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@HannahLouisePoston taking over our channel for four weeks with "The Beautiful Budget!" In this episode, she tells us the lies the beauty industry has been selling to make us spend more money.


00:00 → INTRO
02:19 → LIE 1
08:00 → LIE 2
12:19 → LIE 3
16:12 → LIE 4
18:35 → WRAP-UP

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So grab your 101 course, your 201 course, or both at the link in our description. Hey, y'all. I'm Hannah Louise Poston, and welcome back to another episode of The Beautiful Budget, which is the four-part TFD takeover, hosted by me.

I am an online content creator and a writer. I have my own YouTube channel, which I do recommend clicking through to watch after you watch this video. Today, I'm going to be talking about beauty industry lies that I'm constantly working to unlearn.

I would have loved to call it beauty industry lies that I unlearned or that I had to unlearn, but with all four of these things, I feel like it's a process. Defining these lies for myself, calling them what they are, and keeping them in mind helps me catch myself in the act when I find myself buying into one of them. Lie number one, new is better than old.

So when someone's trying to convince you to buy the same thing over and over again, it totally makes sense that they would want you to believe that when something gets a little bit old, even older than new, then there's something just not quite as great about it. Of course, certain things when they get old enough actually become nonfunctional. So if you keep a lipstick long enough, it'll probably start growing mold.

Or if your jacket gets full of holes, then it's not going to keep you warm anymore. But under the influence of the beauty and fashion industries, I sometimes find myself subconsciously buying into the lie that, functionality aside, any sign of age correlates with a decrease in value. So this lie is definitely connected to fast fashion.

Fast fashion makes it possible to have something brand new freakishly frequently. Clothes are at such low prices that more people can afford to have that new car feeling with their clothes more often. And at the same time, the shoddy manufacturing of those clothes means that they'll often go from new and new feeling to old feeling, and then actually directly to nonfunctional really quickly, often just after being worn and washed a couple of times.

But there's another way in which the fashion and beauty industries capitalize on the devaluing of age, because the obsession with newness also applies to our faces and our bodies. So an extension of this beauty industry lie, which really when you say it straight out is total madness, is this-- there is this thing that every single human being is doing without trying, this thing which is an absolute prerequisite to self-discovery, this thing that is required for us to do in order to become wiser, stronger, and more centered and more capable of knowing ourselves, this thing which more than anything can make us better and more expansive people, and that thing is aging. We are all doing it.

The passage of time is literally the law of the known universe. We're all in the same beautiful boat. It only moves in one direction.

And we're being sold the lie that we lose value over time. Of course, there are many societal factors that support this lie. It's not just the beauty industry or just the beauty and fashion industries.

But I mention it here to make the point that active unlearning of the obsession with newness and a thoughtfully activated appreciation for the signs of age is actually a somewhat radical choice and can have deep and broad consequences that resonate through a person's entire life. So in my own personal life, I'm seeing this lie and the temptation to believe it. And I'm trying-- actively trying-- to internalize a different message, which is that signs of age are signs of value and quality and that agedness is actually an aspirational quality for a person and her belongings.

And what I've found is that poorly made pieces of fast fashion that basically go directly from new to useless, they don't have a place in this ethos because they can't offer the one thing that I'm trying to learn to value the most, which is beautiful age. When newness isn't the goal, then those low prices become a lot less enticing, especially when you know that the thing isn't designed to age at all. It's just designed to expire.

So another way to say this, another way to think about it is that inexpensive things, like items of fast fashion, they're often tempting because they seem like such good value. But for a person who values age in an item, who isn't a obsessed with newness, then something that's not made well enough to age without falling apart actually has a very low value. Now, well-made things, things that are designed to age without falling apart, are often more expensive, right?

And that is the thing that can make this philosophy difficult to enact for a lot of people. And well-made things are often expensive when you buy them brand new, but much more affordable on the secondhand market. And again, if you aren't placing a premium on shiny newness, if you're not buying into the lie that new is way, way better than old, then second-hand shopping becomes a lot more appealing.

In my experience, the second-hand market is often where you find that wonderful combination of affordability and quality that can feel like it doesn't exist if you are shopping on a budget. Now, internalizing the message that signs of age in my own face and body are signs that I'm increasing in value over time, that is, of course, much more difficult. That's a lifelong journey, given the hand we've all been dealt by the society into which we have been born.

But I found that it's helpful even just to phrase it this way, just to remind myself regularly that one of the things I'm doing is trying to unlearn the obsession with newness. Lie number two, it is possible to buy something that will change your life. Sometimes I feel like this lie is the one thing that advertising is trying its hardest to convince me of.

And sometimes I'm really tempted to buy into this lie, because it would be so convenient. It would be so amazing if I could shop my way out of restlessness, shop my way out of dark nights of the soul. If I could pay money, simple straightforward money, and have something come in the mail that would change my habits, my thought processes, my way of interacting with people, something that would take away my doubt and fear and fundamentally improve the experience that I'm having living as myself.

This will change your life-- you see that all over Instagram. And yes, there are plenty of gorgeous products out there that you can buy that will make little differences in your life, products that will brighten up your face, or make your bed more comfortable, or make your apartment look or feel fancier. And some of them might even temporarily genuinely make you feel like you have a new lease on life.

But you will always return back to center, your center. And if you want to change what that center is like for you, if you want to move that center, change yourself, girl, you can't buy that. You might be able to pay someone to help you do that, like a therapist to help guide you or a spiritual guide to help you through that process.

But ultimately, it's work that you have to do. Only you can do it. And there are no shortcuts to that.

In my experience as someone who has been through the wringer-- over-spending, then stopping shopping, then having to build a new relationship with shopping for myself-- also, making YouTube videos, a lot of YouTube videos about really wonderful products that do make small differences to my quality of life and a bunch of YouTube videos about the fact that those products are not the things that will fundamentally change a person's life-- in my experience, doing all of that and also thinking a lot about this, the pain or discomfort that many of us have at that place of center, the pain or discomfort that I was trying to shop my way out of and that you might be trying to shop your way out of is the belief that you're not enough and that there's something wrong with you. And again, if someone is trying to get you to buy something, not just one thing, but hundreds of things, and trying to get you to buy the same thing over and over again, it is great for that person if you believe that there's something wrong with you. So to my mind, it's part of the same industry lie.

This lie, in its entirety, is there's something wrong with you, and the way to fix it is to buy something. Now, I love a good lipstick, for example. And I'm often very tempted to buy a lipstick.

And when I'm considering buying a lipstick, what I do most of the time is remind myself that when I get the lipstick home and I put it onto my lips, my lips aren't going to change their shape and size. They're not going to look like the model's lips in the picture just because I've bought the lipstick that's being advertised in the picture. So visualizing that lipstick on my own lips and remembering that in that moment when I get it home and I put it on, I'm still going to be the same person with the same restlessness and the same dark nights of the soul-- fundamentally, the same-- that is often the most helpful exercise in parsing my feelings of desire for that thing and sorting out whether or not the purchase is one that I actually want to make.

And once I remember-- and I sometimes do have to work to bring myself down to Earth and remember it. But once I remember that new stuff isn't going to make me into a new person, I often decide not to buy the thing. I think that the only thing that I've ever paid money for and brought home that genuinely changed me and changed my life is my cat.

But she wasn't manufactured. Lie number three, if you like something, you should buy more of it. If you like X, then you'll love Y.

But if you like X and you already have X and Y is similar, then why buy it? This exact same sentiment could be rephrased as if you have X, then you don't need Y. It seems so obvious, but we fall for it over and over again.

In makeup specifically, in the beauty industry, specifically, this philosophy often extends to the confusing act of buying every single color of a product if you like the formula. But even with my absolute favorite formulas in makeup, my favorite lipstick formulas, for example, if I own more than one or two shades in that formula, I find myself only ever wearing my one or two favorites. In fact, I find myself most often only wearing my one favorite color in a lipstick formula if I own more than one shade in that formula.

I can't tell you how many times I have discovered something that I love, like a pair of pants, for example-- I'm excited by that love. I'm so happy to have found something that I love. And in an attempt-- basically in an attempt to multiply that love and make myself feel even happier about that, I go out and I buy the same pair of pants in a different color.

But for me, nine times out of 10, the second pair, the different color, gets way, way less wear than the first pair. Why? Because I bought my favorite color the first time.

The first pair is my favorite. And given the choice, I'm always going to reach for my favorite pair of pants. If you love something, buying more of it, more of that exact same thing, it rarely generates more of that same feeling of love.

It can sometimes be a practical choice, right, to have a couple of pairs of the pants that you wear the most so that you can wear one every day of the week. But if you're buying more of the same to try to feel more happy, more excited, more gratified, it's just not going to work. But the beauty industry won't tell you that.

And for the same reason, there's very little guidance in the beauty industry or in the media that surrounds the beauty industry, very little guidance for the act of just dwelling in the love of what you already own, just experiencing contentment for the beautiful things that you've been lucky enough to find and buy. But in my experience, that dwelling in the love of what you already own is the best antidote to the compulsions that come from this beauty industry lie. Now, where do you land on this particular issue, it might be kind of a lifestyle thing.

So for some people, depending on what your job is like and how you interact with, for example, your wardrobe, it might make sense to have multiples of one thing if you are genuinely wearing every single one of them over and over again and it's just practically convenient to have another clean one tomorrow, even if you wore one today. But in beauty specifically, when it comes to buying makeup, I find it useful to make a distinction between the love of buying a thing and the love of actually owning and using a thing, because it does feel like more is empirically better if the thing that you love doing is buying something. If you love buying eyeshadow, then, yes, every single time you go out and buy more eyeshadow, you'll be having more of that experience that you love.

But if you like buying eyeshadow because you like owning and using and wearing eyeshadow, then you don't need to keep buying it to have what you love. This is why when I'm tempted to buy more makeup, my first act is often to go to my makeup vanity, sit down, and just play with the makeup that I already have. Lie number four, perfection exists.

How many of us are mired in the search for the perfect lipstick, or the perfect foundation, or the perfect deodorant? Advertising loves to sell you the lie that the perfect version of something that you already probably own, something you already use is just waiting on the shelf for you to go and buy it or waiting for you to buy it online and for it to be shipped to your door. Nothing is perfect.

Obviously, some products will work better for you than others. And if you're going to buy something, it makes sense to do a little bit of research and give yourself the best chance of buying something that will work well for you. I personally love a beautifully formulated product.

I love a good foundation shade match. And I'm actually a person who enjoys some of that research that goes into finding a good product. That is why I review makeup as part of my job.

But the lie of absolute perfection goes way beyond reason. It's a chimera that keeps us in a state of dissatisfaction with everything, even with things that already work well. Even when products work well, we are told by this beauty industry lie to keep looking for a Holy Grail.

Being satisfied with what you have, taking pleasure in how well something does work instead of being annoyed that it's not perfect actually requires a bit of grit these days in the face of industry marketing. The beauty industry wants you to go through 1,000 red lipsticks in the search for your perfect red. In reality, the perfect red lipstick is one that you like wearing, one that you like wearing enough to actually wear it, like one that you'll get use out of.

And most people look fantastic in either a cool-toned or a warm-toned red. And there are thousands of each on the market, thousands of cool-toned reds, thousands of warm-toned reds, thousands of red lipsticks that will look great on you. But if you let this lie about perfection get into your head, then you'll convince yourself that no red lipstick that you've ever tried is perfect enough.

And then you won't enjoy wearing any of them. So that's it. Those are four beauty industry lies that I am constantly working to unlearn.

It's not as easy as just telling myself that these things are true because I continue to be under the influence of this industry. I continue to work in this industry, absorb the advertising of this industry. And I feel like one of the best and healthiest things that I can do for myself is just to sit back from time to time and remind myself that I am under these influences and try to tease out what is true from what is a lie that's being told to me so that I will buy more than I need.

Thank you so much for watching this video. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you did, make sure to watch the other three videos that I've created for TFD for The Beautiful Budget, this month-long channel takeover.

And I'll see you next week.