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Beauty influencer calls out wasteful trend in makeup promos: 'I haven't even thought about that'

"The pr teams need to actually think about who they are sending it [to]."

"The pr teams need to actually think about who they are sending it [to]."

Photo Credit: TikTok

There's a reason why brands are eager to work with beauty influencers — they're powerful marketers with an incredible reach. But have promotional products gotten out of control? One TikTok user is concerned about makeup promos' impact on the environment.

What's happening?

More people have called out companies for wasteful packaging for small shipments. However, TikTok user AngieChilee has another concern: the amount of unnecessary promotional products sent to influencers. 

In a Stitch accruing over 37,900 likes and dozens of comments, AngieChilee mentions one influencer who received 60 shades of foundation in a single package — and the user she refers to isn't even a makeup artist. 

@angiechilee #stitch with @spencer.barbosa pr packages can be hella wasteful #greenscreen #influencer #prpackage #girs #relatable ♬ original sound - angie

The real question is, what happens to the excess product? This is where promotional influencing does more harm than good for the planet.

How are influencer product promotions wasteful?

Americans generated 292.4 million tons of trash in 2018 — up from 24.9 million tons in 1960. Of course, overflowing landfills wreak havoc on ecosystems and wildlife. Plastic pollution is among the more serious problems, with plastic bottles and coffee pods taking 450 and 500 years to decompose, respectively.

Influencers receive numerous promotional items they don't need. In fact, 30.8% of brands give influencers free samples, while 40.8% pay them to advertise.

The beauty industry has faced a reckoning in recent years as consumers demand eco-friendliness. For instance, many cosmetic and skin care items contain microplastics — ranging from five millimeters to 0.1 micrometers — with low biodegradability and difficult filtration. Packaging often raises other concerns.  

Even though many makeup brands have resolved to sustainable alternatives, some compostable materials could take decades to break down in landfills.

What are people saying?

The comments on AngieChilee's TikTok show that most people agree. 

One user said companies should consider who they're sending the products to and match them to the person: "the pr teams need to actually think about who they are sending it too and match it to them, not send the whole range." 

Another pointed out the hypocrisy of providing a "personalized" experience but ultimately sending things you don't need or want. 

Most comments suggested donating the excess product to friends, family, or women's shelters, or giving it away as a gift. Others expressed that the TikTok had opened their eyes to the problem. 

"I haven't even thought about that," one user said.

What can you do with extra makeup products?

Whether you're an influencer or bought a product you didn't like, there are sustainable ways to get rid of it. You can pass it on to people you know or send it to GlamBot.

GlamBot collects gently used and never-opened beauty products, paying you part of what you spent and reselling them to other makeup enthusiasts. The company accepts cosmetics, skincare, and beauty tools.

Considering Americans spend an average of $722 on beauty products annually, it's nice to earn money back and know you're doing right by the planet.

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