I have often tilted my head at the products that get hyped up on the internet, that sell out within thirty minutes and generate so much traffic that the website crashes dozens of times in a single day. But I've always had a hard time expressing my confusion over this hype without feeling like an uber-bitch.
Enter drag queen YouTuber Kimberly Clark, who has quickly gained popularity for her Anti-Haul videos. A traditional haul video involves a YouTuber showing off their recent purchases, probably swatching them and almost certainly squealing over how excited they are to try them. (No judgment, by the way; I have absolutely done Hauls before.) By contrast, Kimberly Clark's Anti-Haul videos revolve around her examining different products with a critical eye and explaining why she won't be spending her hard-earned coins.
Please note that videos and blog posts like these are not meant to shame you for spending your money on certain products. They're simply meant to evaluate our consumerist culture and encourage you to think carefully about how you spend your money. Also, they explain why I won't be buying certain things, even if they are really cool or all the rage.
FYI, I originally intended to go to the mall, find some of these products, and take pictures of myself holding some of these items while pulling truly beautiful faces. I ended up getting a head cold and not doing that, but let me know if that was a bad idea from the get-go.
1. Beauty Blender Surface Simple, $30 -- Let's be clear about what you're buying here: it's a plastic palette with a metal spatula. That's it. For $30. Oh, and it has the Beauty Blender name on it! Isn't that great?! ...yeah, no, this is ludicrous. If you're a makeup artist who needs a palette for product mixing, you can easily get one at an art supply store for a fraction of the price; here's one for about $14. If you really want a set designed specifically for beauty, this Morphe duo has both a palette (this one made from stainless steel!) and a spatula for $13. I get that a name can sell, but $30 for a plastic sheet with a spatula and some Beauty Blender text on it? Please. (PS: If you're not a makeup artist, you probably don't need this thing at all--just use the back of your hand.)
2. Hourglass Illume Sheer Color Trio, $62 -- Normally, Hourglass making cream blushes and highlighters would make my little heart beat faster. But after that initial "OH MY GOD IT'S BEAUTIFUL" moment, I had to stop and check myself. Yes, this is actually a decently priced product, since you get 0.21oz of blush and bronzer (bigger than many standard-sized cream products) and 0.17oz of highlighter (the same amount as a pot of RMS Living Luminizer). However, I don't wear bronzer. I mean, I saw this thing and thought to myself, "Well, I could just use the bronzer as eyeshadow." No, I won't, I know that's not going to happen. So right there we've nixed a third of the product. Furthermore, the highlighter looks like it has a distinct golden hue, which always ends up looking meh on me. In the end, $62 would net me a very nice cream blush, an unusable bronzer, and a just-okay highlighter in a pretty compact. Nooooo.
3. MAC Vibe Tribe Collection -- MAC has made so many missteps with their recent collections, you'd think they'd re-evaluate how they come up with and design their products. Nope, didn't happen here! MAC claims that this collection was not inspired by Native American culture, but rather, by music festivals and the desert. Okay, so let's ignore the fact that the collection is called Vibe Tribe and you even have a product named Arrowhead: do you really expect us to believe that when the packaging is covered in faux Navajo prints? Furthermore, even if that were the case, music festivals like Coachella have become a breeding ground for half-assed cultural appropriation. (The headbands and the feathers-in-the-hair and the "warpaint" and uuuuugh.) Acting like we don't know this stuff is almost more insulting than creating the collection in the first place. Just fess up, MAC, and next time, consider hiring one of our great Native American artists or designers to collaborate with...I'd respect that so much more. On the bright side, it gave us this hilarious video.
4. Pat McGrath Skin Fetish, $72 -- I'll fess up: I've looked at tons of reviews for this product and have had a hard time tamping down my lust for it. But there are two issues here that prevent me buying this much-hyped highlighting set from the renowned makeup artist's line. First, that packaging: you have to open a bag full of sequins to get to the products. Yes, I get it, it's different and kind of fun, but what a goddamn mess. What a waste of space and product. You know damn well most people aren't going to do anything with those sequins once they open the bag. Second, how much of this set am I really going to use? I don't need another brush, and as pretty as the powder highlighter is, I know myself: I don't use powder highlights anymore. What really draws me to this is that dual-ended "balm" and cream highlight, which is not worth $72. If Pat McGrath would break this set up and sell the products individually, I totally admit that I'd jump right on that bandwagon.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with me? What are some products you're not going to buy?