I like things to be neat and orderly. My closet is remarkably clean. I’m not one of those people who hold onto clothing items for their sentimental value. If I haven’t worn it in six months, it’s out. No, clothing, shoes, and accessories are not my issue. Once we start talking about my beauty collection, it gets a little messy. Notice how I said I like things to be neat and orderly. Well, when it comes to beauty products, all of that goes out the window.
Hello, my name is Deven, and I have a problem. I am a beauty hoarder.
Keep reading to find out if you suffer from my same affliction.
Hoarding: The Early Stages
I can trace my hoarding days back to early childhood. Like many young girls, I was fascinated with my mother’s beauty routine. Her makeup collection was extensive, but hardly hoarder status. The exciting part came when she would need to replace a product because she would toss me her leftovers. If there was just a small amount of eye shadow left in the pan, I gleefully accepted the donation. I got first dibs on all of the lipstick shades she was ready to retire. Dried-out mascara? Yes, please! In retrospect, this ritual of “gifting” me almost-empty makeup products is a little unsettling.
Once I graduated from my mother’s hand-me-downs, things got even worse. I collected palettes. You know what I’m talking about—those giant 40-shadow sets in nondescript (cheap) black plastic “compacts.” I had them all—a palette for every cosmetic an eight-year-old could need. If only my eight-year-old self could have known what was in store for her.
The Hoarder’s Makeup Collection
In preparation for this exposé, I took some inventory. Eyeliners in my possession: 32 (11 of which are navy blue, because a girl can never have enough navy liner). Mascara: 15 (that’s including an adequate number of dried-out tubes—just for emergencies). Foundation: 9 (I think that’s pretty respectable). Concealer: 6. Concealer that I use: 2. Lipstick: no comment. I figured there’s no sense in counting eye shadow (that would just take too long). And I started to tire before I got to blush and bronzer.
As I was taking inventory, I began to realize the real magnitude of my issue. Yes, the sheer amount of product is overwhelming. But more than that, I have makeup in my collection that’s been there a long time. A really long time. Remember Prescriptives? The department store makeup counter that left department stores circa 2009? Well, one of my can’t-part-with foundations is Prescriptives, and it came from a department store (while I was still in high school). Remember when Club Monaco made makeup? Nope? That’s okay. It was short-lived venture in the late ‘90s. Not sure why though, because I have three Club Monaco eye shadows that I happen to love.
The Hoarder’s Vanity
There are several issues with being a beauty hoarder. The main one is, and I assume this applies to all sorts of hoarding, space. I have a “vanity,” one that most people would call a dresser. The entire top drawer is dedicated to the makeup I wear most often (clearly it’s very well edited). The left side of said vanity is also dedicated to products I use regularly. In addition to the vanity, there’s a sizeable 3-drawer Lucite chest. Atop that, you’ll find a pouch filled with eyeliner and my makeup brushes. You know how most people have a jar full of makeup brushes? I have four. One for eye brushes, one for face brushes, another one for eyes, and another for face. It all started innocently enough… About a year ago I decided I wanted to get rid all of my brushes and start fresh. The new brush collection arrived, and I loved it, but I found myself reluctant to toss my previous set. So now, I have my brushes and my backup brushes. My backup brushes come with me when travel and get thrown into my evening bags. My brushes-brushes always remain at home. It’s all very logical.
The Hoarder’s Medicine Cabinet
The bathroom is where things get interesting. I love skincare, and I’ll try anything and everything. That means my medicine cabinet spans the entire bathroom. It also means that if my mother buys something and realizes she’s not into it, she’s going to send it to me. In fact, I have a whole basket under my sink of untouched product. About half of the untouched products in my box of goodies are what I like to call “purchases of opportunity.” Meaning I bought them on-sale or as part of some sort of bundled deal that allowed me to receive some other spectacular product. The sad part is most of the sales I’m referring to are 10-percent off codes from Sephora. True, buying my face cream at any discount is better than buying it full at price. But an email announcing a 10-percent off sale is hardly a reason to send a person into full-on restock-everything-you-own mode.
In addition to a wealth of unopened products, I’m also guilty of hoarding empty products. Well, almost empty (an all-too familiar practice on my part, appparently). If I really like something, you can bet I’ll cut it open, and keep it in Tupperware until the very last drop is gone. Note: the practice of saving products past their packaging’s point of giving up is one I highly recommend. You’ll get at least three more applications out of it.
The Future For A Beauty Hoarder
There are a few things that I’ve come to understand and accept about myself. I accept the fact that I will always buy in multiples. I have a brow pencil in my makeup chest, one in my car, and one on deck for when one of the other two need replacing. And that’s the way I like it. I honestly can’t imagine living my life without a Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer stashed in three separate, but accessible, locations. I know I will always hold on to products that are past their prime, that I don’t need, and that I rarely (if ever) use. And I fully understand that my justifications for such behavior are a bit questionable and, at times, unreasonable. If all of that means I'm faced with an organizational challenge here and there, then so be it. I like my lipstick right where I can find it: anywhere and everywhere.
Are you a beauty hoarder too?