A curvaceous perfume bottle that bears a striking resemblance to a 1990s classic. A palette of what looks like eyeshadow, with ingredients not FDA-approved for use around the eye. A new foundation coming out with only 11 varying shades of beige. Since launching in April 2018, Estée Laundry’s Instagram page has specialized in calling out shady behavior in the beauty world, and has since evolved into the industry’s biggest and most powerful watchdog.
But for an account that is now ubiquitous among beauty insiders, Estée Laundry started out a complete mystery. With just a few thousand followers to its name, the group seemed to emerge out of thin air, and quickly made clear its mission: to do for the beauty industry what Diet Prada had done for fashion. So, just like Diet Prada pointed out designer bags getting ripped off by major retailers or cultural appropriation on the runway, Estée Laundry called out mass brands for copying high-end designer packaging or white models wearing enough extra-dark bronzer to be considered borderline blackface.