We live in a world of wants disguised as needs. Advertising tells us that we need this or we need that. We’re constantly told that we need more stuff. The global economy relies upon us continuously buying more and more stuff. We’re brainwashed to keep accumulating things until we end up suffocating under a massive pile of our own belongings.
Despite the fact that I am aware of this, I still can’t shake the urges to buy certain items and products. I can’t escape the deep seated feeling that if I buy just one more thing that it will change my life and everything will be perfect.
I can’t help it, it’s been programmed into me since I was an infant.
You, the person reading this, are probably the same way.
None of us are immune to propaganda.We are not at fault, nor are we necessarily weak for internalising what we have been taught since before we knew how to speak.
Recognising it is the first step, and a lot of us are getting there.
As someone who loves fashion and make up, I find myself struggling to tackle this revelation more and more. I’m trying to transition myself into only owning timeless pieces of clothing and jewelry that I will keep for a long time, and only buying makeup that I know I will use on a regular basis.
And as a beauty lover, eyeshadow palettes are something that I find advertised to me almost constantly.
It seems like every year each big brand has to release at least three new palettes and promote them so relentlessly that one can easily be forgiven for literally buying into the hype.
This time last year I found myself deep in the grips of an eyeshadow palette obsession, and ended up spending almost £100 of my hard earned money on three palettes. In retrospect, I’m not sure if I even remember doing it. I feel like I blacked out and some makeup obsessed demon took possession of my body.
Flash-forward to now, and within the last year I have only actually used one of the palettes somewhat often. Another I have given away to a friend because I never used it, and the remaining one I have barely used but keep due to the fact that it is a collaboration palette that pays homage to one of my favourite artists. I can’t help but feel a twinge of guilt when I see it in my drawer though, the thought of it going waste makes me sad, but I can’t think of anyone who would want to buy it.
Let’s face it, the only people who really need a huge array of eyeshadow palettes are professional makeup artists. The average makeup wearer honestly barely needs one, perhaps two.
Obviously if makeup is your hobby and having lots of palettes with different colours to choose from genuinely brings you joy, then of course you can justify having a bit of a collection. But I don’t think most people are like that. We just buy them because we see that other people have them, so we want them too.
When you really think about it, eyeshadow palettes have so many downsides.
Huge palettes are impossible to transport without the risk of damage. You can’t keep them in a small bag throughout the day for touch ups, nor can you take them travelling with you. They aren’t designed for an active person, who is almost always on the go.
On top of all this they’re wasteful (how many people actually manage to use all the colours equally?) and the packaging is difficult to recycle.
Of course, you can still enjoy eyeshadow without buying into the palette craze.
One alternative is only purchasing single eyeshadow colours that you know you will use a lot. This is what I’m going to do in the future. I just need a few colours to accentuate my eyes to use everyday. I can’t justify having a massive palette with 20 different glitter shadows if I know I’m only going to have the opportunity to use it once a year. If I were a drag queen (and I often wish I was) perhaps things would be different, but I’m not, so that’s that.
Build your own palettes are also another good alternative, and there are plenty of magnetic ones on the market right now that allow you to build a palette using shadows from multiple different brands. I especially like this idea, as the build your own palettes are also re-usable, you just replace the pans.
Obviously I’m still going to try to get a decent amount of use out of the palettes I have before they expire, but once they do I’m giving up on eyeshadow palettes forever. I’ve realised that they are a waste of money and eyeshadow. As a makeup lover, I honestly don’t know which is worse.