My Biggest Issues With The Beauty Industry

makeupregrets2 copy.jpg

I’ve written a fair amount about beauty on my blog because I enjoy the artistry behind it. However, there are also a few things I genuinely dislike about the beauty industry and have made it difficult to enjoy the process of participating within it on a regular basis. For today’s post I thought it would be interesting to discuss a few qualms I have with makeup (seeing as it is one of the biggest industries at the moment) if only to come to some sort of conclusion as to how I can more mindfully contribute to it.

This, by no means, will be a post bashing the beauty industry because it has given many artistic and creative individuals jobs that might otherwise not have existed without it. But I do think it is important that, like any problematic industry, some light is shone on what can be improved going forward.

It Encourages Compulsory Consumption

At a certain point in time, minimalism was a hot topic on my blog. While I still do advocate the notions of mindful consumption, I feel like I’ve lost a bit of it with the rise of the beauty community on Youtube. Obviously, I am in control of what I buy and can’t put the blame on those selling it…or can I? My biggest issue with the beauty industry is that it promotes the necessity for constant consumption. There are always new releases, revamped formulas, products that are the same as others, but with prettier packaging, and so on. We never really get a break from being inundated with advertisements of what we NEED to buy for the next season or what we NEED to replace for the newer, shinier version.

Up until a few years ago, I rarely wore makeup and when I did it was pretty much just mascara and possibly a light eyeshadow. At this point, I do feel a bit overwhelmed with my desires to buy all these new, interesting products, even though deep down I know I won’t get as much use out of them as someone else more interested in makeup would.

So, how is the advertising speaking to me so deeply?

I’ve noticed a significant correlation between the people I follow online and the amount of money I am willing to spend on products that I think will improve my life. We are often shown only the best parts of people’s lives on social media and those snippets are used to peddle something, whether revolutionary or not. Of course, I can’t completely put the blame on others for my own decisions when it comes to consumption. But, I can still hold the beauty industry responsible for basing their marketing tactics around wasteful practices and a ‘keeping up with the joneses’ mentality.

It Promotes The Notion That Beauty Is Something That Can Only Be Achieved

Another big issue I have with the beauty industry is its suggestion that beauty can only be achieved if you buy _____ (insert expensive product here). Furthermore, it perpetuates only one standard of beauty as something every woman should aspire to. The unrealistic marketing is almost infuriating when I think about it in retrospect, and yet many of us fall for the same advertisements day in and day out. The only brand I can think of that is somewhat promoting natural beauty is Glossier with its ‘Skin First’ motto, but the models they use don’t have an acne spot in sight and are all an incredibly small size.

Now, what does waist size have to do with makeup? Absolutely nothing, other than the underlying suggestion that if you buy these products you might end up looking like this naturally perfect size 0 model. And that’s nothing against women that are a size 0—they are just as valid a body type as any other. But they aren’t the only one that the rest of us aspire to be. Sometimes it feels like the beauty industry is so out of tune with what real and regular people want out of their every day products that it’s almost patronizing.

At the end of the day, there are many women that feel so much more confident with makeup, and others without it. Some consider it war paint, others a hinderance. Either perspective is valid because there are so many variations of people who use makeup, which should be recognized by the industry that is making its money off of them. All I really want to see from the beauty industry going forward is just a little perspective in the way they approach their consumer base.