If you go back to 2012-14 YouTube and beauty blogging the theme and overall consensus is very much a case of ‘how much make up do I have?’ If you owned more than a drawer full, then you were as cool hip and trendy as the bloggers you read, watched and listened too. Power of celebrity right there folks. It was a consensus that dominated across the channels; bloggers would share their drawers full of beauty products they had accumulated over the course of their teens and early adulthood years. We would watch with envy wishing our collections would someday look this good. What came with this was the greed and arrogance of the beauty industry, where if your collection was primarily high end you were the peak of success, wealth and skill. It was the time, when the phrase, all the gear and no idea had some how not reached this side of the industry. My point, just because you own two drawers full of make-up does not mean you are a make-up artist or any cop with a 217 MAC shading brush. I own, most of Madonna and Kylie Minogue’s albums, does it mean I can sing? In the shower yes, totally, in reality? I sound like a cat having it’s plums stood on.
Now, however as we go into 2019 we are bombarded with ways to be more environmentally friendly, kind to animals and conscious of our spending habits. But how has this impacted our beauty purchases and especially my attitudes towards buying & accumulating products? Back in the day, yes I sound about 45 saying that but let’s run with it. I took great pride in having numerous shades of the same red lipstick but from varying brands- as well as taking great pride in hoarding. Hoarding make up was a hobby in the same way that hoarding clippings of Richard Hammond, strange I know, but again let’s move swiftly along. I do believe this attitude and this obsession with hoarding beauty products stemmed from the addiction we all had with beauty bloggers sharing their collections. These bloggers were not just sharing a vanity case with one shade of each and a mascara- their collections were as vast as a Boots’ warehouse. We would watch these collection videos and aspire to have this amount of make-up whether we’d use it or not. Owning 30 of the same lipstick shade just from different brands was the icing on the cake- who cared that the guy on Facebook ghosted you when you had that cherry red from every high street beauty brand? I was one of them but now, 5 years later have my attitudes changed as we as a community of beauty obsessives has? I’m now more pissed off about being ghosted than the red lipstick.
My style, tastes and look has changed and perhaps I’ve wised up to this culture. A culture where the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burrs’ collections were not necessarily all bought with their own pennies but gifted in exchange for content in the same way that much of my collection is now too. We have since, become very much aware that not all brands are ethically friendly and by that I mean they still test on Peter Rabbit to then sell their lipsticks onto beauty obsessives like ourselves. But with this, has come with a switch across the pond both for me as a consumer, blogger and lipstick enthusiastic. A switch that has seen us become more about less is more and quality over quantity. Both of which I want to explain, God, who knew this would be such a chuff.
Less is More
I’ll paint you the scene, its 2014, I go shopping with my pals and yes I had friends. We head to Boots or Superdrug with our loyalty cards and our money to spend on make-up. We didn’t necessarily need make up neither did we really and truly want it but the appeal of sharing what we’d purchased on socials was more exciting than the actual use of the product. I’d buy two red lipsticks both probably near enough the same shade and feel like an accomplished woman. Would I use both shades? No. Hell no. I’d use one and then the other would sit there almost as a fixture in the collection of other reds. In the last year, I’ve found myself culling my collection frequently and passing my unused products onto younger members of the family. If, I can’t get the love and enjoyment from using them who’s to say someone else can’t? When I open a drawer, yes a drawer I own less but I think I use every product in the collection. Yes, having a fraction of the products looks less visually stimulating to those who love a vast collection of make-up but in reality, I use every product and have found the brands and products that work for me which brings me onto quality over quantity.
Quality over quantity
In reality, this subheading is more a less the same as above but it’s not and I’ll tell you why. I’m definitely not the sort of gal, who believes you should only buy high end for high quality since this is no longer the case. My beloved products are predominately, products that come under the £10 price bracket. Winning. But, what we really must emphasise is that owning a vast amount of products does not necessarily mean we have the highest quality of products. It’s like owning a shed load of DVDs but you don’t own a DVD player or a television. Not really useful now, tomorrow or next Thursday. You’re not getting the quality of the DVDs since you can’t benefit from them in the same way owning every shade of red lipstick is not allowing you to benefit from any of them. Since, you only can use one at a time, in the same way that owning more than 1 car is moronic at times. You can’t drive more than 1 car and you definitely can’t use more than one lipstick unless they’re amazingly blendable. With this in mind, owning less and using more means you actually begin to find you mojo and your best finds. You begin to actually understand what bronzer gives you the best cheek bones and you definitely work out which mascara gives you the best curl and lashes without deciphering between multiple duplicates.
I for one, have definitely found myself buying less make up and actually enjoying what I have in favour of hoarding mass amounts just to be able to say ‘hey guys look at the 400th cherry red in my collection’. It’s boring and what are we hoarding for? We’re not in a competition we’re doing it for the sake of being able to show Carol on Instagram stories the amount of make up we actually consume. Anyway, make up has sell by dates and I’m sure that mascara you bought last year as well as the other 4 you had in your drawer is well out of date, so unless gunky eyes is the new catwalk look for this season, I’d cull you collections for the sake of feeling empowered with what you own.