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The Impact of Technology on the Beauty and Fashion Industry

By Haylee Thorson

It’s no secret that technology has completely revolutionized the way we interact with the fashion and beauty industry. Instead of going to the store and trying out 10 different concealers until we find the perfect fit for us, we can simply go on our phones and see what YouTubers, TikTokers and Instagram influencers are using. Instead of trying to teach ourselves how to do trendy fox eyeliner without any help, we can simply look up a YouTube tutorial and follow along. Instead of frantically searching for the same pair of jeans that we saw someone wearing on the street, we can simply click on links to products through social media posts and access them within seconds. From viral trends and tech accessories, to online thrifting and social shopping, here are four ways technology has transformed the beauty and fashion industry as a whole.

Viral TikTok Trends

Characterized by viral videos and short-lived sensations, TikTok has become many people’s go-to for popular products and top trends. Products like Maui Babe Browning Lotion, The Ordinary skincare and Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper have exploded overnight and even sold out on some websites due to their cult status on TikTok. Because the app is a visual platform that delivers instant gratification due to its one-minute time limit, people are able to quickly see how well a product works and if it is worth purchasing. Aside from introducing users to new beauty products, TikTok has also become a place where people share the latest fashion trends. Whether TikTokers are showing off stylish apparel from different decades, posing in outfits they’d wear if they were a cartoon character or flaunting their various days of the week aesthetics, the app has become a great place for users to inspire others with their creativity and unique sense of style.

Technology as an Accessory

While technology has made it easy for certain products and trends to go viral, we can’t ignore the fact that technology itself can also be considered a trend. From Apple Watches and iPhones to headphones and cameras, models, celebrities and influencers alike have been using tech accessories to make a statement. Whether Bella Hadid is spotted wearing a pair of Apple headphones while wandering the streets of LA or Kendall Jenner is posing for an Instagram photo while showing off her iPhone and Nintendo Switch, technology is undoubtedly becoming one of the biggest fashion trends of 2020. With mirror selfies and laptop photos becoming so prominent on social media, people want to make sure that their phones are matching their overall aesthetic. This phenomenon has led to a widespread popularity of phone case brands like Wildflower Cases because people now believe that phones are a central component to any outfit.

Online Thrifting

With fashion lovers around the world beginning to understand the harmful effects of fast fashion, thrifting has become a great and sustainable option. However, because thrifting has become so popular, second-hand stores in major cities are getting completely cleaned out by waves of shoppers. Luckily, thrifting isn’t strictly an in-person activity anymore. Apps like ThredUp, Depop and The RealReal have used technology to their advantage and become global hubs for online thrift shopping. Whether you want to sell your old clothes, score some vintage pieces or buy luxury products for a fraction of the price, you can easily do any of these things from the comfort of your own home. By second-hand shopping online, people can use technology to reduce their carbon footprint, find one-of-a-kind clothing and drastically improve their sense of style.

Social Commerce

The incorporation of social commerce on Instagram is another way technology has completely transformed the way we interact with the world of fashion and beauty. From shopping icons and product links to IGTV and Instagram stories, this social media platform has made it incredibly easy for users to shop while they socialize. Whether influencers are throwing together chic outfits and including shoppable tags or brands are using the swipe up feature to introduce their latest products, Instagram has made shopping easier than ever before. Instead of having to go to the store and manually pick out things to test or try on, Instagram has turned the shopping process into a unique and visual experience. Seeing your favorite brands, celebrities and influencers style makeup and outfits in innovative ways is incredibly inspiring and makes it a lot easier to recreate looks—especially when they include product links in all of their posts. Final Thoughts While some may think technology has had a negative impact on the fashion and beauty industry, I’d say it’s quite the opposite. Technology has introduced a wide array of opportunities for people to share their creativity with others, follow the latest trends, introduce new looks, and even make a positive difference in the world. Even though technology has its downfalls, it’s up to you to use it in a way that makes you happy and lets your personality shine.

Haylee Thorson is an editorial writer who specializes in beauty, culture, and travel. Follow her on Instagram.


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