As I watch and follow more media outlets - from magazines to videos - I feel a little empty inside. The reality is, right now most of us cannot afford $40 lipsticks and $60 conditioners (you know who you are, Kerastase), and $120 creams (keep dreaming, LaMer).
I love makeup and beauty as much as anyone, but the trends continue to move farther into pushing expensive products than enjoying the art, the simplicity, and the joy of makeup. It saddens me that so much of us want to look like Kim Kardashian rather than ourselves. Remember: She has so much disposable income that she can afford a top makeup artist who spends hours on her a day (by her own admission).
Other countries have put limits on how much false advertising - in the form of airbrushing - advertisements can do to represent a product's performance. America has not. Seeing an un-retouched photo of Cate Blanchett's skin was evidence that SK-II isn't creating porcelain perfection. Yet she is frequently referred to as perfect based on how these ads appear. It isn't to knock this talented actress, but to demonstrate the misrepresentations behind what get us to buy.
In one Youtube video by makeup artist Petrilude, he demonstrated how lighting can make a huge difference someone's appearance, taking them down from a filter-like beauty to real life imperfections. He used his own face as an example..
I've fallen hard myself into the trap of coveting products, never feeling quite satisfied with what I owned, and spending more money than I could afford on products that never satisfied an internal hole. The truth is, stop searching for the holy grail eyeliner, lipstick, foundation. No amount of perfection in the form of makeup will satisfy you. I know this because I've lived through this hard, expensive journey.
Six months ago, I went on a low-buy: Rather than depriving myself entirely of makeup, I limited myself to $20/month of beauty spending. That meant I had to think long and hard about what I spent my money on. I used cash only. In time, that hunger for more began to ease to the point where I could cruise a makeup aisle without any temptation.
In time, that low-buy dissipated into a no-buy. It wasn't a vow of makeup chastity: I was satisfied and defaulted to just not spending more. As time went on, I appreciated more of what I already owned, rediscovered old loves (many of them under $10 each), and found that sense of joy I felt as a teen when first discovering makeup.
I still enjoy a good haul video or magazine article on new products. Yet it's like window shopping: out-of-reach, yet fun for that very reason. Most importantly, the less I buy, the more I love makeup.