Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Makeup Collecting or Hoarding: How Quickly the Edges Can Blur

Barbara Kruger Untitled (I shop therefore I am) (1987)
Barbara Kruger's appropriation of René Descartes' maxim "I think, therefore I am"(Cogito, ergo sum) is searingly funny and poignant when "I shop therefore I am" becomes a commentary about the commodification of culture. Ironically, her artwork which is the byproduct of her philosophical critique is worth a tremendous amount of money itself.

I love Kruger's work because it makes you take a long hard look at the underpinnings of what drives culture, and what motivates us to do what we do, and think what we think.

This particular work Untitled (I shop therefore I am) always makes me think about my own buying patterns as a consumer, and it makes me think about the consumer goods that I fetishize, and how so much of that is culturally conditioned. Take for instance makeup, skincare products, Tom Ford reading glasses, or Marc Jacobs wallets and purses (my personal favorites). There is no question that I could live without those things, and thankfully I don't have to. However, we are often unconsciously driven to crave things that we don't yet have, and nearly as quickly as we acquire them we lose interest in them and obsess about the "next thing." Seasonal collections support this fickle consumerism, and we buy into the construct. Madison Avenue banks on our willingness to stay on this expensive joy ride- which we willingly do!

While I long ago realized that I don't define my worth by the acquisition of the latest Collection, I likewise realize that I all too easily succumb to wanting things that I don't yet have. There is a reason, after all, that I have so many lipsticks and blushes that are variations on the same shade of pink. Subtle distinctions are made: this one has a satin finish, this one has a touch of lavender, this one has pink pearl etc. Then there are infinite ways to justify the necessity of extravagant purchases:  this is from the Chanel Summer Collection (including the much dreaded letters- LE), these were from Sephora's Friends & Family Sale, these couldn't be resisted because of double or triple points on my Barneys or Nordstrom card....  There is also the lure of the GWP- even if it isn't a particularly good gift- it can make an otherwise rational person buy unneeded things indiscriminately in order to make the minimum purchase price. I'm not talking about Barneys gift bags that are worth their weight in gold- I'm talking about the run-of-the-mill gifts that get stuffed in a drawer along with the things that you didn't need or want so that you could get the gift in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I am hardly declaring a personal war, or even a moratorium on makeup consumption- I am just trying to be a little bit more discriminating and mindful of what I am purchasing. I have a sizable stash of makeup, and trust me there are plenty of things that I still haven't gotten around to using yet (and that's not including backups). However this motivation to "collect" is simultaneously at odds with my pragmatic nature and the overarching desire to only have what I need and use. I don't expect this contradiction to resolve itself because truth be told I am a makeup magpie and I like bringing those pretty shiny baubles back to my nest to look at and play with. However, there is a tipping point: there is a balance that must be struck- a delicate equilibrium that must strictly be adhered to- otherwise chaos will ensue.  There is a point where you simply have too much- a point where just one more Glossimer or serum takes you from Collector to Hoarder. I am still in the category of the former, rather than the latter- but the line is much finer than it actually appears the closer you get to it. At a certain point it is a distinction without difference. So beauty blogger or not, I am making a concerted effort to buy consciously rather than impulsively. Weighing, for instance, whether this eyeshadow is different enough from what I already have to be a worthwhile purchase. I do not equate this with deprivation, but instead I see this as a way to make each purchase a more meaningful one. One in which I select things that I really love, rather than things that I feel I should just buy because they are limited edition and will likely sell out quickly. That simply is not a good enough reason to buy a lipstick shade that is unflattering on you-- even if it is the it color of the season.

I still want to be in makeup nirvana I just don't want the frenzy of acquisition to infect my enjoyment of makeup or to cause me to buy things that I ultimately won't use because they weren't well-reasoned purchases in the first place. I want to be as rational about my makeup purchases as I am in all of the other aspects of my life as a consumer. After all, makeup costs money and lots of makeup costs lots of money. So while I am not imposing a ban on makeup consumption- I am going to make a real effort to not only buy what I will covet, but what I will actually use.

This is not an indictment of my own spending habits, but instead it is intended as a wake-up call. This is a simple plea to have my rational self take the wheel before I toss down my credit card- because the makeup magpie in me is impetuous and impractical, and generally likes to take charge in the face of so many shiny pretty things. It is she who is solely responsible for the size of my stash!

What are your thoughts? Do you find yourself similarly inclined to buy things that you don't really need or want? Do you have lots of things that you don't use in your stash? What solutions have you come up with?

Do tell!
Source

42 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post...it is poignant and eloquently written. As a makeup lover who is inspired by the newest releases and difficult to locate brands, this need for balance is something that I think about frequently.

    One way that I combat cavalier purchases is to devote time to blogging about what I already own (which is likely new or unknown to a reader); this process instills in me a renewed sense of interest in a product that may otherwise have been eclipsed by my latest acquisition. I also try to buy most of my cosmetics in person (which, with a busy schedule, makes for limited shopping time and in turn, limited purchases)...unless, what I want can only be procured online : )

    Like you, I have not sworn off buying beauty products...far from it...I just seek to implement more prudence in my selections so I can truly enjoy them!

    Thanks for the post!

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    1. Thank you- What a lovely thing to say!

      I completely agree that this need for balance is essential. It is a really good idea to write about what you have-rather than feeling compelled to buy EVERYTHING out there-- which really is quite silly. It is also a really smart idea to buy things in person whenever possible. Things often look so different on the computer monitor than they do in person- seeing them in person can certainly prevent bad purchases. Additionally the ease with which one can make online purchases fosters an odd level of detachment-- it feels a bit like shopping without consequences. There's such a disconnect from purchasing in a store that it can feel a bit more like a game than a purchase. It's the perfect medium for throwing away money if one isn't really careful!

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  2. Oh Lola... have you been peeking at my bathroom? I think because we blog about makeup that we are worse than the average consumer. We want to be one of the bloggers to show off the beauty in the world. Plus we read each other's blogs and crave what's on there. You have set off lemmings for me and I have a feeling it's the other way around too.
    Even when I promise "no more" something catches my eye and all of a sudden I own it.

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    1. As well as my bathroom, my bedroom, my office.... I totally agree- we are definitely far worse than the average consumers-- we have an automatic justification build into our patterns of consumption: we need these things for our blogs!! We completely enable each other! Reading our favorite blogs, seeing all of the pretty swatches and reviews-- we completely set off lemmings in each other. You are quite right- many of your reviews have sent me on shopping sprees! I know just what you mean-- saying "no more" is pointless-- there's no way we could possibly adhere to that-- at least not longterm :-)

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  3. Hello Lola,

    Thank you for posting this! I've also been struggling with "do I WANT this or NEED this?" lately with my makeup related purchases. A few months ago, I went through my entire makeup stash and got rid of things that I have barely used and will never use. It amounted to a very big bag - such a waste.

    With all these amazing blogs and the media influencing our decision, it's so easy for a want to become a need. I like to think that I buy things because I'm going to use them and because they make me happy. However, I do see where the line gets blurred.

    I have...
    6 blushes
    2 liquid foundations
    2 powder foundations
    2 loose setting powders
    2 tinted moisturizers
    3 highlighters
    6 lipsticks
    20 lipglosses
    20 makeup brushes
    30 eyeshadows
    2 mascaras
    7 eyeliners
    let's not get started on nailpolishes

    These are just a few items in my vanity that I have in more than one shade or type. This is the list after sorting through the things I didn't use. I would be lying if I said that I am not guilty of buying into the construct of consumerism. It is definitely time for all of us to be more mindful about what we buy.

    Meeko

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    1. Hi Meeko,

      Thank you so much for such a lovely comment! I think that it is something that we all struggle with. I have been thinking about this issue for a while, and decided that I really needed to say something. I realized that I needed to be more mindful of my purchasing decisions, and that impulsive decisions generally didn't render happy results. I am trying not to be so wasteful. I also certainly don't want my readers to feel as though I am trying to push them into buying things that they don't need. I think periodically we need to hold up the mirror and take a close look at what be are doing. Rather than discouraging all purchases- I seek to make wiser ones. Rather than ostensibly buying makeup in bulk (huge mindless hauls) I think that editing purchases makes far more sense since we will be far more likely to use what we buy.

      Your big makeup purge illustrates this perfectly-- I think that so many of us are in that same situation, and getting rid of all of the makeup that doesn't work (and the wasted money that it represents) should serve as a cautionary tale about buying things that you don't love and that don't work for you.

      I LOVE your fantastically edited list of makeup-- BRAVO!! Such a wise wise woman you are!

      The line really does get blurred, and it is so easy to buy so many of the things that get fabulous reviews on our favorite blogs. My new approach is to make a list of the things that catch my eye, and then go to the store and swatch them to see if they work as well on me as they did on one of my favorite bloggers. I am trying to stop buying things sight unseen (whenever possible) or impulsively.

      We can never be completely be impervious to the construct of consumerism because we live in a market driven society, and so many of the influences exerted on us function on a subliminal and unconscious level-- making it virtually impossible to catch in a rational way. So- I guess the best thing that we can do is put strategies in place-- little road blocks that prevent us from overdoing it!

      :-)

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  4. I often give this issue a great deal of thought, but I decided to stop worrying about it. I am not a curator/hoarder, but I am a beauty blogger, so I often buy items I don't need (who needs more than one blush or three lipsticks?), but I never buy things I don't want, and I never ever buy items that I know won't look good on me, just for the sake of reviewing something, like the Dior Mitzah quint from several months back. Pretty to look at, but it would have been deadly on me.

    I definitely have more product than I could ever use in this lifetime, but I am fairly good at rotating product and then purging on a quarterly basis. As long as it's fun and I am paying my bills and saving money for retirement, it causes no harm. I always console myself by thinking that my habit/hobby could be a lot more costly, like having an obsession with jewelry, perfume, leather/handbags, or cars/boats!

    My solution is pretty simple: I buy what I like and get rid of it when I tired of it. As for what I like, I try to follow four simple rules about any product I buy/keep:

    1. It must work on its own; no blending with something else to make it work.
    2. It has to flatter my skin tone. If it doesn't, out it goes.
    3. It has to bring me joy. Once I lose the joy, out it goes.
    4. If I haven't used it in 6 months (or if it's over a year old), out out out.

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    1. It's hard not to think about at times, but it was wise to stop worrying about it. Being a beauty blogger makes it virtually impossible to escape collecting more than a non-beauty blogger would (generally speaking)- so it definitely comes with the territory. Your Dior Mitzah example is a perfect one- such a gorgeous quint, and I was so close to getting it, but most of the colors would have washed me out. It would have been so easy to buy, but for what purpose. A true collector would have probably gotten it, but if I can't really where it there's no benefit- and simply buying it for the sake of reviewing it makes no sense. Of course it's an entirely other matter if it is a PR sample.

      I rotate regularly as well, but I don't purge as frequently as I should. Your solution is a really smart one to live by- that way you will always love and use what you have.

      Thank you for such an insightful and instructive response!

      Thanks, Zuzu!

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  5. Oops, I clicked publish when I meant preview. I wanted to thank you for a wonderfully thought-provoking article, lola. I am sure many of us think about our "collections" often, especially when we open a closet and get buried in compacts. ;D

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    1. Thank you! The other day I looked in my drawer that was filled with the things I'm using or testing these days, and it was overflowing and disorganized (unlike where I store all of my makeup-- which is quite organized), and I found myself so irritated by the messiness of the drawer that I walked away shaking my head. When I went back to my desk- Barbara Kruger's "I shop therefore I am" was staring at me- so writing this was the obvious thing to do!

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  6. Loved this thought provoking post & despite my TF lipstick addiction (which by now u know all too well!) I feel that I'm a discerning shopper or to make a less lofty claim....simply have no more room in my vanity for yet another 'perfect' light pink lipstick;no more room in my shoe cupboard for yet another pair of ankle boots;no more room in my wardrobe for yet another pair of J Brand Skinny Cargo Pants (love them by the way!). Certainly I get pulled in by limited edition items esp that of Chanel or TF but even here, I would never purchase something if I didn't LOVE it. I totally agree about the detachment involved in Internet shopping & the game element, in particular, 'the hunt' for that great 'sale bargain' whilst having your feet up & taking a sip of coffee pretty much tops the list of pleasures (note-, I'm not calling it a 'guilty pleasure!') & hey, as it's on sale, y not get a few more things, then a few more...before you know it alot of money has been spent on things simply because they were (abit) cheaper than normal & you are in the comfort of your own home.....that's 'hyper-reality' genius for you! And of course when a department store sends me an email kindly informing me that there is 15% off beauty for 24hrs only....all I can think about is what TF lipstick to get next despite the fact that just 5mins prior to reading that email I had said to myself 'gosh I can't believe how many Tom Ford lipsticks I've accumulated!'

    For me, certainly my shopping urges/practices are dictated by my moods...eg. currently my baby is teething so we have some troublesome nights with me being up most of the night as comforter & whilst I look lovingly down at his drifting back to sleep gorgeousness, I grab my iPhone (now,smart phones are complicit partners of & in consumerism) & think ummmm I can't sleep now,maybe I'll just have a quick retail browse........it doesn't stop there because the next day I'm sleep deprived so feeling abit rough round the edges, I pick up the iPad (another complicit partner!) & look for a little pick me up...which more often than not will involve a cosmetic item that is at least £20. Now when I've had a good night's sleep, eating well,bit of exercise (aside from running around after toddler) these little pick me ups aren't required. Having said that, after a night/day of teething toddler, changing nappies, emptying dishwasher etc to then put on my latest TF lipstick (albeit to pick up my daughter from school) makes me feel FAB-U-LOUS!! It's a wonderful life :)

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    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed it! It was essentially my plea to myself to let reason prevail when I make purchases, rather than making impulse purchases and ending up with things that sit in the back of a drawer collecting dust!

      I hear precisely what you are saying, and I am definitely trying to become a far more discerning consumer! It is all too easy to get swept up in the limited edition frenzy, and especially so when it is a TF item. I agree about simply not having more room for another… I think that you are quite right in only purchasing things that you love, but even so one can easily over purchase things like beloved nude lipsticks! It is so difficult to allow reason to prevail when choosing pretty things appeals to feelings, emotions, and one's aesthetic proclivities! The whole thing is predicated on emotional responses to these beautiful things, and that's why fir me it has been so easy to pull out my credit card!

      I absolutely agree with your astute assessment of online shopping from the comfort of your home, and mobile devices certainly make it ridiculously easy to access! Hyper-reality genius is precisely it! You are spot on about how two seconds before one can have the perspective that one's collection is quite impressive, and then in the next breath it's time to purchase more! LOL! Human nature is pretty hilarious!

      Unsurprisingly, my shopping impulses are also dictated by my moods. It makes perfect sense that purchasing things for oneself can be seen as a reward system for hard work. Taking care of a teething baby is hard work and exhausting. As a reward, it only makes sense to reward yourself with a new lipstick that can put a little bounce in your step, and that you can admire while driving your daughter to school! It makes perfect sense to me, and I think that it is very important to remember to treat yourself. When I become concerned is when I look in my drawer and see so many things that are negligibly different in hue, and yet have the desire to buy more when I have many that are already being neglected! The seasonal collections just keep us firmly peddling away on the treadmill of conspicuous consumption! While I have no interest in instituting some sort of moratorium on personal purchases– I do want to think before I buy to make sure that each purchase is warranted and worthwhile! The pick-me-up feels great, but for me only does up to a point, and once I exceed that point I feel overwhelmed by the purchases! I agree that after a good night's sleep those little pick-me-ups are no longer required. I force myself into the cooling off period that I discussed above in order to make sure that I really and truly want the object of my desire. If I do, and know that I will use it, then I buy it. If not, I move on! xoxox

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  7. Totally agree ref being overwhelmed by purchases...I have felt that way many times..actually engulfed by them! Since then I've pared down my collection of everything from clothes to cosmetics altho it's still a massive collection (which my daughter will no doubt enjoy soon enough!). I gave away a lot of things that I rarely wore or no longer liked to charities &/or sold them on eBay. I am now much more discerning in the sense that I will very rarely purchase an item of clothing or footwear etc because I just have sooo much great stuff & really there is no desire for more plus with my sensible hat on, I know that I spend the bulk of my time at home.

    There's also something to be said for buying things on special occasions...our beloved but expensive TF lipsticks were something I used to reserve for buying on 'special occasions' eg birthday & it was a wonderful treat but recently have just been buying them willy nilly-the fact that I purchased Flamingo without testing in person & to top it off the fact that it remained in my vanity untested until you mentioned it attest to the normalisation of consumption. Somewhere along the line by being lucky enough to buy a TF lipstick (or 2) whenever I want, the xcitement,joy & 'specialness' has been diluted. That said, I do get excited choosing which lipstick to wear & feel great applying/wearing it. Perhaps the best mantra for purchasing should be 'everything in moderation'....plus TF should be restricted in the number of great items he releases....after all there's only so much willpower a girl can excercise :)

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    1. Precisely! Once the overwhelm sets in, then it's definitely time to rethink excessive purchased I think that paring down what one owns, as you did, is an excellent way to only have what you either love, use, will use (or a combination of the aforementioned). Clearly we accumulate more than we need, and selling and donating is a wonderful way to eliminate the clutter and retain only that which will actually get some use.

      I agree that it is nice to have things for special occasions, but you have clearly and insightfully pointed to one of the problems with being on the path of conspicuous consumption: If one begins to make, say, Tom Ford purchases willy-nilly (where it was once deemed a special occasions purchase)– then how can one differentiate between special purchases and regular ones when the special purchases morphed into the everyday? Where does one go from there? When a $50.00/£37.00 lipstick becomes commonplace, then what constitutes a special occasion purchase? A Rolls Royce?! I think that your suggestion that the mantra 'everything in moderation' really has to prevail– otherwise it is far too easy to lose perspective, and of course to purchase things that won't get used. I try to remind myself to only buy what I love, and while I have gotten much better at this there is clearly far more room for improvement!

      I agree, about restricting the number of things that TF releases, na for me that means only purchasing things that I know I will use– otherwise there is simply no point in spending the money! :)

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  8. Exactly that's the problem...when 'luxury' becomes 'everyday' the sky is the limit so then it comes down to having a good talk with oneself & regaining perspective. For instance, even if Tom Ford comes out with the most wonderful light pink lipstick in his spring collection I won't purchase it (u gotta hold me to this...eeek!) because I have every light pink colour I desire (most of which are his). A case in point was the lips & boys collection where the gorgeous light pinks were the ones that kept beckoning but having had 'the talk' with myself I held strong & picked colours that I didn't have. Of course, if complete good sense had prevailed I wouldn't have got any but that's another story!

    I also feel that I go through phases of complete obsessiveness about things & once I've ate,slept & drunk it...move onto the next thing...all of which is again dictated by my mood at any given time! Before the lipstick phase I am currently in, it was Kiehls skincare & before that it was bags & the list goes on.......

    Def. purchasing only things you truly love & will use (plus of course using the vast number of items already purchased is the way forward in enjoying consuming but not being consumed by the juggernaut :)

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    1. And this loss of perspective further feeds the compulsion to acquire things because the ceiling just keep getting out of view! It takes some doing to be able to identify it when one is in the midst of a limited edition collection frenzy, but there is just no reason to go broke buying makeup! Being able to resist a favorite color from a favorite line (Tom Ford light pinks, nudes) takes considerable willpower, but how many permutations of the same shade does one person need?! My friend, the Tom Ford Counter Manager, told me that their Spring and Summer collections are truly incredible– so we will have to see the strength of our resolve when they launch! I don't have any details yet :-(

      I completely relate to these phases of obsessiveness, and think such thinking can be an issue of both character and training. I think that academic training and scholarly research can cause such a great degree of myopic focus and attention to detail that even deliberating, finally selecting, and then purchasing something as simple as a lipstick can be the subject of serious inquiry!

      I agree completely, only purchasing things that you love, and from which great pleasure will be gained is the way to go! It just needs to be done without the frenzy since other things will come along, and these loves can easily be abandoned or displaced by the new shiny objects of desire! Remembering to actually use some of the things that you already have is so important!

      Such a shame that we don't live in the same country! :D

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    2. You are so right regarding meticulous research of lipsticks etc & I do confess to sometimes enjoying 'the chase' more than the actual 'catch'. I am blissed out reading online reviews, pouring over swatches, imagining the colour on me & what outfits it would go best with, comparing & contrasting, creating shortlists etc....phew it's hard work! You can take the girl out of research but you can't take research out of the girl!!

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    3. That is it precisely, my brilliant sister! The chase is the intoxicating part of the acquisition game, and once you actually catch it, then it can be somewhat of a letdown! The reviews, the raves, the swatches, the LE status, the difficulty in finding the "it" item in the collection– all of these elements when combined feeds the frenzy, and the excitement of actually getting it seldom lives up to the anticipation that built during the whole process!

      I completely agree though, when you are trained in academic research, their is a different level of obsession over the details that prevails! We will both be able to test our resolve when TF rolls out their Spring and Summer collections. Let the record reflect that I intend only to purchase what I love AND will actually wear! :-)

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  9. Agreed LE collections are a tough cross to bear! Oh no...my heart did a hop,skip & a jump when you mentioned TF spring/summer line as being 'incredible'....I instantly, thought 'there's gonna be some gorgeous pinks there'. Very excited but shall resist the pinks...u are absolutely right ref.how many permutations of one shade do we need?? I'm resisting going near a YSL counter so as to not try on your recommended Lingerie Pink (have a feeling I'll love it if I actually try it on lips). At the same time, are there any of your nudes/pinks that you feel in hindsight you shouldn't have got? With me, I love each & every one of my 'very similar' looking nudey/pinks (as we've said before-vanilla suede,blush nude & nude vanille are all so divine in their own way that how could you let go of any of them!). I remember, when I got 'pink dusk' (love!) & just couldn't decide which was better between this & 'Spanish pink' (gorgeous!) & after ages of to & fro, I put on my sensible hat & said sternly to self...'come on you don't need both, they are too virtually identical to have both'. Now aside from the fact, that occassionally I dream about the slightly more peachy leaning of SP compared to PD, I'm glad I didn't get both. I do feel that I could have done without Flamingo (as gorgeous a shade as it is) but will just have to make sure I wear it often to justify its place in my sprawling collection :)

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    1. They really are a very tough cross to bear! I'm not entirely sure what colors will be featured in those collections, but they sound as though they will be quite lovely. I did see a nail polish from the Spring Collection that was a dark blackened blue, and it was quite stunning, albeit not exactly the type of color that one would imagine for Spring. It will be interesting to see what the whole color story will achieve!

      That's the real question, I suppose! How many permutations of the same shade do we need?! It's easy to justify it so as not to feel wasteful (when you know that you will end up buying more shades that you "need"), but at a certain point the differences can become so minute that it just doesn't justify having all of them!

      When I purchased Pink Dusk, I also swatched Spanish Pink and decided that I wouldn't buy SP because it is just too warm and peachy for my skin tone. That said, I understand loving all of his pinky nudes, and I don't regret buying any of them. However, my favorites still remain Nude Vanilla and Vanilla Suede. I definitely agree with your analysis, and did the same with respect to choosing PD over SP! Other than NV and VS my other favorite nude is actually By Terry's Age-Defense Lipstick #100 Terribly Nude that I spoke of before.

      http://www.lolassecretbeautyblog.com/2013/04/by-terry-rouge-terribly-age-defense.html

      I completely understand your reasoning with respect to Flamingo, but I suspect that you will enjoy it, nonetheless! You might try mixing it with some of your other TF Nudes since you can customize your shades that way! It's a great way to exponentially increase your lipstick wardrobe with what you already have! :-)

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    2. It's a good suggestion to mix colours etc to gain something new & unique (without actually purchasing a 'new' lipstick!). I will indulge in this more often as isn't something I normally do...with the exception of using vanilla suede as a topper for various lipsticks sometimes. Certainly, Flamingo is a very pretty colour.

      Ha..had a momentary thought that maybe Spanish Pink may look 'completely' different to Pink Dusk on the lips & should perhaps revisit my decision to not have both......terrible!

      Oh dear...blackened blue (LOVE) nail polish sounds stunning & trust TF to do the unexpected for Spring. Harrods are having a preview of the collection early feb. I did see pics of his spring clothes collection in a magazine & it looked very 70s glam rock eg. Flared trousers. The models were wearing very rock & roll make-up....dark smudgy eyes & lips. Exciting!

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    3. I love to mix colors– it's a fun and creative way to experiment, and you can utilize what you already have! Vanilla Suede is definitely the perfect topper for various lipsticks, but I do so love it all by itself too!

      Oh no, you are starting to revisit Spanish Pink…do I feel an obsession asserting itself, only to be silenced through its purchase?! Our consumer brains are definitely wired the same way!

      Yes, and as I understand it there will be eyeshadow duos with a similarly dark color. I don't know anything beyond that, but I will say that the polish was gorgeous! It might be worth your trouble to go to Harrods when they unveil the collection! Your description is wonderful, and I can't wait to see the whole color story, and the 70s glam rock theme sounds fab!

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    4. I may just have to emerge out of hibernation for that plus your friend at TF will probably have inside info soon enough!

      No, no won't let it reach obsession stage...did momentarily think about it & would be keen to try on lips when next at TF counter but feel like the peachy/pink ship has now sailed (having accumulated lots & lots) & am now onward bound to the dark side....hopefully, I won't get obsessive here!

      Agree completely...Vanilla Suede is such a unique shade (paradoxically subtle yet 'out there') that is best worn as is.

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    5. LOL!!!!! I will definitely let you know the scoop when she tells me the details!

      I think that's a sensible approach. Plus, it is part of the core line, and if you feel the urge to revisit it later, it will be there! I know, your obsessions are definitely leaning to the dark side now! I have a funny feeling that you may end up with BD since it seems to be beckoning you! We definitely have to pick and choose our obsession, otherwise we would end up with piles of lipsticks and no money!

      Beautifully described! It really is precisely as you have so astutely stated! :)

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    6. Yes def leaning towards dark side...stop press...have purchased velvet cherry! Husband persuaded me to step out of snuggly cocoon & go for fish & chips at Harrods (as I said...is the best!) so of course I went to (tiny)TF counter to try on black dahlia but unfortunately sold out (plus didn't have tester either). Majorly disappointed, I felt that I had to try on something so decided on velvet cherry (as previously mentioned, is 1 of the reds I wanted to try on..plus this is the one u wore indoors, right?) & OMG loved it,such a gorgeous deep dark red! My husband (who always dislikes reds on me) said it looked really good & had 2get it...so there we have it, finally a red that I will wear! Trust TF 2come up with the goods where others have failed! By the way, the SA was wearing 'deep mink' & it's so not the brown type colour it looks in the tube (this along with coco ravish I always overlook) was a gorgeous 'spicy pink' & looked lovely! Want!

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    7. YES! Velvet Cherry is utter perfection! Yes, that is the one what I pranced about wearing indoors! I am so glad that you bought it! Fish & chips and Velvet Cherry?! How sublime! Too bad that they were sold out of Black Dahlia, but I suspect that you will be delighted by yours when it arrives.

      What, What?!!!!!!!!! Deep Mink turns into a spicy pink?! I must add this to my list of things to try now! I always overlook it and Coco Ravish as well!

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    8. It is such a beautiful red...really like it plus didn't feel self conscious wearing it (normally do with reds!). The sales assistant said I should try the brighter reds too & advised they would look great too (with minimal/no eye make-up) especially Ruby Rush & Cherry Lush...maybe next time if I'm feeling brave!

      Yes indeed, what a great combo...F&C plus TF/VC...it's also our ritual to go to the chocolatier & patisserie (am obsessed with both!) halls to pick up delights to have at home. Got some slices of pecan pie & cherry pie-the latter in particular was beyond words!

      I know-I actually didn't believe it was deep mink! & would have tried it on myself but didn't want 2 take velvet cherry off (even after having purchased it...illogical!). So am def looking fwd 2 trying deep mink (coco ravish on the other hand is truly brown tho & to me a true brown on the lips is abit off!) altho am also not because if it looks the same as it did on the SA I will just have to lift the self imposed ban on pink lipsticks & purchase immediately! Further, have just been alerted to the fact that Selfridges now has 3 previously TF Asia exclusive shades-Forbidden Pink, Bare Peach & Naked Coral...any thoughts?! The names alone have me bubbling so am about to have an online browse for swatches... oh dear..help!

      Shall report back as soon as I receive BD!

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    9. It really is such a gorgeous red, and even better that it is one that you can wear without feeling self-conscious! I'm sure that the brighter reds like Ruby Rush and Cherry Lush would be gorgeous on you, but it's a matter of whether or not you like the way that you feel in them! I think that your reaction to Velvet Cherry may cause you to venture out further!

      Oh, yes– the food hall at Harrods just takes my breath away! I remember first seeing it, and just standing there mouth agape taking in the grandeur! I love your ritual of going to the chocolatier & patisserie! Taking such delectable treats home is making my mouth water! I love pecan pie!!!!!! I can only imagine how delicious that and the cherry pie must have been!

      I can't believe that Deep Mink could be so alluring! I must go try it soon! Coco Ravish is just too brown for me as well. I just can't wear such colors without appearing sallow and sickly! It will be interesting to see whether or not Deep Mink leads to the lifting of your self-imposed ban on pink lipsticks!

      It's very interesting theta Selfridges has the TF Asia exclusives! I have been curious about those three shades as well. They are currently on the Tom Ford Website– so I wonder if that means that they are being added to the core line!

      I can't wait to hear what about your reaction to BD!

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    10. Ok I now have the much sought after black dahlia in my posession but aaaaargh if I try it on, will have to keep (stringent UK laws) so am still waiting to try on at a counter.....aaaaargh again! Good news is that I have 90 days to return it so hopefully I can find it at a counter to try on within that time although I may just buckle & try the one I have with me right now....water water everywhere & not a drop 2drink springs 2mind! I must say though that from a side by side bullet comparison BD & Rouge Noir look extremely similar!

      Wasn't blown away by the swatches of the Asia exclusive colours...good job! Excited 2try on deep mink tho!

      The food halls certainly are grand although that epitomises Harrods in general...so grand & oestentatious that it is as much an attraction to view as it is a place to shop. Oh the pecan pie was extremely delicious but the cherry pie was on another level...will take home the Mississippi mud pie next time :)

      Yes, absolutely, it's how one feels that becomes paramount..no point wearing something if feel self conscious & virtually apologetic! Certainly Rouge Noir has unleashed a bolder me in terms of lipstick hues, further strengthened by Velvet Cherry so mayb Ruby Rush (have u tried this?) will be the consolidation...watch this space. Certainly is a feeling of liberation having always steered well away from these shades....pre Lola!

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    11. Somebody should have a tester stashed in a drawer for you to try on– even if they have run out of stock! If they do, indeed turn out to be too close to justify having both, then I imagine that BD won't be worth keeping.

      I am in agreement with you about the Asia exclusives, but in person we may both feel differently. Yes, agreed about Deep Mink!

      I absolutely agree about the grandeur of their food halls, but you are quite right that it is only appropriate given that it is Harrods! It is quite ostentatious, and definitely an attraction to just take in visually even if one doesn't shop! Both pies sound delectable! Mississippi Mud Pie, oh my!!!!!!!!

      There's just no point, in my opinion, on buying things that one won't actually use or wear. For me it's a waste of money, and a waste of storage space! Rouge Noir certainly has released a bolder you. I have Ruby Rush, but haven't yet worn it:

      http://www.lolassecretbeautyblog.com/2014/11/tom-ford-lip-color-matte-gift-set.html

      It is definitely gorgeous- it's definitely a stunning red, but lacks the vampiness of Velvet Cherry. I definitely agree that it is liberating to introduce new shades into the mix! LOL- I love the pre-Lola reference! xoxox

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  10. Forgot to respond to your point about living in the same country...now how great would that be...we could discuss Lacan & Lipsticks over lunch :)

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    1. Wouldn't that be utterly divine?!

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    2. Well, if we ate at Harrods we would be right near the Tom Ford counter! LOL!

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    3. haaaaaa love that idea...Harrods do the best fish & chips (when in Rome...) extravagant indeed but oh sooooo good! Although Harrods Tom Ford counter is disappointing (Selfridges so much better!)..tiny & unbecoming considering the weight of the brand. Better we have lunch at Harrods & then round the corner to Tom Ford boutique! :) :)

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    4. I love Harrods, but how sad that it doesn't have a grand TF counter! Rather surprising, actually! I love Fish & Chips, and of course this comes as no surprise! Lunch and Harrods and off to the TF boutique it is! A trip to THe NAtional Gallery is also in order!

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  11. TF lady at Harrods said it was because the TF boutique was just round the corner. Of course you love fish & chips!! We may as well do the Victoria & Albert as well as NG!

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    1. That makes sense, but still there are people who won't walk around the corner to get it, and would want to be able to make their purchase at Harrods while there! I remember getting fish & chips with my dad as a kid! I love the V&A!

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    2. Precisely,I am one of those people..esp when it's raining cats & dogs outside, even the TF boudoir boutique experience wouldn't b enuff 2get me out of Harrods. The SA did admit the counter should be bigger & grander & couldn't understand y Bobbi Brown counter was so big (internal politics & gripes everywhere it seems-did make me laugh!).

      That's a nice association-getting fish & chips with dad as a kid. Aside from Harrods, we love having fish & chips in Brighton by the sea!

      The V & A is one of my favs....have u been to the Guggenheim (prob spelt incorrect) in New York (referenced in S&City!)?

      I may be wrong but have a feeling u r a cupcake & vintage finds lover too so we could also pop down to Portobello Market in NottingHill & have cupcakes at Hummingbird Bakery!

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    3. I feel the same, when it is raining cats and dogs I generally don't feel motivated to venture out in the world! It's just nice to snuggle in and see it from the inside rather than getting caught in traffic! I don't blame you one bit!!!! They really should have a grand counter at Harrods any way that you add it up. It doesn't even matter that the TF boutique is right around the corner! Yes, I imagine that the internal politics are quite powerful, but the Estee Lauder company owns both Bobbi Brown and Tom Ford Beauty– so one would think that they could have their couture line properly represented in one of the most prestigious department stores in the entire world!

      The Fish & Chips association with my dad is definitely a wonderful memory, but it was hardly at Harrods! It was just at a local F&C place that was part of the landscape of my childhood!

      The V&A is one of my favorites as well. Funny that you should mention the Guggenheim– I am planning a trip in the next few months!

      I am a cupcake fanatic (of course!), and therefore popping down to the Portobello Market in Notting Hill sounds AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    4. Of course u r a cupcake fanatic...any particular favs...I love vanilla sponge with choc buttercream topping..if we decide 2meet in New York, we'd have 2visit the magnolia bakery (sex & city again!)

      How funny ref. Guggenheim....don't tell me we're entering psychic connections now!!

      The local F&C's often the best...we had a great local one too when I was growing up & in those days (sound really old!) it used to come wrapped in newspaper...loved it! Certainly though Fish & Chips at Harrods is amazing (although thankfully very relaxed & informal) an experience introduced 2me by hubby!

      Of course... I didn't think of that ref.Estee Lauder...makes even less sense then that the TF counter is so mediocre at Harrods! Selfridges have the right idea...it's like a juggernaut there! but rarely go into Oxford Street these days (was there all the time as a student!) its just 2mad busy there for my liking now.

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    5. Vanilla is definitely among my very favorite flavors, and buttercream (whether chocolate or vanilla) makes me deliriously happy! Yes, we must go there together!

      We entered that zone a while ago!!!!!!

      I'm drooling at the thought of newspaper wrapped F&C! I'd love to eat F&C at Harrods as well!

      It just seems as though Harrods should have a legendary TF counter! I know what you mean– sometimes such locations are just too busy to contemplate!

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