Story by: Radhika aka the Snobby Foodie

So one day, I walked into the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror (as one does) and noticed the most horrific thing. A wrinkle.

I quickly called up my friend on the phone and told her about the experience.

Me: It’s happening. I’m getting old. I found a wrinkle.
Friend: You said that in college. Calm down.
Me: I was dumb and naive back then. This is for real!

…I’m a pretty low maintenance gal. I don’t really use a lot of product for makeup or skincare. In fact skincare was never really a priority because I’ve always had decent skin. Frankly, I just didn’t think it was worth the time for me. But after seeing that wrinkle, I genuinely felt that all those years of skin neglect was getting to me.

So then I started a cycle of compulsively watching beauty videos on YouTube and researching products. I made myself a list of things to buy: toner, highlighter, a fan brush, essential oils…. it was endless. And I was kind of annoyed at myself for being so engrossed in it.

I started noticing things on my face like “uneven complexion” or stray brow hairs. Maybe I just really started noticing on a natural level or maybe I was hyper-zoning in on things now because of all the videos I was watching.

Preface: I really dislike wasting things. If things can be dual purposed- they will be. But after being engrossed in all this makeup marketing, I felt like I had to buy products for every purpose and for every perceived flaw- whether I had those flaws or not.

For example, I bought a highlighting powder because of the “highlighter challenge” viral videos. After I got home, I realized that I could have used any of the shiny powders I already had for the exact same purpose. Thwarted by clever marketing right there!

Another time I was at a department store and saw rose water as a featured product. Being the skeptic I am, I asked makeup consultant what it was used for. I was told that it was a “finishing spray” and that it “just brings together your whole look.” I didn’t quite understand it, but I still researched it and considered buying it.

Then, I started seeing more gimmicky products. I saw a beach hair spray made with lavender oil, sea salt, and water selling for $6. Stop right there. I am not paying $6 for oil salt water. (Couldn’t I just make that myself?!)

The beauty industry and how it markets to us can make us see flaws in our selves that we had never seen before or probably don’t have in the first place. Prior to my recent consumption of makeup videos, I never thought, Hmm, I need eyebrow gel to keep my eyebrows in place.

I had so many more experiences like that until I decided: it’s not worth going down that rabbit hole. I would just end up eating away at my wallet buying products rather than buying experiences. Or spending excess time focusing on non-important things. My intent isn’t to knock makeup or makeup marketing, but just to raise awareness that these big businesses do have a LOT of experience marketing to consumers…. they’re great at convincing us to buy the most rando products for ourselves.

So my takeaways are this:
— Don’t get too swept away by beauty industry marketing.
— Be a skeptic when you learn about a product. Do your own research. Check the ingredients of the products you buy.
— Don’t waste time fixing “problems” you don’t really have.
— Don’t be lazy. Put on some sunscreen. That is good skincare.
— Get sufficient sleep. In retrospect, the wrinkle I saw was probably a laugh line exaggerated by lack of sleep. Yes… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Wrinkles happen. Beauty fades. There’s no revolutionary product that is be fountain of youth. If there is, it ain’t going to be $50.

Don’t aim to be just a “pretty girl.” Have something else to add to the picture. That’s beauty. So be smart, and be skeptical! Look out for yourself. #BrainIsTheNewAss