I started writing this four times. That isn’t common; usually I have an immediate sense of what to say, but in this case only an essence. I just saw an ad for the Urban Decay Wild West palette and rolled my eyes. Just re-release Naked already, damn it. We don’t need another inferior clone with a couple exciting colors with edgy names (though Tex is a gorgeous emerald green).
I’ve been on a not-terribly-defined low buy for a while. Part of me not spending or buying means not shopping. Fortunately, between a combination if finding my stride and general beauty burnout, I don’t shop or consume nearly as much content about the beauty industry as I did when I started this blog.
Beauty burnout is a thing. We’re seeing it everywhere in brands, products, retailers, content creators, friends, colleagues. The pandemic is a contributor, but not the sole instigator.
Over the past several years, the beauty industry has thrived on the low attention-span hype-train that is socially-marketed beauty. Release after release after release from the same brands, often with quite similar but oh, just different enough product. I’ve talked about this a little before, as have many others, but it boils down to the market being oversaturated, which causes beauty burnout.
Once Vibrant, Now Dull
We’re desensitized. If the new hotness is coming out every other week, how much are creative teams really devoting to the Next Big Thing? With launches that frequent, how is anticipation supposed to build?
In addition to oversaturation of product, we’re also seeing disillusioned content creators. Granted, there are external factors too – like me, maybe they needed to prioritize careers (day job) and school. Others might be building a product line or starting families. If there was genuinely compelling product all.the.time then it would be an easier choice to make time to write or shoot.
If Christmas or your birthday were a monthly event, it wouldn’t be as special.
Add to all of this the impact of a global pandemic on our ability to tap into our creativity. While working from home means that I have some flexibility to play with eye looks that I wouldn’t wear to the office, it doesn’t matter if I have the flexibility if I lack the inspiration and energy.
I know I’m not alone! But with the state of things its also nearly impossible to fathom prioritizing something that feels so frivolous over, well, anything, when staying afloat takes a lot more than ever
Even if I advocate getting ready (and I do) each day, I’m often doing just enough to survive a day in front of a webcam without my under eye circles spawning inquiries into my energy levels. I’m seeing colleagues doing less and less – sopping hair, joining meetings looking as if they just woke two minutes ago.
Even though I think forcing a little joy into our day when we can muster it, we can’t always muster it. If we, the general public, can’t give as much of a damn about our little rituals and vain bullshit, how can we expect beauty brands to do a great job lately? This doesn’t excuse their utterly lackluster, overly saturated release practices prior to 2020, but March 2020 through now and until, well, who knows doesn’t feel like a reasonable time to expect course correction in this realm.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of how we might feel about companies or their strategies, though, there are PEOPLE behind these things. If we can’t scrape together the inspiration to have fun with things we have fun with, how can we expect them to produce compelling products? It’s a vicious cycle.