Why Are Millenials So Obsessed With Makeup?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you have bought some sort of makeup or beauty item in the last week or so. The cosmetics industry has been steadily increasing in size during the last decade, and it’s largely in part due to millennial women coming of age during this exact same period.

So what caused this millennial makeup obsession? With more access to both prestige (think luxury!) and drugstore brands, it’s been very easy for millennial women to dip their toes into the world of makeup at any price point and at any age– I remember begging my mom to buy me a bright blue eyeshadow from CVS when I was 11.

Born in the early 80s to early 00s, millennials often get written off as self-centered and entitled, but the millennial obsession with makeup stems from our generation’s focus on individuality and self-expression.

The new beauty standard is that there is no beauty standard!

Historically, women have been taught to aspire to one sole beauty ideal, and to use any makeup necessary to get to that ideal. While it may sometimes seem that everyone is trying to make their lips bigger and cheeks more contoured, the new trend is to aspire to whatever makes you feel like you’re at your best. As individualistic millennials, we’ve been taught that everyone is beautiful and no one person conforms to the same beauty standard as someone else. We celebrate our differences!

Young girls today now have a huge array of choices when purchasing cosmetics, to cater to every specific need. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna offers 40 shades of foundation, allowing almost anyone to be able to find their perfect match. The newfound acceptance of difference also translates to hair– I have super curly hair and finally I have a ton of choices to take care of my natural hair, instead of just straightening it.

Social media created a beauty community.

Long gone are the days of relying on word-of-mouth for beauty tips. E-commerce and the rise of the internet drastically increased sales in the cosmetics industry. Millennials have grown up with the internet at their fingertips, with YouTubers and beauty bloggers always available to give advice. Older millennials had to use trial and error to learn what kind of looks worked and what didn’t (that blue eyeshadow), but today’s teens are confident to be creative with their looks because they learned how to do it from YouTubers, semi-professional makeup artists who feel like they’re your friend.

Millennials are all about self-care.

Self-care is a term that has come into the mainstream during the last decade, alongside the rise of the cosmetic industry, and is primarily practiced by millennials. A huge facet of millennial individuality is about self-preservation and feeling good both inside and out. We take care of ourselves and treat ourselves right.

Glossier is the perfect manifestation of the millennial obsession with makeup and self-care, because their mission is all about making women feel empowered through their skincare and makeup products. Makeup and skincare are the armor that millennial women wear into the world.

Regardless of whether you yourself are obsessed with makeup, can’t stand the stuff, or fall somewhere in between, it’s all about expressing yourself in the way that you feel best about yourself.

Makeup can be a fun way to get creative with your face as the canvas, but the best kind of makeup is the kind that makes you feel like you can run the world. Full contour? Bright lip? Fresh face? The world is your oyster, now get out and run it.

Brooke Reiner

Editorial Contributor

Wine enthusiast and francophile studying French and Marketing. Meet me in St. Louis in the next few months before graduation- then catch me in NYC! Instagram: @brookereiner

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