My Anti-Haul: 5 Things I Just Won't Buy

My Anti-Haul: 5 Things I Just Won't Buy | Writing Between Pauses

You might be wondering: what is an anti-haul?

If you aren't tuned in to beauty gurus on YouTube, you'd be forgiven for not knowing what an anti-haul is. Started by Kimberly Clark, an anti-haul is basically a list of things you won't buy for various reasons: ethical issues with the company or individual who makes the product, bad packaging or design, or some other issue. Sometimes, they can be petty. But sometimes, they can be really fun. 

I really enjoy anti-haul videos. And while some people might think they are needlessly negative, I completely disagree. Sometimes, there is value in admitting that, even if you love makeup, you don't need to buy every single product. At their heart, anti-hauls are anti-consumerism--and if you know me, you know that one thing I really struggle with, in being a lifestyle blogger, is ensuring that I'm not recommending aimless or needless spending. The idea of collecting merely to collect, or to have without using, is pretty repulsive (and stressful) to me. By watching anti-hauls, I feel like I get a better list to narrow down products that are worth purchasing. 

Another reason I love anti-hauls is because they allow us (bloggers and vloggers) opportunities to explain how and why we vote with our wallets. My favorite beauty podcast, Natch Beaut, talks about this a lot: when you purchase a product, you're effectively endorsing that company. And if you don't agree with what that company does, you don't give them money, you don't endorse them. I believe in this wholeheartedly. And there are times where I purchase or review things that make me feel bad (like Maybelline or any company that tests on animals), but it's often because other options just aren't working for me. Overwhelmingly, however, I try to only purchase from ethical companies, and anti-hauls, especially from other influencers, allow me to learn more about the people behind the brands. 

So without further ado, here are 5 things I just won't be buying. 

1. Flesh

When I first started seeing ads for Flesh on my Facebook and Instagram, I got excited. A brand, called Flesh, that features a huge array of shades and challenges what the color "flesh tone" realy is. Baby, I'm interesting. And then, I found out they are owned by Revlon. Yeah, you heard me: Flesh the brand is owned by Revlon. Here is a good Twitter thread on why this is problematic, especially as Flesh has poised itself as a "woke" and inclusive brand. I'm disappointed, but guess what? They're not getting my money. 

2. Kat Von D

I don't know if I really need to wax poetic about this one, but I've long been suspicious of Kat Von D because of some poor choices for lipstick colors, including "Underage Red" (YIKES) and "Selektion" (a German word that refers to the selection process during the Holocaust, extreme YIKES). She has some pretty serious ties to antisemitic people and has been caught up in some antisemitic actions herself. But what sealed the deal for me was her anti-vaccine posts on Instagram. And I know what people are going to say: it's her choice and she's allowed to make it. Yes and no. I won't get into it here, but vaccination is an issue of public health; it's not just about her and her baby. And it's my choice to not give money to someone who believes that immunocompromised people can just bite it because they did 5 minutes of Google research. Also, her husband uses swastikas in his artwork and is probably not the father of the year based on this interview. (And yes, it sucks that Kat is such a prominent vegan and behaves this way.) 

3. Any brand by any beauty guru

Every time a beauty guru launches a new brand, I feel a little bit like I'm suffocating. The careers of YouTube beauty gurus stress me out as it is (I really, really would like to see them diversify their business and also, they need to be collecting their sub list somewhere OFF of YouTube just in case the platform dies overnight), so to see them sink money into a brand that will most likely wither and die in the next 5 years really stresses me out. And add to that: most guru brand launches are lackluster. A set of nude lipsticks. A palette with the same dry, warm-toned neutrals. Yawn. Wake me up when it gets interesting, ok? 

4. Warm-toned neutral eye palettes

If I see another copper-toned eye palette, I'm actually just going to throw myself into the sea. Every palette has the same warm, neutral transition shades. The same copper. The same pumpkin orange. The same white. The same shades, over and over again. I'm tired. I'm bored. Make a cool-toned palette PLEASE. 

5. Your MLM

I think every blogger has had a moment where they get a DM from someone in a MLM, admiring our "hustle" and asking if we want to "bump up our business." It's exhausting. I've recommended a few MLM products in my day and while some things I like individually, the pushy nature of those in MLMs, and the feeling that my friendships are withering because all my friends now only want to see me in order to sell me gross oils or something else, really turn me off. No, I don't want to try a waist wrap or some kind of powder to replace my morning coffee or any essential oils. I just want to Instagram in peace. Thank you.