I Got Accidentally Addicted to Discount Makeup Shopping


I have a confession to make...

Over the past few months, I have become obsessed with discount makeup shopping. There's a lot of ways to go about this - from the Ulta clearance section to thrifting (if you're not afraid of used makeup like I am) - but I was all about Marshalls and TJ Maxx. I was on the hunt for high-end makeup at a discount. 

I started shopping at HomeGoods and TJ Maxx mostly for dog treats for Ada (shoutout to the Himalayan Pet cheese bones) but a perfect storm of being unemployed and sad, rediscovering my love of beauty videos on YouTube and already having a disposition towards "treasure hunting" all combined to drop me into the Marshalls' parking lot at 9:15 A.M. watching women line up at the doors waiting to sprint into the store at 9:30 A.M. Which I realize is totally insane. 

"Women are lining up at Marshalls and TJ Maxx for makeup??" you might ask. No. I don't think so anyways. All the women I encountered in my quest for high-end discount makeup were there for something called "Rae Dunn" - a pottery line with words written on it. No offense if you are into it, but I am still struggling to understand the appeal or why you'd need to sprint and elbow other women to find the exclusive pieces of it. But I can only imagine that's the final form of what I was diving into with my quest for makeup. 

On Instagram, there are tags like #marshallsfinds and #tjmaxxfinds where people show off what they've found/bought at those stores and if you follow them, you can see what new things people are finding. Some people were even finding Gucci! GUCCI, you guys! Here are a few examples of things that I was looking for:

It's really exciting when you see brands or products that you've avoided buying or trying because of the high cost, now at a discounted price. And the fact that some of the products are hard to find, or they only get one or two of those particular products, makes the hunt for them all the more appealing. So basically my cycle was browsing through Instagram, screenshoting things I wanted to find, and then going out to these stores multiple times a week looking for them. And what would inevitably happen is I would maybe find one of those things I was looking for, but I would also find a bunch of other things that looked "interesting" or brands I knew were expensive, so I would pick up several other products as well. Here's just a small snapshot of random stuff I impulse bought at TJ Maxx/Marshalls:

Basically, my thought process with buying some of this stuff is "Oh! Milk makeup is a good brand! I gotta snag this!" whether I need it or not or even like the color or not. Yikes. (Low key love that bear eye cream though.) 

I've also been a longtime consumer of beauty youtube videos, which I think have sort of poisoned my brain. I sometimes buy things to "try out" as if I too was someone who could write off these products on my taxes as a business expense. One of my most recent purchases was a foundation I was "curious" about and turned out to be wayyy too orange for me and I couldn't return it! What a waste!

Psychologically, this shopping addiction was giving me a few things. Since losing my job, I've been pretty depressed and lonely. Going out "makeup hunting" gave me somewhere to be and something to do every day and was a cheap way to spike some dopamine. And it allowed me to pretend for a little bit that I could make myself happy with material things. Which intellectually I know is not a long term solution but it did make me feel ok for a little bit. 

But seeing my orange face covered in discount "Fair" foundation woke something up in me. It made me ask myself "What am I doing???" and I am here to officially announce that I am QUITTING. It's over, I'm done with this nonsense. I have spent enough money that I could have bought the new plates and bowls that Harry and I want. Also I do not have enough money right now to throw it away on products I really don't need. 

I'm on the hunt now for a new hobby that will get me out of the house and feeling productive, so I don't have to wait at home refreshing my email waiting for interview opportunities. But it's going to be a hobby that will actually improve my life instead of just draining my wallet. 

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