13 March 2010

Glow Girl Close Up: Seriously, Are You Addicted to Makeup?

You're at a cosmetics counter, drugstore, shopping online and the exhilarating feeling you get from all the pretty colors, textures, sleek and sexy packaging is like no other. You turn on the light to your spare bedroom, spare closet, garage, storage room and there are crates, boxes, bags, bins, tubs, drawers, compartments filled to the brim with makeup. Much like the television documentary series Hoarders, you've amassed so much makeup it is out of control.

The beauty industry is a billion dollar industry. We, as women, love to pamper ourselves. Eyeshadow, lipstick, nail polish-you name it we have it. There are some that are contributing more to the industry than most. How often do you find yourself at your local beauty counter or store? Are you there before the gate can open? Are you spending most of your disposable income on cosmetics? Do you even realize you have an addiction issue? We jest that we're "makeup addicts." We've all succumbed to impulse spending on cosmetic items. I know I have. Although I love cosmetics and blog about it, I know where to draw the line. I wear makeup- I don't let it wear me. I don't let it control me. I don't let it own space in my house. I most certainly do not let it drain my disposable income. If it comes down to getting gas or eyeshadow, you better believe I'm stopping off at the nearest BP or Exxon because that eyeshadow may look fabulous and it may be all the rage this season but it's not getting me home to my warm cozy bed.

"I couldn't believe the huge amount of stuff I had until I realized I had a serious problem," "Ana" told me. "It was like taking over my LIFE. Every minute of everyday I was thinking, eating, sleeping and breathing makeup." "Ana," 26, is an administrative assistant who still lives at home with her parents. She started wearing makeup at 16 and what started out as a casual purchase of makeup every couple of weeks or so began to spiral out of control about 5 years ago. "At first it was a couple of lipsticks, eyeliner-whatever. Then it was making friends with the store clerk and getting the scoop on when they were expecting new items. I don't know exactly when or how I went from one to two things to needing it all," says "Ana." "There were times where I would easily spend a whole paycheck and not blink. It's not like I pay rent or anything but can you imagine if I did?" "Ana's" obsession with makeup didn't hit home until she started scheming and eventually stealing. "Ana" says that it got to the point where she was no longer getting makeup to actually wear it but just to have it. She said she had close to 50 or more bins full of cosmetics and it got to the point where her parents began expressing concern about the lack of space and the amount of makeup she had. "Ana" couldn't possibly wear it all but it didn't matter. "I reached my breaking point when my parents really started getting on my case and I got caught stealing. When the store manager asked me why, all I could do was cry and finally saw I had a serious problem and needed help."

"Ana" is like many women whose obsession starts off small and snowballs into a full blown issue. Gimme That Glow is one of many sites that is dedicated to cosmetics and beauty. We often times overlook beauty bloggers that are seriously addicts themselves. We all are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to receive products to use/review but I can't help but wonder if we are honest with ourselves about addiction. We amass quite a collection of products that we may disperse to friends and family or keep to use. Some have admitted to having bins and bins full of makeup like "Ana" once had. Some actually have "haul giveaways" to scale down and provide loyal readers the opportunity to win products that they've read about. I think it raises the question, "Why are you keeping all this stuff?" There is no way humanly possible you can use everything you have in your makeup collection. I even found myself finding things I've purchased, used once and "forgot" that I had it. I had to then really put things in perspective and begin making sure I purchase or get products that I will use and rid myself of the things that I don't, can't or refuse to use. Everyone who knows me knows two things- I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE makeup brushes and eyeshadow. Every morning when I dress for work I literally (after getting dressed) look for eyeshadows I haven't used yet or it's been a couple of weeks and USE IT.

Addiction is a serious issue. The first step is acknowledgement and the second is to seek help. If you find yourself buying makeup draining your bank account, borrowing to feed your habit, stealing, browsing for hours on end, hoarding makeup, etc.-please seek help. Join a local support group and speak to a therapist. If you are a friend or family member of someone who you may think has an addiction consult someone before confronting your friend or family member. Be beautiful. Be well.

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