moments as the reviews claimed, but to my horror I had a tangled mess to deal with! I not necessarily saying the product doesn’t work but for my hair it was a total disaster!

I was talking to my girlfriends about my recent product let down and I told them that though I personally don’t know the editorial staff that tests out the products and reviews them, I can surely claim that woman is not your average woman. I want products to be tested by your average receptionist that has to depend her life on that Dove® deodorant when she’s running throughout the city in between meetings to buy bagels no one might even eat. I want your next Garnier® hair treatment to be tested out by someone that has little time in the morning to spend drying, curling, styling and adding some final volume to last you only till noon (if you’re lucky). I want your next COVERGIRL® lipstick to be tested out by someone that goes on the regular foodie expeditions. Lets see how that shade stands to a hearty Hispanic breakfast, followed by Italian for lunch and for dinner a Rib Eye Steak with broccolini and mashed potatoes. If by desert that shade is still on and you only had to touch it up twice that day its a winner in my book!

This post is for the average women that tried that recommended spray, wax, shampoo, blush and other miscellaneous product of the month and always wondered is it me…Its not!

Sincerely Yours,

The Average Reader with a Latina Twist




Read for a Cause

1 May

ImageA dear friend of mine recommended a book she just read titled “Matika and the River Lion” which takes the reader on a journey with a young daughter of an affluent and prominent military general. Abandoned by her mother during the Lords Liberation Army’s raid, she escapes into the jungle while under the pursuit of a crazed colonel. Matika must rise up, using her ingenuity and inner-strength to make a heroic stand against the Colonel in the final attempt to win her freedom.

Her journey takes readers on a journey of emotional suspense and political unrest through the mystic nature of Africa. What I found interesting is that her story explores the topic of Gender Based Violence (GBV) which both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims. It encompasses a wide range of human rights violations which leave deep psychological scars and in some instances, results in death.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sites that “globally, one out of three women will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, with rates of abuse reaching 70% in some countries.” Keep in mind that GBV is not exclusive to women. It includes any violence based on gender affecting other marginalized groups such as people with disabilities and the LGBT community.

Read for a Cause 

Author Latrice Simpkins has chosen to donate 100% of the book’s proceeds to a nonprofit with a mission focused on reduction and prevention of gender-based violence (GBV). Read for a cause and dive into Matika’s world, 100% of the proceeds will help fight and prevent GBV!

Let’s Not Burn Barbie

12 Apr

Mattel has launched a new Barbie line called Dolls of the World, that was intended to celebrate cultures from across the globe. They’ve created Barbie representatives from Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Holland India, Ireland and Mexico. The majority of the dolls wear some sort of “culturally relevant” costume along with a passport and a dog.

ImageThe toy company has received a flood of criticism caused by “Mexico Barbie,” which some think is culturally stereotypical, insensitive and inappropriate with the current immigration debate. Mexico Barbie is dressed in a vibrant traditional pink dress with a pet Chihuahua, a passport and a sticker sheet to record her travels. 

The Hispanic community has had a variety of opinions when it comes to Mexico Barbie. Referring to her stylish passport, the Latin Times wondered “are they making any sort of political statement or just being creative?” NCLR Joseph Rendeiro blogged for the community to “save your outrage for something that matters.” Others in the Hispanic community believe people are overreacting and are oversensitive about the Barbie collection.

NBC interviewed Ana Flores, co-founder of and she said she sees nothing wrong with the Mexico Barbie, “I don’t rely on dolls to teach my daughter accurate culture or history — that’s what books, conversations, travels and real-life cultural events are for.” (See article “Is ‘Mexico Barbie’ a stereotype or stylish?“)

I couldn’t agree with Ana Flores more that dolls are not meant to teach culture or history to our children, but I don’t agree in instilling stereotypical images in our children’s minds which ultimately form their perception of these various communities. I know my seven year old niece knows that not all Mexican women own a chihuahua, a floral lacy pink dress or wear their hair to the side with a fashionable ribbon but what about the children that don’t? There are many impressionable children that might not have as much involvement or knowledge about the Hispanic community. When these children are introduced to these toys that claim some form of cultural representation they might associate Mexican women with that Barbie.

ImageI’m not saying let’s go burn Barbies but I am saying that Mattel could dig a little deeper into representing multicultural communities. Instead of a chihuahua why not use Mexico’s national flower the Dahlia?

Here was the toy company’s response to the public:

11 Apr 2013
“The Barbie Collector Dolls of the World line was launched in 1980 and is the largest and longest-running series in the history of the Barbie brand. Each doll wears an ensemble inspired by the traditional costume and fashion of the country. In 2012, the Barbie Collector Dolls of the World line launched dolls from Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Holland India, Ireland and Mexico. Every doll in the current line includes a ‘passport’ and stamps as well as an animal friend providing additional play value. We consulted with the Mexican Embassy on the Dolls of the World Mexico Barbie, especially with respect to the selection of the Chihuahua. Our goal with the Dolls of the World Mexico Barbie, as well as the entire Dolls of the World Collection, is to celebrate cultural differences and tradition, introducing girls to the world through play.”

Tweet the company your thoughts @Mattel and follow me @pascaledowning

Heads Up: President Obama in Las Vegas

1 Nov

A lesson on desperation Romney Style!

Vonage Calls the Multicultural Consumer

14 Oct

Vonage is a leading provider of low-cost communications services connecting individuals worldwide. They currently serve approximately 2.4 million subscribers. They provide customers with affordable communication solutions that offer flexibility, portability and ease-of-use. Their new service Vonage World plan offers unlimited calling to more than 60 countries with popular features like call waiting, call forwarding and voicemail for one low monthly rate.

Vonage’s advertising strategy has consisted of consumer humor, competition robbery and customer testimonials. The  recent customer testimonials target multicultural consumer values beautifully such as family, home country, and culture. Below is one of Vonage’s recent commercials where Gita talks about calling her mother in India more than 8000 miles away through Vonage World. Gita shares with us a song her mother sings to her in over the phone in language (might be Hinid) which translates to ” don’t leave me I have a lot to tell you.” Vonage allows families to stay connected for longer at a low cost rate which is what most multicultural consumers seek from a communications provider.

 Vonage World gives customers unlimited calling to over 60 countries including India, China & Mexico for $24.99 per month. Vonage World raises the bar for landline replacement and successful calls all multicultural customers. 

These are some of the countries you can call with Vonage World, hopefully one day they add Costa Rica:

Pheed Takes Social Media to a More Complicated Level

14 Oct

Pheed, a new social network, is attempting to bring all the things we love from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram into one simple platform. On Pheed, you create your own “channel” from which you can share text, photos, videos, voice-notes and audio clips, and live broadcasts. You can get updates from the channels you subscribe to (like Facebook).

I decided to give Pheed an opportunity today and I created an account. I ran into trouble when trying to change my channel background and I am currently stuck with a highway picture. I was also very confused when I saw a payment option. With Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIN, Pinterest and Instagram having free accounts WHY would I (or anyone) pay for a social media channel?

With most of my friends not current subscribers of Pheed I searched for celebrities that I follow on Twitter and Facebook. To my surprise celebrities such as Chris Brown , Big Sean , Djimon Hounsou  charge followers to view and share their content! This approach is not appealing and though these are celebrities I follow on Twitter, their content is not groundbreaking enough to be paying a monthly subscription for. I also ran across a charging channel for Christina Milian but the account states that she does not have an account yet! Some accounts charges users $2.99 to $4.99 to subscribe on wither a monthly subscription or setting a pay-per-view live broadcast event.

The social dashboard desgin on Pheed allows users to easily upload video, audio, words, pictures, or even a live stream onto their Pheed. I tried uploading a photo which was easy and I noticed a “copyright this pheed” button at the bottom of the post I was creating. Once I posted the picture I noticed the interactive buttons. The options let you “love this,” “don’t love this,” “keep this” or “add hastage.” You can also share on other social channels which reminds me of Pinterest and Instagram.

With so many social media outlets I doubt I will be keeping my Pheed account. Although I like the copyright feature, the audio upload option I don’t agree with the option to monetize content. I like the idea that I can share and keep in contact with brands, companies, celebrities and friends for free. Though Pheed is trying to provide you with everything we love from other social channels, the platform is not user friendly and puts a price on content. Not for me.

Marketers Contemplate Going ‘Gangnam Style’

2 Oct

AdAge’s recent article, “Will brands buy into ‘Gangnam Style’?” had me wondering if such a humorous YouTube video could become mainstream/marketable in the US. The lyrics are in Korean and most viewers don’t even know what Psy, the Korean pop artist, is saying! “Gangnam style” has swept the world but I can understand the uncertainty from US marketers. 

Though the video has become an internet sensation according to adage with over “747 million video viewers” and 348,671,155 million Youtube viewers, we see one-hit wonders come and go. Does anyone remember William Hung’s audition for American Idol in 2004?  The Asian American  former  civil engineer student from Berkeley gained fame from singing (or attempting to sing) Ricky Martins hit song “She Bangs” on the third season of American Idol. He tried pursing a music career but is now allegedly employed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as a technical crime analyst.

Marketers come into the picture when trying to appeal to what’s trending to consumers and the public. Should they invest millions into Psy or should they wait for the public’s interest to fade? Marketers are challenged when trying to appeal to consumers that receive an overabundance of information which has created a society that has constant shifts in attitudes and are less invested in any particular topic, person, or product. Regardless of this challenge and uncertainty of Psy success with American consumers, Brad Haugen, CMO of Scooter Braun Projects has reveled his belief in Psy stardom. He has confirmed that Psy is being pitched to marketers and brands and that the first U.S. deal is expected to happen in a few weeks.

Though I enjoyed the video Gangnam Style and believe that Psy is talented, funny and sincere, unless he finds a way to stay relevant in the minds of consumers, I predict in a month we’ll be on to the next one-hit wonder.

Check out Gangnam Style on YouTube!