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Why YouTubers are foraging through the bins for make-up


While it is expected that once you reach a certain level of beauty blogger fame you will be sent free cosmetics, in the meantime, some are taking matters into their own hands

A number of beauty YouTubers have started foraging through rubbish bins for make-up – known as ‘dumpster diving’.

Shelbi Orme – aka Shelbizzleee – a YouTuber with 35,000 subscribers, began dumpster diving last year after becoming inspired watching fellow YouTuber Trina do it.

One of her videos from November has amassed over one million views. On that particular dive (behind an Ulta beauty store in the United States) she collected make-up worth over $2,000, of course some of the products had been used so their value may have decreased.

Orme, who hails from Austin, Texas, considers herself an environmentalist, and has an environmental science degree, which she says was the main motivation for doing a dive of her own.

“When I think about the reality of the world we live in, and the wealth inequality that exists, I compare it to the things that are thrown out like it is no big deal and it blows my mind,” the 23-year-old told The Independent. “I am surprised every single time I get a haul.

"Usually, it takes multiple dives to gather up a large amount of make-up with a huge price tag so any one dive can range from zero to $1,000. It is very hit or miss."

Given the value of products she can find, it is perhaps no wonder that she says she has been contacted by viewers who have undertaken their own dives. One of her latest videos, released at the start of the year, shows Orme demonstrating how she sanitises and cleanse her products which she says in the video was a request from viewers.

She draws the line at reusing discarded liquid products, like lipglosses and liquid eye products, which she says cannot be properly sanitised so may contain bacteria. In response to those who brand the whole thing unhygienic, she is adamant she is taking the right precautions. 

“I say that everyone is their own person and has the free will to make their own decisions. You can watch what I do and decide if it is for you or not. I don't use any liquid products or anything that cannot be sanitised. I understand the risks associated and take precautions as necessary.”

While the dive videos currently surround beauty products, Orme is dumpster diving on a daily basis and in the midst of a 30 day challenge where she only eats food from rubbish bins.

Whilst her view count and approvals in the comments may be racking up, Orme says she is contacted by concerned viewers or brands on an almost daily basis.

“I understand it is very different and that our society makes people feel the need to rank others by their socio-economic status and, generally, digging through trash is associated with lower-class people,” she says. “So, naturally, people judge me and tell me I’m disgusting, poor, or white trash but I do not have time to worry about these people. I’m too busy saving thousands.”

Independent News Service