We all have an ick that makes us roll our eyes and wish that it would just go…away. And even though the beauty world is replete with glam galore, there are a few trends and techniques that we can’t stand. Whether it’s influencers applying way too much foundation or brands claiming to be “cruelty-free,” here at PureWow we have a few beauty icks we can’t ignore anymore—here are nine of them we’re putting on blast.
9 Editors Share Their Ultimate Beauty Ick—From Foundation Flooding to Bunnywashing
1. The Foundation Challenge
TikTok creator Meredith Duxbury has received mixed reviews for her popular foundation hack, where she applies a very generous amount of foundation (around 10 pumps) and rubs the product all over her face—eyebrows and lips too. Also known as the #foundationchallenge, the technique is made to give super full coverage (emphasis on full coverage) and a smooth finish. While many were curious and tried the trend, one editor is not quite on board with it. “I get the chills every time I see someone do it. I can only imagine the breakouts that I’d get if I tried. Not to mention, it’s totally unsustainable. In this economy?! No thank you. I’ll be sticking to one (maybe two) pumps of foundation,” says Assistant Editor Stephanie Meraz.
2. The 24/7 Trend Cycle
Trends are constantly in rotation, and two editors are saying enough is enough. “Literally any trend that involves foundation is crazy to me. Just put it on. For example, I’ve seen some videos on applying blush underneath your foundation. It doesn’t look bad, but why?” says Assistant Editor of Sales and Deals Destinee Scott. On the flip side, haircare is proving to be a prime example that we can’t follow every single trend that surfaces, especially when there’s no breathing room between trends. “I can’t stand hair trends. You expect me to cut my hair off into a bob because it’s trendy at the moment? Ma’am my hair grows way too slowly. What if long hair suddenly is popular again in the fall?!” says Commerce Editor Olivia Kappler.
3. Applying Products While Wearing Rings
There’s something about rubbing your hands after using a product with a bunch of jewelry on that makes one editor squirm in her seat. “Any time someone applies lotions, serums, etc. with rings on their fingers, I need to go to therapy stat because why????” says Operations Director of Branded Content Rachel Gulmi. Now, we can’t tell you what to do, but some jewelers do advise that you remove your jewelry before applying any products to prevent a) it slipping off and b) build-up around your pieces.
4. Misinformation Around Skincare
Skincare is as much beauty as it is science. While applying the latest eyeliner trend probably won’t send you to the hospital, skincare trends—like acne treatments, strong chemicals and unregulated supplements—could very well have negative impacts. This is why our food editor gets the ick around the misinformation and conflation of skincare and wellness. “Like when someone says, ‘If you would stop eating [insert any food] then you wouldn’t have pimples.’ But they have zero scientific data to back it up, that can be dangerous,” says Food Editor Katherine Gillen.
We see the term “cruelty-free” float around, but what does it actually mean? As one editor points out, we need to start looking at brands a little more closely when it comes to how they market themselves these days. “I hate when brands claim to be cruelty-free and make up their own bunny symbols but won’t provide real information about their animal testing. Also, the current trend where people use makeup brushes on their dogs but are like, ‘This is what I use to think animal testing was.’ It’s not funny…animal welfare isn’t a trend,” says Director of Branded Content Cristina Guiterrez.
6. Performative Celebrity Skincare Routines
OK, we know celebs have influence around product sales, but sometimes routines can be a bit cringe (and we’ve all seen what happens routines are not authentic.) As Executive Editor Alexia Dellner notes, these types of videos give her the ick every time she watches because they just seem like blatant cash grabs. And then there’s the extra-ness about them. “I roll my eyes when celebrities and influencers apply serums and products in that weird way, where drop it on their cheeks and let it run down…like what?” She says. “It seems so unnecessary...like, if there’s a reason why that is the best way to apply serum or whatever product then tell me! Otherwise, it just seems performative.”
7. Scooping Up Products with Your Fingers
When it comes to shopping for beauty products, sometimes packaging can make or break a purchase, and for Gillen, that’s definitely how she feels about wide jars. “I despise when cream-based products are packaged in big wide jars that you’re expected to stick your fingers in every time. It just seems like we could come up with a more hygienic packaging option in 2023, right?”
8. Beauty Samples Displayed in Stores
Speaking of being more hygienic, why are test-me products still a thing? We understand you want to try before you buy, but there has to be a better (and cleaner) alternative. “Whenever I see open small samples in stores, I shudder. In 2023, we should not allow people to scoop or even apply products like that. It’s not sanitary at all. There are stores like Sephora that offer samples without using the displays. Please be smart and ask an employee. I hate watching those horror stories of people applying eyeshadow or lipstick and getting horrible reactions because of it. Just stop,” says Associate Editor Chelsea Candelario.
9. Unnecessary Fragrances and Oils
“Since I have sensitive skin, it irks me when skincare products are packed unnecessarily with fragrance. I’ll want to buy something with great active ingredients and then see the vague “parfum” or tons of essential oils on the bottom of the ingredients list, which will make my skin throw a fit,” explains Senior Social Strategy and Trends Editor Michaela Maglitochetti.
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