Has your relationship with makeup changed in the last year?

I don’t think it has changed much, since I am fortunate enough to work from home normally, so the pandemic didn’t shift how I approached my day-to-day life or how much (or little) makeup I’d wear.

— Christine


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K Avatar

Yes. I’m a nurse, and I have burnout right now. I’ve had it for the past half a year, at least. Most days I don’t have a lot of energy for makeup. I mostly put on a quick contouring crease eyeshadow and mascara, brow gel. I haven’t worn lipgloss in a full year because of masks. I barely wear lip products or foundation because of masks. I have a Lisa Eldridge Velvet lipstick in Velvet Ribbon I bought midway through the pandemic. I still haven’t had a chance to wear it. I’m waiting until I can finally go out without a mask to wear it, at this point. It happened by accident, but now it’s become a small goal for me. I’m waiting for the day when I can finally break into it.

Irene Avatar

I have the absolute respect for you and your colleagues, I have absolutely no frame of reference of how your burnout feels like, but I’m just gonna assume that it feels like absolute hell. I really do hope you find some form of happiness once the day comes when you do get to wear your new lipstick! (and even if it doesn’t come from the lipstick, I hope you get to find it in a different way!)

Z Avatar

Not really. I have and wear makeup because *I* love it, not because I’m expected to wear it, for anyone in my life, etc… So I have continued to wear makeup while at home every single day. I was fired from my job last year and often go a week without seeing another human – obviously it’s for me! I like painting my face in new colors every day. It’s soothing, fun, and just something that never occurred to me that I “have” to do. Having said that, I haven’t been wearing foundations or complexion products, just sunscreen, some spot concealing, and doing up my eyes, lips, or both. It’s been interesting to work on my brow game. I have nice brows, but making them look the way I want has been an absolute challenge for me. So I guess that’s been the only real change. I play more with techniques and older palettes now that I have the time and if something goes wrong, who cares? Who’s going to see me anyway?

Shayna Avatar

Absolutely! I used to be a daily makeup wearer (foundation, concealer, powder, eyeliner, mascara, , blush, contour and lipstick) and now I think I will only be wearing makeup on special occasions. I stopped wearing makeup in the last year and got so used to seeing myself bare-faced that even a small winged liner (which I used to do on the daily) looks jarring to me. My skin has also cleared up from drinking and eating out less and I feel more comfortable going out without foundation. We’ll see if that changes in the coming weeks!

Katrina Avatar

Unfortunately, yes. But in some rather unexpected ways. My friends and I are makeup junkies and one of our rules is that we have no “budget” when we plan girls trips together (typically 3-4x/year), and so when we get together, we literally shop without abandon at every makeup counter you can imagine. My makeup vanity pre-quarantine was primarily high-end (I.e., PML, Chanel, Dior, TF, Sisley, Viseart, CT, Cle de Peau, ND, and some garden variety others thrown in), but even then I owned every variation.

When we got locked down we could no longer get together so we started to look for ways to satisfy our makeup obsessions and I think that spiraled out of control (with me being the worst offender). Having somewhat of an unlimited budget, my stash is now entirely out of control and so are my best friends’ stashes. But we’ve discovered indie brands (in part, thanks to your website which my husband found after he suggested that I might just be buying duplicates of neutrals just by different brands), duochromes, and other trends we wouldn’t otherwise have taken the time to even think about.

As far as how we wear the makeup, we live in Michigan, and I’ve got to appear on zoom in a sit on most days so I can’t be too out-of-the-box, but I’ve enjoyed seeing the way you incorporate colored eyeliner on your lower lash line, so that would be just about the only every day change. I’ve always done neutral in the day, crazy at night. Happy to have found your site!

Mariella Avatar

it sure has. Just in case people don’t know this (hahaha), I like shopping in store, swatching, sampling, trying out makeup items especially (skin care too). So the fact that stores here are closed (and have been, on and off, for over a year) has meant that I am trying and buying FAR less makeup. I teach and schools are closed for in person learning again except for special needs classes (which is what I’m teaching now) and so masks (and in some cases, shields) are required the entire time we’re in the building (even before the students arrive) so lipstick and blush use is a thing of the past except at home. So, yes, I’m buying less, “rediscovering” the overabundance of makeup that I have but also missing the in person shopping experience and the instant gratification that comes with it.

Nancy T Avatar

It’s been a year alright. Between the pandemic and masks, moving across the Valley to be closer to my kids and a BFF, losing Scunci, my daughter moving cross country, son going QAnon, etc., very unfortunately, my zeal for makeup has all but died. At least temporarily. Yet, I feel so guilty and stupid for having such a massive stash that I now barely touch. Never imagined that this would all deflate my passion for makeup so badly. Hopefully, I’ll get it back soon.

Lydia Avatar

Oh man, I’m sorry about how tough your year has been even beyond the pandemic. You don’t have to feel guilty about your collection- you *did* use it until life got too crazy. You wouldn’t look down on a painter who lost her love of painting during a time of great stress, but who had every color of the rainbow, or a woman with a beautiful wardrobe of cocktail dresses who can’t really host her big parties anymore.
I pray you get some relief and comfort soon, and who knows, when you get your spirit back you might be thrilled to go back and see all the beautiful things you have!

Nancy T Avatar

Lydia, your encouraging, very uplifting words have just touched my broken, battered heart so deeply. I don’t believe I could even thank you enough. I need to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself: “Girl, you’re STILL in there somewhere. When you’re ready; spread your wings, even though they are hurting, and live again.”

Helene Avatar

Some years. eh?
A lot has happened, and it takes time to get over losses and changes.
I have had my times when I’ve shaken my head at my collection of makeup, wondering what the …. I was thinking, but somehow I fell I always come back to my love for good makeup products. I hope you will too.
At least you are here, checking out the news, so to speak, adding to the WL, writing and reading.
For me, makeup is a form of therapy, meditation, it calms me and most of the time it makes me feel less miserable if I have a really bad day.
Sending positivity your way.

Nancy T Avatar

Yes Helene, some years are just plain awful and overwhelming. When things weren’t great, but still manageable, makeup was my therapy, too. But then along came August 2020. Oy vey. I don’t even enjoy cooking anymore, either. But you are correct; I’m still excited about new launches and brands, so I guess I’m not dead inside yet. 💔🖤❤️

Helene Avatar

Far from dead inside. You have to let yourself take the time to start to heal. It can take a long time, but it will get better. You have been through so much, one of the things would be enough to make it hard for anyone, having everything pile up like it did would make anyone feel broken.
Just staying in touch here is a very good ting, I know so many of us enjoy your comments on the news.
If you ever just need to vent, we are here for that as well.
Take care Nancy!

AJ Avatar

I’m wearing less makeup than I did before, which means I’m also buying less — even before the pandemic I had reached a point where I felt like my collection was big enough and there wasn’t much coming out that was spectacularly different from what I had.

When I do take the time to put on makeup, I still really like how it looks! But since I’m currently not doing any online dance performances, my looks are a looooot simpler than they used to be. I can’t even remember the last time I used eyeliner or false lashes.

Ana Maria Avatar

This last year I continued to put on makeup every work day, just to get myself into the “work from home” mindset. Clearly things have changed, I rarely did winked eyeliner or wore lipstick, but makeup was a constant routine that kept me sane (I still hate working from home).
The biggest change is the weekend / special event makeup. I do miss dressing up and going to classic music concerts, musicals and opera. But I know that once everything is back to normal, my makeup relationship will go to what it was before, because I still enjoy it.

Ginny Avatar

I culled a lot of my lipstick collection and haven’t sought to replace it. I just need the few lipsticks that look great on me and shouldn’t have more than three on rotation for the season. I also have way too many eyeshadows that don’t do much for me. I absolutely need to stop buying them (which I am doing a good job of). I think I realized the part of makeup I really enjoy is applying complexion products, blush, and loading on the mascara.

Rachel R. Avatar

I still love makeup, but I went from wearing a full face almost every day to wearing it only two or three days a month, tops. Besides not being able to go anywhere for months, having to wear a mask for more than a year now, I was getting really bored with releases and becoming more and more disappointed with more and more indie and mainstream brand owners showing themselves to be terrible people. I’ve bought very little this last year. I’m just now starting to get interested in indie releases again. I’m worr makeup a little more often this month. I’m vaccinated and looking forward to things starting to open up more.

Libby Avatar

I used to be a full/medium coverage foundation wearer. Because of masks, head covers, PAPRs, etc I was leaving behind my face on all my PPE. Not to mention the terrible mascne! So I stopped all foundation/concealer and my skin is in its best shape ever. However, I’m going to start wearing light coverage and concealer since i have discoloration and dark eye circles. I’m looking forward to wearing lip products again.

brendacr1 Avatar

Yes it has changed a whole lot. I rarely go out so I’m not using my makeup as much. I miss it some but it’s not a death sentence, sometimes it’s nice to throw on a hat, sunglasses and a mask and go! Somehow I still managed to make my Rouge status at Sephora so it didn’t stop my spending. I know I’ll get back to my full face again it’s in my nature!

Jess Avatar

Absolutely. We still have a state wide mask mandate even outdoors so I haven’t worn any face or lip products since this all started. I also haven’t bought any. Occasionally I’ll wear a single eyeshadow and some mascara but most days I can’t even be bothered to do that anymore because I figure what’s the point since the rest of my face is covered. 😕

Nikki Avatar

Makeup actually became more important to me during the height of the pandemic, because it was the one thing I had near-absolute control over! Also, after masking for so long, I will never take lipstick for granted again!

Latika Avatar

It has actually made me rely on my make up a little more. Even though the quarantine made me mostly work from home and stay home .. getting up daily and at least having a routine of showering doing my hair and some make up made me feel better. I still wore mostly lounge clothing but at least I got dressed. Perfume actually became my love and that is what I mostly purchased. I did buy some make up.. and make up staples, like primer mascara brow stuff that you really use a lot of… but I started doing my nails at home and discovered Kiara Sky SNS kits.. so my beauty really became my self care sanity.

DVa Avatar

I love reading all these responses!
From nurses (bless you all) to folks out of work and stressful family situations… It’s lovely that you can bring all these people together to share so much about themselves. I’m a pretty private person but I’ve found this year opening up and actually sharing things with folks I never would have before (friends and strangers) has been quite cathartic.
Plus hitting 50 plus a pandemic really makes you not give a … what people think anymore. 🙂
Saying that, I do try to put makeup on every day. I work from home but it’s for me, and I still go out and walk the dogs etc. We have a pretty close little community where I live and often gather in the lane catching up.
We’re still all waiting for a second dose here, so we’re all pretty cautious; cautious is second nature now.
How my relationship with makeup has changed: less experimenting with colour, everything is subdued. Less multiple colours on the eyes to blend, often it’s a one-and-done or two shades. I’m doing mostly monochromatic looks. I focus almost entirely on a smooth healthy looking base, glowing skin and contour/bronzing. Finally a great coat of mascara. Lips, almost nothing. I need to cull a lot.
I’m with Nancy, feeling guilty for having this huge stash and all but a handful of products are being used.

Anne Avatar

Pre-pan i was at a point where i felt like i had a decent collection anyway and was mostly just purchasing lip products. Application then dropped to 1-3x (compared to 5x for work) even if it was just going to grab coffee or if i wanted to try a new product. However once winter hit i fell into a slump. It’s only been as of late that masks are finally starting to ease off and I’m allowing myself to buy new, like the LE spring/ summer release or VB bronzer. That being said i am still wfh and makeup wearing remains on weekends mainly which is sometimes only 1x. happy at least when we grab lunch on the weekend i can now take a few glosses to apply throughout the day. 😉 other than that i am trying to be conscious about what makeup I’m not reaching for, to move out.

Zoe Avatar

I’ve stopped wearing non-matte lipstick finishes altogether because it’s a hassle to remove before putting on a face mask. Long lasting liquid or generally matte lipsticks are my go-to now. It was sad to part ways with my non-matte lipsticks though, but it had to be done because they were unloved.

I also prefer gel blushes now (over powder blushes) because they’re easier to apply on the go, and require no additional application tools like brushes (less bulk in the handbag).

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