Sunday, April 24, 2011

On being cosmetically challenged

It occurred to me while conducting one of my favorite pastimes, which is hanging out at the cosmetic display that this is one growth industry and one which thrives on our vanity. Over the years I've bought, used and then tossed out thousands...maybe even millions of lipsticks not to mention foundation, eye shadow and other supplies after one use. It's not that I want to discard them given the price of these "necessities" but after bringing them home and applying them, they just didn'

Right? C'mon - you know it's true!

Some people collect antiques. Some people collect dolls. Then there are others, like me, who collect makeup because we can't admit we made a mistake. Well...not really a mistake as such.

Cosmetic companies spend millions of dollars perfecting their products and still more millions in advertising in an attempt to convince us to try their line. If there is one sure thing in life in my humble opinion it's that a decent lipstick shade will be discontinued. It's as if the marketing department monitors the various shades sold (I'm actually sure they do) and then decide that purchasers are becoming to complacent and happy with a color and then pull it. Let's face it: a happy and contented lipstick purchaser means that all the other new shades will languish on the shelf. In dealing with this reality and whenever I find a decent lipstick shade, I buy at least three more in anticipation of their disappearance. A person can't have too many lipsticks.

Right now in my cosmetic bag, there are:

* 3 Oreal lipsticks, kind-of tangerine shade that I bought six months ago, which appealed to me at the time. I assumed they would be pulled. They weren't. I'm stuck with them. Could toss them in the trash but keep them just-in-case.

* 4 tubes of Maybelline lipsticks that were discontinued. I loved the shade...once. I'm bored with it now.

* 1 Luster...something-or-the-other lip color. Can't read the brand because the writing is miniscule. Discontinued shade. Loved it and miss it, still.

This leads one to wonder:
- Why the writing on the under-side of the lipstick is so small, anyway.

- Why can’t manufacturers use the sides of the lipstick cover to indicate the shade and/or number? Most lipstick wearers don’t carry a magnifying glass when choosing a new lipstick and checking the name given to it in order to remember the shade

- Why do long-lasting lipsticks – at least in my experience – all seem to end up in a pink shade?

- How come the plump-up-your-lips products cause your lips to tingle but do little else.

- Why don't all cosmetic companies provide testers for their products, especially lipstick? Why do shoppers have to guess if the shade is the one they're looking for?

There are also 5 bottles of liquid foundation (brand name(s)withheld)included in the collection, which all looked neutral-beige, the desired shade under store lighting but weren't when brought home and applied on face. Enough said.

- 2 eye shadow trios. Both tops are broken because the hinges always (at least for me, anyway) fall off and the subsequent broken pieces of shadow adhere to the sides of the cosmetic bag. Blechy mess.

- 4 eyebrow pencils of various shades of light brown...or what appeared to be light brown but all the wrong shades because they looked the correct shade in store light.

What's in YOUR cosmetic kit or bag and what have you thrown away lately?

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