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Makeup Addiction – How Much Is Too Much?

It sounds ridiculous. I was addicted to makeup brushes and spent a long time researching the best makeup brushes by watching videos on YouTube, and reading reviews on blogs. I was able to put a stop to it when I finally recognised that I had amassed more than I will ever need.

Here is the thing; makeup brushes have their use. Powdered products definitely are easier to apply with a makeup brush. But there are so many of them out there. From crease brushes, kabuki, blending, foundation, powder, bronzer and so forth. So many different application brushes that it seems almost ludicrous that one might need a specialised appliance to apply a powder to a tiny portion of ones face.

We can buy brushes in every colour imaginable so that the colour scheme of our dresser stays intact. Synthetic brushes for vegans and animal hair brushes for those who prefer to apply powder with the softest imaginable brush. During that time, I accumulated a lot of information about brushes, which went hand in hand with buying. And I blame it all on YouTube. Makeup gurus seem like a friend, but they are not. They are brand ambassadors! And I was and still am gullible, believing in the religion of ‘Shiny And New’.

I bought and bought. I thought, with the perfect utensil for application I would perfect my face. Another bad side effect is that it made me feel that I needed more products to stay pretty. Apart from brushes I bought eyeshadow palettes that I will never be able to finish before they go bad. Lots of vampy shades of lipstick which I never wear, because matte lipsticks are unfortunately quite drying for me. Not a formula to put on my lips every single day. But, they looked so beautiful and their packaging was so shiny.

Keeping up with trends can hurt you financially

Luckily, I have realised that there is, firstly, no need to amass hundreds of brushes for every little crease and part of the face and secondly, I started to feel overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of available products. I simply knew, that I would never be able to keep up, neither financially nor mentally.

I no longer watch YouTube makeup videos and thankfully, I did not end up in debt and with drawers full of makeup.

Today, I feel a little bit sick when I think about the money I have wasted. That’s a bad side effect! Plus, 5 years on, I am still working on finishing them. But wait, they say eyeshadows only last for 24 months? Mine seem fine. I will keep using them as long they aren’t smelling or starting to feel weird. It will take me until 2025 I think.

Makeup buying is an insidious pastime because makeup is easily affordable. Even high end designer make-up products are a 40th of the cost of a designer bag. They are an affordable luxury. A designer bag for $2000+ is out of reach for most, a $50 limited edition eyeshadow palette by a fancy designer is not. Hence, we can buy something truly luxurious and feel great for a day. Drugstore makeup products are even easier to bulk buy as their price is small in comparison to a high end product. The price justifies its purchase. It is only $5 so that won’t break the bank, right? It adds up!

Not only does it make a dent in your wallet, it is also wasteful. Not sustainable, and in this marriage, only the plastic packaging will live happily ever after.

Shops are open during our weakest hours

How to put an end to the make-up addition? Firstly, stop surfing. It always starts with surfing. Open 24 hours, the shops are around during our weakest hours. There is no escaping. That time of day where we easily succumb to the quiet seduction of shiny make-up stores and limited editions by fancy designers. In the real world, it is easy to bypass a store by choosing a different route, in the virtual world, the banners are tracking us around, popping up when we read the news of the day or looking up a cookie recipe. Limiting the time spent surfing the web, helps in keeping the wallet shut.

Secondly, I imposed a make-up shopping ban on myself. For an entire year I was not allowed to buy anything in a category of which I already had enough at home. Excluded were items such as mascara or eyeliner as in these categories I truly only have only one of.

It was easy, because I always had enough at home anyways. I did not feel deprived. After that year, I have realised that what I had was still good to go for another year and so forth. And, I have realised that 4 brushes are enough. And even with these 4, necessary and a life essential they are not, but I don’t want my life to be too calculated and restrained. A little bit of senseless stuff is okay. There should be a limit though, as with any other drug.