How do you handle criticism of your makeup collection?

I feel like it’s so rare to hear criticism now; I think when beauty blogging was newer and YouTube wasn’t so popular, having as much as I do was really jarring. Now, I think a lot of people understand why I have as much as I do and no longer even want that much, LOL! I don’t even add much to what I have – I don’t feel it is necessary to keep as many products as I used to (as photography quality has improved and stabilized over time). Generally, I remind people of what I do, why I keep (or don’t keep) products, and ultimately, it’s my choice and is something that does not negatively impact the rest of my life (e.g. financial goals).

— Christine


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Cherie Avatar

I have had to deal with this in the past, … I’m not a beauty blogger but I’ve been told I buy “too much.” Though my buying has significantly slowed down, I still get some products in new or interesting formulas I want to try. I’ve had to explain that I love makeup artistry and fashion and so makeup is more or a hobby- which I think most people understand. I’ve also given away quite a few things so those close to me certainly love that aspect.

Mariella Avatar

I don’t think I’ve ever had any criticism (at least not since I was about 13 and painted that Twiggy-inspired severe cut crease every day). Either my makeup is subtle enough or the people I know are polite enough (or both) that it’s never been an issue. I have had a few people (an EA I work with, a few friends) ask what the eyeshadow is that I’m wearing (it was Nars Kalahari – I still remember feeling flattered) or what colour lipstick I’m wearing (it was a now discontinued Guerlain fuchsia/dark pink shade) but both times, it was because the people asking liked what I was wearing.

Mariella Avatar

Oh gosh….I missed “collection” in the question! Well, my husband frequently comments about how I already have waaaay more than is normal, necessary or sane but since the same can be said about his electronics and general gadgetry (you wouldn’t believe the insane doorbell system or the exploding “smart switches”), he’s finally come to realize that it’s something I enjoy and, in the greater scheme of things, it just makes me happy and compared to collecting Hermes scarves, diamond jewelry or having a gambling problem, it’s nothing to fret about.

Mary Avatar

“I’ve not had any negative comments since I was a teen and my very Catholic Mother saying things like
“ good girls don’t …” (fill in the blanc )“…lol..
So of course I was very rebellious 😎

Mariella Avatar

My mom wore makeup (I remember that she would “treat” herself to a very pricey Estee Lauder cake eyeliner or maybe it was an eyeshadow – every now and then; I’m the child of immigrants who didn’t have a lot of money but that was one thing she’d indulge in while everything else was probably Maybelline, etc.). My dad had card-playing buddies and one of them had a daughter I looked up to – she was maybe 20 or more, certainly an “adult” – and he suggested that maybe she could show me how to apply eye makeup (this was after seeing the Twiggy inspired cut crease). Of course, I didn’t want to look like a main-stream adult then – I wanted to look like Twiggy!

Lizzie - IsolatedColor Avatar

I haven’t had much actual criticism, just surprise/shock, I guess. People who know me know that I love makeup because my eyes are colorful every time they see me, haha. When I explain that makeup is a hobby for me and that I love to have lots of options to use, they usually seem to understand.

DVa Avatar

Ha! I think my friends would be more “in awe” than critical.
I’m not one to “show off” my stash unless I know someone is into makeup. Especially when so many people are struggling right now, it just seems excessive.
Maybe 3 people know how much makeup I really have.
One of those: I’ve become good friends with someone I met on Insta. We both have the same rare breed dogs so we follow each other. I’ve helped her with some training tips etc. She’s in NY and I’m on the opposite side of the continent up here in Canada, so the fact that we’ve become friends is amazing.
We do weekly (or more frequently) face chats and I’ve taken her on a virtual tour of my custom built vanity, and all my stash.
It wasn’t until I showed her it all I realized how big it is! She was amazed, but not judgmental at all.

Nancy T Avatar

If I know them well enough to know that they have a favorite hobby, something that they collect (like baseball cards) or perhaps they put much time and money into golf or something along those lines, I will just toss that particular ball in their yard. And then gently and respectfully explain how it’s not all that different from what they’re doing. But that’s if they’ve been simply curious or polite in how they’ve asked. Otherwise, I will just tell them that it’s really none of their business.

Ana Maria Avatar

I don’t ever remember someone making a critique about my makeup collection. I only received maybe comments about the fact that I apply makeup or how long it takes me to apply from my brother (when we lived together during our university years) or from my partners. There were usually thinks like “you don’t need makeup in this situation”, “you look fine/better without makeup”, “why do we have to wait for you to apply makeup”, thinks like that. I just shrug and ignore the fact in the moment, it was never truly an issue.

But I have never the classic makeup lover. I love makeup, but I always kept a small collection. Makeup never occupied too much space for me, and I never purchased in big amounts to be a financial burden.

Jessica Avatar

I have had people ask why I spend money on something that goes bad. I remind them that many people like expensive wines and beers. Those you can only enjoy once, whereas my makeup will be good for many uses over a longer period of time.

Gilad Avatar

I don’t talk about it , no one except my partner would have occasion to see it – and he’s not rummaging through my drawers. I sometimes give away makeup to my son’s girlfriend or my one friend who has any interest. They’re happy to see if anything works for them. It’s pretty much a non-issue. Do I have friends who might silently judge if they saw everything I have? Probably, but they don’t have the chance to. My chosen friends have always been much less into perfume & makeup than I am (or used to be – age is lessening my interest and purchasing. I enjoy what I have, and have most of what I need/want).

Valerie Avatar

When I was first getting to know my now-fiancé, he didn’t quite understand it and associated makeup with vanity. But he’s fully on board with my habit now, and he even got me a rare set of brushes for this Christmas. I have never actually used them, but periodically take them out of their enclosure and pet them gently. You guys understand but I’m not sure anyone else would. So only very close family and he have seen it. I guard it closely.

brendacr1 Avatar

I think my husband and my daughter are the only ones that know how much makeup I actually own and they know it brings me joy. It’s nicely organized and I put a lot of thought into my next purchases. I’ve actually slowed down a lot with my purchasing but it’s just so darned beautiful! So if they thought it was a problem yes they would say something!

Genevieve Avatar

I don’t get any criticism of my makeup collection at all – a few jibes from my twin sister – who has a sizeable one of her own. A few weeks ago my husband commented on how “I had a lot of colourful things” meaning my eyeshadow palettes – he didn’t really know what they were, but that’s about it.
I think one’s own makeup collection is one’s own business.
I’ve had quite a few shop retail staff ask me about the colour lipstick I am wearing (so they could purchase it) and when I got my new glasses, the staff person there commented on how beautiful my eyeshadows were every single time I went in., which was lovely to hear.

Shawne Avatar

No one knows how much I really have, tbh. The other day I mentioned to a coworker friend that I had a ridiculous amount of makeup and she said “well you could stop buying it and just use what you have and then you won’t have so much”. In my head I thought “yeah, right” but also realized how simple and obvious her solution was. I honestly don’t know anyone in my real life who would understand my love for makeup so that’s as close to criticism as I’ve gotten so far.

Cheryl Avatar

I actually have a small collection that has grown during the pandemic because makeup and watching tutorials has become a stress reliever and dopamine hit for me. Buying too. That’s why I immensely appreciate the palette comparison so I can see if I *really* need that new (or restocked) eye shadow palette that I’ve had my eye on. I mean, how many palettes does one person really need?? 🙃
I teach yoga on Zoom and the lights/camera flatten and wash out my face so I end up wearing way more makeup than I would in person. I see it as a chance to practice my application skills and be with myself in a very positive and self-affirming way. 💜💜💜

ShariP Avatar

I don’t think anyone other than hubby has ever said anything about it. Maybe its because they are waiting to be the recipient should I do a declutter. Hubby has rolled his eyes a bit, but he’s also driven me to Sephora/Ulta in bad weather so I wouldn’t have to drive by myself. The nearest Sephora/Ulta is about 45 minutes to an hour away.

Zia Avatar

I don’t cope with criticism about my makeup collection well. This stems from knowing it is excessively large even from my own perspective. Really most of the criticism has come from my mother who rather I just save 95% of my money than buy anything more related to my hobbies. But as others have commented, the criticisms don’t tend to change my actual habits or how I feel about my collection. I love my makeup collection and the products I choose to purchase. I love creating looks. It’s a hobby that’s entirely for me (my other big hobby is a social one) and it makes me happy.

Angela Avatar

I had a woman (apparently a former makeup artist) come in to fit coverings for our windows. She made several negative comments about how much I own. All my brushes, liquid eyeshadows, and 10% of my lipsticks were out at the time (none of my 100+ eyeshadow palettes!). That’s the only time someone was rude about it.

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