High Definition: Curbing Makeup Repeats

ColumnWhen it comes to makeup, figure out what the difference is between want and need.

During economic depressions and recessions, the one thing that doesn’t slow in sales very much is lipstick. It’s an easy purchase; a luxury item that is relatively cheap and can brighten your mood quick. If you are spending $8-$28 dollars every time you want to feel better on a shade that is similar to one you already have, maybe it’s time to rethink the purchase pattern.

I mean, have you ever asked yourself, “what am I doing with six of the same shades of lipstick?” In general, women like buying something new, but we fear too much change and often end up with variations on a theme in our makeup bag.

Every time I do a makeup bag review for someone I come across this habit of multiples which tends to be about the same for every woman, no matter what age. In the confusion of her makeup bag there’s a few eye shadows in a variety of browns, some color she’s barely touched like sparkly green, a shimmery white and sparkly gold. Then a few eye pencils in black and brown, maybe one outlandish color she never wears. Several lip glosses and lip colors ranging from pale rose to deep wine with some bronzers and blush to fill out the rest of the bag. All of these products come in various states of wear and tear, with the safest colors being the most worn and others just standing by because they never really looked good but their owner can’t seem to justify throwing them away.

My advice?

First, start by editing your makeup bag, box or cabinet the way you would your wardrobe. Find your classic staples, a few good accessory colors for fun and toss out anything that is ancient or never looked good in the first place.

Second, start asking yourself what you need vs. what you want.

We tend to buy makeup from these two mindsets and often get derailed in the “want” department. Beauty counter associates and marketing ploys are great at doing just that. The beauty industry is built on creating buzz around newness. They want you to get excited and feel the urge to buy.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t start unconsciously gravitating towards pretty packaging every time I enter a Sephora. So there’s nothing bad about this, but having been on the marketing side of cosmetics, I can tell you that it’s a very direct and intentional methodology to get you to buy out of want and perceived need.

The best way to not make double purchases is to go with your makeup to the store and swatch test the colors on your hand to make sure what you are buying is truly different. Then try the new color on your face, wear it around for a couple of hours and if it still sings sweetly to you, then buy it.

I would be remiss as the eco makeup expert if I said, “just go out and buy anything.” Instead, I have hopes that each of you will take the time to find more natural and organic makeup to put on your face. If you need some suggestions and motivation for swapping out your traditional products, watch this short video where I replaced common makeup items with “green” substitutes and gave startling statistics about the amount of chemicals women are exposing themselves to daily.

Editor’s note: Got a celebrity look you’d like to copy or a trend you’d like to see incorporating healthy, non-toxic makeup? Send your questions to High Definition columnist Kristen Arnett at beauty@ecosalon.com

New York City based Kristen Arnett is an internationally renowned makeup artist and founder of the Green Beauty Team, styling high profile celebrities and runway models as well as a sought after beauty expert, educator and teacher for other makeup artists.

Image: Flickr: Viviana_Love