Why I'm No Longer Excited About New Beauty Launches
We have GOT to talk. Make yourself a delicious beverage, grab a snack or two (I bought some wagon wheels this morning, eating my elevenses old school style) and settle yourself in for what might become a giant rant. Or a blistering expose on the shit the beauty industry continues to pull. Or just a pile of wank. As of yet, totally undecided.
But I have got opinions.
And why pay to have your very own website on the internet if you can’t then put your opinion on it? Absolutely no point in that. Anyway. We are getting very off topic and we’ll be here all day if we don’t get back on track. And by we I mean me. The rest of you are utter delights.
But what we’re all gathered here for is to unpick the question: are there too many new beauty launches, and are they all basically the same in different packaging?
Because quite frankly, for me the answer is yes.
The original Naked palettes as launched by Urban Decay what seems about 200 years ago arguably sparked a trend of neutral tones being popular. They became immediate best sellers and secured cult status. I have personally never used a Naked palette because they just never appealed for me, but I see where they fit in the beauty industry, and I see what they did.
Almost every launch since then seems to have been much of a muchness. Neutral tones, lots of taupe and brown transition shades, darker brown crease shades, some gold shimmers if you’re lucky, possibly a pop of colour - usually blue - and some lighter base shades. I swear to you, I have seen so many palettes with this colour story that I now don’t know if I am actually making things up and the problem isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be.
I mean, it really isn’t a problem at all. Companies are entitled to launch what they want and consumers are entitled to buy what they want, and clearly something is working because people keep buying all these palettes. Whether they’ve just bought into the hype, because if social media is good for one thing it’s hyping launches up, or whether they really need that new neutral with a blue palette I don’t know.
The trend seems to have shifted slightly recently, towards cooler neutrals and a more pinkish/reddish/purplish colour scheme a la the Urban Decay Naked Cherry palette, and that other one that is very similar and I don’t remember the name of. But still. All the new launches seem to be so similar and I just can’t bring myself to be excited about them all anymore.
Huda Beauty’s New Nudes looked a little more exciting with the addition of the pressed glitter shades, the pearlised shades, and the fact that the nudes were on the cooler side, but I still have most of those neutrals in my collection. And I really don’t have a big collection.
There have been two or three launches in the past year or so I have actually gotten excited about: James Charles X Morphe, Give Face Cosmetics Construction Palette, Jeffree Star Blood Sugar, and Jeffree Star Alien. Out of those four, I only own J* Blood Sugar and GFC Construction, but that’s not through choice. That’s through not being able to afford anything else. (Find reviews here and here for those two bad boys. Spoiler alert: they’re both amazing).
I do, deep down, feel like some of the creativity is being sucked out of the industry.
Neutrals sell, people feel comfortable working with neutrals, the majority of offerings are neutrals, people who experiment more with colour are ridiculed for stepping out of the box, ‘Instagram Makeup’ is all about browns and golds and being goddess like - it’s a vicious cycle, really. And the makeup that comes out of that cycle is gorgeous, but it’s all so samey. If I see another bold brow with a gold shimmer eye, winged eyeliner, and big lashes I am going to scream.
And I am no stranger to the gold shimmer eye with winged liner and big lashes. In fact, that’s nearly all I do because I’ve forgotten how to experiment with my looks and with colour because I get subjected to the same colour stories time and time again.
I don’t really know where I’ve gone with this. I would just like there to be more diversity, more experimentation, and more creativity within the beauty industry as a whole. I think we would all benefit from it.
There are some incredible artists operating on both twitter and instagram who create the most amazing, colourful, inspired, magical looks: but they never seem to get a look in when it comes to making it big time as an artist.
Why is it always the same sort of looks that make it big?
Not taking away from the skill involved, because those neutral looks are still incredible - but I want to see more. I want to see diversity. I want my MUA’s to be experimental and to think outside the box and use colour in a creative way.
And maybe if there was more choice, they would do that.
Flicking through BeautyBay and Cult Beauty, there are a variety of palettes with an excitingly colourful colour scheme. NYX do one, Morphe do one, BH Cosmetics do one. But. There is still not the same hype around them as there is around, say, an Urban Decay or Too Faced launch.
And it’s about time that narrative changed.
What do you think? Are you excited by all the launches and love nothing more than to pick up a new neutral palette? Or are you just a little - dare I say it - bored?