Dear reader, we have to address the harsh truth that we have both been avoiding. Summer is over. And while I am happy to not be sweating in my sleep every night, I know we both will miss the amazing gifts that summer gives us, like sunny summer days, thrilling summer blockbusters, and countless summer makeup launches.

As an adieu to the season of hot, I thought I would talk about some of the summer makeup releases we’ve been gifted. A lot of popular brands, like Fenty Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Mac Cosmetics, have released new products. I thought I’d review those launches for you, reader — until I realized something.

Well, to be honest I realized a couple of things. First, I realized that I do not have the funds to buy even a meager number of products necessary to form an opinion on any of these makeup launches. Second, I realized that if you truly wanted a review of these makeup launches you could just go to YouTube and look up someone who makes a living off of giving makeup reviews. (I’m talking the likes of Jaclyn Hill, James Charles, and Jackie Aina.)

In fact, when I was looking through the vast multitudes of videos reviewing different products, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of products that makeup companies seem to be constantly pumping out. Each product amassed hundreds of reviews, each video garnering substantial viewership.

It made me realize this is a trend across many fashion and image-based consumer product industries — there always seems to be a new jean trend to jump on, a new indie makeup brand to obsess over, or a new addition to a skincare routine that you didn’t know you needed until now.

I’m not trying to hate on new collections or new products. What is life but a collection of new experiences — and every new product that comes out is a possible great new experience. But maybe this constant production of new commodities isn’t the most practical thing for the average person to participate in.

Some people can’t participate in them (like yours truly) because they don’t want to or can’t spend money on the newest products. Some people instead follow the brands on social media, watch videos about their products (also like yours truly). Most people don’t buy everything that they watch reviews for or try on for fun at Sephora. But this mindset of always wanting or looking forward to the new thing is deeply embedded in us.

It all seems a bit cyclical. The minute one product is a little old, here comes another shiny new one, ready for purchase. It’s a genius marketing strategy — if there’s always something you don’t have, you’ll always want to buy something. And even if you don’t specifically want that product, there’s this subconscious knowledge that you don’t have everything you could have. And that contributes to you eventually buying something you don’t need in the future.

Of course, there are some people who are not susceptible to marketing or to bright neon ad campaigns like I am, and those people are better off. But I know that a good segment of the population buys into this “product launch hype”. I think that buying into it isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it can be fun to just find out what new things are out there. Honestly, sometimes the most minute things can be the reason some people get any enjoyment out of their day, and this “product launch hype” can be an example.

But at the end of the day, a brand’s number one goal is to make money. That’s how it stays afloat. That doesn’t mean it’s evil — I just feel like we could all benefit from being a little more cautious. Sure, a product probably could be great, but it could just as well be trash.

That dice is fun to roll sometimes. But there also are a lot of other things to do in life that are just as fun and don’t involve marketing and, reader, I think I’m going to try to spend more time exploring those activities.

UR Snapshots Vol.10: The Yellowjackets who stayed

A quiet quad, an empty Starbucks, closed libraries — here’s what life at UR is like in the middle of a pandemic.

Demon Girl: Sick as Hell 2, COVID-boogaloo

I’ve heard a lot of people describing the coronavirus situation as “hell.” Sorry friends, but Hell is much worse. I know from experience.

UR seniors excited to watch virtual commencement with their parents, painfully hungover

Students claim that being hungover for virtual commencement would not be noticeably different from a traditional in-person ceremony.