I know I’ve been away for a while. In my absence I contemplated the message I want to bring across, and I want to share my findings before I start posting content again.
I don’t like using “less is more,” but it’s more relevant than ever right now. Something in the beauty world seems to be shifting, and I’m gladly being pulled along in that direction.
Where we started
I have this clear image in mind of the moment makeup culture started shaping into what it is right now. In my life it looked like a bunch of viral trends and materialism everywhere.
My first high end makeup purchase was a Smashbox contour palette, because contouring had gone viral. I heard Kim Kardashian used it and figured it must be decent quality. That’s around the same time we became obsessed with highlighters, and high end makeup seemed to have become mainstream.
Beauty influencers were starting to take over the world. The ultimate goalssss were to own every shade of every product, imagery of lavish luxury lifestyles took over social media. I understand how that left a bad taste in people’s mouths, it’s not an era I personally celebrate. The era of materialism and insecurity, of unrealistic imagery and expectations.
We luckily didn’t stay there forever. The community had always been diverse, and the ones that realized the Kim K routine wasn’t all that functional and realistic started to speak up. People started calling out gimmicks and going against the idea that everyone has to be a heavily painted Insta baddie. A new image of luxury started emerging.
It’s problematic to normalize how people spend money so disproportionally. Someone who does not earn money off products needs to seriously consider their finances, and brands motivate us not to.
Quality over ANYTHING
A lot of people grew over the idea that you should own all colors of the rainbow and instead started demanding the best quality. They began raising eyebrows at massive collections, rightfully wondering how anyone could even use so many different products.
We started embracing the idea of quality over quantity and valuing performance over status or price. This also meant not being embarrassed to use cheap products as a professional or wealthy person.
The community massively encouraged honesty, transparency, functionality and realism.
Affordable options being praised by the very people who define luxury in the community was one of the beautiful results. One thing, however, still needed to change.
‘Regular people’ still dreamt of living like a YouTube star, and were trying to implement parts of that lifestyle into their own life.
It’s problematic to normalize how people spend money so disproportionally. Someone who does not earn money off products needs to seriously consider their finances, and brands motivate us not to. Let’s end the giggling about how irresponsible our purchases are, let’s rethink our aims.
Let’s get real!
Continuing to actively watch and read content, I came to some definitive conclusions. These will become the core values for anything I will create in the future.
mediocrity is unacceptable
Let’s start off with one that is not talked about often enough: it’s 2018. This industry has grown into something infinitely large and endlessly diverse. There have been innumerable great improvements and inventions, why would we tolerate a less than perfect product?
The moment I realized this was when Tati posted her video about the best drugstore eyeliners. Why would you buy multiple gel liners when the L’Oréal lacquer liner just does it for you? Why would you buy a more expensive one if you don’t see the difference? Any time a new product is introduced, we need to compare it to what is already out there and consider what it will add to the market or our makeup routines.
functionality and efficiency are core
I’m embarrassingly guilty of having way too many products I hardly ever use. I do have to say, in my case most products were bought because I just want to try EVERYTHING. I want to experience it all and play around and research and compare it all.
Unfortunately it’s not a financially realistic interest to have when you’re not receiving anything in return. It’s also really wasteful to then leave products lying around when they do not fit into your life in any way. I’m constantly thinking of ways to make my collection useful (gifting, selling, trading, etc.)
If there’s no occasion for you to use a product (and I do count creating looks at home and photographing them for fun) then… why do you still own it? If you’re a nurse who works crazy hours and never gets to wear most of your makeup, why would you have a really extensive and expensive eyeshadow collection? You can invest in other ways that suit your personal needs more, and your routine really doesn’t have to resemble a YouTube star’s.
Makeup is personal, and a routine tailored to suit your needs shouldn’t feel “boring,” “lazy” or less legitimate than a beauty guru’s.
The perfect collection
In my opinion, a perfect makeup collection is one that addresses all your potential needs without breaking the bank or collecting dust. My content will be aimed at helping people explore products and decide how to form that collection.
It’s cool as hell to me to have a small collection of great products you use every day. Take Anna’s collection, from the Anna Edit. She has 440k subscribers and a substantially smaller makeup collection than most colleagues. I aim to achieve her level of knowledge about her needs and preferences and which items suit those. Her collection is a great example to me.
We have the luxury of having so many dedicated professionals creating educative and honest, high quality content about brands and their releases. There is so much information widely available for free, you’re definitely not left to just figure it out yourself anymore. Let’s put that to use in a healthy and efficient way instead of aiming to have more more more.
Like I mentioned in my introductory post, I want to be a healthy and helpful voice in this community. I feel like this part of my message always needs to be clear and I hope it reaches and helps people.
Thank you for your support and attention.