I felt the need to write you all a love letter…a love letter that I hope will serve as a gentle reminder not to believe all you hear, see, read and watch. This has been mulling over in my mind for quite some time and before I decide to start pumping out blog posts (which will be very few and far between) of my own I felt it was necessary to give you this prelude:
Over my short time here on Instagram I have come to learn that the majority of you who follow me on here are young women of an impressionable age. Although Instagram ‘Bloggers’ like myself showcase things of a frivolous nature, there exists the potential for young women/men to feel pressured into amassing droves of skincare and makeup for no apparent reason. You may unknowingly purchase an item on the basis that the packaging is aesthetically pleasing or to quell the intrinsic desire to be at the forefront of the latest blogger fad. A fad that will undoubtedly be tossed to the side when the next ‘best’ thing comes along.
Firstly, do not for a second take these inexhaustible collections of skincare and makeup you see masquerading on here as the norm…because they are not, they are not the norm. Among us we have collectors/enthusiasts/experimenters/ and the downright delusional who are of a niche group…a nano group…in comparison to the global population. Your small collection is enough…make peace with that and scroll on. I can’t help but share with you my personal remorse in seeing how my once compact collection has exponentially risen in size due to the insatiable influence of Instagram.
Secondly, this goes out to some of you Undergraduates. Now forgive me if I am being presumptuous but take it as advice as if I were your older Poofie sister. I receive DMs and comments quite regularly asking/saying something along the lines of “I wish I could afford this/how are you able to buy all this stuff?”…If you are an undergraduate who has negligible to no source of income then I urge you not to feel pressured into using your tuition money on the latest ABH Glow Kit… or the £100 jade roller that will drain your lympathetic nodes… I will very kindly, at no expensive drain those lympathetic nodes for you…by beating your face with a cultural utensil passed down from ancestors…the rolling pin.
Take it from Poofie, as an undergraduate I had no job, lived away from home and survived on hand-outs from the Bank of Mumma + Poppa du Poof. I had 1 makeup bag with about 5 ‘drugstore’ items and my best friend had an Urban Decay shadow palette that saw us through to graduation. I bought my first luxury makeup item when I was 23 years old and Palmer’s cocoa butter was the only skincare product that graced my bodily existence up until then too. With regards to my financial situation – I’ve been in a full time, graduate job from a time some of you were still in high school/secondary hence my humble earnings allow me to go bat sh*t crazy on occasions.
So my message to you all in the words of Westwood is ‘Buy less, choose well.’ Take from this blog post 3 things:
- What I want you all to bear in mind for the future is that often certain ingredients are hailed as ‘miracles’ or ‘scientifically proven to have x effect on x ailment’ but when you have a way with words you can sell ice cubes to eskimos. I have seen seen this occur all too often in cleverly executed marketing campaigns. Consumers flock in their hoards to purchase products they have been enticed into needing/wanting on the basis of misconstrued scientific facts. Unashamedly, I will put my hands up and say I have been there, done that, read the spiel, believed the hype and purchased the product.
Let me give you an example. There exists quite a popular product (that will remain un-named but it is skincare – and no, if you DM me I will not tell you) on the market at the moment. I have seen it many a time on my Instagram feed, people have purchased it in bulk and I myself have parted with cash for it.
One of the the ‘hero’ ingredients is suggestively embezzled across all across the range’s packaging and the brand’s website boasts an impressive list of ‘benefits’ this ingredient displays. Alas, you can only pull the wool over my eyes for so long before my inner geek kicks in. A quick literature search found that there exists very limited scientific evidence on the benefits of the said ingredient in relation to humans. Yes, there exists research to say there were promising results on a few reconstituted cells in a petri dish and some laboratory mice but whether these results are transferable to humans is open to debate.
So in a nutshell I could make a product, with a hypothetical ingredient called, let’s say ‘Poofie-phenol-poofgenium-best-thing-ever-you-have-to-buy-this-ol” and carry out a couple of experiments on a few mice and discover that ‘Poofie-phenol-poofgenium-best-thing-ever-you-have-to-buy-this-ol” had positive outcomes on reducing inflammation and wrinkles on mice. So then I package this up, bells and whistles and all and have a blurb at the back that says ‘research has shown ‘Poofie-phenol-poofgenium-best-thing-ever-you-have-to-buy-this-ol” has wrinkle and inflammation reducing properties’ – I am telling you no lie, research has shown that but I am just not disclosing to you that the results were found on a creature that has a vastly different biological composition to you…that will be £450 please. The top of the ingredients list will then be full of human friendly fillers with a track record of positive results and ‘Poofie-phenol-poofgenium-best-thing-ever-you-have-to-buy-this-ol” will be hanging on by the skin of it’s teeth at the bottom of the list at a concentration so small that it’s practically non existent.
Be savvy. If you really, truly want to know what benefits any ingredients will have when topically applied to you skin, run a literature search on Google Scholar. Don’t be surprised when 80% of the results come back as experiments on lab rats.
- And don’t get me started on the ‘on a trial of 2 and a half women and a house elf, 125.6% or participants found after a minute later of application they were crowned Miss Universe’ drivel. Unless it it stated that the trial was a double masked, randomised cohort trial I don’t have time for it. I would expand on this further but I am tired, I’ll save explaining this for another post. But very quickly if I got together a group of individuals and told them that this product containing ‘Poofie-phenol-poofgenium-best-thing-ever-you-have-to-buy-this-ol” was going to make them look more youthful, the placebo effect and the psychological influence of knowing this product has the potential to make them appear youthful may skew the results.
- When products say this will give you healthier “looking’ skin or healthier ‘looking’ hair. Clever huh? Go and pick up your conditioner or one of your skincare products…are you ‘looking’ for ‘looking’…do you see it? ‘Poofie-phenol-poofgenium-best-thing-ever-you-have-to-buy-this-ol” isn’t going to give you healthy skin or hair because ‘Poofie-phenol-poofgenium-best-thing-ever-you-have-to-buy-this-ol” has not legitimately been tested on human tissue to look for cellular regeneration that leads to an actually healthy result….so we will play it safe with ‘healthy looking’ instead…that will be £450 please.
But I digress children…it’s all fun and games until the research papers come out.
With that I bide you all goodnight. This by no means is gospel, conclusive or exhaustive but I hope I have helped at least one person to become more of a savvy consumer…who’s going to need alot more than the ‘oh my god, this is amazing, I love it, best thing ever’ cookie cutter blogger gibberish that we are all, including myself have been guilty of.