Glambot: Budget-Friendly Sustainability, or Just Kinda Icky?

by Aditi Peyush

This is the age of sustainability, with students flocking local thrift stores for unique pieces, toting reusable canvas bags, and carrying around metal straws. Our generation is trying its hardest to conserve the planet as we know it. So how should we feel about buying used makeup?

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Glambot is an online store that contains a wide variety of discontinued and rare makeup-a beauty guru’s dream-however, it is pre-owned makeup. Glambot maintains its brand by adding that the founder, Karen Horiuchi, is a fellow makeup aficionado. By perusing the website, customers get a good idea of the brands that Glambot resells, from higher end brands like Burberry, Dior, and Givenchy, to more widely used brands like Tarte, ITCosmetics, and ColourPop. Though, one concern with buying makeup products online is that it can take away the all too-known scenario of walking into a shiny Sephora with wide-eyes and leaving with a hand full of swatches and products.

On the Glambot Cares tab, you can see how the products are sanitized and shipped to ensure no damage occurs in transit. The website is a great option for someone wanting to experiment with a specific color or a new brand, however, the idea of using a product that has already been worn is a bit concerning. When asked her opinion on the concept, Jaime Gonora (CCIS ’21) said “personally it depends on the product. I wouldn’t buy like a loose powder or item with a wand because they’re hard to sanitize but a bottle of face wash or something I would.” Which alternatively brings up a concern that the FDA doesn't require cosmetics companies to include the expiration date for their products, so in theory, consumers don’t know how old the product is. With our skin being the body’s largest organ, it’s fair to be uneasy about the products being slathered onto it. Though most of us may be guilty of not throwing away our mascara after three months, many dermatologists say that containers are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and most preservatives in makeup don’t last long enough to withstand those effects. If you wouldn’t drink contaminated water, you probably shouldn’t be using expired makeup, it can cause styes, irritation, swelling, and in extreme cases-temporary blindness.

Image courtesy of Glambot

Image courtesy of Glambot

Another Northeastern student, Farzin Sadeq, a close friend (COS ’21) commented “I would not buy products that are directly applied to the eyes, face, or body like concealer or mascara. Even if they are sanitized there’s still a risk of bacteria sticking to the wand itself, and those products shouldn't be shared regardless.” Considering so many things that can make young skin break out, it’s good to err on the side of cautious. However, for makeup collectors, this website could be a good way to accrue certain timeless collections, like Mac Makeup’s Selena collection that was released in 2016, or the Lorde collection released in 2014.

So while it’s fun to explore new makeup options and save the planet while doing so, always prioritize your skincare above all, and let us know if you try Glambot.