This is not a beauty blog but I’ve been sharing my love of cosmetics here lately. Because make-up has always been a thing of joy in my life. I still fondly recall my first products and looks I wore in the past. And Make-up brings out the collector in me. I’ll admit I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, gimmicks, as well as different finishes, effects, and techniques.
Make-up is a personal thing, almost intimate, its application a daily self-care ritual. It helps me to feel better about my self while on some level it also indulges my inner teenager, who I’ve been befriending lately. I’ve noticed this correlation in others too, between ‘collecting’ and appeasing our younger selves. While I amass make-up, I have friends who get a buzz from collecting action figures, or building dioramas out of Lego, buying back their original record collection on vinyl, or collecting second-hand books, as a gift to the kids they once were.
On some level this is a healing activity. The ability as an adult to give our former selves what we once most wanted. And for some it is an opportunity to re-enjoy a period with perspective, that for what ever reason we were unable to enjoy at the time. Maybe it’s a classic case of mid-life crisis, an attempt to buy back one’s youth? Or maybe it’s simply making up for lost time? Regardless, I think it’s a kind of self-soothing, and there is a place for that in everyone’s life.
My only caveat is go carefully, and don’t let it become a crutch. If you feel its gone beyond collecting into compulsion, if you are spending more than you should, or if you’ve begun hoarding, you’ve gone too far. It’s a hard line to define, when too much is not enough. I’ve been obsessing a little too much about make-up lately and it’s lost its charm. Instead of a pick-me-up I feel buyers remorse, or guilt for having more than I can use before it perishes.
Much as I adore make-up and truly believe in its mood enhancing transformative powers, I fear it may not actually be magic. It’s hard to admit that maybe it’s just not as simple as buying the perfect product, and suddenly self-confidence will abound. Sadly, I may need to work a little harder to find more lasting ways to change my outlook and feel truly better about myself. No better time than Spring I guess, for making some new goals to work towards for the coming year.
Do you have a personal vice? Something you collect that means more to you than simply the thing itself? Does it ever feel like more of a crutch than you’d like to admit? I’d love to hear about it in the comments…