Earlier this week I got a really interesting email from a reader (Hi, Aimee!) about something I’ve thought about many times myself…
Greetings from a long-time reader, first-time commenter/emailer! I discovered your blog when I first started using makeup during my undergrad a few years ago. Virtually none of the women in my life are into makeup, so you’re like the makeup-loving aunt that I wish I had I love that you make cosmetics something very fun, and I’ve also learned a ton along the way.
I’ve got one small problem/dilemma though, and I’m wondering if you could help me with it/offer some advice? I’ve now got…a sizeable collection (not by blogger standards, but more than most girls have, I’d say), and I’ve also discovered the value in investing in higher-end/more expensive products that will really deliver, or that just make me happy. Unfortunately, I feel a little ashamed of my (relatively) huge stash. It’s also composed of far more higher-end/expensive items (to put this in context, one of my best friends feels that MAC is absurdly priced, while I’ve definitely got a fair amount from NARS, MUFE, Benefit, etc.).
I guess what I’m saying is: how do you handle any pressure/judgment you get/feel from others about your makeup stash — its size, how expensive/high-end its contents are, etc. I love makeup for its creative side, and as a tool to empower me…but am afraid to ever show my full stash to the ladies in my life for fear of judgment. And as embarrassing as it is, this is kind of affecting my life (I never leave anything out on my counter, most of my makeup is hidden in drawers which makes accessing it a pain, and if someone wants to come into my room, I make sure I’ve got my stuff tucked away first).
I’m sure part of this has to come from me, but if you have any words of advice at all, I’d appreciate it a ton. This is the one thorn in my makeup-loving side.
Thanks for reading, I know you must get a ton of messages!
Greetings right back ‘atcha from sunny (today) Marin County, California! Thank you for visiting the blog and being a reader all these years. It means a lot to me, and I am honored to be the makeup-loving aunt you never had.
You pose a fascinating question. I know exactly how you feel. Not that El Hub gets (very) cranky about my collection, except when he’s tripping over boxes or sitting on makeup pans. Sometimes I’ll hear a creative string of curses coming from the shower after a loud crash as 15 bottles of shampoo and conditioner rain down on top of him (haha!), or he’ll ask, “Babe, do you REALLY need another pink lipstick?” when he sees me with that rabid look in my eyes at a MAC counter, but other than little things like that, he couldn’t care less.
But I do experience what you described sometimes with friends. Like sometimes when my pal Cindy (who’s anti-makeup and recoils whenever I threaten her with lip gloss) comes over, she’ll say something mildly snarky like, “I’ll never understand why you need so many eyeshadows,” or “Why does it take you SO LONG to get ready?” or “Wow…that’s a lot of brushes.”
Whenever it happens, I tell myself that she’s probably just curious or trying to push my buttons (we’re like sisters and have known each other for more than 20 years).
Not wanting to bite, I’ll usually make a joke to diffuse the situation, saying something like, “Yup, that is a lot of brushes, and if you don’t get out of my way, I will paint every inch of your face with them,” or “Well, if I didn’t collect eyeshadow, I’d collect cats!”
But when someone I don’t know very well makes a similar comment (and they’re unfamiliar with my sense of humor), I’ll just smile and bite my tongue, and maybe say something like, “Yeah, it is a lot of makeup, isn’t it? It’s just a hobby, and I like it because it’s a little artsy-fartsy. Would you like me to show you how to use this blush (eyeshadow/bronzer/brush)? I bet it would look really pretty on you.”
And if that fails, well, whatcha gonna do? If someone still wants to be cranky after that, there’s nothing I can do to stop ‘em. Water off a duck’s back. Maybe they’re just having a bad day and want to take it out on me. Sometimes all you can do is Kanye shrug, ya know, and go on your merry way.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,