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Move Over Fast Fashion — There’s a New Sheriff in Town

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Fast fashion is without a doubt a term that literally all of us have heard at least once before. Forever 21, Fashion Nova, Shein, H&M and Zara are all perfect examples. Most of us have shopped these brands at one point or another and because it’s so cheap, we probably all have tons of items we don’t even wear or care much about. It’s no surprise this has inevitably leaked over to the beauty world.

Recently, there’s been a rise in fast beauty and it’s starting to get overwhelming. Just like with fast fashion, makeup brands are releasing products at a rapid speed and most of us can’t keep up. An example of this would be the past launches of the brand Anastasia Beverly Hills. While they are one of my top three brands, I have some questions regarding their recent launches. In the last few months, they released the Jackie Aina palette, Carli Bybel palette, Norvina 1, Norvina 2, Norvina 3 and the 2 Norvina mini palettes. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t think that isn’t too much to handle when just typing all of those out was exhausting in itself. On top of that, the Norvina palettes were all a whopping $60 each. 

flat lay of makeup
Emily Nelissen

Fast beauty is causing consumers, like me, to become unimpressed and start to not feel like buying the 100th new palette of the month. Launches used to not take place so quickly after each other, which gave consumers time to absorb them. The new path the industry is going down is not allowing for that happen. Some consumers rely on the opinions of their favorite YouTubers before buying products. Many have vocalized that they can’t keep up and (struggle to) make enough videos trying all of the new launches for their subscribers.

ColourPop has been a brand that is known to release products or launches once a week. So, what’s the difference? Truly, they aren’t any different as they are the perfect example of a fast beauty company. They release very often and at a low price point. However, their quality rivals that of many high-end brands. A 12-pan palette would run you just $18 from ColourPop. Meanwhile, a 12-pan palette from Tarte costs $39. Compared to many other brands, ColourPop’s pricing can’t be beaten. With their abundant amount of launches, it can feel like we are being engulfed just like any other brand. While their prices are low, that doesn’t stop it all from adding up quickly.

colorful lipsticks

There is another problem, however, with fast beauty and that’s the abundance of products not being used and getting thrown out. The beauty industry adds a lot of plastic waste into the world in a time when we don’t need any more plastic waste. If you take a second and go look at what your skincare and makeup product containers are made out of, you’ll probably see that most are plastic. Now imagine with all of these new releases the number of products not even being used and end up being thrown out. You might be sitting there saying “Why aren’t beauty or skincare items being recycled?” and the truth is, it’s hard to do. In an article by Glamour magazine, they explain that it’s not as easy as just throwing the product in the recycling bin. You have to clean the container out of any leftover product inside and many of the containers are smaller, which makes them harder to clean. Brands need to come up with new ways to help tackle this big environmental issue before it gets worse than it already is.

Messy Makeup Table Flatlay
Alanna Martine Kilkeary / Her Campus

Does all this mean we just need to get used to it? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself ever since the noticeable change in the way makeup brands were launching products occurred. I think the answer to that is both yes and no. With the makeup industry and market-changing, brands are trying to do whatever they can to stay relevant and to feed into our constant need for more. It will be very interesting to see where this new wave of fast beauty takes us in the next few years.

Jenna is currently a Senior at the University of Central Florida majoring in Legal Studies. When she isn't reading the most current political update, she's watching the newest crime doc on Netflix or watching skincare videos on Youtube. Her greatest dream is to spend the rest of her life playing around with makeup.
UCF Contributor