My nickname around the office is “the makeup snob.”
I earned it. I dedicate an obsessively-organized closet in my shoebox apartment exclusively to beauty products. Everything is meticulously organized, just as I imagine Beyoncé's closet to be.
My love for makeup translates to my job, too. I write about beauty products, salons and ludicrous spa treatments for a living. Having high standards is key, and that doesn't always translate into the most expensive or over-the-top product out there. If I went gaga over every pretty bottle or designer eyeliner that crossed my path, I would be out of a job.
I judge both the drugstore and the department store products the same way. I never know when the next tube of mascara will land on my desk, after all.
Some say my standards are too high, but you decide.
My beauty products must smell good.
However, when I do find a unicorn beauty product that doesn't smell like ass, it's a feeling akin to falling in love. I want to bathe myself in it.
For example, I hate the way hairspray smells and try to stay away from using it. Then, at a press event, I tried MoroccanOil Hairspray and -- I sh*t you not -- that stuff is holy water in an aerosol can. It's literally eau de vacation mixed with sex mixed with childhood princess fantasies. It's that good.
There's now even a candle that smells just like it and I burn that sh*t like I'm at a Lil Wayne concert.
Every little thing has to be worth the space it takes up in my collection.
I don't keep things just for the sake of having them, and will never be the kind of girl who has 18 eyeliners just because I can. Everything has to serve a purpose. Sure, I have a dozen or so foundations lying around for all the varying degrees of coverage and skin needs, but I use them interchangeably. Nothing gathers dust.
Same thing with blush and bronzer. There has to be a discernible difference between every shade and formula. For example, I make it a point to separate my cream and gel blushes (great for summer or when I'm hardly wearing any makeup). My bronzers and contour powders are separated, because bronzers usually have a bit of shimmer in them, which makes them useless for contouring.
All of that seems like it might be obnoxious to deal with, but I can't imagine my life without a system. Because I have a place for everything, I also know if something goes missing. Looking at you, NARS Illuminator in Copacabana.
I don't look at price tags.
To be fair, my tastes do lean towards the higher-end stuff. However, nothing makes me happier than finding a lower-end product that's just as good as the expensive stuff.
Case in point: that one Prestige Cosmetics eyeliner I can't shut up about. I literally cannot get over how some eyeliner that costs less than a Chipotle burrito is just as good, if not better, than my Tom Ford double-ended liner version.
But, if I do spend money on it, it better be pretty.
I like my makeup collection to be seen, with my hair products and my perfumes out on a tray. It's only natural that the products I use to look good have to look good themselves. That doesn't always translate to over-the-top packaging. Simple -- think MAC or NARS -- is always great.
I'm also partial to heavy things, because I loathe plastic packaging. If I spend upwards of $30 on a lipstick, it'd better be encased in metal. I have standards. Speaking of which, y'all better try the Carven perfume -- that sh*t is a better package than Jon Hamm's junk. It also happens to smell like happiness.
I expect a lot from my makeup.
I'm fortunate enough to have a job where I'm by a desk most of the time. An air-conditioned office is the ideal environment for makeup to stay on. Some women don't have that luxury and, if they're spending money on a concealer, it better stand up to long hours and humid weather. I only ever recommend something if I truly love it.
As a result, I have several Holy Grail products. My NARS Sheer Glow foundation, for example, is always in my drawer. As is that Prestige liner I'm considering tattooing to my body because it's that good. I love the YSL Baby Doll Kiss and Blushes for a quick flush -- I'm so obsessed that I have virtually every color. Bye-bye, life savings.
I read the labels.
Back when I was going into chemistry as a career (#tbt) I learned how to decipher the Ancient Egyptian calligraphy ingredients on skincare labels. I learned that the most potent ingredients in a product are usually one of the first three listed. If your acne cleanser has sulfur listed as the first ingredient, that's super. If not, sorry dude.
I get it. I'm kind of a beauty snob. No shame. At least that means I know what I'm talking about and that I always strive to learn more about the science of what makes us beautiful. But seriously, girl, get a different toner. It's drying out your face.