20 March, 2014 / General
I’ll admit it: I’m a beauty hoarder. Anything given to me, or tried and not liked, is stashed in the glass-fronted cabinet in our bathroom. And there it remains – dozens of tubs of bacteria multiplying in gunk. I feel sick just looking at it all.
There are lipsticks from when I worked as a beauty editor on a magazine – in the 80s. They pre-date mobile phones and the Internet. There are mascaras from Thatcher’s era. I don’t use them, obviously, but can’t bear to throw them away – because I hate waste. Time, then, for the Big Beauty Purge.
I am also addicted to things in mini sizes, the assumption being, ‘This’ll be handy for travelling.’ Fine if it’s quality stuff, but we are hardly talking Cowshed here. Why am I hanging onto 13 tiny bottles of unbranded shampoo and a Novotel soap? Why do I thieve hotel toiletries at all, as if fearing some global shampoo shortage? Plus, there are hotel shower caps, shoe shine cloths and mini sewing kits. If something’s there, I have to grab it. There’s also a body lotion fixation going on. Like most women in their forties I don’t relish the prospect of withering to a crisp. But still…. four tubs of body butter, all but one smelling decidedly off?
I find a metallic (actually glittery) lotion purchased at around the time Madonna was married to Sean Penn. There are bath salts purloined from a Cornish holiday house when my daughter was a toddler (she is nearly 14). I remember them being bright yellow. They are now beige. Then there’s make-up: eye liners worn down to stumps and lip palettes that smell of old ladies’ drawers – and not in a good way.
It’s great, though – the sorting I mean. It feels purposeful and cathartic. I’m ruthless in my binning of the stale and the hideous, and discover forgotten treasures along the way. I’ve found perfectly good Boots No 7 and Neal’s Yard cleansers, a bevy of quality serums and enough decent moisturisers (Lancôme and Guerlain – how could I have misplaced these?) to keep me going all year. So, instead of blundering around in beauty halls, buying stuff I don’t need, I’ll now know exactly what I have at home.
Post-purge, life already feels more streamlined. I can sit on the loo without having to avert my eyes from the chaos behind the glass doors, and I can actually find the goodies I love, rather than raking through manky old tosh. I now have the beauty cupboard of a proper grown-up, and I could kiss it.