From declutters, empties and low buys, there seems to be a growing backlash against consumerism in the beauty community. Each week, we're bombarded with a sheer volume of new releases and hyped up products, and while my favourite way to spend my disposable income has always been - and still is - on beauty, the thrill and the excitement of shopping is fleeting and once that's gone, I want to know that I'm left with a purchase that's meaningful. If not, what else do we have? A lipstick or an eyeshadow palette barely touched and our hard-earned money down the drain. The latest trend in this anti-consumerist movement is the "anti-haul", which as the name suggests, is about products not being bought. Pioneered by YouTuber, Kimberly Clark (I was so intrigued when her videos popped up on my YouTube sidebar!), the anti-haul encourages us to think more critically about the things big brands are trying to sell us and perhaps be a little more mindful and intentional about what we do buy.
I feel as if I have a love-hate relationship with Glossier sometimes. On one hand, their pared back, fresh-faced approach to beauty and cutesy pink packaging speaks to me on so many levels, but on the other, they still don't ship internationally and their excessive promoting on social media has become a bit too much for me. I'm bored of them teasing and drawing out new product launches, and it's high time they think of something new. Glossier's marketing campaign for their newest launch, Invisible Shield SPF 35, promotes the importance of wearing sun protection "Every. Single. Day", yet it's disappointing to see such a low SPF in such a small bottle. For decent protection, you'd have to use a lot of product and with only 30ml worth, I feel like the bottle wouldn't last all that long. The only thing innovative about this sunscreen is its clear, serum-like consistency, and living in a hot climate and especially in a country where UV rays are their most damaging, this product isn't for me and I feel a lot more comfortable using sun protection made in Australia (Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen 50+ all the way!). Even if you don't live on the driest continent in the world like I do, for the price ($34 USD) and formulation, I still think there are better sunscreens out there.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light (or any other cheek palette)
Everyone seems to go crazy over cheek palettes, in particular the Hourglass ones, and the reasons why are unbeknownst to me. Perhaps it's the allure of something limited edition or seeing those pretty colours all together, maybe it's because people genuinely think they'll get a lot of use out of them, but for me, I've never found them appealing in the slightest. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light is indeed beautiful both inside and out (you know that marble exterior was just made for beauty bloggers!), but realistically, when it comes to any kind of cheek palette, there are always going to be a few shades that won't end up being used. It's farfetched to create one, singular palette that caters to a wide variety of skin tones - let alone undertones - coupled with the fact that it's problematic to have a lack of diversity in makeup, so you really can't win either way. This is a product that's essentially only beneficial for makeup artists and is being sold to the average consumer simply because big brands know they'll pay the money for it. At the end of the day, you're practically paying double, almost triple the price for the two or three shades that you do use, so to me, it makes a lot more sense to buy one full size blush, highlighter or whatever that I really, really love. Plus, if they're a multi-use palette, in which category do you store it in? It honestly stresses out the Monica Geller in me! The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit, Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kits, Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette, Tarte Tarteist Pro Glow Highlight & Contour Palette, whatever they are, they're all a no from me.
I'll preface this by saying that I'm no poster girl for the moral high ground. I buy beauty products from non-cruelty free brands, I consume meat and I give into fast fashion where I know workers in third world countries are being exploited and severely underpaid. In the Western World where mass consumption is deeply engrained into society, I do my bit by trying to consume less of these things and I think when the problematic nature of a brand is an individual right at the forefront of it all, it's kind of easier to take a stance against them. Jeffree Star is a misogynist and a racist (if you're unfamiliar, you can watch Stephanie Nicole's video all about it) and as a woman of colour myself, I cannot support him. Having a purple lipstick named Abused is also downright distasteful and even triggering, and although I wholeheartedly believe in the gender fluidity of makeup and in LGBTQIA rights, Jeffree Star is still a cis white man abusing his privilege. It's less important that his products don't resonate with my personal style, but I thought I'd note that too.
Caroline Hirons has somewhat been dubbed skincare royalty in the online beauty community and while I have taken some great advice from her, I would also never take an individual's words for gospel. Instead, I prefer to make my own informed decisions based on a wide variety of sources and when you factor in different skin concerns, skin types and even age, I think that's important. If I've worn makeup that day, I'm very diligent about double cleansing at night and though I love the concept of the Double Cleanse all in one, this product doesn't interest me. The packaging could've been far more innovative than just a simple plastic barrier separating the two products and I much prefer pump bottles as they're a lot more convenient for using in the shower. Products packaged in jars also lead to more air and light exposure, which breaks down ingredients and shortens the shelf life, so I don't tend to have a lot of them around anymore. As I said, it's a great concept, it just could've been executed a little better.
Origins is a brand I've completely lost interest in. They make for an okay entry level brand if perhaps you're in your early twenties and are just starting to get into skincare, but even then, I still think there are better ones out there with superior ingredients and that aren't so heavily fragranced. One of Origins newest releases, the Maskimiser Skin-Optimising Mask Primer, claims to "prep, prime, and optimise skin for masks to follow", but to me, it reads like one giant gimmick and I just don't see how this is necessary in our already multiple-step nighttime skincare routines. Masks do a fine job just on their own.
GlamGlow Gravity Mud Firming Treatment (or any other peel-off mask)
There was a time where I would've deemed GlamGlow the most luxe sounding face mask brand out there. Everyone on YouTube raved on about them, but I could never justify trying one due to the price and the fact that I already had face masks in my routine that I loved. I also don't like to own any more than three at a time (I always have a clarifying, exfoliating and hydrating one on hand) as they take a while for me to get through. I never really cared for peel-off masks when they first became a trend on YouTube and Instagram (it all looked a bit too gimmicky to take my interest) and after learning how damaging they actually are to the skin, I'll be staying far, far away from them. While it may be satisfying to see what's being removed from the skin, peel-off masks strip away the natural oils that keep the skin healthy and what's actually being removed are sebaceous filaments which protect it from harmful bacteria. Upon use, yes, your skin will be left feeling baby smooth, but the results are only temporary, while the long-term effects of peel-off masks can lead to micro-tearing and trauma. What irritates me about the GlamGlow Gravity Mud Firming Treatment in particular is that it changes colour from white to silver, taking the gimmick even further and there is absolutely no way in hell a face mask is worth $98! If ripping off layers of your skin is your thing, you can get cheaper, similar results with PVA glue! It's chemical exfoliants all the way for me.
I hope you all enjoyed my first take on the anti-haul. I think it's so important to look at things with a critical eye, as well as more closely at our shopping habits. It's not often I buy things that I'm disappointed with, so this is my way of sharing what I don't think is worth the money and I'll probably be making it a regular feature on my blog too. I already have a few products lined up for the next one!
What are some beauty products that you won't be buying?