Saturday, May 19, 2012

Beauty Blues... or what I fondly call the Beauty Malaise

It was another mentally and physically draining week, and at some point during it, I realized that about two months passed since I entered a new phase of life. While waiting to meet up with my baby sis for some sister bonding time yesterday, I caught these Essies on discount and thought that it was finally time for a little break and indulged in a mini splurge.

Borrowed & Blue, Mojito Madness, Mint Candy Apple

Well, I guess I'm never going to fully reduce that nail polish stash. ;-)

In a way, it was kind of a breakthrough. A month ago the thought of spending precious $$$ on nail polish was heartbreaking. Yesterday it felt like a win, that I was able to enjoy what's considered the usual pleasures of life. Today I feel mixed. I'm wearing Mojito Madness on my left hand and Mint Candy Apple on my right, and neither look right and I'm just not feeling the love.

I'm suffering from an ongoing beauty malaise.

But I know that it's okay to feel like this and it's okay to step back and re-examine and test the boundaries again. Like when you're not sure that breaking up with that person was the right thing to do. Sometimes we're indecisive and have to go through periods of doubt. It would be weird if we didn't take those pauses to consider things more carefully.

I said before that I was going to try to get rid of as much stuff as possible on the blog sale and feel no regrets, but I did feel many twinges of regrets as I took stock and slashed prices and reconsidered the items' values. Sometimes I even removed the items from the blog sale pile and put them right back into the train case where they came from! (Now they're back on the sale again and there they shall stay until new owners find them.)

It is powerful this feeling of want. Want of adding to the stash, hanging on to things, feeling secure in the amount of things we have rather than the value they add to the quality of our lives.

Old habits die hard. Even while I'm scrimping and saving every penny, I can't help but to browse the drug stores and department stores to see what's new and exciting and how they look in person. That inner beauty blogger is firmly rooted in my soul whether I have the funds or not! It's a rallying cry from the heart to continue to do what I love to do, and at the same time this awareness of it is a whisper from the brain to be more prudent and cautious than I was in the past.

So, I'm slowly making my way back into the fold yet not fully immersed in the shouts of excitements over new things and future collections. I choose to abstain with purpose and cultivate this underrated thing called restraint until it becomes something more elastic that I can control, not a hard shell around me or a guilty feeling from within me. Hey, kind of like THE HULK, wouldn't you say? (I finally caught The Avengers, and while it was terrific fun, I found it a tad overrated. Nonetheless, I'm so there for the sequels.) Funny that I also picked green polishes when I usually avoid greens. I found them a refreshing alternative to the usual blues and aquas saturating summer collections. I also like how they look within the green frames of the blog template!

Have you experienced a beauty malaise in the past? Are you going through one now? What's the cure?

26 comments:

  1. I go through slunps sometimes where nothing looks good and I can't think of what it is that I am missing...*shrugs* obviously the beauty drive comes back! Haha. I usually just take a break and focus on other things (video games, food, etc.) and strip down to the "bare basics" face - just light base makeup, neutral eyes, eyeliner...maybe a touch of blush. That usually carries me through the day!

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    1. It's a good plan and I've been doing that but it's been 2 months and I thought I'd snap out of it by now. Oh well... I'll carry on. More for the empties and one day I'm sure something brilliant will strike.

      It's nice that you can do a light base makeup. I need about 3 layers of foundation to get me through the day!

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  2. I definitely know the feeling! I think if I tried to explain it to anyone outside of the blogosphere/beautyworld (say, my sisters, for instance) they would look at me like I had 4 heads. Beauty products make us feel this way? Yes. Yes they do. I love the greens you picked up and I reeeeaaaally want to try Mojito madness. <3

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    1. OMG, you too? My sisters soooooooo don't get this. But they know enough to check with me before going out to buy anything new, lol!

      Is Mojito Madness new or really old and forgotten? I'm so out of the loop!

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    2. Yep exactly! They know they have to check with me first too! Also...Mojito Madness is brand new- part of their summer collection!

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  3. Is it bad that I haven't gone through a beauty malaise...? :P

    On that note, I think you made great choices in the Essie shades! I've been in a green/aqua/blue phase for about two years now... Mint Candy Apple started the whole mint green love for me, and now I have about 82 mint polishes. Oddly enough, I have never seen Mojito Madness!!! But now I feel I must have it...

    Old habits die hard, indeed. I always want to add to the stash. :(

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    1. It's not bad at all for you because I depend on your expert knowledge! :D

      I'm not a huge mint green lover but MCA is a classic and it looked nice against MM. I'm not sure if MM is new... everyone seems to love that one but it looks less exciting on my fingers right now.

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  4. I'm glad to hear that you're getting some enjoyment out of beauty products again! I definitely understand how other stuff can overwhelm and there can just be a feeling of disenchantment with the whole enterprise, and I think it's really good to be aware of that and respect it when it comes. But also to remember that pretty stuff is pretty! And there's no shame in pampering yourself every once in awhile. I'm generally very frugal with my beauty purchases and don't buy things I don't feel I can afford (most of the time, ha), but I have a *terrible* time relaxing and taking a break when I have lots of work to do. I just have to remind myself that it's okay to take a break sometimes! Just like it's okay to spend some money on pretty things sometimes. I love your description of restraint, and look forward to accompanying you on your journey to elasticity :) And I think nail polish is a great pick-me-up (I bought a ton of it after my breakup, ha!), and these colors are just gorgeous! Also, I never go to movies (they're too flipping expensive, ugh), but I'm really tempted to see The Avengers...Maybe I'll make myself take a break and see it next weekend :)

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    1. Women colour or cut their hair after breakups as a need for change and I think switching up nail colours is a very small way of duplicating a similar feeling. It's hard when it feels like I need a "pick me up" every day and I have to learn to slug through it w/o whining about it all the time or breaking my bank account.

      Movies are definitely expensive and I rarely go anymore either. The only ones I think are worth watching on big screen is well-made action movies and even then I use discount tickets that I can get through work. If you like superheroes, you should go see it!

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  5. Yeah, I've been there too. I'm such a moody person my feelings can veer from one extreme to the other on a daily basis. I think the worst feeling is when I think that "magic" purchase is going to change the way I feel for the better and of course it doesn't. The disappointment that ensues usually puts me back in my box and away from spending for a while...

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    1. I suppose everyone gets moody and I don't know how extreme your fluctuations are, but it doesn't show in your posts at all. Winter must make it more difficult. :(

      Yes, the "magic" purchase - I know that feeling all too well. I kind of miss it, to be honest, lol!

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  6. Oh crap I sound like such a misery guts! Just on a bit of downer myself. I'm sure it will feel different tomorrow!

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  7. I get the beauty blues as well. I had them in February, but it went away. All it took was a bright lipstick, and trying out different looks with the great products I have and I found my beauty mojo again. You don't have to shop for new things to find your mojo, just find something that you use that makes you feel good when you put it on. I hope you get happy about beauty again.

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    1. I didn't go out to look for new things but I was happy when I came across these. It's just... why did they stop cheering me up as soon as I put them on my hands and when am I going to perk up again? :-/

      Maybe I'll try the bright lips trick. Seems to work well for a lot of people!

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  8. I know what you mean. It's hard to find exactly what I am looking for. LOL. Beauty blues - how creative.

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    1. Hey, long time no see!

      I find a lot of things... but sometimes they're not really what you end up needing. Right now I don't think I know what I need. :<

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  9. Maybe the fact that after all this time and all the personal angst you've gone through, wearing one shade on one hand and another shade on the other hand, strikes a discordant note; how about you remove them both, stay with bare nails for a couple of days, then choose only ONE of the hues to wear. I think what's missing here is symbolic harmony, but that's just me!

    As to any ambivalence with regards to the items for your blog sale, again, I think it's perfectly natural to feel like that Liz; the stuff you're selling is all stuff that meant something to you at one point or another, and even if that meaning's gone, there's still a sense of security or comfort in something we call a "personal possession". That being said, change can be good to and maybe a clean slate is what you need. Like we said last time, there will always be a new collection around the corner, clamouring for our attention, so you're not missing anything; when the time is right for you, you'll indulge. With your new set of personal guidelines, you may find that any future items you purchase work out to be even better suited to you than simple impulse buys....so, think of this time in your life as cathartic!

    And you saw The Avengers? I'm still trying to convince my husband to take me....I don't remember the last time I saw a movie at a theatre!!

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    1. Well, I was thinking of doing an ombre, then I got indecisive and put different colours on both hands to see which I felt more in tune with - and then I decided to leave it and let it grow on me - and finally I just lost patience and rubbed them both off. Now: bare nails. :(

      I do want that clean slate so badly but I'm also sad about having to part with my things. You're right, better times will come and this time of difficulty is worth it!

      You'll just have to work your charms on him. ;) Apparently it's quite good in 3D!

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  10. I'm glad to see that you were able to pick up a few inexpensive nail polishes and feel good about it (even if they didn't turn out to be mind-blowing). You know what my favorite part of perfume blogging is? The connections and friendships I've forged along the way. You are one of my very favorites and I LOVE to send you perfume care packages, so I will continue to do so. Care packages with a little note of positive words goes a long way in remembering the reason why we blog about the things we love: sharing-- sharing products, stories, emotions and events, good or bad.

    So on that note, I'm making you a care package today. :)

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    1. I'm getting a little teary here right now reading this. The friendships are my favourite part, too, which is why I decided to go on blogging despite the lack of excitement for pretty things right now. I'm so glad that our paths crossed and I learn so much from you! More than the package, I'm so touched by how much you care. Thanks, Carrie. I'm taking heart from this and hopefully won't be so mopey and bitchy this week. :`)

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  11. yeah I'm going through beauty malaise. At least it sounds fancy that way! I think it just comes with time, once you've been exposed to so many pretty things, you start getting less excitable over the newest pretty thing. On one hand, it's great, but on the other hand it's depressing. I really like the shades you picked though, they're so calming and pretty.

    Anyways, hope you get out of your slump soon! Because even though it's good for saving, it still makes you feel kind of mopey. And obviously you being happy would be preferable :D Yay

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    1. Lol... yay! I want to be happy and excitable. Somewhere inside I am, but it's like another part doesn't want me to be.

      I agree the colours are calming but maybe I should look in a different direction, at some louder more cheery shades. *nods*

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  12. Yea I do go through phases of "beauty malaise" where I think I have hauled too much crap. I tend to buy more drugstore items because they seem cheaper. I would say 70% of them are good quality but there are moments when I think I should just buy less, as in, one or two excellent brand name items for XYZ category rather than hoard dozens of sub par ones. Then I look at my stash and think, I have so much stuff but yet I want more - like I don't appreciate what I have when I have plenty. If beauty malaise is about questioning thoughtless materialism, quality vs quantity, then I've been there. Your posts are always so thought-provoking. Though it seems you are emerging from forced frugality/prudence into a more natural state where you can appreciate some beauty products without too much guilt.

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    1. That was my aim for the past year and a half but I just hauled, period. It's so difficult once you start becoming a collector!

      Thanks for your nice comment and I hope that's where I'm headed. Hope we can both find that balanced state!

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