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Why Are Bloggers Destroying Their Makeup?

How did we go from watching makeup tutorials (winking at you, winged liner) to watching videos of makeup being obliterated? The latest obsession online is videos of brand new palettes, compacts and more being destroyed. Yes, destroyed—cut, crushed, smashed, ripped to shreds.

In case you’ve been on a long vacation, makeup destruction videos are getting millions of views, with bloggers/vloggers jumping on the trend. Sure, pimple popping or back cracking doesn’t make much sense either, but at least it’s cheap. For these videos, we’re talking about the most coveted beauty products worth serious money getting beaten to bits.

As lovers and connoisseurs of makeup (really, this is our bread and butter!), the Beautylish team watched a bunch of makeup get smashed and shattered, and walked away with some conflicted thoughts.

Why is this a thing?

While most of us agree that the beauty industry really doesn’t need any more waste, the act would be a bit more justifiable if the product is expired and unusable. But most all of the products being destroyed in these videos are brand new, untouched, and absolutely functional.

Perhaps the appeal of these videos is the satisfaction of watching someone else do it. We can experience the act of destroying our expensive products without wasting our own cash or having to clean up the mess.

Or maybe it becomes an obsession because it’s scratching an itch we didn’t know we had. Scraping and digging into our makeup becomes weirdly satisfying the same way you feel when you plunge your knife into the smooth surface of a birthday cake, or rip open the packaging of a beautifully wrapped gift. There’s a thrill to it, which gives the act value. “Just because it isn’t being used for its intended purpose doesn’t mean it’s being wasted,” comments our Product Development Coordinator Amy Y.

Maybe these videos have given makeup products, and the beauty industry overall, a whole new way to be used. Makeup is about helping people feel better about themselves through application. But now destroying it is also giving us a sense of pleasure. Versatility!

But what exactly is the pleasure we feel when we see the destruction of products?

Beautylish’s People Operations Partner Rori G. thinks the videos provide viewers the pleasure of what they really want to do: dig into those pristine palettes and creamy lipsticks. We all secretly want to scrape and bite into them. “They make me want to try it for myself. A lot of makeup has a really interesting creamy, powdered texture that looks very satisfying to touch.”

Nothing feels better than opening a new product for the first time. But there’s something viscerally appealing about watching those fresh, beautiful colors and mesmerizing textures get destroyed. “It’s almost like ASMR for the eyes,” says Customer Experience Operations Associate Hailey B.

Is it a rebellion against consumerism?

If so, the joke’s on the consumers, because “the company you purchased that item from still got your money,” says Beauty Advisor Krista X.

Is it our way of rejecting current beauty standards?

Suddenly, with these videos, we have power over the makeup, not the other way around, There are times when Beauty Advisor Melissa E. “resents makeup, feels imprisoned by it, so it’s sort of cathartic to see the product damaged and realizing it doesn’t hold power over me.” The videos remove makeup from the pedestal we have placed it on for years.

Watching picture-perfect products die a slow death also takes the mystery away. “It demystifies the product because you see the guts of the product and packaging that can look cheap when completely disassembled,” says Amy Y.

Maybe we want to learn more about the products we’ve been (sometimes blindly) using for years, and this is how to do it?

There may be some genuine benefits that come from these videos—it’s helping users better understand what’s really in the cosmetics they’re buying and using. By watching someone squish through a product, you can discover just how dry, powdery, dense or heavy something is—even how much they are giving you— before you invest in it.

Mikki Y., our Photo Studio Manager, gets paid to create perfect product smears and swatches for photo shoots. “I can see how different products are and how one gets a better understanding of the product’s pigment and texture through ‘destroying’ it.” It’s the same thing she does every day when she swipes and smears products for photos. “I hope that because of my smears, clients will make a more knowledgeable decision when they purchase an item.”

So, in the end, maybe makeup destruction is, strangely, inspiring.

Though the videos may be anxiety-inducing for some of us, we think it can provide more knowledge and less mystery in our beauty purchases. Beauty Advisor Melissa E. hopes “it will further blur the line between artist and consumer and make customers less intimidated by different types of formulas,”

And, in case this makes you feel better, many bloggers have admitted to mixing products with liquids and reforming them to use after shooting the video. So, it isn’t all going to waste.

One thing we can all agree with, as said by Rori G., “I’m no longer surprised by anything on Instagram.”