When VCRs were still a thing, my brother and I had about six videos to choose from, and every night we would have to (at least nominally) agree on which one we wanted to watch. We owned six films, and I still remember every single word of every single one – the songs, the colours, the delighted wriggling which accompanied the appearance of a beautiful dress, or a favourite line, or a funny moment. When you don’t have too many things, you learn to love the things you have completely.
That’s why, when I see ‘Makeup Collection’ videos on YouTube, part of me shivers. These girls (and guys, for that matter) seem to have every product under the sun. Now, that doesn’t even make sense if you’re a professional makeup artist, let alone an amateur hobbyist. As a general rule, I think that we (and I include myself in this) have far too much damn stuff altogether, and it makes far more sense to own a few things that you love than a load of old tack. Like everyone else, I’ve gone through the phase of buying everything that I could lay my hands on (and for the most part, I now wish I could just have my money back). Nearly every cheap, ill-considered purchase that I’ve made has ended up passed on to my little sister or consigned to the wastebin, after a brief life characterised by mediocrity. No more, dear reader. No more.
William Morris said that one should keep nothing in one’s house that they neither thought to be beautiful or knew to be useful, and from hereon out that is to be my philosophy on material things in general. I might be a shameless materialist, but at least I can be a thoughtful one. No more so-so makeup products, no more cheapo brushes, no more half-used-and-then-abandoned-to-be-rediscovered-years-later-in-a-state-of-semi-solid-neglect bottles of body lotion. If I don’t intend to use anything on an at-least weekly basis, then I shall no longer waste my money on it. A simple quest, noble in the manner of King Arthur’s search for the Holy Grail (and I mean the original one, not the HG mascara…)
I want to have all the makeup that I reasonably need, and then use it and spend my money on more interesting things. It may sound boring and rational, but to my mind it’s more pleasing to have a single one-size-fits-all red lipstick that you adore than the entire inventory of Mac. By the end of 2013, I want to have much, much less stuff. It’s going to be awesome. Join me.