I suppose 54 posts into this blog is an odd stage to write about what inspired me to kick off this here blog, but here it is!
My obsession with beauty has an unusual origin. Until a couple of years ago I had a very practical attitude to make up and well, all beauty products. I was not what you would call 'obsessed' with them. But I was obsessed with finding the perfect product for a particular function. What kicked off my holy grail beauty quest was a frustration with buying in, like a sap, to the latest new shampoo or foundation and being let down. I was annoyed by wasting money on products that gathered dust in my bathroom cabinet after only a few uninspiring uses. I hardly ever finish products and when I do I get a very lame sense of achievement and satisfaction that I have discovered a product worth repurchasing. Back in my low-key beauty days on one particularly arduous District Line journey I whipped out my notebook and began listing the best/most functional shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, sunblock, mascara...you get the picture. Any beauty item you can think of, I listed my favourite version of it at that moment in time. I wanted to create the ultimate 'shopping list' to end all lists to prevent further money and time wastage trying products that on the whole, turned out to be duds.
The irony is that I started the list as an attempt to simplify the aesthetic faffing which comes with being a woman; I wanted to have ONE great mascara, ONE fabulous foundation, ONE perfect hair serum, etc. in a streamlined kit. I wanted to declutter, start buying only products I KNEW would work, help me look my best, and that I would completely use up. And also save myself the indecision when facing a wall of hairspray in Boots - because I could always refer to my list!
Ah, what naivety! The major aid to the completion of the list - beauty blogs and youtube videos - was the undoing of my plan for discipline! The number one attraction of the internet beauty community was its, on the whole, honesty. My aforementioned 'sap-ness' and the let downs were mainly a result of buying into multi-million pound advertising and marketing campaigns. Now I know there's a lot of 'sponsored' product posts swilling around the beauty blog community, but having read reams and watched tonnes of real, honest product reviews bought with the scribe's/YTer's own cash, it's pretty easy to spot and immunise yourself against the sometimes-fantastical claims of 'incentivised' posts. Without the community there's no doubt I'd still be flailing around, trying crappy shampoo after crappy mascara. Since engaging with it, I've only bought a few disappointing items, despite quadrupling the volume of beauty paraphernalia I waste my salary on. I read beauty columns in magazines now in the same frame of mind as I do those obviously sponsored blog posts; if a company is laying down big bucks for advertising in the mag, how can a review of any of it's products in that same publication tell it like it is? Now it may be a perfectly worthy item, but I'm not gonna take the risk! (Well at least not before seeing what the blogs say).
On that District Line tube I didn't think of the items on my list as 'holy grail' - this term I picked up from the internet beauty community, but it conveys perfectly the type of products I'm searching for. I've discovered so many amazing products that have really made a difference to how I feel about myself (don't worry, I'm not going all Oprah on you!). One gross but nevertheless good example is the PedEgg. Years before it came to the UK I read about a similar product - the Microfile - on a beauty blog. You could only get in in the US, so when I was in California, I went on a hunt, didn't find it, but saw the PedEgg. I NEVER would have bought this without reading about what a revolution this type of product is to feet - and now mine are no longer my bodypart enemy #1 and I can wear high heels with much less pain. I never would have read about it in a magazine as it wasn't available in the UK at the time. I'm also always on the lookout for other fair/ginger skinned ladies as what suits them is normally a safe bet for me. I hope my recommendations can do the same and pass on the love.
And so, a fully fledged obsession was born and I'm resigned to the fact that I will never achieve a perfect, finished holy-grail-list-to-end-all-lists (those products I first listed...yeah...BORED NOW!). I will always hunger to try new products. This is my cross and I shall bear (and blog about) it! No doubt it will only get heavier as my face et al heads south.
But hey, everyone has a vice, and I don't smoke or drink! (much).