Happy holidays from San Francisco, where I’m spending my winter break! As an eventful 2021 comes to an end, I’m pondering how I can tweak my purchasing habits and beauty rituals in the new year. Here are my resolutions for 2022!
1. No new lip or cheek products until I can stop masking regularly.
I shopped for lipsticks this year as if I weren’t living through a pandemic that forced me to cover the lower half of my face every time I went inside. Lipstick is my favorite category of makeup, and I didn’t want to admit that it might be a very long time before I could enjoy it as I used to. I accumulated several lipsticks in the futile hope that they might last hours under a mask, and several more just because. Because denial is powerful? Because I’d somehow convinced myself that as long as I was acquiring more lipstick, things weren’t really as bad as they seemed? Who knows. But now, as the most contagious COVID variant yet explodes across the globe, I have to accept that it’s time to stop. I own about sixty lipsticks, and that would be more than enough even if I weren’t wearing a mask for the better part of every day. I don’t care if Caravaggio himself returns from the underworld for a collaboration with MAC; I will stay strong for as long as I have to.
Edit, 1/1/22: I’m going to add blushes and highlighters to this moratorium, because masks cover my cheeks as well as my mouth.
2. No new nail polishes until I get my dermatillomania under control.
Since childhood, I’ve been prone to dermatillomania, or compulsive skin picking. I conquered my nail-biting habit in my mid-twenties, but I have yet to rid myself of my tendency to pick at my cuticles and peel off my chipped nail polish, which is terrible for both my skin and my nails. This compulsion ebbs and flows depending on my anxiety levels; it got particularly bad a few years ago, while I was finishing my dissertation and applying for academic jobs, but it remains a problem today. Going forward, I will keep painting my nails with the polish I already have, but I’ll treat myself to new polish only after my hands have really and truly recovered from all the abuse.
3. Hydrate regularly.
I’m one of those freaks who hate drinking water, especially cold water. I also hate using public restrooms with multiple stalls, and the more water I drink, the more likely I am to have to do so. These two aversions mean that I’m perpetually dehydrated. I’m never going to become the sort of person who carries around a gallon jug all day, but I’ve been taking small steps (e.g. drinking a glass of water right after waking up in the morning), which I hope to keep up in the new year.
4. Apply skincare every night.
Here I am in my mid-thirties, and I still fall asleep a few times a week without so much as moisturizing. (I do manage to wash off my makeup after I get home, though. Usually.) The problem is that I don’t get tired gradually. One minute I’m bopping from task to task, sleep the furthest thing from my mind, and the next minute I’m unconscious. I had a revelation, though, while reading a recent Into the Gloss Top Shelfie. The interviewee, a facialist, says, “I do my PM skincare routine at least two hours before going to sleep. This allows products to properly absorb into skin rather than on my pillow.” I’ve started following this example, and it’s helped me achieve a little more consistency with my skincare. By the time I crash in bed (or on the couch, or wherever I happen to be), I’m already moisturized. Genius!
(Never mind that I made exactly the same resolution seven years ago. This time is different, damn it.)
5. Buy no more than forty pieces of makeup and nail polish.
Update, 6/20/22: In case anyone is reading this post halfway through 2022 and wondering how I’m doing, I’ve bought twenty-two new items so far, which puts me roughly on track. Hooray!