Everyone talks about Fast Fashion, but what I really want us to talk about is Fast Makeup.

DEAR MAKEUP COMPANIES, WHY IS THIS NECESSARY? DEAR BEAUTY GURUS, WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS APPROPRIATE?

*Please note that I am not trying to single out any one particular person in this post. This is not an individual problem, this is a societal problem. We all need to be aware of it and we all need to do better. The above photo was just one I took from google. I googled “PR Unboxing” and this was one of the first photos that came up. Honestly though, there are hundreds of images on google and videos on YouTube just like this.


In recent years, the effects of Fast Fashion on our earth has really come to light. With newscasts, documentary series’, hundreds of youtube videos and books on the subject, we’re becoming an educated society on something that is extremely harmful.

Even so, there are still hundreds, if not thousands, of people on youtube, using their influence to post ‘hauls’ on a daily basis. These hauls showcase clothes that are new and trendy for this season and they’ll likely get worn once(if that) and stay in the back of their massive closet screaming over-consumption from the depths of the untidyness.

We know the issues, we know the environmental impact, and we still do it anyway.

Something that people don’t talk about as often, if at all, however, is fast makeup. And honestly, THIS IS A PROBLEM.

If you walk into any drugstore this time of year, browse the aisles of Sephora or Ulta, Nordstrom or any other store that sells cosmetics, you’re going to be bombarded with ‘Special’ and ‘Limited Edition’ sets and individual pieces of makeup that are ‘only here for the holiday season’. A lot of the products aren’t even new, they’re just packaged together in a ‘Limited Edition Set’. And even if they are limited edition, don’t buy them anyway. What are you going to enjoy them for a couple of months and then never get to buy or see them every again?

Thing is, the exact same thing is going to happen for Valentine’s Day, for Spring Break, for Summer, and so on and so forth. It’s a cycle. Companies release ‘Limited Edition’ makeup at various points throughout the year, convincing consumers to purchase these items because they’re a hot commodity due to their ‘Limited Edition’ status, and what we wind up with is hundreds, if not thousands, if not millions of females(and men) around the world with more makeup than could ever possibly used.

The Youtube ‘Beauty Community’ is a perfect example of this. ‘Beauty Gurus’ as they’re reffered to, have entire rooms of their home dedicated to the collection and hoarding of makeup. Makeup they might try once, makeup they’ll never wear, makeup that is still in it’s store protected packaging because they have so damn much they’ll never get to it, makeup they’ve only swatched once and lots and lots and LOTS of makeup that is expired.

ON WHAT PLANET COULD SOMEONE POSSIBLY USE OR NEED THIS MUCH LIPSTICK?

Because, that’s right, makeup does expire.

Every time I look at a Beauty Guru’s makeup room, I can’t help but wonder just how much of it has expired.

And please don’t be fooled into thinking that this is just the Beauty Gurus of youtube who have rooms like this. Women and men all over the world have entire rooms dedicated to their makeup collections who you won’t ever see in a youtube video.

It’s a problem.

Why does any one person need 50 eye shadow palettes? Actually, why does any one person need five eye shadow palettes? You only have two eyes. How often are you possibly using all five of them?

Why does any one person need a ‘highlighter collection’? How many highlighters could you possibly put on your face at one time? How many highlighters in that drawer of yours aren’t even being touched but are just being kept for clout, or because it looks pretty to have a collection?

The problem here isn’t just the makeup and it’s not just on the hook of the individual consumers. It’s at the fault of companies as well.

PACKAGING THAT WILL ULTIMATELY SIT IN A LANDFILL FOR THE NEXT 400+ YEARS

A certain beauty influencer just released a collection of highlighters as a part of her ‘Cosmetic Line’. You might recollect that she’s the same person this year who sold her YouTube audience hairy, moldy, scratchy lipsticks and never refunded people for their purchases. Well, this collection of highlighters she released, there’s 18 highlighters and three brushes all being sold at egregious costs. Just as makeup companies do, she’s released a PR package, sent to all of the richest, most popular beauty gurus (who definitely don’t need anymore highlighters and who absolutely have the money to afford them) to review on their channels and give her HYPE.

The thing that really pisses me off is, this PR package she’s sending out, it’s 90 percent packaging and 10 percent product. Not only that, but it’s filled with glitter and plastic, cardboard and polystyrene. The entire mixture of the package is going to make it difficult, if not impossible, to recycle.

*Tidbit – For those of you who aren’t aware, in order for things to be recycled, they need to be broken down into like pieces. So, for example, pop bottles have to have their caps and labels removed before they can be recycled. They can’t just be thrown into the recycling compactor together as there are three separate materials to a pop bottle. It simply isn’t recyclable unless it’s separated into its components.

Trying to recycle that package, someone would need to painstakingly remove all of the glitter, separate out the plastic from the cardboard, the polystyrene from the ribbons, etc… etc…

Now, this package is just one example of thousands upon thousands of PR packages being sent out, by companies, to these wealthy Youtubers, actresses, actors and people of Influence as a means to try and sway us to buy their products. And all of these packages, they’re problems. Not only are they packages of products that we likely all already have in our makeup collection, but they’re packaged in such a way that I’m lead to believe there’s no chance the materials will get recycled.

Companies are increasingly releasing vast amounts of limited edition products, and products that aren’t labeled as limited edition but that they still don’t intend to sell long term. They’re trying to stay hip, top of the market and on consumers minds at all times. In the process, they’re creating an environmental impact that we just can’t come back from.

A pressed powder alone contains a cotton puff, mirror, plastic casing, metal pan, the makeup and ink. Could it be recycled? Sure. Is it going to take a hell of a lot of work to separate and break down those materials for recycling? Absolutely.

I don’t want to make people feel guilty about purchasing makeup. I love makeup. I love wearing makeup. I just want people to be aware about their makeup purchasing options, so they can make smarter decisions.

So how can you make smarter decisions when purchasing makeup?

  1. Don’t purchase limited edition products. When you do, you’re supporting a piece of the industry that is wasteful, harmful to the environment and that’s sole purpose is to gain as much money as possible as quickly as possible. Companies are trying to dupe you out of your money.
  2. Purchase products that are regular staples to the makeup shelves. Something like the Maybelline ‘Fit Me’ concealer has been on makeup shelves around the world for years, is a staple product for anyone’s makeup and comes with minimal packaging.
  3. Stop purchasing products made by beauty influencers. They’re not interested in the environment. They’re not interested in you. They’re interested in lining their pockets. These products are brought to market in enough of a quantity to make them millions and then are never to be heard of or seen again. I have nothing against the game, nor the hustle, but unless they’re going to start showing their products are being made in an environmentally conscious manner with environmentally conscious packaging then they’re only adding to the problem big cosmetic companies have created.
  4. Don’t purchase makeup products with egregious packaging. You can tell when you look at the shelves in stores that certain products have way more packaging than necessary. Play by the rule that if the packaging is not necessary for sale, the product isn’t necessary for your use.
  5. Consider only purchasing one or two of a product. You don’t need five foundations, or eye shadow pallets or lipsticks. If everyone cuts down on their individual consumption, sales might go down overall and the companies might take a hint as to their production schedules.
  6. If you see something that’s unnecessary or egregious on shelves, tell the company. It’s true, one person’s word to a multi-million dollar company might not have a lot of sway. But, if we all come forward with comments about egregious packaging, unnecessary products or straight up stupid marketing, then maybe the companies will listen.
  7. Bring up these suggestions to your friends in a positive manner. A lot of times when you talk about things like this with friends, they can take offense to it or feel attacked. I know that it’s not always easy to find the right medium to have these conversations, but they’re important conversations to have. The more we make people aware of the problems with fast makeup, the more of a chance we have to limit it.
  8. If you are a beauty guru or beauty influencer, stop accepting PR unless the company can prove the package is minimal or recyclable. I know that it sounds crazy, turning down free things. But, do you really need it to start with? Yeah, it might be cool to have but when these PR packages are being sent by companies, they’re a huge part of the problem. Send them a message. Let them know that unless they change their ways, you’re not going to promote, or use, their products.

I really think that it’s time we all start having more conversations about the harm of fast makeup on our environment.

If we can all collectively agree of the harms that fast fashion brings, I bet people could easily see just how harsh the fast makeup industry is on our environment, and our wallets (for that matter).

This is a real problem.

It’s time we started acting like it.

31 thoughts on “Everyone talks about Fast Fashion, but what I really want us to talk about is Fast Makeup.

  1. Well, this is certainly something to think about. I’m not a make-up wearer, generally. Not by choice, of course: my face tends to react especially to eye make up. But I was thinking of learning to use make up again (something gentle my face can handle) soon and I’d never considered this perspective before. Thanks for the info.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading, Sara. I’m sorry you have such sensitive skin! I’ve definitely been there before – there are two brands that I just can’t put on my face. There are some brands that are better for people with sensitive skin. If you do get back into it, definitely look for a brand that is better for sensitive skin!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, to a point. The so-called beauty community is out of control. Between the PR campaigns, the “influencers” that don’t care about anything except their wallet, and the people that always have to have the newest “thing” (that they’ll probably never use more than twice).

    But you know what? I have six foundations that I wear at different points of the year. I have 4 blushes, three highlighters, and probably 8 eyeshadow palettes for the same reason. I can’t pull off in the dead of winter what I wear in summer. But this year when I was going through my makeup and parsing down my I use from what I don’t, I sterilized everything, put it in a bag, and let my friends pick through it. What they didn’t want I donated to a local women’s shelter. And this year I’ve only bought what I really needed, and I’ve started to dig through what I kept and really make the effort to use it rather than reaching for the same thing over and over.

    So am I guilty? Sort of. But I’m trying.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you use all those things, I don’t think you’re guilty. My numbers were just based off what I envisioned I could possibly use, just a general idea – not a ‘need to have’ kind of thing. I apologize if I offended you with using 5 as a max. I can’t ever see myself needing six foundations, but honestly, if you use all those then that’s a pretty fair collection to have as long as they get used. You know what I mean? I have a cousin who has 15 or 16 shades and she’s like ‘These are my summer shades and these are my winter shades’. Some of the bottles are almost empty and some haven’t been touched. Like, Missy, it’s pretty clear you don’t use some of these, so why do you keep them? I try not to get angry with her though, I try to just explain it to her. That being said, I don’t think you’re guilty if you’re making use out of what you have!

      Also, that’s really cool of you to sterilize your makeup and donate it to the women’s shelter. Things like that can really help women in need. I volunteered at a women’s shelter from 2015-2018 and a lot of time’s when women scored a job interview and couldn’t afford the basics, the shelter manager would take them to the salon and pay for them to get their hair done and take them to London Drugs or Wal Mart to buy them some basics just to give them that extra confidence boost.

      Personally, I think it would be a really cool thing if makeup companies, instead of sending out PR to wealthy millionaires who can afford it and don’t need it, sent out makeup artistry kits of their products to women’s shelters . But now I’m rambling… Sorry for so much rambling in this comment.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I generally agree. My case is that my skin color changes drastically between summer and winter. So do I use them year round? No, but they all get used over the course of the year.

        I know women that have been in that situation and more than one said that something like that would just make them feel better about themselves. That’s what gave me the idea. Rather than trash it, give it to people who need it.

        I think the whole PR thing is a bunch of crap, and the people that get them are the last people that need them. But let’s face it, companies know that if YouTube “guru” plugs their product, it’s going to sell, And the manufactured drama in the community keeps people relevant, at least according to those that subscribe.

        I’d honestly love if they all just went away.

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      2. I’m with you.
        Or if there were some sort of legislation put in place. Because honestly, it’s a new issue (in the past few years) so there aren’t really laws in place for it. I don’t know how you’d regulate it but it’s gotta be worth a shot since it probably won’t go away soon… 😦

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree. Do you not think this is a symptom of a larger problem though? Our current social climate promotes consumerism and quantity over quality. My parents were old fashioned and expected things to last – sometimes ridiculously so. I’m not into clothes or make up, but I love stationary and art supplies. It hurts me how so many pens and supplies are one use only. It’s so hard to get refills. It’s so hard to get things repaired. If you do find someone capable of fixing something, it costs more than buying a new item. It’s insane.

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    1. It is because of the societal desire for over-consumption. It’s become a status symbol to have a lot of everything rather than to have couple of quality things.

      Companies produce and tell us we need it and we fall for it and we buy it, every time. (I say we as a collective society, not as you and I).

      It sucks that it does cost more to repair a lot of things than it does to replace. But that’s a whole different problem from over-consumption. At least in my opinion.

      Using the stationary and art supplies subject – I write in a bullet journal each day. I love to decorate it and make it pretty, do drawings, use colours, etc… and I have like 15 pens I use to do that. I don’t think that’s a ton of pens. But there is a bullet journal community on youtube where people literally have thousands upon thousands of pens in their home office. Their room looks like a pen store. Without even realizing it, people are promoting this over-consumption culture as though it’s a status of your worth. And it’s a BIG, big problem.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree. I think repair and replace does connect with over consumption though. Companies want to make more and more money, so you have to keep buying their products. On the one hand you have the drive to get the latest thing, to have more things, but there is also the need to constantly replace because of built in obsolescence. A tangential point, I suppose. I see people buying multiples of the same thing, which they never use, and then throw out. They don’t even give them to charity so that other people could benefit. I am far from perfect, but I do try to look after the things I have and only get things I need. This throw away culture produces so much waste. It’s heart breaking.

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  4. I wear makeup just about every day. My entire collection of makeup consists of 2 tubes of mascara, an eyeliner, 1 blush palette, 3 very small eye shadow palettes and roughly 6 tubes of lipstick. If I were to dig hard enough I’d find a thing of liquid foundation and powder somewhere.

    This is simply a case of less being more. Most of the products I buy have little to no packaging outside of the container holding it.

    This subject brings me back to a core belief I’ve held forever. NO ONE needs to completely rebuild their face everyday in order to be seen in the world. It hits so many points for me that I’d have to write a novel about it. The “beauty” industry has convinced so many people that these products are NEEDED. Wearing makeup isn’t bad or wrong, I do it myself, the concept behind it that we aren’t acceptable as we are and that makeup enhances, keeps us younger, blah, blah, blah. Sadly all of this is wrapped up in the concept of consumerism in this area… as is fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure why I am just noticing this today, but I would agree. The beauty industry convinces people that these products are needed when they really aren’t. Wearing makeup should be a great thing, like dressing up in a beautiful ball gown. It’s not a requirement, but it makes you feel good. I hate that so many people are made to believe they’re not good enough and they NEED this makeup to be good enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is one reason I love being middle aged……the more wrinkles you have the shitter you look with make up! Less is more at my age. I use one eyeshadow to add some depth and one mascara, that’s all folks. I work 2 days a week at a consignment clothing store, that’s where my clothing and shoes come from and I share a closet with my boyfriend. I by no means have it “figured out”, but a little common sense goes a long way in helping the environment.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I completely agree. At the time of my marriage, I bought all the makeup required for a new bride. Then, i was gifted makeup sets by friends enough to prep an army for a month. And then there are occasional expensive packages of lipstick sets, eye shadow pallets and foundation from people unaware of my skin colour. Worst part, I don’t use anything except a couple of shades of lipstick and black eyeliner because my skin is sensitive. I can’t return it so I had to wait until it expired and threw it away. Now it is rotting in a landfill…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not knocking anyone, but it amazes me to watch women applying their “faces” on the train. I’m not a make up person myself. But, I feel if one must apply layers upon layers of make up to impress some/society, how sad and hard it must be to be oneself in front of others without it on.

    During the summer, I try not to laugh when I see some of that stuff melting from their faces. I knew someone who said proudly, “It takes me 2 hours to make sure my makeup is right each day.” I’ve seen her makeup bag of cracked eyeshadow/blush pallets, lipsticks down to the metal cylinder that held it and other “series” of makeup new, used, and extremely out of commission be carried around… taking up space in her “handbag” that’s actually a TOTE BAG!

    My point being, that “a little says a great deal,” if any. It’s sad that the “norm” society, social media, and peer pressure is to truly become a mannequin.

    I will be quiet now. I wish I could find the documentary I saw the other day about a slave labor system in another country, producing materials for American makeup companies… I’m gonna keep looking until I find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A mannequin is such a good way to put it. (Sorry I’m just seeing this comment today for the first time). So many people fall for the messages from the beauty industry that this stuff is needed in order to be beautiful, when in reality, it should be like an accessory. Like one day you wear a beautiful necklace, on day you put on some red lipstick. It’s not a requirement. It’s not necessary and companies need to stop sending the message that it is!

      Also, summer is the worst! I am a makeup wearer and in summer when it all literally drips off my face with my sweat – that looks gross. lol

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  8. Great post!!! I concur with everything you said! The multi billion (if not trillion) dollar beauty community is sucking the life out of both men and women! I have been guilty of falling into this trap watching videos; convinced I needed that latest “limited edition”. Please keep writing. Your voice will reach and impact many❤️❤️❤️😘

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t wear a lot of makeup at all. When I do wear makeup I stick with probably about 5 different items. Powder, blush, eye liner, mascara and of course my lip balm or lip stick.

    I used to have an ipsy subscription but had to cancel. Even though it’s only 5 products, since I don’t wear a lot of makeup, I ended up with a lot of products I wouldn’t wear. I did give a lot of it away though, so it wouldn’t go to waste. 😉 I think these are good principals to follow in a lot of areas, not just makeup.

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    1. You’re right. Overcosumption is running rampant in society and these principles can be adapted to lots of areas of life.

      I’m a lot like you – I have one foundation, one blush, one mascara, one tinted lip balm. I’m a simple kind of makeup gal.

      Like

  10. As much as I love makeup I completely agree with you! It took me a while to throw some of my expired makeup away because well they were so pretty & I wanted to have 5 pallets! Now I have one Shadow and one blush pallet and I use two-three colors out of both on a daily basis and the rest probably won’t get used before it expires so you are completely right I need to do better in that thought process as well. Thanks for the info & making everyone including me aware of a way we can cut back on waste!

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