The Overconsumption of Cosmetics

There is one thing that I never seem to get enough of: lipstick. I love how it instantly makes me look more awake, more feminine, and is compact. Also, it doesn’t have to be costly. Lately however, I have been taking a better look at all that I own. Whether it’s lipstick or sweater, I wonder “how many times have I used this?” and “how long have I had this?” If you have read the Marie Kondo book aptly called The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up, you are likely familiar with the need to de-clutter and opt for pieces that you truly need.

Makeup is not a necessity. Yet, Leslie Camhi in October 2018’s Vogue reports that women shell out around $300,000 on makeup during their lifetime. In Camhi’s article “Apply and Demand,” she discusses how beauty follows the “fast fashion” model (much like clothing, which I discussed a few weeks ago). This calls to mind Kylie Jenner’s and Kim Kardashian’s makeup drops. Camhi also discusses how when a makeup line is advertised as “Limited Edition,” it triggers consumers to want to get the product, for fear that they will miss out on it in the future.

For female readers I wonder how often you are using those makeup palettes that you “just had to have” because it had a special feature such as smelling like chocolate, being shaped like a seashell, or having “new” sparkly colors. Personally, I find it so easy to fall into the trap of wanting the latest product and I know I am not alone.

It may seem strange to get news on the overconsumption of makeup from Vogue, which features advertisements like no other. As a loyal Vogue reader, I want to make the case that the actual writing on culture and politics is top notch. The advertisements keep the magazine running, like with the majority of other publications. Though the pages beckon you to buy, I think that our solution as consumers is to to buy smarter.

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Author: Melissa

4'8", dog lover, fashion and culture enthusiast.

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