Here's what beauty means to VSCO girls

The Instagram baddie has a successor, and she comes bearing scrunchies and the message of sustainability
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Here's what beauty means to VSCO girls
Photo: @emmachamberlain, the token VSCO girl

We’ve been attributing the downfall of beauty products to widespread product fatigue, and our general state of being… well, completely broke, for want of better words. However, according to recent reports, there’s a whole other entity at play. And it’s the VSCO girl.

For those of us not intimately acquainted with Gen Z terminology, the VSCO girl is the 2019 counterpart of the #basic girl of the early aughts: think Canon-wielding Tumblr girls, or UGG-boot wearing, Juicy-Couture-tracksuit enthusiasts. Named after the photo-editing app, the VSCO girl is accustomed to clout and social media attention, (something we’re all too happy our struggling dial-up connection in the ‘00s couldn’t achieve, and our over-tweezed eyebrows and orange foundation exploits can remain safely buried in the recesses of our memories). Scrunchies, sustainability, lip balms, and reusable water bottles are but a few of the things VSCO girls like. Big brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills? According to reports, not so much.

According to an analysis of Piper Jaffrey's annual survey, many teens aren’t wearing makeup at all. Though consumers are edging towards skincare, the study found that spending on all cosmetics has continued to steadily decline, with makeup purchases down a staggering 21 per cent, followed by skincare at 8 per cent. Leah Wyar, Vice President and General Manager of Byrdie attributes the steady decline to the exit of the glammed-up ‘first Instagram generation’ who favoured dark, filled-in “on-fleek” brows, and “second skin” full-coverage foundation. In contrast, preferring no-makeup makeup looks and pared back skincare routines, the survey suggests that teens nowadays would much rather splurge on Mario Badescu facial sprays and Glossier products.

Alongside their quest for fresh-faced beauty, the modern teen seeks transparency in the brands they subscribe to, in order to meet their need for sustainability. 50 per cent of survey respondents reportedly consider the ingredients within the products they use, while 75 per cent say “clean” or “natural” formulations were more desirable. In regard to plastics and the environment, Cheryl Wischhover writes, "Recycling and using sustainable materials may become even more urgent since 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.'”

It’s apparent that there has been a mammoth shift in the needs of the general consumer base, and if beauty brands hope to appeal to the Gen Z population, they’re going to have to get with the times; the fresh-faced, scrunchie-wearing, environmentally conscious times.

Photos: Instagram and Supplied