YouTube videos have received tens of billions of views, and many of them offer specific recommendations. In some cases, beauty vloggers also tell their fans what not to buy, and that format is becoming more popular. The Outline has published an in-depth look at the trend of “anti-haul” videos, in which creators look to inform viewers about cosmetic products they see as overpriced and don’t plan on buying.
The Outline traces anti-hauls back to beauty vlogger Kimberly Clark, who since 2015 has released a series of videos that are meant to combat the “virulent consumerism” inherent in the haul format that is so popular on YouTube. “I love watching haul video, I love doing hauls, I love shopping,” said Clark in the original anti-haul video, “but, you know, I don’t need to do this, I don’t need to be buying this stuff and neither do you.”
Over the past months, many creators within the upper echelon of YouTube’s beauty community have joined in on the trend Clark started. Vloggers who have offered their own anti-hauls in 2017 include Jackie Aina and Bella Fiori, both of whom have more than one million subscribers on their respective channels.
A reason why anti-hauls may be gaining steam now is because of the growing distance between some beauty creators and their fans. Cosmetics brands have not been shy about partnering with influencers, and that has led to the development of some products that retail at steep prices. For example, look at Michelle Phan: Arguably the most famous beauty creator on YouTube, she had to reinvent her channel after a partnership with L’oreal met a chilly reception among her fans.
The message is clear: Fans trust the vloggers they watch, but like most other consumers, they’re also after a good deal. Now, thanks to anti-hauls, they can be sure they get exactly that.