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Is the beauty space DYING?!

An opinion by Staci Reafsnyder

We have seen a drastic shift in the beauty space over the past year. Not only are we seeing many beauty brands closing - such as Morphe, Beauty Bakerie, and more - but we are seeing a shift in content from creators, as well as creators uploading less or leaving the space altogether. 

I wanted to take a moment to sit down and talk with y’all about my thoughts on the changes the beauty space is seeing. This goes for brands, but also for beauty creators - myself included. If you have not seen my recent video about dupe culture in the makeup space, I highly encourage you to check it out! 

Whether we like it or not, the beauty space is drastically changing. On my community tab, I opened a poll to hear your thoughts about what’s going on. 

In the poll, I asked: How do you feel the beauty space is changing, with the following options available, or to comment below and this is what y’all said:

  • 13%  said we’re going to see an increase in brands closing 

  • 17% said we’re going to see an increase in beauty YouTubers leaving the space — either completely “retiring” or changing genres

  • 13% said beauty YouTube is going to revert back to more tutorial-based 

  • 0% said reviews on new  makeup as prominent — more “once in a blue moon”

  • 57% said all of the above

We’re going to continually see beauty brands closing. 

The beauty industry began to really boom in 2016 and 2017 with the rise of the makeup influence in the YouTube space, as well as it trickling into the Instagram Space. This was back before TikTok and short-form content. When long-form content, beauty blogging, and beauty photography were the thing. There are several beauty influencers on YouTube today who started as just bloggers, such as Jen Phelps, and Samantha March for example. 

With the boom in the beauty industry, we saw an influx of new makeup brands. Not just more ‘mainstream’ beauty brands, but also independent beauty brands, and celebrity beauty brands. 

We saw numerous new brands hit the market during this time frame including:

  1. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

  2. Kaja Beauty

  3. Kosas

  4. Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez

  5. Tower 28 Beauty

  6. Uoma Beauty

  7. Persona Cosmetics

  8. One Size by Patrick Starrr

  9. Patrick Ta Beauty 

  10.  GXVE Beauty by Gwen Stefani 

  11.  Haus Labs by Lady Gaga 

  12. Unearthly Cosmetics 

  13. Gourmande Girls Cosmetics

  14. Tati Beauty 

But , this beauty boom has been short-lived as we have seen “OG” beauty brands shutting their doors or filing bankruptcy in recent months such as:

  1. REVLON - a brand that has been around since the 1930s filed Chapter 11 in June of 2022. They emerged from bankruptcy in May of 2023 with a new board and new owners of the company.

  2. Morphe - they filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and are still going through those proceedings today. In December of 2023, it was announced they abruptly closed all of their Standalone stores across the United States.

  3. Beauty Bakerie - as of March 2024, they announced the complete shutdown of the brand which was started back in 2010

  4. BH Cosmetics - filed chapter 11 and then was bought out by Makeup Revolution

  5. Makeup Revolution - while they didn’t officially file chapter 11, they were spotlighted for the company having financial problems 

  6. Becca Cosmetics - the brand was completely shut down with some of their staple products merged into Smash Box Cosmetics, a sister brand. 

  7. Kylie Cosmetics - While not completely closed, Kylie Cosmetics underwent a significant restructuring in 2020 when Coty, Inc. acquired a majority stake in the brand. The brand's founder, Kylie Jenner, stepped back from day-to-day operations.

  8. Tati Beauty - founded by YouTuber Tati Westbrook closed in 2021 after only two launches of product. This was due to legal reasons, but I thought I should mention that as well. 

There have been more brands in the mix, but I wanted to highlight on these. Industry changes, market trends, and business decisions have all contributed to this.

With trends in the beauty market, we have also seen trends shift in the makeup and beauty creator space. Not only do we have YouTube as a form of content - short or long form - we now have Instagram Reels, and TikTok with all of its short-form content. New beauty influencers emerge daily --it feels like-- and there are several now on the platform. In a space where there used to be “it” influencers, we’ve seen a widespread increase in general in makeup and beauty creators. I am not saying this is a bad thing…or a good thing either. With this boom in new content creators, we’ve seen an oversaturation in the space. Across many niches - not just beauty, unfortunately. 

With that being said, we’ve also seen many creators either stop posting altogether and left, or they’ve drastically changed their content. 

2) We’re going to see an increase in beauty YouTubers leaving the space — either completely “retiring” or changing genres.

  1. Taylor Wynn - she used to almost exclusively post beauty content and literally started integrating her nomad lifestyle into her channel, as well as home decor and hair hacks, etc. 

  2. RachhLoves - she has changed from completely beauty reviews to TikTok hacks, amazon’s most wished-for products, clickbait products on Instagram ads and more…  and tests those products. It is not all beauty-focused anymore but can be anything from fashion, to housewares, to kids things, pool things and more. 

  3. Samantha March - she used to focus hybridly on book reviews and content mixed with makeup. Her channel has taken a shift, focusing on day in the life, “get ready with me” content and vlogs. She does incorporate beauty, but not as much as she used to. 

  4. Seeking Alexandria - This is a smaller creator, known for her vibrant personality and amazing reviews. Many compared her to a more lively and upbeat Tati, in regards to her reviews. She has since left YouTube altogether - If I remember correctly she left in April of 2021 and hasn’t really uploaded since; except for some short-form content. She is occasionally on Instagram and Tiktok.

  5. XOXO Staci -  I have started changing my content. I want to include not only unfiltered reviews, but also old-school tutorials, and unfiltered opinions content. Commentary, if you will. You may have seen that recently on my channel. 

These are just some examples - leave me a comment below on some things you’ve noticed among creators you follow. 

Which brings me to point number three and four: 

3) Beauty YouTube is going to revert to more tutorial-based, reviews will still be there but they’re not going to be as prominent as what they once were. 

As we’ve seen a shift in the beauty space with creators, we’re going to see it more, I think.  More commentary-based content, more “podcast” type content, as well as a reversion back to old-school tutorials. Because that is what the people are asking for! That is what they’re craving. And while tutorials are floating around out there from other creators, we have also seen that they’re suppressed in the algorithm and replaced with other content; review content. 

Also, makeup has changed! There is so much good makeup out there when it comes to also providing a tutorial or makeup hacks, that we do need fresh content in that regard. Some makeup that was used in those old tutorials no longer exists and we need fresh content. That is why every year you see creators doing a ‘drugstore makeup starter kit’ to refresh their list of what they’d use in a drugstore makeup starter kit. Makeup quality has changed so much, and products are discontinued. 

We need fresh content in this regard. 

There is no doubt that the makeup space is changing. We are going to continually see creators changing their content. I truly believe that we are going to see more brands close as the market continues to be oversaturated with so many makeup brands. 


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