Hi! This blog hasn’t been updated in quite some time, and so much has changed in the intervening years. When I started Plateau Beauty, I was obsessed with trying out and becoming an expert in every possible product and launch. Newness drove the industry (it still does) and over-spending was the norm, to the point where I amassed a collection I couldn’t possibly use in a lifetime.
Fast forward to today. Two massive events have completely transformed my relationship to beauty. We’re a year into a global pandemic, and I became a mom. Phew.
Ok, there’s one more thing—I’m moving in a couple of months, and in an attempt to lighten the load of packing, I recently undertook a massive beauty decluttering that resulted in a shameful display of misguided and undiscerning accumulation.
That’s putting it lightly. The truth is, I needed my husband’s help to carry the bag of decluttered makeup to the garbage bin. My garbage pile was literally too heavy for me to carry.
It would be easier for me to not admit this, of course, but it made me think about what kind of values are important to me when it comes to makeup, and how those values are reflected in both my purchasing decisions and my day-to-day routine.
Ultimately, the entire exercise has prompted me to resurrect my blog, Plateau Beauty. Originally created to help Canadian shoppers navigate beauty commerce, and abandoned when I started working professionally in the beauty industry, it’s back to promote thoughtful participation in a sphere that is so driven by frenzied, *adds to cart*-fuelled collecting.
So what are these values? An evolving list of questions I have asked myself lately before purchasing new beauty products:
Diversity and Representation
Does a brand make products that everyone can use? Are their complexion shade ranges evenly distributed across different skin tones? Are there options in all categories for all skin tones? Do their marketing materials display a range of racial, ethnic, and gender identities?
Are the brand’s products cruelty-free, meaning free from animal testing, including testing by third parties?
Does the brand use language that makes you worry about something in your routine? Do they present themselves as a quick fix or safe alternative to something you didn’t know was a problem? Are their claims unsupported by scientific research?
Do brands prey upon your insecurities and make you feel like something about your appearance needs to be corrected? Do totally normal things (like cellulite, acne, different body types, ageing) get painted as flaws?
Are brands thoughtful about their launches, or are they continually launching the same products over and over, just repackaged based on the latest pop culture trends?
Take a look at these images again. These were taken after my initial decluttering, but before deciding to really make sure that the products I use and recommend reflect the values most important to me as a beauty enthusiast and customer. How many products would remain if I took another, more considered pass?
My intention with this list of values is to have a rubric of sorts that will help me to both use the makeup I’ve already collected, and avoid collecting more makeup than I’ll ever realistically use. The sad truth is that many of brands in my collection (MAC, NARS, Kevyn Aucoin, most luxury beauty brands) don’t pass the sniff test. My total commitment to this starts today.
I’d love to have you follow along on this next, more thoughtful stage of my makeup obsession. Please leave a comment if you’ve been having the same thoughts about your own relationship to beauty.
Full disclosure: I’ve archived my past posts as I don’t feel they were reflective of my current approach to beauty and skin care. Eventually, I may go back and edit some of them so they are better presented within this context. Republished posts will be clearly marked as such.