Investment vs. Gimmick: Viral Instagram Beauty Trends to Try or Avoid

met gala gold mask kate hudson
Photo: Courtesy of @KateHudson

Ever since Instagram started allowing businesses to market directly to users on the popular social-media platform, our feeds have been inundated with advertisements promising the “next big thing” in beauty. From supplements and weight loss teas to hilarious bubble masks, there is a seemingly endless host of new products to skim through every day. However, not all new beauty products are created equal; in fact, some are downright gimmicks. We did the research, and came up with a bona fide list of Instagram beauty products to trust and invest in, and others to stay far away from.

The Good



You have, no doubt, seen a wide array of face masks on Instagram, from tingly bubble masks that turn your face into a literal cloud to 24k gold masks that take the term “glow’d up” seriously. We’re here to tell you that the majority of these masks are typically safe investments. Of the most popular products on Instagram, choose from Tony Moly’s peel-off sheets, Blaq Masksintense activate charcoal goop, Dr. Brandt’s magnetic mask, bubble masks from Nature Republic, Patchology’s celebrity-loved ‘Lip Renewal’ mask, and Kaprielle for those cool gilded foil masks.

Bella Hadid face mask
Photo: Courtesy of @BellaHadid

Beauty Innovations

One of the most refreshing aspects of shopping for beauty on Instagram is discovering new and innovative brands that are disrupting the beauty market. We covered a host of them recently, from Phlur’s organic fragrance kits to Function of Beauty’s hair formulations that are made exactly for your locks and your locks only. Instagram beauty brands are paving the way for consumers to get their hands on affordable, highly tailored, customized products.

Function of Beauty
Photo: Courtesy of @FunctionOfBeauty

Social-Media Makeup Companies

Recently, Kylie Jenner of the Kardashian-Jenner empire spoke to WWD about the immense success of her eponymous Kylie Cosmetics line. It turns out that, in the first 18 months of owning her own business, Jenner sold nearly half a billion dollars worth of products and is on pace to hitting the billion-dollar mark in the coming year. For a little perspective, it took Bobbi Brown 25 years to hit a billion dollars in sales. Jenner owes the astonishing growth of her company to her direct-to-consumer marketing via unconventional channels like Instagram and Snapchat.

There are a few other noteworthy Instagram cosmetics companies that are also making a bid for your beauty dollar, from 3ina’s affordable, deeply pigmented products to amazing success stories over at Melt Cosmetics, Makeup Geek Cosmetics, Lipland, Colourpop, and Juvia. Make sure you give them each a follow as they are all very actively engaged with users and offer great deals and new products all year round.

Kylie Cosmetics
Photo: Courtesy of @KylieCosmetics

The Bad


Waist Trainers

What started as a Kardashian-fueled fad quickly became one of the biggest “fitness” trends in the world. Waist trainers, or steel-lined corsets that force your tummy into an hourglass shape, are one of the reputed ways to cheat the diet-and-exercise route to weight loss. While there is evidence that, given time (and we mean six months to a year or more), waist trainers can help slim your trunk, they are far more dangerous than they are beneficial.

Not only do you have to wear the suffocating trainer for several hours a day in order to see results, but its constrictive powers are so severe that it can literally rearrange your organs. Physicians have come forward by the dozens to declare that waist trainers cause irreparable damage to the spine, liver, large intestines, and small intestines.

Still not convinced? When you stop wearing one for even a short period of time, all of that fat you have repositioned situates itself right back where it was, thereby totally undoing all of the “training”. Furthermore, some people have been trying to amplify the benefits of waist trainers by wearing them while they work out, only to suffer painful rib damage. Our advice? Skip the waist trainer and try a personal trainer instead.

Khloe Kardashians waist trainer
Photo: Courtesy of @KhloeKardashian


Instagram vitamin companies, like Hum and Ritual, have been praised for their transparent practices, tailor-made products, and superfood-packed chewables. However, other types of supplements like Shredz’s “fat burning” nutritional supplements, offer little more than proverbial snake oil. By paying fitness models and Instagram personalities to promote these products, they offer the air of legitimacy, even though their extreme claims are completely unverifiable. Be wary of any product that promises results that sound too good to be true, especially if they are formulated by a marketing company, rather than a reputable supplement manufacturer.

Christine Fitness Shredz model
Photo: Courtesy of @Christine_Fitness

Weight-Loss Teas

You may have seen a celebrity or influencer you admire post about the benefits of “weight-loss teas”, but that doesn’t mean the benefits of the products they’re hawking are verified. Be especially wary of teas because the “weight-loss” additive in the majority of them are laxatives, meaning they’ll seem like they’re benefiting your waistline but literally only because the product is forcing your intestines to react. Flat Tummy Tea, Teami, BooTea, Skinny Mint, FitTea Wraps, and other similar brands are in the game of selling products and offer no evidence that their teas work for weight loss or detoxification

Kim Kardashian fit tea
Photo: Courtesy of @KimKardashian
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