Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about making art, too much eyeshadow and becoming a grown up.

Monday, 2 January 2017

7 Things I've learned about my beauty shopping habits

As I started sitting down and making my 'game plan' for where I was going to source cruelty-free cosmetics, I took the opportunity to sit and really think about my shopping habits and how theyve changed over the years. Because I'm still so far from where I want to be with my consuming, I think it's easy for me to forget how far I've come. So today I wanted to share some of the things I've learned about my shopping and consuming habits when it comes to beauty products.

7 Things I've learned about my beauty shopping habits

1. I do not need "one of everything"

I think for the longest time, I saw it as my duty as a beauty product enthusiast and a small-time blogger to really try out everything that launches. Not necessarily every product that launched, but every type at least. Back in the day I leapt on the contour palette trend, I bought into the pigmented lipgloss launches and I pounced on the shelves of Baby Lips. Now that's not to say that I regret all of these purchases, *reaches into dressing gown pocket for a Baby Lips*, but just that I've realised that not every category or type of product that's out there is of interest or use to me, and that's totally okay. Strobe cream, what? Cushion foundation? No ta.
The other side to this is realising that I do not need to keep one of everything. Like lipglosses. I used to own a bunch and resolutely kept 'one of each' after a big declutter: one nude, one red, one pink etc. just in case. Just in case of what? A personality transplant?

Blush is not for me

2. Blush is not for me.

Oh, this one took a long time to sink in. Blush is just not for me. I spent literally years, and probably hundreds of pounds *whimpers* trying cream blushes, liquid blushes, powders, gels and sticks. I tried brush after brush and sponges upon sponges before finally just giving up out of exhaustion. Now, to clarify, I don't mean to imply that I don't wear blush - I do, everytime I put makeup on - what I mean is that after years of watching YouTubers proclaim their love for such and such a shade and note how different all of their 30 blushes look on their skin, I've come to realise I just don't experience this. I am so, SO fair skinned that any blush I apply needs blended out to oblivion just to be wearable and let's face it; the shade nuances are wiped out at that point. Of course you can tell the difference between a matte or a shimmery blush on my cheeks, or be able to guess if I'm wearing a purple or a coral shade but seriously, beyond that, it all looks much of a muchness.
In some ways it's almost upsetting to think of all the blushes I'll never truly get to experience that heady love for that so many others seem to feel. I still sort of feel like I'm missing out on something integral to the life of a makeup lover. I know what I need in my stash; pink matte, pink shimmer, berry matte.... and so on, and seeing as I have everything at the moment, well, let's just say I'm off the market for blush.
On the other hand, knowing that I can just tune out videos and blog posts about blush now will basically save me a fortune.

3. There will always be another "The New Thing"

So, I got caught out early last year with the launch of Too Faced's Peach what-do-you-ma-call-it palette. I was caught up at work and frankly I didn't realise it was a limited edition palette, I did know however, that I needed it. Well, I'm sure you can see where this is going; I missed the palette and I was actually quite upset. I debated ordering internationally and paying heaven knows what in customs charges, I sulked, I looked at "compensation purchases". Yes, really. And then, a month later I forgot about it because some other doodad popped up on the market. Now of course, that's not to say I wouldn't have loved the peach palette if I had bought it; I never got round to swatching it so I can't be sure now, but what I did learn from the experience is that I wanted to buy this because it was new, not because it looked like a life-changing piece of kit and that is a behaviour I've really tried to change. No matter how trendy something is, how revolutionary, how 'must-have', there will always be another "The New Thing".

If it ain't broke, don't fix it

4. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

There are some beauty categories where I am always eager to try something new; back in the day I enjoyed having 17 options for everything, but now the number of categories I want to experiment with are dwindling, for example:
- Face primers
- Eye primers
- Blushes
- Face cleanser
- Body butters
- Bath products
- Setting sprays
- Bronzers
- Powder
These are all categories where for the forseeable future I am 'locked in' to a certain product or range of products. I have found 'the one' and I am off the market - until they discontinue or reformulate some of my beloved products of course! I used to feel guilty about this, that I was somehow no longer deserving of my beauty-enthusiast status, that it was a 'duty' to always be open to trying something new, but actually I've had enough stripped skin to want to mess with a different face cleanser, I've had enough 'cake face' to not want to switch out my powder - and really, I'm okay with that now.

5. I have every right to shop at a high end counter.

 Up until recently I really lived in fear of the high end beauty halls, as though someone was going to leap out from behind a Dior stand, spot my Primark boots and have me forcibly removed from the premises. While, don't get me wrong, I have encountered some spectacularly snooty and pushy sales assistants in my time, I now realise that a lot of what I was feeling was in my head. Most counter assistants are very nice, but I was never seeing this because I would squeal and make a run for it if anyone approached me - so put off was I by bad past experiences and so sure I was about to be rumbled for looking for a price sign, because frankly, I do need to think about how much something costs!
I am a lot more confident now. I ask questions, I stand my ground if a sales assistant is being pushy and you know what, if I get bad service or I feel patronised or judged, I don't give them the comission - I buy online or at another counter. But truthfully it doesn't often come to that, it really isn't as daunting as I thought. My money is as good as anyone elses and the vast majority of sales assistants treat me this way.

6. neglected skin = bad makeup

I used to so be the person who would leave my makeup on until stupid o'clock at night and then be too tired to do anything but take a face wipe to something approximating my whole face - but actually, spectacularly missing huge sections of it. I used to be the person who when my skin got red or bumpy, would buy a more high coverage foundation or switch to a different powder rather than actually addressing the issue. I have come to accept that for me; skin troubles are never fixed by makeup. I always take time to properly wash my face and I at least have a go at keeping to a kind of mask-schedule, I am much more familiar with what ingredients my skin can and can't tolerate or benefit from in skin care and I am also much more aware of how factors like tiredness, climate and dehydration visibly affect my skin. Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely still have the high coverage foundation, impermeable concealer and super-highlighers to hand for days when I look like death and that's just that, but I've definitely learned that in the long term a neglected base really just makes for a tricky and frustrating makeup application process.

Don't believe the hype about beuty products

7. Don't believe the hype

This one is going to make me sound quite the cynic, but one thing I've become so aware of after years of watching and reading the 'big' YouTubers and Bloggers, is just how much stuff is sent to them for free. Now I'm not for a second saying that they're therefore all lying about liking those products, not at all. In fact I'm sure a lot of them genuinely LOVE the products they're telling us about. But here's what happens - a brand will send out the new launch to the big channels and blogs, let's just say it's a concealer here, so everyone tries it out and hey, it's a good product so they tell us that. But here's the thing, if brands regularly sent me concealers and I had ten in a drawer at home, then I wouldn't go out and buy a bunch of cheap drugstore ones on my own - why would I? I have some at home, it would be wasteful and silly not to use those ones. So while I think people can absolutely, honestly review items they've received for free, I've definitely learned not to buy into the hype. If everyone is talking excitedly about a concealer from brand X, it doesn't mean that brand Y that makes a product for half the price isn't also just as great - it possibly just means they're not sending out products for as much exposure. So just because you hear how AMAZING and LIFE CHANGING a product is, really doesn't mean it's the only one out there doing that - do your own research and do be afraid to try lesser-hyped products.

And so those are some things I've learned about the way and the reasons I shop for beauty products, it's interesting for me to see the changes in my mentality over the years. Have you become aware of any of your beauty shopping patterns?

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