A Sephora Employee Confirms the Tween Takeover Is Real

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Of course, much of this demand is about — you guessed it! — capitalism. Tweens see their peers using these products and want them for themselves; it’s an age-old story anyone who coveted an Herbal Essences shampoo or Clinique lip gloss because their BFF got one can relate to. Everyone’s online 24/7, and you’re bombarded with YouTube tutorials and TikTok hauls about this new body cream and that new blush. Many tweens have become creators in their own right, with followers hanging on their every skin-care step. “A lot of our traffic and sales for the demographic surround what’s big on TikTok or who they saw using what,” the anonymous employee shares. “I’ve chatted about this with coworkers who noticed the same thing … the group is much more likely to try something they saw online rather than shopping around for themselves or off of employee recommendations.”

Getting product recommendations from people you admire is nothing new no matter your age. However, the price point for many of these brands is significantly higher than the trendy products of the ’90s, 2000s and early 2010s, and many have expressed concerns about tweens using the highly active ingredients in Drunk Elephant products on their youthful skin. The brand itself responded to the controversy on Instagram, saying that yes, Drunk Elephant is okay for kids and tweens, but to “stay away from our more potent products that include acids and retinols—their skin does not need these ingredients quite yet.” Some skin care brands, like Bubble and BTWN, are targeted to a younger customer, with gentle formulas at a more accessible price point, like the Clean & Clear and Neutrogena of the 2020s.

It’s worth noting that in recent years, many of the stores geared towards older kids and tweens have closed or moved online, including Justice, formerly known as Limited Too. There aren’t many designated spaces for this age group to shop, and thus they’re moving into more traditionally “grown-up” spaces like Lululemon and Sephora. It’s also worth noting that this has become a TikTok trend in its own right and there’s no telling whether or not all of these stories are actually true or just engagement-bait.

Teen Vogue spoke to an actual 10-year-old about the uptick in Sephora visits and Gen Alpha’s fascination with all things skin care and makeup. “It’s just a thing we do,” she shared. “I get it, Bratz dolls were probably popular when you were 10 years old. But I’m a kid 1705073299 and this is what’s popular. This is the new toy that we have. This is a new generation, we’re Generation Alpha. And I’m proud of that.”

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