@gelcream is an Instagram account dedicated to beauty, skincare, and personal care product reviews. I am fascinated by her closing message in this post: “DON’T BUY UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY AND REMEMBER WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT AND WHAT I LIKE MAY NOT SUIT YOU SO MAKE SURE IT’S REFUNDABLE.” This is a sentiment I have seen on some (though not all) of @gelcream’s other posts, and it strikes me as disingenuous — though I am not sure whether @gelcream makes money off her account, she is an extremely popular beauty “influencer” to whom people turn for product recommendations. Her success on Instagram relies on the consumerist nature of the beauty industry. Moreover, her suggestion to “make sure it’s refundable” is not in alignment with sustainable values, since returned opened beauty products cannot be resold and will inevitably make their way to a landfill.

By Amelia Rodriguez

Amelia Rodriguez is a Writing & Literature major in the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. She is also a freelance (copy)writer and editor.

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