It can be tough for car manufacturers wanting to reach potential female buyers. Women may chuckle at the chaps' antics on Top Gear, but they won't buy the magazine. Women's mags rarely do cars. I always suspect it's because the editors live in London and use taxis. So to publicise the DS3, Citroen has entered into an imaginative partnership with popular make-up brand Benefit and the online fashion retailer ASOS. There's even a competition to win a car. Smart move.
Citroen and Benefit are both great at packaging. I keep Benefit boxes long after the product has been used to the nub. As for Citroen, the French car manufacturer has always been the Jean-Paul Gautier of motoring. It has a rich heritage of quirky and elegant design, and the current funky Citroen DS3 is named after the long, sleek DS you’ll often spot in classic films shot in Paris.
The standard DS3 has a passing resemblance to an orca with its sloping nose, two-tone colour scheme and side fin. It also cocked a snook at colour wisdom in the car industry, which said that no one would want to be seen in girly colours such as pink. Actually they do, and the DS3’s vibrant fuchsia roof, either plain or patterned has been a huge success.
Citroen has now produced a brace of cars in colour schemes inspired by its make-up range, and we're promised more will follow. The DS3 DSign by Benefit evokes Benefit’s first product, Benetint. Starting at £14,795, it goes for a white roof and mirror covers to contrast with its ruby red bodywork. Other premium touches are the 17-inch alloy wheels with chrome detailing, LED daytime running lights, and inside, plush Alcantara seats, air conditioning, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Under the bonnet there’s an economical 82bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine.
The DS3 DStyle by Benefit was inspired by the bold, quirky packaging of Benefit’s popular mascara, they’re real! It has smouldering shark grey paintwork and dark tinted windows, an orange roof and mirror caps mirrors and 17-inch black alloy wheels with orange wheel centre caps. The D Style has a more powerful 120bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and prices start from £16,795.
In both cars, when the new owners open the glovebox, they’ll find a make-up bag stuffed with Benefit goodies. The first 10 cars sold also come with £200 in Asos vouchers.
To view the DS3 by Benefit series, or the enter the competition to win a DS3 DSign by Benefit RRP £14,795, visit www.asos.com/citroen
Tweet @BenefitUK #Drivenbybeauty
The Audi A3 Cabriolet, based on the new A3 Saloon, is a car women will love – and men, too. See Car Reviews tab for my driving impressions and specs.
I'm always willing to support drink-drive awareness campaigns. When I was 19, two of the brightest, most popular young people from my sixth form college had just got engaged; they were returning from a party, sitting in the rear of a friend's car, when a stupid drunk truck driver ploughed into them and killed them both.
I often think about all the fun I've had, that they missed. So I'm pleased that Sixt Rentacar has launched a drink-drive awareness campaign, giving some useful facts and figures. It majors on the important point that 'the limit' is not the same for everyone, and depends on factors such as your weight, gender, age, amount of food eaten and your body’s ability to process the alcohol. The best advice, then, is not to drink at all. Click here to see and support the campaign.
The campaign has a slick video Cocktail for Disaster with Mad Men-intro-style silhouettes, playing on the names of the cocktails. It's memorable, but I have to say, if he'd drunk all the cocktails mentioned, even Don Draper wouldn't have been standing, let alone taking girls for a Sex on the Beach. The message is: "The stinger is how someone feels well enough to drive..." and that's the real problem, when people have had 'just a couple' and think they are fine.
I've been biffing around in an extremely affordable Toyota Aygo. I like the console design, it reminds me of a Dyson. I quite enjoyed it on the country roads, too, - very 'chuckable' as they used to say at Autocar. When a stone hit the underside, it made a disconcerting 'Pyoinggg', as if it were the underside of a baked bean can. But for about £9k, what do you expect?
This blog is by a woman driver, for everyone to read