In the last ten years, the beauty industry has gone through a massive evolution via the behemoth highway that is social media. Social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook have revolutionized not only how we process and absorb beauty, but also how we buy our products. We’ve gone from buying our products via physical stores and websites to crashing platforms all in the name of scoring our latest palette, lipstick, or magical potion which promises to do everything, even pay our bills.
However, I’m honestly of the opinion that there is indeed such a thing as too much beauty products. I’m tired of the never-ending parade of “collaborations” between social-media influencers across all platforms who (if Marlena Stell of MakeUpGeek is to be believed) have no qualms about taking cash to trash the business of competitors. I abhor the constant stream of Instagram make-up tutorials from people who constantly repeat the same look over and over again with their favorite palette or lipstick ever…of the week. And if I see another group post where group members talk about how superior they feel because they believe in the power of science or nature, I’ll scream.
I think we’re at the point where we as beauty consumers need a reckoning, en masse. We need it from a financial perspective, a consumption perspective, and a social media perspective. Now, I’m not saying that the beauty industry as a whole needs to take a hike, because our keen attention to this industry has caused more positive changes in the last five years than our forebears did in the last fifty, from Rihanna’s elegant elimination of the excuse that POC don’t buy foundation to the rise of independent lines like Beauty Bakerie,Juvia’s Place, SIGMA, and Herbivore through the almost exclusive use of social media. These are all great accomplishments. What I’m truly saying is that we need to stop consumption for consumption’s sake when it comes to how we engage in beauty. If we’re struggling to make rent, why the hell are we shelling out upwards of $60 for eyeshadow? Why are we allowing ourselves to be talked out of our money for the sake of increasing views of individuals who can only demonstrate makeup techniques on their own faces in addition to our stockpile of expired make-up? Even better: why are we arguing with individuals whom we’ve never met on Facebook, all for the sake of being considered a ride-or-die über-fan?
I’ll be brutally honest with you. I’m tired of it. So as I’ve gotten older, I’ve made a conscious decision to be more mindful of how I engage with beauty from both intellectual and practical standpoints. I’m no longer looking for the next greatest social media influencer who can sell me my own name, but not show me how to apply makeup for glasses-wearers. Rather, if I’m going to seek out advice, I seek out professionals who can explain the mechanics of how products work, as well as how they would use those same products on their actual clients. When I buy makeup and skincare, I look for professional recommendations from actual artists and skincare professionals, and I NEVER buy without sampling first. I don’t buy every overpriced item that promises to render Ponce de Leon’s quest for the Fountain of Youth obsolete, but I make sure that I invest in high-quality ingredients and technology which promises to address the needs that I have. In regards to engaging with others, I don’t engage in conversations with others if they devolve into personal insults and attacks. Rather, I keep the conversation to the products or practices at hand.
It keeps me happy.
What are some ways in which you’ve adopted mindful consumption into your routine? I’d love to hear from you!