Does makeup snobbery really exist?
Does snobbery really exist in the makeup and beauty industry? I would say a definite yes to that question. As a species, us humans have the innate desire to be better than their fellow man, it is sad but true; Darwin’s concept of ‘survival of the fittest’ really does ring true in the makeup world. However, instead of survival being dependant on whether you eat or not, it is dependant on how many high end items you can flash around and ‘wow’ people with.
Prosperity means change
Because we are living in a society that does not necessarily have to struggle in order to eat, live and pay the bills the desire to ‘have more than others’ has stretched to items that are not mandatory to our survival; cars, jewels…. makeup. Although there are many people in our ‘first world’ that are struggling to make ends meat and wondering whether they will be able to stretch till payday or living on beans on toast just to survive; quite a few people are showing off their ‘hauls’ with great pride.
Are we feeding into our competitive nature?
This desire to ‘compete’ with each other is woven into our DNA; it is like a switch that is jammed on one setting ‘I must be better’. I try not to feed my competitive side as it usually unleashes a monster that would put She-Hulk to shame, but in saying that I have found myself boasting about having certain products like it is a badge of honour. I should have a medal made saying ‘I own 5 Jeffree Stars, 8 Mac’s, three Anastacia Beverly Hills palettes and more Makeup Geek products than I would like to admit.’ It is the whole idea where we feel we have to ‘keep up with the Jones,’ but do the ‘Jones’ really exist, or are they a demon of our own creation? I have found myself trying to impress people by ‘showing off’ what products I have and it got me to thinking ‘why the hell am I doing this?’. Am I seeking approval from people; does my self-worth really hinge on whether or not I can blow a load of cash on a luxury item?
Does having luxury items mean I am better?
The answer is a big, fat no. I am no better or worse than everyone else in the world; whether I slather my face in caviar cream or bargain moisturiser from the pound shop. We are all equal and no body should be treated any differently, just because you rock a £30 lipstick doesn’t mean you have any right to pass judgement on anybody else. The sense of elitism that can be shown in the makeup world (I am talking about beauty groups, Instagram and places like YouTube) can lead to serious problems.
Eat or look fabulous?
I have seen people ‘living beyond their means’ just to get their hands on products that their ‘peers’ have been boasting about, it happens all the time. I have heard of people getting into debt because they felt the need to ‘keep up’ with other people in terms of the products they buy. I have seen people saying ‘I’m on a spending ban’ only to post a few days later having broken their self-imposed ban and fallen well and truly off the wagon. I am not trying to in any way pass judgment on people for doing it; it is your life and you can do whatever you want; if you want to spend your whole life savings on a giant inflatable chimpanzee then be my guest but do it because YOU want to, not to impress or be accepted by anyone else.
If it makes you happy; then why not?
I am very lucky to be able to have some of my income to spend on makeup; I love both drug store and higher end makeup and I find that the higher end isn’t necessarily any better than the drug-store. It usually comes down to better packaging on the higher end; we all like pretty things and if we can display our makeup in as prettiest way as possible then we are happy as a magpie in a bed of jewels. I have a Makeup Geek collection that has shocked some of my makeup friends (I have collected it over years and I did not really buy any other makeup bits while collecting then), they are my crowning glory so to speak.) However, you cannot miss what you do not have and if I had needed to spend the money on other things (the house, my children) I would happily pass on it. I don’t need an expensive eyeshadow to make me happy; I need to make sure my kids are well looked after and loved and if I succeed in that, I am more than happy with my life. I have amazing friends who actually like me for being me, not for the fact I own the ‘Moonchild’ palette (although I have one friend who might mug me for it, hahahaha she knows who she is). If I need to buy expensive makeup to impress people then they are not worth having around.
It is much better quality though isn’t it?
I have heard people say ‘I would never buy drug store as they are not good quality’; have you heard of private labelling? Some companies do not own their own factories and hence have to do something called ‘private labelling’. The main example of this is Morphe; they use the same factory as Crown brushes, who are cheaper, and just have their name plastered on what is the same palette. They can charge a premium on eyeshadows that are the same in quality as cheaper counterparts. Also we have seen scandals where big YouTube influencers have had backlash because the high-end products they have put their names to have been an inferior quality when actually manufactured by the high end brand (remember Jaclyn Hill’s X Becca Champaign Collection eyeshadow palette and the NikkieTutorials ‘Power of Makeup’ palette to name but two.). Where making money is concerned and especially with big business, integrity does not enter into the conversation; it is all about prizing the money from your blinged up purse by any means possible. Doing research and letting the ‘hype’ die down is the key when considering splashing the cash on a luxury treat.
What do you think?
I do not want to cast out any judgements on anybody, it is a free world after all; but these have been questions that have been swirling through my mind like a lipstick laden tornado. I love hashing out the ins and out of makeup. Let me know in the comments what your opinion of makeup snobbery is. Ciao for now makeup fans xx