Is it Festivus? Because I’m about to air a list of beauty grievances.
In searching for topics to post on this blog, I’m constantly uncovering more and more things that I have no desire to try, buy, or even engage with from a conceptual standpoint. Innovation in beauty and lifestyle have come to center on quick fixes and impulse buys rather than improving issues that already exist within the industry. Already in four months of writing about make-up, beauty, and lifestyle, I’m already exhausted with the deluge of nonsense in-store and online. And at the risk of coming across far more salty than I actually am, I felt like I would post about that this week.
- Holy Grain EVERYTHING
Like the word ‘epic’ before it, the term ‘Holy Grail’ has come to refer to everything and anything in beauty and skincare, a fact that completely dilutes the usefulness of the term. Used to be a Holy Grail product was the ONE product, and when I saw it used, I could accurately surmise that product was something special, at least to someone. Nowadays, Holy Grail gets trod out for whole collections of products by producers looking to sell their wares. Power to them for following trends, but with all the Holy Grails on shelves, I can’t trust the term anymore.
A Holy Grail product, like all beauty and skincare products, does have a subjective element, and it works best when used to identify one or very few products. It’s a poor slogan from an entire collection of products.
- Themed Collections
Have you every looked at something and thought to yourself, “Wow – ten years ago, I would have loved this!” And before you can enjoy that wave of nostalgia, you’re making a face because pretending you’re a mermaid no longer holds appeal?
Well, I have. Cycling through Sephora e-mails about new collections and PR unboxing videos by various YouTubers, I’ve let out sigh after sigh of dismay. Unicorns? Carnivals? Mermaids? I’m sure that there is a market out there for these collections, but I’m not a part of it. I’m already cautious about special editions or collabs in cosmetics; I allude to this in my review of Sugarpill’s Little Twin Stars palette, and Sugarpill is a brand I trust completely. That brands are now promoting so many new collections in so little time gives me even more pause in my shopping.
Part of this is undoubtedly subjective: my tastes have toned down considerably in recent years, meaning that unicorn-inspired make-up is a hard fit for my aesthetic. Objectively, too, there’s a risk with these kinds of themed collections. Make-up companies are notorious for repackaging old product for new collections, and part of me appreciates the consistency, then, in terms of quality even as I roll my eyes at the attempts to dupe consumers into doubling up or paying more for an existing product. When the collections are new, there can be serious doubt about the quality and wear of a product, since it’s the theme that’s really being sold, not the product itself.
- Fantastic Single Colour Shadows in Otherwise Nude Palettes
I didn’t know how else to describe this one, but we’ve all seen these palettes: a fantastic, bright colour surrounded by various matte taupes and browns. All I really want in that colour, but it’s an exclusive, so the only way I’m going to get it is by buying the palette.
People who are just starting to buy make-up benefit from palettes like these because they get a highly versatile collection of nudes for creating neutral looks as well as a colour with which to play. Make-up veterans, though, end up weighing the pros and cons of yet another nude palette in their collection, when all they really want is that exquisite pop colour. I’m tired of having to find dupes for amazing shadows to avoid the massive price tag and glut of yet another palette. Help me out here, make-up brands, will you?
- Shimmer Palettes
…that being said, I can’t count the number of palettes that have come out in that past year consisting entirely of shimmery, jewel-toned metallic shades. Not only are these colours prone to fallout even from the best brands, they’re also difficult to work with on their own. Great looks can and have been created out of metallic jewel-tones, but they take time and practice to apply and the right kind of aesthetic to really pull off. For people who wear these colours already, a palette of bright, bold colours are great, but for those starting to practice, or for those who don’t have a lot of opportunities to wear these colours, palettes consisting entirely of shimmering metallics are impractical and, again, contribute to make-up glut.
- Dropper Make-Up
I’ll get the subjective stuff out of the way first: I prefer working with powder products. With the exception of my foundation and primer and (occasionally) liner, everything that goes on my skin is a powder, from my setting powder to my contour powder to my highlighter. I have a hard time blending with liquid make-up given how much of my application relies on powder.
But droplet make-up is just so impractical. How am I supposed to neatly apply a product with an eye dropper on my cheekbones? Why do I need a dropper for foundation when the pump works find instead? Dropper make-up seems like a step down from a pump, since so many of these products rely on brushes or fingertips in order to apply properly anyways. I could see using a dropper to create more editorial or fantasy looks, but for home use, it’s just troublesome.
What are you over in terms of beauty and skincare products this year? Do you disagree with something on my list? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to enter our giveaway by checking out our Instagram page! Follow us here on WordPress for an extra chance to win the Australis Mixology palette and a liquid lipstick!