I’m not a huge makeup junkie. I appreciate and love all things beauty, but I was never good at applying makeup and have so, so much admiration for those that are (male and female). In addition to my lack of skill, just the sheer amount of product by the ever-growing number of beauty brands across the market became really overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start. Walking into a Sephora was an assault on my senses from so much to take in. Brows, cheeks, lips, eyes, hair, fragrance…where does a girl start?! I decided focusing on skincare would be a better investment since that way, I wouldn’t need as much makeup.
Enter: Glossier. In 2015, I was introduced to a new brand of makeup while scrolling through Instagram. I think it was a post advertising their Balm Dot Calm moisturizers. Yes, they were essentially $12 tiny tubes of dyed and scented (and one unscented) Vaseline but Goddammit if they weren’t cute! A friend invited me to visit the newly opened flagship in NYC. I went not knowing what to expect or see but I had heard so much hype around Glossier, I was curious enough to check it out. I fell in love. The millennial pink branding, the packaging…the aesthetic. I wanted to be this “Glossier Girl”. To me, she was all natural, her hair had that wavy, perfectly windblown texture, she reads books at cafes on the weekends, has clear skin. I was absolutely sold on Glossier’s dewy, slightly muted, almost clinical aesthetic. Wearing Glossier meant I could be that girl I so admired. She’s quietly confident, soft-spoken, but smart. I got all of this from a pretty tube of moisturizer. Since then, Glossier has expanded their product line to include makeup and skincare, all with that millennial pink aesthetic and is now valued at over $1.2 billion.
How many times have you bought something or favored a brand simply for how they made you feel? I am in no way a “marketing expert” here (but I did graduate with a BS in Marketing so I do have some background knowledge in this) but a successful brand doesn’t just sell product. They sell a lifestyle, a persona, a personal “brand”. It sounds superficial but in a world dominated by a social media platform that allows us to curate our lives (Instagram), personal branding is everything. Instagram allows people to control how we’re perceived. You don’t even have to actually meet a person nowadays to make a judgement on who they are. We now have an added responsibility to be selective about what we post for it not reflect who we want to be.
I’ll be completely honest here and admit that I’ve bought things just to post on Instagram so people would see me a certain way. I’m not proud of that and I’m certainly not blaming “society” or Instagram as a reason for my caving into peer pressures. But I think it’s fair to say that this mentality is a byproduct OF this lifestyle curation. There’s a certain power in being able to control how strangers see you on the internet but also a certain weakness. Why do I care so much how people see me? Am I not more than my Instagram feed?
Sometimes social media makes the world feels like a huge Sephora that sells fancy lives, achievements, and reasons to be jealous instead of makeup and beauty products and I get that same feeling of being overwhelmed. Unfortunately, I don’t see this inundation of people’s highlight reels ending because, well, it sells.
There’s no life lesson in this article, just an observation.