Beauty Bloggers Are Destroying Their Makeup to Uncover Crucial Information

April 30th 2017

Kyle Fitzpatrick

In the world of YouTube, beauty vloggers loom large.

Purveyors of the popular format impart makeup techniques while exploring new products from colorful points of view. The culture has inspired everything from the ridiculous—like the dangerous Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge—to the more illuminating, like the “Depression Makeup Tutorial.”

From this colorful landscape of beauty comes a new trend: destroying makeup.

Beauty vloggers Kat and Hailey of Beauty News have been getting a lot of attention recently for a series they do where they destroy cosmetic products. Literally. They take brand new, often expensive products and smash them beyond recognition.

The series titled, “The Makeup Breakup,” is being heralded as one of the strangest, yet appealing things happening in the beauty world. “Watching makeup get crushed, smashed, smeared, or otherwise destroyed is actually great when you have no personal stake in the game,” Refinery29 wrote of the trend, expressing the bizarre voyeurism baked in the videos.

“The Makeup Breakup” videos are going viral too, gathering hundreds of thousands of views on both YouTube and Instagram.

While this trend seems wasteful, they're actually doing this for a reason: consumer protection.

The point of smashing products to pieces extends beyond the drama of powdered carnage; the vloggers typically reassemble the products to be better used or destruct further, to articulate to customers what they are actually consuming.

The results are twofold. Primarily the vloggers attempt to mythbust expensive products. They weigh the products to see if the claimed weights are accurate while finding opportunities extend products beyond intended use. It’s all in the service of making beauty consumers smarter shoppers.

Secondly, the videos attempt to uncover some of the oddities in makeup, in case something nefarious or unhealthy lies within. For example: a Kylie Jenner cosmetics palette was reportedly smelling of chemicals and had consumers concerned. Kat and Hailey tore the product apart to discover it was a combination of cardboard and glue that can be worrisome when it comes in close contact to something that is applied to the face.

These "makeup destruction" videos highlight the importance of knowing what is in products that go in or on your body.

Beauty is big. The industry earned $46.2 billion dollars in 2015 and is reflective of consumer hunger for cosmetics. But despite demand there are still concerns that products aren’t what they say they are.

In 2015, Senators Dianne Feinstein of California and Susan Collins of Maine introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act in the hopes of getting the Food and Drug Administration to monitor products closer to ensure safety. Hearings were held in Fall of 2016, but no decision has been made yet on the proposal.

There's legitimate cause for concern.

Terms like "natural" and "green" have become beauty buzzwords, but are largely left undefined, and potentially cancerous chemicals still lurk in products.

Bashing beauty products might appear like silly, internet fun, but there’s more to it than busted blenders: many products and companies aren’t very transparent about what you are getting. That’s obviously a problem considering how intimately we are involved with these items.