Keeping Up with the Gurus: Are We a Generation of Product Junkies?

by Amber McKinnon

Full disclosure here, folks. I am an admitted product junkie. I always have been, and I likely always will be. How do you know you’re a product junkie? If your friends or family have ever looked with alarm at all the product you have stuffed in your bathroom cabinets (and your purse, and your closet…), chances are you’re a product junkie. I’ll never forget when a guy I was dating came over to my place for the first time. He was noticeably taken aback by the tray of face washes, scrubs and toners sitting on my bathroom counter. The alarm was real, y’all.

While I’ve been an avid beauty fan since my early teens in the mid-90s, it seems as though there has been a shift in product junkie-ism in recent years. Nowhere is this shift more noticeable to me than with the advent of social media. Prior to social media, our bathrooms and vanities were private domain. Now these once private areas are served up for public consumption on YouTube and Instagram. Search either of these social media platforms for “haul” or “beauty organization” and you’ll find tours of beauty rooms filled to the brim, and photos showcasing the spoils of recent shopping sprees.

Have we always been this product obsessed and now social media has given us a platform to share it? Or has social media created this new crop of product junkies? I tend to lean toward the latter. Not only are we sharing what we’re buying on social media, but also how we come by the products we post seems to lend itself to product junkie-ism. We’ve seen the rise of beauty subscription boxes for every beauty niche you can think of. If you subscribe to one or two of these boxes containing 5-7 full sized products each month, you can easily develop a large stash of product in just a few months time. Then there are the ubiquitous unboxing photos where subscriber after subscriber posts what came in that month’s box. Do we really need 10,000 photos of the exact same box?

There is another segment of the beauty space that has reached a near fever pitch in online traffic – natural hair. I know from personal experience how droves of women going natural can create a community of product junkies. How could it not? When you’re suddenly tasked with caring for a texture of hair you haven’t seen since you left the playground, a certain amount of trial and error with product is required. But trial and error can be a slippery slope to an obsessive search for a roster of Holy Grail products. With so many brands releasing products to capitalize on our clamor for natural hair products, it’s easy to be tempted to try the latest and greatest in the quest for perfect hair.

But how many women are trying to find their favorite products and then be done with the search? Perhaps some are in a constant cycle of purchasing product to emulate or keep up with their favorite beauty gurus and celebrities. Looking and feeling your best is good fun, but the fun stops when you’re trying to keep up with people who don’t even pay for their beauty products. I enjoy collecting Limited Edition beauty items (hey, some people collect stamps, I collect makeup) and stocking away other personal favorites that I may not get my hands on again. I used to think I was a rare breed, but apparently there are lots more product junkies in the world and they’re here to stay.

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

No comments

Powered by Blogger.