It’s undeniable that over the last five years that we’ve collectively become just a smidge obsessed with Instagram. Not just a phenomenon that’s engrossed digital natives or those that live their lives online, but the #insta culture has spread far and wide with even the eldest generations getting in on the action. With the obsession of pictorial snippets and inspirational imagery, it’s lead to the growth of the selfie; at any given opportunity we’re all taking snapshots of ourselves and documenting every inch of our lives for the enjoyment of others, so it’s no surprise that many of us are becoming increasingly concerned about chasing that ideal of perfection and using every tool at our disposal to do so. Personally I find it worrying to see my feed increasingly edited, airbrushed and manipulated so the beautiful women I wish I looked like aren’t even real (so much so that when I’ve bumped into them in real life I honestly didn’t recognise them,) but I do completely understand the pressure we’re all under to be the most #instaperfect we can be.
Over the last few years brands have been quick to jump on the bandwagon
of our adoration for such a platform (although with the algorithm the
way it is I can honestly say I’m falling out of love with it,) providing
us with products that help us look more instagrammable or flatter the
skin when faced with the unforgiving forward-facing iPhone camera. First up there was the Too Faced ‘Selfie Powder Palette‘ which included three shades that helped to ‘enhance your photos’, then Primark created their very own ‘Insta Girl’ collection that contained blue particles to reflect the light and now Rimmel have launched a collection of products that appeals to our inner selfie-addict: including #Insta Duo Contour Sticks, Conceal & Contour palettes, Fix & Go setting spray and Fix & Matte powder, the collection aims to keep us looking perfectly photogenic all day long.
Although Rimmel don’t explicitly say these products are to make you look ‘selfie ready’ or are designed to enhance your photos, the implication is definitely there. The range includes a contouring and highlighting stick to make the most of those cheekbones, a powder to rid you of any shine, a colour correcting and concealer palette to ensure your skin is flawless and a fixing spray to keep it all in place for as long as possible. When I first saw the range I was intrigued and excited (I’ve never been able to resist Rimmel,) but the more I thought about it the more I felt a touch uncomfortable: why does everything have to be about looking perfect and achieving that flawless selfie? Makeup should be fun, yes, practical, yes, provide us with confidence, yes; but make us feel insecure about every little imperfection and encourage us to ‘fix’ them all before we take a selfie? Not so much.
I’m well aware of how cruel other women can be at pointing out every minor imperfection (I’ve lost count of how many rude comments I’ve had about my weight, my eyebrows or my grey hairs over the last twelve months,) but ranges like this surely exacerbate the problem? Rather than appealing to a young generation of women with negative messaging about those inevitable skin issues (it’s perfectly normal to have pimples, a greasy t-zone or dark circles under your eyes from too many late nights) maybe we should flip the messaging and make it about taking control and ensuring you feel as good as possible for yourself and yourself alone? I’m all for the power of makeup and embrace everything it’s about wholeheartedly, but I can’t help but think we’re all striving for perfection rather than enjoying every facet our individual faces have to offer. As for the products themselves, if we ignore the overarching messaging (rather ironically) they’re actually really good and definitely one of my fave launches of late.
#INSTA FIX & MATTE POWDER (£4.99)
I’ve been a long time user of the Rimmel powders over the last twenty years (got that makes me sound old,) but the fact that this one has hashtags on it makes it seem so much more exciting! Translucent so it works with every skin tone, it applies incredibly well to help set makeup and minimise shine, while acting as a great touch up throughout the day when you rebuff a touch into the skin. You can’t go wrong with this.
#INSTA DUO CONTOUR STICKS (£6.99)
Although I’ve not bothered with contouring for quite some time, I really like these duo sticks. Available in three shades (YEY for Rimmel realising there are darker skin tones out there!) each contains a highlighting crayon and a crayon that adds subtle shadow too; they’re creamy and pigmented without being scary, offering an on-the-go solution or a way to chisel those cheekbones whether or not you have any skill.
#INSTA CONCEAL & CONTOUR PALETTES (£5.99)
Non-greasy and well pigmented considering their price, these include a highlighting formula, a contouring formula and a concealer. Not really suited for my slightly ageing skin (the dryness tends to sit in my fine lines) but perfect for those 25 and under, the trios are a good daily solution for helping to even out skintone and create a flattering base. You wouldn’t want to use this and the duo stick, and it’s definitely not my fave of the range, but Rimmel do great basics that always tick a box.
#INSTA FIX & GO SETTING SPRAY (£6.99)
Setting sprays are having a moment, especially as we get into the warmer months when our faces have a tendency to slip as soon as we step outside. This spritz is designed to fix makeup in place and provide a boost of hydration when used throughout the day, but from my experience it didn’t do much other than refresh me during a warm afternoon on the tube. Less fixing and more refreshing, I think this will be popular during summer but doubt it will be a re-purchase.
In summary, it’s undoubtedly the messaging and not the product I have a slight issue with. Rimmel are simply jumping on a trend and appealing to their young audience, and they’re definitely not alone at identifying our selfie culture, but I just wish they’d let the products stand up and do the talking – rather than relying on our insecurities to sell contouring sticks. With so much negativity online I think we need to flip reverse it and be more positive and accepting: to ourselves and eachother. Makeup alone will never be able to ‘fix’ you, and to be honest you don’t need fixing anyway. You’re fabulous just the way you are…
What do you think? Are you a touch fed up of so much focus being on creating the perfect selfie, or do you think I’m just reading to much into a fun and effective range from one of the UK’s most loved brands?
The Rimmel London #Insta range is available online and in stores nationwide, priced from £6.50.
Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.