Influencers are rebranding themselves as deinfluencers by telling us what not to buy – Screen Shot
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Influencers are rebranding themselves as deinfluencers by telling us what not to buy

Remember the days of shameless influencers pushing products they would never use otherwise in their videos? You couldn’t go more than three seconds on your preferred social media platform without stumbling upon a paid partnership, sponsored video, or PR haul. These phoneys still exist, however, their popularity is now beginning to dim due to a new influencer trend dominating the algorithm. 2023’s new obsession? A craze that desperately tries to paint the pusher as knowledgeable and ‘on your side’. The problem is, what’s in it for them?

Enter the deinfluencer. The latest in influencer culture, helping make their inauthentic, heavily branded personalities seem relatable and restoring some of the authority they’ve lost over the years.

What even is deinfluencing?

Long story short, influencers are no longer trying to build their brand via personal endorsements, but instead work against the grain to advise their followers what not to buy. The trend is yet another attempt for these social media experts to level the field with their audience. Essentially, the face of the video ‘deinfluences’ you by chatting candidly and making it abundantly clear that they’re uninterested and actively against at least one or more popular and viral products.

Though the trend first appeared through genuine tongue-in-cheek reviews  of the countless viral items that are pushed by popular content creators, it was quickly hijacked by the very ones who created the problem in the first place.


De-influencing you, no more over consumption or else 💣💥! 😡😤 #GenshinImpact34

♬ original sound - Estef

Almost overnight, creators began to jump on the bandwagon and join the trend, seemingly in hopes of boosting their brand and online authority. This conversation and well meaning insight into overconsumption was picked up by the very same influencers who usually peddle these shifty, FOMO-inducing products to the masses. In one video, we’re reassured  that this “isn’t an ad or anything like that,” just earnest experience with products and the convenient offering of alternatives. And just like that, another trend turns sour.


Oops #deinfluencing

♬ original sound - Brooke

The problem with deinfluencing

Whoever first dropped the #deinfluencing—which has since amassed over 111 million views on TikTok—clearly meant well. There is a conversation to be had around the way content creators act with their audience. We’ve seen time and time again consumer behaviour that is self-servicing and predatory. Not to mention the shallowness of the influencer cycle.

However, rather than prioritising genuine authenticity online, what we’ve started to see is a transition into using the trend of deinfluencing as simply another trick in the playbook—one that is very similar to 2022’s don’t buy this, buy that trend that saw every budding influencer suddenly transform into expert consumer forecasters dishing out authority that I’m not sure they were entitled to in the first place.


THIS, Not That; Mens 2022 Winter edition Pt14 💚 #fashion #mensfashion #fyp #streetstyle #trend #trending #thisnotthat #fashionweek #fashiontiktok

♬ B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All) - Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal

While the outright rejection and deinfluence—a new word to add to the gen Z dictionary—of certain products may deny them an occasional brand deal or endorsement, the anti-promotion itself allows the influencer to grow a loyal following and voice of authority which will ultimately pay off for them more in the long run. There is an emphasis on honesty in this viral content which has become a level of candidness people quickly eat up.

Increased engagement inevitably leads to better results from both the creator funds found on apps such as TikTok and Instagram, as well as paid partnerships from rival brands. Also, who’s to say what happens behind the scenes when it comes to influencer-corporation relationships too? We can never be certain that the information we’re being fed is transparent. In fact, for the most part, there’s a high likelihood that there’s some falsehoods present—take #Lashgate for example.

Additionally, it’s likely that the cost of living crisis and global economic deficits have exacerbated the trend, given that it tries to overtly oppose overconsumption and warn that we don’t need every new, cult product that spawns on attention farming apps like TikTok.

The videos are aimed at normal people, regular people just “like me,” one creator attests. The impression given to us is that we’re all in this together.


Replying to @3333333...00 you ask i deliver 🫡 might be some controversial takes here but it needed to be said #deinfluencing

♬ original sound - michelle

A quick look beneath the surface though, and it’s apparent that the sun streaked glossy interiors aren’t as relatable as they’re made out. Are these creators acting altruistically and with good intention? Or are they simply jumping onto the next microtrend that might bring in a little bit more traffic?

Unpacking the controversy behind TikTok beauty influencer Mikayla Nogueira and #LashGate

Since dinosaurs roamed the earth, beauty influencers have been magnets for drama. From James Charles to Jeffree Star, some of the most vicious (and petty) arguments and controversies online have originated from within the inner makeup sanctum. And now, it seems as though TikTok’s favourite cosmetic creator is under fire for an apparent advertising mishap.

Mikayla Nogueira is a 24-year-old beauty influencer who’s been posting on TikTok for almost three years. She’s managed to accumulate over 14 million followers on the platform made up of a loyal fanbase due to her down-to-earth nature and genuinely impressive makeup skills. However, it seems as though some of Nogueira’s following might be about to rethink where to put their trust.

On 25 January 2023, Nogueira posted a video to her page gushing over the new Telescopic Lift L’Oréal mascara. In the video, she exclaimed how the product “literally just changed [her] life,” adding “this looks like false lashes.”


THESE ARE THE LASHES OF MY DREAMS!! @lorealparisusa never lets me down 😭 #TelescopicLift #LorealParisPartner #LorealParis @zoehonsinger

♬ original sound - Mikayla Nogueira

Now, sponsored videos are nothing new—especially when it comes to the world of beautubers (yep, beauty YouTubers) and TikTok makeup creators. However, it became pretty clear that Nogueira was getting a little more ‘artificial’ help to create such an insane lash look. To be frank, it looked as though she’d added the mascara, jumped off camera and added a false lash on, before then cutting back to being on screen. It doesn’t take a beauty expert to spot a lash line.

Almost immediately after the clip was posted, users began flooding the comments section with questions such as: “Girl, did you add falsies at the end? We can see the length in the outer corner,” and statements like, “Don’t gaslight me right now Mikayla.”

Oh, and if you thought people were simply playing around, the term #LashGate is currently trending on TikTok. The internet is truly a haven for chaotic gen Zers.


♬ Blade Runner 2049 - Synthwave Goose

I think the reason so many people are not only perplexed by the video, but genuinely frustrated, is because Nogueira is still denying it. Rather than turn off the comments section under the video, like so many other worried creators, the influencer has been actively replying to the accusations, stating: “Noooo omg L’Oréal would never allow that in a partnered post!!! But y’all proving my point.”

Unfortunately for Nogueira, this isn’t the first time she’s been caught in TikTok’s ruthless web. In 2022, the creator received a tidal wave of criticism after posting a video wherein she stated: “Literally just finished working, it’s 5:19 pm—try being an influencer for the day, try it.”

Naturally, audiences were pretty taken aback by the claims. Being an influencer can of course come with its difficulties and struggles. However, considering the insane financial crisis facing millions of people at the moment, alongside the fact that crucial public sector workers are fighting tooth and nail for fair pay—it’s highly tone deaf to lament over the labours of filming a lipstick tutorial.

In regard to #LashGate, misleading viewers is one of the beauty industry’s most valuable strategies. Particularly, because we operate in a time where our favourite influencers are our most trusted advisors. So when they recommend something, we believe them. But it’s important every once in a while to stop and acknowledge the fact that not everything that comes out of their mouth is honest.