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TikTokers 'finesse the system' while shopping for Chanel products: '[It] looks like I have money'

Katie Mather
·2-min read

Teenagers on TikTok claim to have discovered a shopping hack that lets them pretend to look richer than they actually are. TikTokers are flocking to Chanel's online shopping site to buy the cheapest thing listed — a $20 pack of 100 cotton rounds.

For reference, a pack of 100 basic, non-designer cotton rounds, like at any regular drug store, costs around $1.99.

In addition to the luxe packaging, the $20 order comes with two free sample products. But the most important thing is the box it comes in.

"I finessed the system," Erin Smelcer, a college student on TikTok, said in her Chanel unboxing video which drew more than 7 million views. "The only reason I did this was to see if they actually sent it in this packaging because it's just pretty amazing."

The packaging is a sleek white box with Chanel printed across the front — nothing you'd expect to see when ordering cotton rounds from any other site.

"These are not normal cotton pads, these are Chanel cotton pads," Smelcer said in the second part of her unboxing series on TikTok. "Each of them has the Chanel logo on them so I will be washing my face in luxury."

"They finessed you you [paid] $15 for cotton pads," someone commented.

"It's really more for the packaging and to have a Chanel box," Smelcer continued in part three.

Smelcer isn't the only one who appreciates this hack. Chanel even seems to understand the appeal of its packaging and name, considering the company features a video on its website about the boxing process. Just having a Chanel box sitting in your closet or on display in your bathroom adds an air of expensive luxury that most cannot afford.

Another TikToker, Amya Williams, "finessed" Chanel and bought the cotton rounds too.

"Really, I just wanted the box," Williams said in her video, which garnered 1.1 million views. "I'm not going to lie to you [the rounds] were really, really soft. But, my intention is not to actually use them ... The box just looks fancy and looks like I have money, so."

"Why you spend money to make it look like you have money?" one person asked.

To these TikTokers, it seems like it's the experience of opening up luxury packaging that seems the most exciting and worth the $20 (not including shipping and tax).

One TikTok influencer, Kelsey Venkov, even argued that the Chanel cotton pads are better for your skin compared to drug store versions. But, keep in mind, this is coming from an influencer who does seem to have a lot of Chanel skincare in her medicine cabinet.

"I realized that people enjoy watching TikToks where I show expensive things," Venkov mentioned in one video.

These cheap beauty dupes look just like the real thing!

Love influencers as much as we do? Catch up on all the YouTuber beauty drama here.

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