I watch Youtube on the daily and I’ve realised I rarely watch any beauty or fashion channels anymore and whilst Youtubers rise and fall harder, I’ve never really wondered why I stopped.
That is until now.
To give context into my Youtube watching history, I first started watching Youtube regularly during the good old British Youtube glory days of 2013-2015. I would have been around Year 11 and 12 in high school.
Think Zoella, Pointless Blog, Caspar Lee, Marcus Butler, Dan and Phil, etc. As much as I thought I had the ‘I’m cooler and not like other girls’ aesthetic with my love for indie music and the fact no one understood me (teenage angst lmao), I for sure had the most basic Youtube taste ever.
This phase didn’t last long and soon after that, I was attached to the beauty community especially during 2016 and 2017. This was during my early uni years. Yes, I was one of those many young girls who watched Jeffree Star (was never really a fan but I still watched him lol). Heck, I even watched Tana Mongeau on the regular before she became like really problematic. Being Australian, I watched a lot of Australian Youtubers especially the likes of Shani Grimmond and Bella Fiori.
However, I also got caught up with the now ‘problematic’ Youtubers including Laura Lee, Tati Westbrook, James Charles, etc. This post is to reflect this time in my life and ask why I was so invested in the beauty community and why I no longer partake in it.
Consumer Culture and Spending Habits
I bought A LOT of makeup. I was buying makeup because I was seeing it being reviewed on Youtube. 2016 me was so naive and it makes me sort of sick seeing how these beauty influencers profited from young girls mindlessly watching and then buying what they see. I am happy to say I’ve NEVER used an affiliate code and certainly not a Morphe one.
A lot of this was very unnecessary purchasing. I was purchasing a lot of things that were newly released.
I definitely have taken a more minimalistic approach and I definitely don’t shop for makeup anywhere near as much as I did a couple years ago.
AND IT FEELS SO GOOD. And my wallet is a lot happier and healthier.
Youtubers are SO Out of Touch with the Rest of Us #Unrelatable
It’s not so much a thing anymore but back in the day, the bigger the PR package and the more lavish the luxury brand trip was, the better. I really never got what the point of that was. Like how is that supposed to make the audience feel? You can never trust a review because no one is really openly negative because you don’t want to be taken off the PR list. Can’t miss going to Bora Bora or Ibiza for free am I right?
In addition, as Youtubers get more famous and rich, they become more detached from reality. They promote luxury and materialism and its a common trend we see on Youtube so this isn’t targeting the beauty community. I think it is an incredibly shallow and vain way to live but also it has such a huge influence on impressionable viewers and I really hate how this shallow materialistic lifestyle is a genuine aspiration for so many people now!
I feel a lot of Youtubers are really ungrateful which is so rich considering how lucky of a position they are in. I’m not saying Youtube is an easy job by any means but when you consider that many make millions just making videos and not even at a regular schedule at that, it’s an incredibly privileged position to be in. The complaining about work really bugs me because most of them have never had a 9-5 job and everything they say is just completely out of touch.
For example, there are many beauty Youtubers that you may have loved watching because they were relatable and they used drugstore makeup. Ingrid Nilsen and Estee Lalonde are ones that I loved that come to mind. Now all they use is high-end makeup and they are no longer relatable to their audience. I stopped watching both of them because they bored me and I just didn’t want them to shill such expensive items in my face.
And oh yeah-
Everything is an AD.
This is probably the biggest one. The beauty community just became incredibly toxic and you know it’s bad if a lot of people from the commentary community are calling it out. Every week we see a commentary video about James Charles or Jeffree Star or Shane Dawson and it’s just like STOP.
Everyone is just manipulative and backstabbing and saying they have ‘receipts’ or ‘tea’. What is this? It’s high school petty drama and I’m not here for it. But 2016 me thought this was juicy and scandalous. I hate that I was heavily invested in the James Charles vs Tati Westbrook drama. I’m a grown woman. I’m over this.
A Youtuber who I did watch and liked and still like to this day is Nikkie Tutorials. She’s absolutely amazing with makeup and she’s incredibly sweet and stays out of drama. I just lost interest in watching her but she’s definitely someone from the beauty community I admire and recommend.
Most importantly, I’ve changed. Back in 2016, I was just a uni student who watched beauty videos and makeup tutorials as I was getting my makeup done before uni or work. It was satisfying to watch. I liked having someone talk to me as I was doing my makeup- it was like a friend. I also enjoyed playing and experimenting with makeup. It was like my happy place. For many, makeup is a really important aspect of their life. With makeup, I feel more confident and beautiful. It’s a way to express yourself and honestly, I feel more put together and ready to tackle the day.
Now, I’ve graduated. I work full-time. I no longer have the time to watch a beauty tutorial and do my makeup. I am no longer am interested in the heavy consumerism and materialism that symbolises the beauty community.
I think as a creator you need to grow with your audience. I think that’s an important part of maturity and growth and I think that’s something many people in the beauty community need to learn.
In saying that, I still LOVE makeup. I still occasionally buy makeup but I’ve just lost interest in the beauty community on Youtube.
I thought I may end the post by leaving some Youtube channels that I still do watch and recommend.
Note: the majority of these are commentary so if you don’t like the vibe, there’s still a few beauty/fashion/lifestyle channels I still enjoy. I only included channels that are regularly active and consistent with posting.
Also another thing that bugs me: when Youtubers take huge time off usually with no reason (obviously personal and mental health reasons are perfectly valid) but sheer laziness and feeling uninspired don’t cut it. You couldn’t do this at a regular job and just tell your boss- nah sorry, don’t feeling like coming into work today.
Let me know if you watch any of these Youtubers or have any recommendations!!
Beauty/Fashion/Lifestyle (on the very rare occasion)
Patricia Bright (UK)
Inthefrow (Victoria) (UK)
Jordan Lipscombe (UK)
The Anna Edit (UK)
Hannah Renee (UK)
Leah Halton (Australia)
Bella Fiori (Australia)
Commentary (more light-hearted)
Kurtis Conner (Canada)
Drew Gooden (US)
Cody Ko (Canada/US)
James Marriott (UK)
Luke Alexander (Australia)
Commentary (more opinionated / social issues related)
D’Angelo Wallace (US)
Tiffany Ferg (US)
Jordan Theresa (UK)
Amanda Elimian (US)