Social Media, Makeup, and the Millenial.

Why has makeup become one of the favorite hobby of a generation? How has social media changed the way we view ourselves?

It's obvious that the internet has changed many, if not all, industries. E-commerce has lowered barriers to entry, and has made all businesses globally competitive. Every brand is suddenly in competition with other brands regionally, nationally, and internationally.

One industry that has had significant impact from the proliferation of the internet is the beauty industry. Social media, in specific, has arguably been the biggest advancer of the beauty industry’s success in recent years. The stock prices of huge cosmetic companies like L’Oréal and Estee Lauder have reached record highs, and new players, like Kylie Cosmetics who has made more than $400 Million USD in just 18 months, are able to compete with minimal advertising costs.

 Photo credit: https://pbs.twimg.com

Photo credit: https://pbs.twimg.com

But how has social media contributed to the growth of beauty companies? Not only are some platforms, like Instagram, almost tailor-made marketing approaches for cosmetic businesses, but millennials are consumed by the online representation of themselves.

So we scroll. And we watch. And we buy. And we consume content that tells us we’re not good enough.

Instagram is a great platform for beauty companies- as a consumer, you see people creating beautiful looks and it just makes you want to buy everything. You can see the application and results in real time. Product information and experiences can be shared, and (honest?) opinions can be expressed. Users learn about products from people they actually want to hear from; not from billboards and unrelatable magazine pieces. Not only that, but companies are able to communicate their core values and develop their brand identity while engaging with their customers in an unprecedentedly personal way.

So yes, social media is a great tool for beauty businesses and marketers alike. But the ‘Instagram face’ isn’t something we should all be striving for. As the selfie-generation, we are increasingly wrapped up in how others see us online. We want others to see us living our best lives- only perfect faces, tans, and stunning views. None of the everyday sweat pants stuff. Makeup allows people to transform, so they’re able to represent themselves in a different light. Something inside yearns for the likes and the followers. So we scroll. And we watch. And we buy. And we consume content that tells us we’re not good enough. Not without that lipstick, at least.

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I could go on and on, not really coming to a conclusion, just spilling my thoughts. So here’s what I’ll end with: Millennials have grown up swallowing digital media, and I think we just need to take a step back. Value real life, not just what we project online. Appreciate makeup for its expressive and revealing qualities. And take pride in your natural skin, without comparing yourself to the Instagram’s aesthetic block brows and deep contour.

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