Remember when contouring your face within an inch of its life and covering your lips with a thick coating of foundation and lip gloss was all the rage? Well, times have changed and VSCO girls are at the forefront.
According to Nylon, big beauty brands like MAC and Anastasia Beverly Hills are struggling in sales, and it could have something to do with the growing VSCO girl trend which involves a shift towards “sustainability, or general broke-ness.”
If you’re not across the new trend, allow me to explain. The name (pronounced vis-co) is based on the popular editing app, VSCO. The ‘VSCO Girl’ is inherently trendy, arty and deeply submerged in online culture. Essentially, she’s what the Tumblr girl was 10 years ago.
She’s the girl with an endless scrunchie collection who wears oversized tees, carries a stylised and reusable water bottle and is never seen without her lip balm. Oh, and she also owns one of those Swedish backpacks everyone’s wearing.
A survey, conducted by Piper Jaffrey for Business of Fashion, suggests that these Instagram-loving teens may be the reason for the recent downfall in beauty sales. The survey found that makeup purchases were down 21% and 20% of upper-income teens don’t even wear makeup at all.
Apparently, teens – and VSCO girls in particular – are all about the ‘no makeup makeup’ look characterised by barely-there Glossier products, Mario Badescu facial spray and simple skin care routines, opposed to the caked on foundation-heavy looks of generations past.
The BoF survey also found that the ingredients in makeup and skincare products are just as important to teens. Half of respondents pay attention to ingredients, and two-thirds said they’d pay more for ‘natural’ or ‘clean’ formulas – this call for sustainable beauty also includes packaging. “Teens in the survey made statements like ‘the planet is not a trash can’ and that they care about ‘people throwing away plastic and not recycling,” Cheryl Wischhover writes in the report.
One of the key features of a VSCO girl is a reusable Hydro Flask, after all.
So there you have it, if makeup brands are looking to market to the younger gen, they’re going to have to go pared back and environmentally friendly… or face the scrutiny of thousands of scrunchie-wearing VSCO girls.