Discuss: How Much is Too Much?

In the past several years, the online beauty world has exploded. Brands, blogs, vloggers, Instagram sensations – what-have-you. Even though I wasn’t really aware of it until three years ago, it has been impressive. Personally, I’d love to see revenue comparisons on the brands alone for current day versus five years ago.

On  YouTube, Vanity Tour videos are insanely popular. Some of these men and women are professionals, actual artists sharing their at-home setup; others are just people who enjoy makeup and happen to like getting on camera. Regardless, their viewers and readers want to see what their favorite personality has in their stash, how their vanity is laid out, and how they decorate.

So many three-wick Bath and Body Works candles, girl.
So many IKEA Alex drawers.

How Much is Too Much?

I can appreciate getting inspiration for organizing efficiently, and for decor (I am exceptionally decor-impaired). The work these people put in to present an organized (usually..), visually appealing setup is hard to ignore. I haven’t really pinned anything to that effect in ages, but their willingness to share has helped so many people get inspired to create their own little beauty zen space.

It is hard not to notice, however, the size of (some of) these collections – they border on madness. For a professional artist who is actively working as an artist (not an artist-turned-YouTube sensation who hasn’t worked on a client in three years), it’s one thing to have two full drawers devoted to foundations and concealers. For a, “guru,” though – does it really make sense? How many of those bottles and tubes even match you throughout the four seasons? How many are expired?

I realize that might come off as hate-y or judge-y; I don’t intend it to be that way, but even as someone who has come to find makeup so fun, I can’t relate. I can’t relate to an overflowing vanity with stuffed-to-the-brim, stacked MUJI drawers and overflowing IKEA Alex sets. I’d love to get some perspective on this – so I’d love to know what you think (update: added the following to clarify) about your own collection:

How much is too much when it comes to owning makeup?

I think it’s also different when you’re just getting into beauty and you’re kind of buying everything to find what works for you. There was a point where my stash was bigger than it is, and that’s precisely what I was doing; learning the products, finding what worked for my skin and coloring and whatnot. Once I learned, though, I pared down and didn’t keep the superfluous things by sanitizing them and either giving them away or selling them.

For me? Maybe it’s because that feels like clutter to me, even tidily corralled. Maybe I’m too pragmatic to be able to wrap my head around owning that much product – having to keep it organized, actually using it before it expires, etc. Perhaps my aversion to a voluptuous beauty stash also lies in the limitations of shelf-life; the thought of product going to waste makes me shudder. I think there is definitely a limit to how much makeup someone can reasonably use before it goes bad. Obviously some products keep longer than others – a foundation will turn before eyeshadow does, for example.

I’m not suggesting that people with robust collections are wrong (nope – I’m just seeking perspective!), and I wouldn’t dream of telling someone how to spend their money. For them, beauty might be their only hobby; perhaps a wildly diverse collection is how they pursue that hobby. What do you think – to you, how much is too much?

(Also for the record I completely plan on buying a set of Alex drawers when I move, so as much as I’m poking fun at that part of the bandwagon…I’ll be hopping on it. They just look clean, okay? Don’t judge.)

5 thoughts on “Discuss: How Much is Too Much?”

  1. Hello and Good Morning…Their are people called…”collectors of makeup” and “hobbyists”. I know because I’m both of them LOL. i have a funny saying Id like to share with you that is quite pertinent to this discussion…IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU THAT YOU HAVE ENOUGH JEWELRY/MAKEUP AND YOU DON’T NEED ANYMORE, STOP TALKING TO THEM. YOU DON’T NEED THAT KIND OF NEGATIVITY IN YOUR LIFE. lmao!!!

    As far as the foundations not matching from season to season well you could always use a high # SPF to lighten it up. At least that’s what I do and it works just fine for me…And btw I am pale as a freaking ghost so if it works for me it will probably work for someone else.Hope you have a lovely day!…Love and Light…:)

    P.S. I do have several of those nice acrylic makeup organizers and feel that they are essential to me in keeping it all neat and organized. I even have one for my nail polishes and it spins too.

    • Good morning Holly,

      Thanks for reading. :) I definitely consider makeup and beauty a hobby of mine (this blog wouldn’t exist if it weren’t). I’m not trying to actually define what, “enough,” is so much as get perspective on what others’ thoughts are. For example, beauty isn’t my only hobby, but my collection might be bigger if it were.

      Regarding the foundation – I’m not talking about someone keeping their summer or winter matches in the off season. I’m talking about people who range from NC15-NC25 throughout the year having NC/NWW40-NC/NW50+ in their collection. You aren’t going to lift an NC50 to an NC15 with sunscreen. It is highly unlikely, even with a considerable amount of devotion to tanning, that having an abundance of those colors (or any colors that are VERY far from ever being a match for you) on hand would make any kind of sense while not having an active artistry career.

      And I love the acrylic organizers! I use them and they are great tools. But seeing 10 of them stacked and arranged on a vanity seems (to me!) to be intense. Like overwhelmed with product.

      • I have a very BIG problem trying to find foundations that actually match my skin tone which is very light…I had used Estee Lauder’s Double Wear foundation in the lightest color they had a few years ago. And it was a perfect match for my skin tone and I loved it. Then they chose to discontinue it and now none of their new double wear line matches me.

        I also used to tan and YES that high SPF does work…For 2 to 3 shade differences…i also use MAC face and body foundation (white) to lighten my other foundations and that too works for me. i currently have 4 acrylic organizers and one acrylic nail polish spinner. I dont actually own very many foundations. I have Dior,LORAC,Estee Lauder,MAC (face and body hence “white”), and bare minerals.

        What i have alot of is eye shadows,blushes,lipsticks/glosses. I also hoard certain items that I know are either limited editions or discontinued items. Those items are also my “holy grail” items. If you go to the Estee Lauder site you can get a good understanding of how customers of double wear foundation felt when it got discontinued.

        And then replaced with much darker colors which will not work for us very light skinned people. i still love Estee Lauder and my husband even worked for them for a few years on 5th Ave in NYC. But I dont understand how a company as big as they are can change the whole color line like that. Have you ever tried Double wear?

        It is so good that it will stay on your face for over 10 hrs and not melt off even if your in hot/high humidity temps like South Carolina etc.i feel that makeup in general is fun,exciting, interesting,entertaining, and beautifying. Some people really enjoy experimenting with different looks and makeup in general.

        Im not so sure that owning a good amount of makeup has to make sense. My philosophy is this…if your not hurting anybody then have as much fun as you can with your hobbies/makeup. Their are lots of things that dont make sense in life but that doesnt mean that people shouldnt do them within reason of course.

        Now if on the other hand it is indeed hurting someone else then this saying would apply…Just because you can do something doesnt mean you should. I just wanted to say to you that my posts will always be respectful and honest. I mean no offense or negativity whatsoever in my posts to you…

        Thank you also for starting this thread/blog. I am enjoying it immensely. Are you on you tube by any chance? Have a lovely day…Holly…:)…Be Well…and.. Love and Light

      • Aw, gotta hate when they discontinue your holy grail. I feel like that’s been the story of my life lately.

        Yes, for a 2-3 shade difference, SPF is a legitimate strategy. But for example… let’s say you’re like NC10 in whatever flavor of MAC you like. If you tan naturally, you will never be as dark as NC40-NC45 (at least not without risking and/or incurring a massive amount of skin damage). If you go sunless (which I recommend), I suppose it is possible to get that dark but a change that drastic would requite a lot of effort and probably not look flattering. It isn’t realistic.

        I haven’t used DoubleWear but I do know it was well-loved by many people.

        The question I’m posing isn’t whether or not we think OTHERS should stop so much as, “As an individual, where would you define that line for yourself?”

        I think a lot of people are led less by their own organic desire to have a large collection and more influenced by the mega vanity tours that are all the rage. There’s a lot of idolizing of and trying to emulate YouTubers – seems a bit, “keeping up with the Joneses,” like they might not have bought those things if they didn’t see these YouTube starlets go through 30 drawers of makeup.

      • I think if I had 4 or more large acrylic organizers full to the brim of makeup that would be way overkill for me. i currently have one large one with 5 drawers and they are very deep drawers. So it holds alot more makeup than your usual organizer would. I have two Ugee boxes on top of each other.

        And I have one with sloping and waving sides up top with 3 small drawers and an open top for all my makeup brushes and perfumes. If I truly want or need a makeup item I dont limit myself. I purchase it and use it. I also have very sensitive skin so not everything is going to work for me.

        So I have to do alot of research on makeup before I pull the trigger on anything.To give you an idea I just counted my blushes and i have exactly 70 right now not including the palettes that include blush as well.So that means that just one drawer on my large deep acrylic organizer has right now 70 blushes in it with some room to spare.

        Each one of those drawers on the large one with deep drawers can hold a ton of makeup. And each drawer starting from the top down has lip glosses then my blushes then my eye shadows then my primers/concealers/foundations/highlighters etc then the last drawer has my eyeliners/mascaras/palettes.

        The other organizers have my other lipgloss and lipstick collect in them and they are not full. I also have dividers utilized in the big organizer and I love them. i hope i was able to answer your question. Please advise me on whether I did or didnt answer it.I do get alot of compliments on my makeup when i do go out from other women.

        They ask me first am I a makeup artist. I say no. Then they ask what is the makeup brand/colors aka exact info. Usually its LORAC or Dior that I get alot of compliments with. Recently it was with ELF. I bet you get lots of compliments too as well.

        Ive actually thought about doing makeup tutorials on youtube but Im very scared of crazy/stalkers type people attacking me. I recently had a friend that was being stalked/harassed/hacked into her account on you tube and it was very unsettling/unnerving/frightening to say the least.

        So Im not sure if I will ever be able to bite the bullet and just do it or not.I have a real LOVE for my makeup what can I say Im a makeup addict…Hi my name is Holly Im a makeup addict…glad to meet you…:) Love and Light

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