I have loved makeup since a was a little girl. I always had those big chests of cheap makeup from Claire’s. I ignored my mom’s rule of not wearing makeup until high school and rebelliously wore sparkly pink eyeshadow in the 7th and 8th grade. In high school and college, I only owned basic makeup items (like the super stylish black eyeliner for the bottom waterline and white eyeliner for the top lash line *cringe*), but I wore makeup pretty much every single day.
After I graduated college, I treated myself to “fancy makeup” in the form of a bareminerals kit and a naked palette with my new “big girl money.” Then I made a Pinterest page, and stumbled upon a Jaclyn Hill video – and that is probably the moment that I fell down the makeup rabbit hole.
Those of you who are long time rabbit residents of this hole know exactly what I’m talking about – watching beauty videos on YouTube for hours almost daily, meticulously planning out purchases for the rare Sephora sales, scouring the Internet for swatches of the latest lipstick releases, pressing refresh 50 times to purchase a limited edition product before it sells out – being obsessed with makeup can be fun! But it can also affect our lives in a very negative way.
Getting involved in the online beauty community definitely skews our perception of how much makeup a normal person should reasonably own. It is SO EASY to watch a bunch of makeup collection videos and yearn for that full-to-bursting Ikea Alex 9 drawer and just being able to frolic in all your pretty things. To be able to have every color imaginable in every type of makeup product in every possible finish (“I mean yeah I have a mauvey-browny-nude lipstick, but I don’t have that shade of a liquid lipstick or gloss. I NEED THEM”).
I love makeup SO MUCH, but I have a very “all-or-nothing” attitude when it comes to my hobbies. Hence my large makeup collection, my Tumblr page, and this WordPress blog. I think it’s amazing that in this day and age, the Internet allows so many people from all over the world to connect and bond over makeup. But the online makeup world can also have an ugly side.
It’s very easy to get yourself into bad spending habits with makeup. What’s a $20 lipstick here, a $30 blush there? Well, that’s $50 that could go into a savings account, to student loans, to a new outfit for work, to an oil change for your car. When you are browsing online videos, forums, or blogs about makeup, it’s easy to get the impression that EVERYBODY is dropping mad cash on makeup ALL THE TIME. It seems totally normal.
I am writing this post to tell people that:
- It’s okay if you only own a small bags worth of makeup.
- It’s okay if you have an entire room full of makeup.
- Famous beauty gurus on YouTube get sent up to 90% of the products they own. If they buy makeup, they can claim it on their taxes as a business expense.
- It’s okay to not have 20 shades of lipstick for any and all occasions.
- It’s okay if your parents won’t buy you high end things from Sephora! Work that drugstore makeup! Drugstore makeup is freaking awesome.
I think that a lot of people get sucked into the whole online beauty world and get really warped ideas about owning tons of makeup, and can sometimes get stressed or down about not owning the latest releases and not being able to blend their eyeshadow like Jaclyn Hill, or not having the glamorous lifestyle of Desi and Katy, or not having a luxurious place to live and be beautiful and play with makeup all day like Lauren Curtis or Carli Bybel.
I’m speaking partly from experience here. Before I moved out of my parents’ house, I had all kinds of disposable income to spend on makeup, clothes, takeout food whenever I wanted it – my makeup collection ballooned into one that fills a vanity and a lot of space above it. I own many makeup items that I will never use up. I own tons of lipsticks and eyeshadows that I never wear because I thought I would use them “like, all the time” and I “didn’t have that color so I need it in my life.”
My current makeup collection.
I have thrown out or given makeup to relatives that I bought with great intentions but never or rarely used. Right now, I am quite happy with my makeup collection and although I don’t use every product every day, I love it all. Sitting down at my vanity and doing my makeup for the day or taking photos for my Tumblr page is my happy place.
But sometimes I know that even if I didn’t own all this stuff, I wouldn’t be any more or less happy with my life. As I am getting older I am realizing how little material things affect long term happiness. I have curbed my makeup spending immensely and also spending in other areas of my life and it makes everything much less stressful. I think I am finally approaching a point where I have a healthy and realistic view of makeup. I still own a TON for a normal person, but I also love makeup a lot more than normal people. It is one of my favorite hobbies. I am definitely a member of the makeup rabbit hole! But I don’t live there anymore. It’s like my parents’ house – I visit every once and a while because it’s something I love, but it’s not my whole life anymore.