My most largely subscribed-to ASMR Channel, Lynn Cinnamon ASMR Beauty, features an absurd amount of beauty and makeup products. Why do I have so much makeup? What do I do with it? Am I being irresponsible? Am I incredibly rich? Do I need therapy to help me with a makeup addiction?
These are all questions I get quite a bit so I thought I’d address this FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) in a blog post.
When I first discovered ASMR several years ago, some of my favorite videos involved people rummaging in makeup bags, tapping on makeup, describing the colors, makeup roll plays, etc. Basically any ASMR video featuring makeup gives me major “tingles,” sends me to a deep relaxed state, and helps me sleep.
I was already in my 30s at the time and so far my history with makeup involved occasionally using a nice foundation that I wasn’t entirely sure matched my skin, drug store mascara (usually L’Oreal, still one of my favs,) Stila eyeliner (another one of my All-Time favs,) and a handful of lipsticks and glosses (a few go-to reds has always been a must for me.) However, there was an exciting world of makeup and beauty that I had never dipped my toes in and I while I was interested in this dazzling new realm, I was incredibly intimidated. There are some seriously talented makeup artists out there and there were so many products I had never heard of before. I knew next to nothing about this area of life! I can tend to have a fragile ego, and a major coping mechanism for me involves relying on my intelligence and knowledge to give me a sense of self and power. Treading into territory I knew hardly anything about was incredibly scary and humbling but I’m glad I did it! (I should note, that on top of it all I was also learning how to make ASMR and how to make videos – which were also things I had previously known nothing about. Makeup was still the most intimidating element of all of this for me, however.)
I tried purchasing some Tarte products, a few other makeup products and signed up for the Ipsy subscription service. The resulting videos I made with these products quickly became my most viewed videos. I still didn’t trust myself at all with makeup but I LOVED makeup ASMR so I tried unboxing and swatching some Kylie Cosmetics products. These videos got lot of attention and good feedback. One where I swatched an eyeshadow palette with various makeup brushes instead of my finger got a lot of negative commentary, however, and tested my fragile self esteem.
I’m already sensitive to negativity and this “backlash” hurt me harder than it should have. My insecurity with my place in the world of makeup made the constant critiques of the “cringe” I caused with my faux pas feel like knife wounds to my heart. I thought that if I couldn’t even swatch a palette without inspiring cringe then how would I ever be able to make makeup-related videos without being rejected and/or endlessly critiqued? I was afraid of the world of nuance I faced.
I would also receive criticisms about the quality of my character for reviewing Kylie products or makeup at all. Dealing with negativity and just how people view me in general has been incredibly difficult for me but I’m grateful that I decided to stick with ASMR and with makeup videos because I’ve grown so much as a person. I realized I had gotten too comfortable with myself before I entered the realm of YouTube. I have also developed a genuine love for makeup and the people who are passionate about makeup. I had to realize that maybe why I was so afraid of being judged for showcasing and reviewing makeup is because I probably had some underlying prejudices of my own I needed to get rid of. (I may write sometime in the future about what these these deep prejudices and insecurities were and how facing them has helped me grow as a person.) I’ve even considered going back to school to learn more about makeup if I can get my channels to the level where I can afford the time and tuition that sort of endeavor would cost.
Speaking of finances, a major comment I get about my makeup ASMR videos is about how much the makeup featured in my videos costs, how I pay for it, and concerns about me potentially having a “problem” or a makeup addiction. The reality is that my makeup videos do so well that I decided to dedicate my main channel to makeup and build up other channels for my other ASMR passions. Right now my makeup videos are funding my other channels but I believe in their ability to grow into dynamic and successful ASMR channels as well. I am lucky enough to have enough people watch my makeup videos that this pays for the makeup itself and I am even now starting to make a bit of a profit from my makeup videos. I am also open to working with brands to review products they may choose to send me without sacrificing the honesty of my opinions. These type of situations are privileges and not something I rely on. One thing some viewers may not consider is that I often use the makeup I haul and swatch in multiple subsequent videos, and that it’s not just the views of any particular video – but the views overall of my channel that contribute to my budget.
I see the makeup I purchase for videos as supplies – it’s kind of like buying supplies for making jewelry to sell on Etsy or at an art festival. In this case – the makeup itself is not transformed into something else to sell, but it used as a prop to produce videos that generate revenue from the Adsense advertising system on YouTube and from affiliate marketing programs. I try to make clear which of my links are affiliate links and which are not. When you click on an affiliate link, a portion of any purchase you make on that website (including items that are not the specific product you linked to) goes towards the person or company who supplied the affiliate link. I am grateful and lucky to be in the position to make money from playing with makeup on camera and don’t take it for granted at all.
I don’t believe that I have a makeup addiction, shopping addiction or any problem like that that would require professional help (Don’t get me wrong, I need a lot of professional help, but not in regards to this issue.) The reason why I think this is because these makeup choices are done within a responsible, strategic business model and for creative purposes and not through compulsive, whimsical attempts to fill a void. The amount of makeup I have for use in videos is excessive for most individuals and I am in no way recommending to my audience to purchase excessive amounts of makeup or anything else, especially if it will negatively impact your life in some way. I recommend making decisions based on what you can afford and what enhances your own life. This makeup enhances my life because it part of my business model and I am able to express myself creatively in many ways with this makeup. It has not deteriorated my quality of life, but instead has helped open doors for me and my lifepath and hopefully helped me entertain, inform, and possibly even help some people through the videos I make with it.
I see what I do with makeup ASMR to have multiple purposes. The top purpose for me is to provide relaxation and an ASMR experience similar to what I feel when I watch makeup themed ASMR. The second purpose is to provide information and demonstration of makeup products that a potential consumer or someone with a general interest in makeup wants to know about. There is a third purpose, which may be a bit self-indulgent on my part, but I enjoy having an artistic element to my videos – whether it involves actually drawing or painting with makeup or focusing on the aesthetics of the products themselves.
Oddly enough, most of the way I express myself with makeup isn’t on my face, but through the ASMR content I am able to create with it. I do try to devote time to learning and developing my makeup application skills and while I am still not very skilled, I feel muuuuuch more confident than I did when I made those first few videos. I am definitely not a makeup artist, but at the same time I believe I create a kind of art using makeup products and packaging.
Do I do Giveaways?
Yes. I occasionally work with companies for giveaways and I also purchase products for giveaways to my audience when I can. I cannot giveaway any makeup that I have swatched or used on my skin, or anyone else’s skin, for sanitary reasons.
Do I sell the Makeup?
When I first started featured makeup in my videos I would sometimes buy products to feature in videos and then resell later. I still have that intention with many products you see in my other ASMR videos like toys and collectables. I did swatch an eyeshadow palette one time before selling it and sanitized it with alcohol before shipping it off. The seller knew it was swatched and said they couldn’t even tell it had been swatched when they received it. I do regret doing that, however, and will no longer sell or giveaway products of any kind that I have swatched.
In the past I did sell items that I had not swatched but merely showed off and tapped on. I may sell product like that in the future if I receive something I will not swatch, but as long as my channels continue to do well I will no doubt include any hypothetical item like that in a giveaway. Most items that are on my channel are swatched and/or tested in some way to provide ASMR, an aesthetic experience, and product information for my viewers so I cannot give away or sell 99.99% of the products in my videos.
I am enamored with the beauty and artfulness of most of these products and their packaging as well as their cultural significance, so I do have a collector’s mentality towards these items. I try to recycle empty/expired products when possible if I do not intend to keep the packaging for future videos and/or to store in a collection. I will eventually cull my collection, of course, and may look toward sanitizing expired used products for sale and/or giveaway just for the collector’s value of it and not for cosmetic use.
I hope this post addressed any questions or concerns you may have regarding this issue.
*Disclaimer: Links to products and brands in this blog post are affiliate links