Brain (& Beauty) Overload

I’m writing this on my Blackberry as I’m walking home (I’m so gonna get run over)…..I’m feeling stressed – something I don’t experience too often. I’m high-energy, and I may seemed wound-up more often than not, but its just my excitable nature. Real stress – the kind that makes your stomach feel tight and makes you short of breath – that’s just not my bag. But, nonetheless, I’m feeling its effects now. I’m also feeling ridiculous, because what I’m about to confess sounds ridiculous, but honestly – this knot in my stomach is due to cosmetics.Now wait, and hear me out. Some of you won’t be able to relate to this at all – and that’s ok. Because some of you will hear me loud and clear, and once again I find myself so thankful that I’ve found this community of amazing people who share my enduring obsession for all things beauty. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat myself regardless – its so comforting to find people like me who have a passion for cosmetics but who are not at all vapid, superficial, vain (well…), or otherwise one-note personalities who think that ‘looking good’ is the ultimate goal. Its not about that. I’m not going to get into detail about what ‘IT’ ‘is because those of you who get it know what I mean. Anyway, steering back towards the point…There is such a saturation of product in the market today. New technology, in-depth knowledge and trends are constantly updated and are divulged in a constant stream to anyone with even a mild interest. I try to take in this information with a discerning eye and filter out what doesn’t apply to my skin tone, type, and personal preference.  However, sometimes it gets so overwhelming!  There are so many amazing brands and products I want to try, but there is only so much I can hoard and only so much money in the bank.  Not to mention that on a fairly regular basis, I look at what I DO have and become anxious as to how I’m ever going to use it all.  Despite the stressful feelings, these are the moments when I have the most clarity at how absurd this can all get, if I let it. The real problem here is the dichotomy of emotions I have – one moment wanting, the other shunning the whole deal.  I go on a spending spree, then feeling guilt over the unnecessary expense and horror of my ever-expanding stash.  Just this morning, I decided that I didn’t need anything else for a while, that I was at max capacity; only a few short hours later, I was compiling a list of blushes I’d like to buy in the next couple months.  This is the epitome of my dualistic nature, in which I can change my mind about three times in a matter of minutes.  I don’t know how to rectify this, if it’s even possible – my love for cosmetics is eternal, without a doubt, my so too will be my dislike for excess (and likely my pitiful bank account).  The only way I’ve found that helps is through disclosure, and the empathy of others (hint hint) – this has always been the way I deal with things: write it down, relate, and move on.  Hopefully at some point I can come to a place where I find balance between these two, and have fun trying new things without feeling overwhelmed at what I already own.

Does anyone else experience this, or am I on my own? (help me out here, guys :P)

FYI: The pics shown are of my actual stash of cosmetics (for the most part), aside from my nail polish collection. 

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  1. #1 by Liz (Beauty Reductionista) on November 21, 2011 - 9:26 pm

    Well, needless to say, I totally sympathize with you on this. I don’t know about you, but I know exactly why I go through this crazy routine, hating and loving it all at the same time. It takes a lot of guts to admit it, which I’m not ready to do on the blog yet. But I’m like that about a lot of things, which makes me the opposite of you (stressed out all the time). You have my respect for being so honest about your feelings on the matter!

    One thing that really helped me recently has been the empties posts. The more I do it, the more rational I become. It’s helping to commit to a product from beginning to end, and the images of the nearly finished bottles upside down in the bathroom helps keep me from hoarding and hauling new things. I really believe that it’s a lifelong addiction that we have to continue to fight. The market will continue to be more and more saturated with new and better things. I keep having to tell myself that better things will come and I don’t have to have everything right this second. But of course there are days when all that goes to hell and I come back from the mall a hundred dollars poorer.

    I say keep up the fight! Don’t regret too much, enjoy what you have, and try better every new day! :)

    • #2 by Latoya on November 24, 2011 - 8:10 pm

      Oh Liz, you have no idea how much I look forward to the empties posts – both yours AND mine! It was such a great idea you had, and it HAS really made a huge difference – not necessarily with how much I buy (though it has been reduced), but just how I look at things now…I’m more aware of just how much I have. And I’m more willing to turf something that’s just been sitting in my stash unused for ages! Feels sooo good :) It’s easier with skincare than makeup though – all the pretty colors have me seriously wanting most of the time. I manage to hold myself off, but it’s THAT that gets to me too – I don’t wanna! I want to indulge sometimes and feel great about it! ~sigh~ One day we’ll get there, you and I!

  2. #3 by Eugenia on November 21, 2011 - 9:57 pm

    Toya, your complete honesty is actually very refreshing…and so brave! If I were to write a post like this, well…let’s just say that we won’t go there – yet. Liz’s comments were spot on, and her “empties” concept an absolutely brilliant idea. As to the way you feel, this duality of save/spend, you need to know that you are most definitely NOT alone. As a matter of fact, I have a confession to make: there have been times in the past, where even though I knew that I shouldn’t spend the money, I did it anyway and rationalized it to myself in a bajillion ways (it’s limited edition, so unique, never seen something like this before, blah, blah, blah) and then once the “high” of procurement wears off, you crash. Stop a second and take stock; can you possibly be more careful with your finances? Absolutely – we all can. Are you spending to the point where it becomes a detriment to your way of life? Something tells me no. I think you’re well aware enough to not do anything stupid, right? The thing is, buying sprees are motivated by many things; sometimes it’s a way of appeasing ourselves when we’re stressed/worried/anxious, other times it’s because the deal of the century comes along, and other still for products we use on a regular basis. Does this mean you’re a horrible person? No, it means you’re human and you’re trying to expand on something you’re passionate about. If this behaviour gives you such angst, then make a deal with yourself and hold it for only one week: limit yourself to spending X amount and ONLY that, and when you do, enjoy your item fully and freely..without reservations. If that works, then you can try it again and maybe change the parameters around (spend a lesser amount than before, or prolong the time period). Perhaps this way, you’ll start to see this whole issue in a different and more positive light and understand that at the end of the day, beauty makes you happy..and that’s what it’s all about.

    • #4 by Latoya on November 24, 2011 - 8:13 pm

      I think it’s so interesting that you and Liz think that my honesty is brave, Eugenia! It was just something on my mind I guess…but I’m glad you guys can relate. Its tough because you want to be one thing for your readers, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. And you’re right, sometimes you need to step back and take stock – I made a list in which I made a few rules for myself about spending, when it’s OK and where I have to draw the line. I’m hoping it helps, if for no other reason than to quell the guilt! Because that’s really the big issue, as you noted – I want to be able to enjoy my purchases without reservations. After all, this is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, right!?

  1. Nothin’ Like a Good Haul to Warm the Cockles of My (Cold) Heart « Beauty Obsessed

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