Is keeping up with the trends so 2018?

If you watched my InstaStories last night, you will know that this blog post is something I have been giving a lot of thought to, but knowing that not everyone sees my InstaStories and realizing that I had so much more to say on the topic, I figured I would share a blog post as a way to sort through my thoughts on whether it’s possible to sustain the current beauty trends.

Back in June, I wrote a blog post questioning whether Urban Decay was cheapening their brand after finding that they had launched 10 different eyeshadow palettes within a year of launching their Naked Heat palette (one of my favourite palettes of all-time!). I pointed out that it looked as if they were just launching products with the hopes of keeping up with brands like Colourpop, and that consumers didn’t even have a chance to properly enjoy a new product before having the next launch forced down their throat. In fact, South Africa’s launch schedule was 4 products behind, proving that they, themselves, weren’t even able to keep up with the demands of supplying their new launches but were sort of just launching products to say, “ooh look at us, we have something new!” The result was that instead of Urban Decay being on the tip of everyone’s tongue for being the edgy brand that they once were, people were growing tired of the constant launches. (read the full article here)

The thing is, Urban Decay is not the only brand that is guilty of doing this. In fact, I just finished reading this article on Temptalia which discusses whether it’s at all possible to keep up with the pace of beauty, and she noted that; “Retailers have been pushing brands to develop more products and deliver them faster to answer current trends, which are shorter lived now than they used to be. [continued…]

Shifting from an 18-month to a nine-month turnaround time on developing, creating, and producing a new product sounds grueling and intense, but it’s not a surprise that product development cycles are shrinking. The rise of brands like ColourPop have made it harder for brands to bide their time; in order to answer consumers’ needs right now, they need to release product right now and not in two years.  ColourPop sees you talking about duochromes, and they’re releasing a set of six duochromes in weeks.”

In August, I decided to cut myself off from buying new beauty products. I felt like I had gotten to the point where I was just buying stuff for the sake of buying, thinking that I would be able to keep up with the latest launches and trends. My justification was that I was using the products for reviews and features on my blog so while people often get confused and think that every product I feature has been gifted to me by a brand, I can confidently say that at least 80% of my collection is purchased out of my own pocket.

Admittedly, I have a problem where I fixate on things and become somewhat obsessive over them, and I found that from around last September until August of this year, my fixation was trying to keep up with the latest beauty trends. At the time, I was juggling 3 different jobs to keep up with my spending habits, and the result was that at any given time, I had at least 2 cosmetics orders placed. I had become obsessed with online shopping and would check the latest launches on sites like Edgars, Spree, Superbalist, MAC, and Woolworths almost daily, treating their sales and new launches like they were global news.

I had assumed that by keeping up with the latest trends, I would somehow become a better blogger and that over time, my space would become your first stop before buying something new. But that’s far from the truth and I found myself drowning in product, where half of the products were complete misses that would be featured once in my “hits, misses and empties,” and then donated or thrown away, (often 90% full) a quarter of the products were great but not personally for me because of my skin tone, type, and preferences and the remaining quarter of the products were new discoveries that I loved so much that I didn’t need to replace until it was finished.

The big problem for me is that trying to keep up with the latest beauty trends is an expensive hobby, and one that feels very wasteful. Besides having too much product for one lifetime, donating what I don’t use and throwing away the rest, I feel that when you start considering the materials it takes to make the product, the packaging it is sent in, and, and, and… it seems like I am creating more damage than any good.

Ultimately, I have been thinking more like the average consumer; the ones who don’t have blogs and don’t always understand the “behind-the-scenes” of influencer marketing. In my opinion, I feel that the average consumer probably feels overwhelmed by just how many beauty launches take place every day (as a self-confessed makeup addict, even I AM overwhelmed!). Often, these launches are repetitive and as a buyer, you likely already have something like it in your makeup bag. That, combined with the current state of our economy, I feel that the average consumer isn’t buying makeup every other week and besides s niche group of makeup enthusiasts, I doubt most consumers are buying new products to keep up with the latest trends. In fact, they probably already know what products they like, and it takes some convincing for them to try anything new.

Yes, this is where influencer marketing has all the potential. Readers often feel like they already know their favourite bloggers personally and that catching up on their latest InstaStories is like having a cup of tea at the end of a long day and chatting to a friend. So, when your favourite blogger recommends you try a new product, you raise your ears and listen a little closer because, “if my “virtual buddy” likes this product, and we have SO much in common, then surely I am going to like it too.”

But what happens when I am recommending a new mascara every second day? As an average consumer, you buy a mascara and use it until it is finished or (hopefully) toss it out within 3 months of opening because of bacteria. Let’s be frank, I did a quick count and I have more than 20 opened mascaras sitting on my desk right now; will I use them all in the next 3 months – hell no! And if I were to start pulling out the ones that I like, based on my own preference, chances are I’d take the initial 20 down to maybe 3 or 5 – what happens to the rest? You can’t donate mascara due to hygiene concerns, so, they land up in in the rubbish and because it’s plastic, it just contributes to pollution and goes on to destroy our seas.

And this trickles down to all beauty products; sure, I buy matte, full-coverage foundations because I feel it’s something you’d like to read about. It ticks off all the boxes; it is affordable, there’s a half-decent shade range, it is readily available and overall, it’s a product I am sure you would be interested to see a first-impression on, but after trying it once or twice, I am unlikely to ever pick it up again; I like hydrating, dewy and natural foundations (MAC Face and Body, Revlon ColorStay for Dry Skin) and KNOWING that matte foundations show all my texture, and dry patches, I feel it’s pretty useless keeping a product that is just going to expire in my drawer.

Of course, I can sell the products to recoup some of the expense and perhaps someone else will benefit from the product, but I feel that no matter how sensible the explanation, when someone who happens to be a blogger, tries selling any products (whether they bought the product or not) on popular second-hand beauty groups, they all get the stink eye from the community.

If I am being honest, I realize that I have gotten to a place where I have found a foundation, highlight, bronzer and mascara that I like and that works for me. They’re the first products I would repurchase if my whole collection were to burn, and they’re products I use whenever I do my makeup. I no longer care to try the latest glitter or metallic lipstick especially when I know I will hate the feeling of the “grit” on my lips, I only need one warm-toned palette and I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with using and repurchasing the same products for years, if they work for you.

Through my own trials and reviews, I have found that I prefer dewy foundations where my skin feels like skin, I love glowy products like strobe creams, cream highlighters, and MAC Fix+ in Pinklight. I like volumizing mascaras, with fluffy brushes and prefer nourishing lipsticks that are long lasting and don’t need reapplying. Eyeshadow palettes are my weakness, but I know that I like highly-pigmented formulas that don’t need “building up” as a sorry ass excuse for a bad formula. And like me, I feel  the average consumer doesn’t care about the hundreds of palettes you think they “need,” when all they want to know is a hundred ways to use a single eyeshadow palette because guys, makeup is expensive and when I look at the list of all the things I want to buy, I don’t prioritize buying the latest warm-toned palette when I already have and love the Naked Heat.

I guess, what I am saying is that I am waving my white flag and giving up on trying to stay relevant by keeping up with the latest beauty trends. Yes, I love beauty launches and will always follow along to see who is doing what, but I just don’t feel like it’s always possible or in me to continue buying just for the sake of getting my hands on a product first. I want to have my makeup bag of ride or dies, and only purchase products when I feel they will work for me – whether they’re new launches, or iconic products that have been around for years.

More than that, I want to rediscover my love for makeup. I found that after decluttering my collection when we had plans to move to Chile, that I started having fun again because I had a few products to choose from, so I would challenge myself to find new and exciting ways to use those products. Since then, I have more than quadrupled my collection, and feel overwhelmed by all the choices when I open my makeup drawer.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a, “woe is me, I am spoilt and have too much makeup!” It’s more a blog post sharing that chances are, things are going to be changing around here. I have made the conscious decision not to post on my blog as frequently as I was – it takes a lot of time and energy, and it’s impossible for readers to consume as much content as I was putting out, so I found that unless a giveaway was attached to a blog post, people weren’t always clicking over because they were too busy consuming all the other forms of content available. So, I will likely focus more on sharing practical beauty, lifestyle/parenting and faith-related content on my Instagram, with thr occasional long-form content being shared here, on my blog.

My goals for this platform have shifted over the years; I used to want to be a jet-setting influencer with my own brand and product line but besides discovering that I don’t particularly like travelling without my boys, I have also found in recent months that I have new goals and dreams that I hope to pursue while continuing to share parts of my life online, and I am realizing that fast-paced beauty just doesn’t fit in with that picture but that this platform will continue to evolve regardless. After all, it is Written, Created, and Curated By Megan Kelly – and that’s me, so I get to make the decision on what changes to make, and which direction I take this space. I can only hope that you’ll come along for the ride.

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1 Comment
  • Luchae Williams
    Posted at 14:18h, 05 December

    Yes girl! So lekker to watch you evolve. And I know you’ll continue to create quality content, no matter the topic! But also, dont stop writing about how to make my eyebrows match LOL