Sunday, May 24, 2009

Makeup: How much is too much?

I know what you're can never have enough makeup! But really, when it gets to the point that you use a product once every two months, not because you don't like it, but because you have so many products that you almost forget you have it, then it's a bit much.

The thing is, why spend so much money and effort buying new makeup all the time if you don't actually use it? Except, when you see something pretty and shiny and new it's like "Who cares if I don't need it...and even if i might not use it that much...look at it! It'll make me feel happy!...for 2 seconds." I know I do that. And then I get something, and try it out, and if I don't like it gets cast aside and I'm disappointed and the excitement goes away.  I realized I wasted money on something useless. Even if I do like it, I might not wear it that much because I'm having a lazy week or I'm not going anywhere or I'm using something else.

If you think about doesn't actually need any makeup at all. But if it's art and expression and fun for you, then you want it. But having 20 lipsticks (myself included..and in bright colors I got just to try out but don't really wear) means that you might wear each color once a month. Or more likely, you'll just stick with a color you like and the rest of them will be forgotten. And then they'll get old and you'll never have used it.

The reason for this post is because is when I moved I thought I couldn't bring all my makeup. When it's a choice between dishes and sheets or makeup, hopefully one would choose makeup.  When I was sorting through and picking out the stuff that I would use the most and would be the best use of space, I felt sad to leave it behind because of the time and money that took to create that collection.

But then I felt relieved. Because it wouldn't take up a ridiculous amount of space and I would actually get good use out of the products. I had the idea that if you just have a few things that you really like then you can alternate them back and forth and actually get good use out of them. When you run out of one or want to try a new color you'll be able to appreciate it because you'll actually be using it. 

On the opposite side,when you're deciding which out of the million to choose to wear nothing is really special. Or maybe you'll have those couple that you alternate between and the others were just impulse buys that just sit there. It's retail therapy if buying something one day and buying something else the next just for the sake of buying and having  a little thrill, while a day later it's buried in the drawer never to be used after that first try-out application.

For me it kind of seems like the less there is in the collection, the more appreciative I am of what I have, because I'm actually able to use the things more. You can say that you have a giant collection and still use your makeup, but if you have 1000 eyeshadows it's not possible to use every one all the time.  No matter if you have enough things to fill up an entire room, there will always be something you don't have, and if you're buying for a pyschological reason like you feel sad or you think material objects will fill a gap, then it will never be enough.

The reason I write this is because I find that sometimes when I buy things or look at my collection I feel guilty. I think, money could have gone for necessities (though I've never bought things in place of necessities). I think, I bought yet another color I don't need and will use twice. I worried that if people saw all the makeup I had while moving in, they would think I had too much or I'm spoiled or shallow, even though I've bought things before and it was never enough because s0-and-so bought more, or so-and-so got the whole collection. The point is, if after the residual excitement of a buy wears off, if you feel guilty or like it's never enough
then it's time to lay off.

So my advice would be to buy things you actually like and want to try, not because someone else wore it or it's a trend. If you genuinely like it though, then go for it of course. But if so-and-so-prettiest-girl-ever used this new lipgloss and liked it and you don't have the money for it, you don't need to feel bad that you don't have it! Because when you get it you'll be excited for a second, untill the next new thing comes out and then you feel like you have to get that too. It's about spending within your means on things you want. And will actually use.

To be worthy of buying it should either do something different or be different in some way than what you already have. Unless you want 25 of the same black eyeshadow or pink lipgloss to clutter your space, then go ahead.

When I first wrote this, I still had that pull of wanting to the drugstore and getting that new lipstick because it looks pretty and it could brighten my day just a bit.It came with the territory of following about 500 beauty blogs, I suppose. So just try to do what makes you feel the best. Experiment with walking by that annoying sales lady one day, and letting her talk you into buying a random product another day. You'll know what to do next time based on how you feel.

I ended up being able to  bring all my makeup here. No one said I had to much or has even noticed. But since being here, I haven't used all that much. Now that I have an actual life with friends and things to do and places to go, I'm not spending 5 hours a day on beauty blogs doing research. When I see an article about something new I pretty much skip it now because getting it would just mean an extra trip somewhere to buy something I don't need. I have morning classes and usually all I'm up for is some foundation and mascara. I might do a full face or makeup a couple days a week, but definitely not every day. I'd rather spend that half hour hanging out with my friends than applying a mask of a million products. I'll just do it when I feel like it and it would be fun. Before I was obsessed with it and the study of it because I didn't have anything else to do.

It doesn't mean I won't walk into a Nordstroms and feel like I'm in a candy store, but the change in my life really has me reevaluating my interests. I still love makeup and beauty and am studying fashion marketing, but it's so much more important to focus on friends and fun and school work and life. That's just me though. It would be really cool to work in the beauty industry because I would be getting paid for something I enjoy. But it's not something I'm going to waste too much money on or time thinking about what I could collect just for the sake of having, when that reflects boredom and a need for retail therapy rather than being able buy something when you'll actually use it. And I'm not quite sure if spending 20 bucks on a lipstick just to swatch it once online really counts. 


  1. I'm the type of person that hates excess,so i REALLY,REALLY researh and reconsider over and over again before i make a makeup,or beauty purchase.That is why i have never posted my "makeup collection" like evryone else had because it would seem so meager! lol now skin care product,thats a different story...

  2. That's just super! I mean that you realized that all the shopping was just filling the gaps for you, but then it did nothing!

    I have that buy buy impulse here and there, but that was when my collection was growing. It's still like everything goes into a train case and I don't want anything more, even if I see the bling bling new things.. But on the other side, I'd love to have everything, but then I'd feel guilty because I couldn't use them till the end :(. What a waste! So I found another way out! I'm trying to find the perfect stuff for my mom. I'm teaching her how to do her own make up (that happens if you don't wear make up for a couple of ....decdes), and I do buy her some basic stuff. Like some shades of brown, a mascara and now we will get her some foundation :).

    I feel that I love my little collection of make up (even if some people say it's huge but honestly I don't think it is, I can use it in two years...), tho if I had to chose between eating and buying make up.. or clothes I'd go for that one. Since I already have enough make up, I decided that I shall work on my full image and buy clothes instead. I mean, we wear clothes all the time, even when we don't wear make up. Plus I really need to change my way of dressing :). And accessories and hair acessories... ah... I think we all should make the project (100 hahah) pan.



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