sunday beauty ramble

Growing up, I was a tomboy. I played with dolls only because I wanted to play with other girls, and other girls didn’t want to play with cars and other ‘boy stuff’. My parents never prohibited the usage of makeup (my parents never prohibited me anything, now that I think of it), and I could play with my mother’s stash any time, but most of the time I didn’t care. I remember my mother gave me her old eye shadow kit with a peculiar selection of colours. I ended up scraping out every shadow pan, making a colourful powder, and drawing with it.

I think 13 or 14 was the first time I have ever consciously used make-up. It was a really bright orange red Max Factor lipstick. Unfortunately, my peers laughed at me, so I haven’t used makeup for a while after that. I started using make-up more or less regularly when I was 18 or 19. I had this brilliant shade of L’Oreal lipstick. I wish I remembered its name, because it was quite pretty and would really work great with today’s 90’s revival and everything.

When I was 20-21, I went through a very 80s blue shadow phase. Thank God that passed – though in hindsight the shade wasn’t the problem, the application was.

Over the years, my love for makeup (and nail polish) has intensified. At times I tried to fight it, since makeup can be a very expensive hobby. I tried trimming it, rotating it, only using certain products at a certain time. I would feel bad whenever I’d buy something, because I already had so much. No one needs 200 lipsticks.

But recently it hit me that I am rather at peace with this side of my life these days, as long as I use makeup almost every day.

And in one way or another, I do. I play with it and compare it every single day. Even on those days when I don’t wear anything on my face, my arms are usually covered in swatches when I’m home. I love writing about makeup and reading about makeup. I love discovering new brands and old favourites. Luxury makeup interests me as much as the cheapest of the cheap – you never know where you can hit the gold mine.

And really, it’s not that I shouldn’t spend less (most of us who have the time to while away on the internet should spend less) – but it’s not like I take money for the food of my cats and buy a lipstick instead.

Over the past month or so, however, I noticed that I am very happy with the selection of products that I currently have. I will never stop wanting more, and my wishlist is still a mile long (as I’m writing this, I’m thinking whether I should buy the entire set of MUR x Friends eye shadows and Colourpop Limoncello), but I’ve been getting tremendous satisfaction from using my stash. What used to discourage me in the morning seems exhilarating now. I’ve been coming up with new combinations of liners, lipsticks, and shadows, combining them into ‘kits’, then starting over.

It feels good.

What still needs work is maintaining a healthy balance between the amount of things I buy and things I use up. My stash is big for the average person. Way big. I want to make sure that the amount of things I use up is bigger than the amount of things I bring in the house. It doesn’t even have to be corresponding categories. Using up two eye shadows is a long venture, and bringing in just one to replace the two finished might feel very limiting for someone like me.

It just has to be the overall number.

I might just do the points system. Most likely 2 for 1.

Much as I dislike the overuse of word ‘curate’, what I eventually want to achieve is an organised and curated beauty stash. I will never be someone who can live with one neutral palette and one eyeliner, but I can certainly become more intentional with where my beauty money goes. Lately I noticed that I’ve been getting better at it, though of course there’s still ample room for improvement.

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