NO BUY 2019: July Update, Over-saturation of the beauty industry

Well friends, I blinked and suddenly summer is half over. Having left the medical aesthetics industry since my last update, I was fortunate enough to have a few weeks off before starting my next work adventure to mull over feelings I have about the industry and the products produced by it, and my relationship to these skincare and makeup products.

I recently saw a conversation starting Instagram post by @temptalia that asked “What do you think are the biggest challenges facing beauty brands right now?”. I popped into the comments to chime in, and starting reading through all of the other responses. There was a variety, but there were so many people stating that the over-saturation of the market with new beauty releases and launches was not only a huge challenge for beauty brands to keep up with, but for consumers to process as well. For myself personally, I’ve noted that lately I’ve been almost desensitized to new launches; nothing excites me anymore. I think this is partially because there are so many launches that it is overwhelming to stay up to date with even a few favourite brands, but because these launches are so frequent and short notice, they often are not of good quality. We’re getting more products of poorer quality, less time to search for reviews and tutorials, less time to try out and thoroughly enjoy the products, before they are deemed as old news.

While reading these comments, I thought back to launches like Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Modern Renaissance. Launches were a little bit slower back then, and I feel like palettes such as this had the time and leisure to exist in their own spotlight. Tutorials were abundant, and I felt like I was using something exciting and current several months after it launched. Now, I look at the palettes on my dresser and most of them have already been forgotten about. I don’t see anyone talking about my Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice palette, or my ABH Norvina palette, not even in passing. With the rise of Project Pan, more and more folks are realizing that they cannot use their makeup up quickly enough, and that trying to keep up with this insane amount of product being pushed out into the market is leaving them feeling burdened, rather than thrilled by their beauty splurges.

Another problem that has cropped up due to the frequency of releases and buyers not only being disinterested but not having the money to even consider supporting all of these launches, is a whole lot of expired makeup. This was brought to my attention by a video that Lauren Mae Beauty did two weeks ago where she discusses problems she had noticed with products in the Sephora sale section. Many of the products available on the page were released years ago, and were likely expired or at least very quickly declining in remaining quality. Not only is this awful for consumers who buy these products, thinking they’re getting a great deal, but ending up with poor quality or expired products, but where are all of these products going to go when they don’t sell? Sure, some will end up in your local Marshalls or Winners where some poor soul will end up buying it, but at some point I imagine that a lot of this product is going to end up in a landfill, either because it is unsellable or because those who bought these expired products got little to no use of them and disposed of them.

To sum up my ramble, there’s just too much damn makeup out there. People are getting overwhelmed, and not enjoying what should be a lighthearted, artistic hobby. I find myself getting caught up in these launches time and time again, and am so disheartened when I come back to reality and realize that I just have too much, that what I’m buying is honestly no longer worth my money sometimes, and that I am wasting the money I work hard for. I want to embrace Hannah Louise Poston’s mentality of having fewer, nicer things. I find myself thinking, how lovely would it be to have a minimalist collection of divine luxury makeup? One or two eyeshadow palettes in multipurpose shades that I can professionally wear to work but also vamp up a look for a night out with friends, perhaps a Pat McGrath and a Natasha Denona or a small Viseart collection. Two foundations, one lighter, one darker, of good quality to mix throughout the seasons. One setting powder. One mascara. One brow gel. One bronzer. Two, maybe three blushes for variety. A dozen lipsticks, max. I could throw the whole kit and caboodle in a bag and hit the highway on a trip, with no stress or additional thought as to what makeup products I’d pack and whether or not it’d be enough. The money I could save! Instead of sitting at home broke with makeup I don’t have enough faces to be able to use it all, I’d have more disposable income for evenings at the theatre or more weekend trips with my loved ones. Experiences, rather than pretty items that I am not actually enjoying anymore because I simply have too many of them.

It all seems so appealing, but breaking those consumer habits have proven to be so difficult! July was not a great one for spending, however, I’m feeling inspired to revisit my no buy rules, put the guilt and blame behind me, and carry onwards with what I hope will be better choices.

Unfiltered ramble aside, here are my totals for July:

Dollar value of products I used up in the month of July 2019: CAD $411

  1. Amika Soul Food Hair Mask, $36
  2. Colorescience Sunforgettables Medium SPF 50, $79
  3. Drunk Elephant Protini Peptide, $89
  4. Laroche Posay Cicaplast Hands, $13
  5. Laroche Posay Lipikar 400ml, $33
  6. Tarte mini lip balm gloss, free deluxe sample
  7. Essence Make Me Brow, $4
  8. Hourglass Vanish Stick, $61
  9. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara, free deluxe sample
  10. Gehwol Med Protective Nail and Skin Oil, $22
  11. Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, $24
  12. Glo Skin Beauty Hydration Mist, $27
  13. Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Vanilla SPF 31, $23

Dollar value of products I purchased in the month of July 2019: $392.69

  1. Nivea Body Lotion, $14
  2. Lisa Eldridge Lipsticks, $210
  3. Elf Cosmetics Order, $43.69
  4. Lush purchase, $125

My goals going forward into August are:

  • No purchases for the month of August. Even skincare-wise, I don’t think I will run out of any particular category for the whole month, so I do not need to purchase anything.
  • Continue to declutter and trash products I do not like, that have expired, or that have sat unused for more than half a year.
  • Avoid social media. I’m not sure if I’m going to delete apps temporarily or just limit my time on the apps, but I feel like every time I log on I am being sold to by not only the influencers I follow, but the MLM monsters who are always trying to slide in my DMs. I need breathing room.

I hope you are having a great summer, and that if you are on a no buy or low buy journey, that it is going well! I’ve failed my rules a lot lately, but I’m learning so much about myself, my habits, and the culture of buying, so that is one success!

 

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