Is there nothing more awesome than finding something you had forgotten about? For instance, if you are in the habit of frequently swapping out handbags day to day, you may forget to remove cash from the bags. It’s nice to find money in bags or jackets. If you’ve misplaced a really cool doodad and just gave up on looking for it, but then find it during a new reorganization session, you get giddy from finding it again. Or what about that little pot of multipurpose color you have been looking everywhere for, and you get a nice little surprise when you look inside a cargo pocket and find it. Awesome, right?
What about when it’s not? I was clearing out some space in my closet to move in boxes of paperback books I had either read and loved, or not read yet, but for which I did not have the time for, and I started clearing out a large Muji brown paper bag filled with items I had thrown in there from an old “cleaning” session. Sometimes these “cleaning” sessions involved me dumping things in a bag, letting it sit there for a while, and then shoving it some place where it won’t disturb the pseudo organization I had completed. On the surface everything looks sparse, neat and organized. Under that shiny, sparse exterior lurks the dirty, messy, disorganized and clumped truth – the mess I shoved off the tops of surfaces and stored in dark corners not to be seen again – for a while.
In this Muji brown paper bag I found the tape measure I had been looking everywhere for, the booklights I wondered what I had done with, the rolls of extra packing type I could have sworn I had tons of, but had purchased more of because apparently it had been a figment of my imagination – which it wasn’t, tons of little odds and ends…OH, YEAH AND A SMALL SEPHORA BAG FILLED WITH A RECEIPT AND BRAND NEW ITEMS – circa a 2012 shopping trip.
I had completely forgotten about these items. What were they exactly? A Laura Mercier 500 point Sephora VIB gift and the Boscia mini kit deal, along with several lovely long-wear, matte Sephora brand lipsticks.
Instead of being pleased by these re-emerging gifts, I was hit with a sinking feeling. Like WTF! Not only do I have to worry about a horde of mid-use make up expiring and cool minis that won’t get the same level of enjoyment and appreciation I normally give because I can’t soak in the experience, now I have “new” boxes of unopened stuff from last year?
This is all very Dantean, you know. I love beauty and skincare products so much that I went a bit overkill. I love trying new things and I love trying to find something that will fix a skin issue, but I crossed a threshold. I wasn’t getting the same level of enjoyment and appreciation. Throwing in some economics – I did not maximize the optimal level of satisfaction for beauty. I overran it and each additional util of enjoyment decreased until it became displeasure. I am soooooooooooo over that point. It’s sad. I find it ironic that I need to abstain from new beauty products for a while in order to regain the sheer joy I gained from a new product.
But this wasn’t just it. It was something more.
My “Mission to Finish” and “Beating the Beauty Clock” sucked the fun and pleasure out of beauty. Beauty isn’t a speed contest on usage. It’s an experience. A luxury. My overkill in the foundation, highlighter, and sunscreen department, along with my sense of guilt on waste, made using my beauty products seem like a chore. A CHORE!?!
Needless to say…that focus on using up certain products exclusively? Gone. Beauty is as much fun as it is purpose for me. I stripped the fun and it became all purpose…and then I couldn’t care less.
If a product spoils, it spoils. So be it. I will need to make better “inventory” decisions. That means, as I mentioned before, no new foundations for a while. No new highlighters either. Ditto sunscreens. But in the meantime, I won’t hesitate to use a different foundation, if it’s the texture I want, the application technique I want. Same goes for sunscreen. I am not only using my Origins Stay Tuned Makeup, I am using my “no where near expiring” Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation, as well. When I feel like it. And you know what? I am enjoying my Origins Stay Tuned Makeup even more now, because I am not forcing myself to use it all the time. Allowing myself to be free is increasing my enjoyment of all of my makeup. And that means, even if I am only able to get a few uses out of it before it goes bad, I am actually appreciating it more, enjoying it significantly more than if I had forced myself to use every last drop exclusively.
I am sure the applications and analogies for this are RIPE for exploration.
If you love something, SET IT FREE. LET IT BE.
That’s maybe easier said than done in certain situations, but on this one…I am coastin.’
As in most things in life, there is collateral damage. Expired bottles? Ehh, I can live with that.