Too Many Choices?

We are a society built on choice and the sheer abundance of choices that we have. Sometimes too much choice can be mind boggling; everyone has been at a restaurant and become confused at the sheer variety of choices they have and spent the best part of twenty minutes making decisions, changing your mind, then changing it back again.

In the makeup and beauty worlds the same applies; with the rise of technology we are open to so many different possibilities with makeup, trends and products. This has meant that the market is flooded and it is often hard to make choices. Yes, this is a first world problem and I am fully aware of how ridiculous ‘I have too many makeup options’ must sound to some people, but it can spark real confusion in makeup minds.

Being a teen growing up in the 1990’s I had very few options when it came to makeup; this was usually dictated by budget and accessibility. I was restricted to the aisles of Superdrug and Boots and usually I was getting the cheapest brands to get more makeup for my money; I was a avid collection 2000 shopper (I still am to an extent) who had the occasional higher end makeup (Clinique) if my mother had treated me.

Everything had to be cheap, so I was often seen perusing the market stalls and TJ Hughes, who would sell stuff occasionally at a cheaper price, happy to be restricted and in my little bubble of teen makeup bliss. I even remember buying a Barry M ‘Dazzle Dust’ pot when they first came out and thinking at 2.50 that they were really expensive for one colour.

The reason I shopped the budget aisles was I wanted more options, more choice; I get bored very easily and found that in my makeup, I still do. However, with more options, comes more combinations, with more combinations comes more ideas, with more ideas comes more thinking, more thinking leads to even more choice and even more options; then you realise that you cannot actually remember what the heck you were trying to decide in the first place. I am a massive over thinker; I think you can gather that from my blogs, I think too much, way too much.

So, when I was a teen, the limitation on budget and accessibility meant that, although I wanted more choice, that the lack of choice meant I did not sit there for ages thinking ‘what do I do with the mountain of makeup choices I have?’. As an adult I have realised I struggle making decisions on both buying and applying my makeup; there are too many products, too many trends, too many internet and store ‘offers’ and gimmicks trying to lure me in and take my cash.

With the rise of technology, has come bombardment; we are being constantly exposed to options, products and choices nearly 24 hours a day. This has been magnified by the gargantuan force that is social media; brands are constantly touting their goods on Instagram and Facebook as quick as a Kardashian can upload a selfie.

We get suckered in too much and buy so many different things that our brains become so engorged with the possibilities that it presents. If our brains are given too much choice or possibilities, we starting thinking ourselves into circles and the brain wants to shut down.

I have had this happen many a time and it results in a loss of ‘makeup mojo’. I am currently experiencing this at the moment; I thought my lack of creativity and inspiration was down to needing some new products, oh how wrong I was.

I was filling online baskets up with products and then, at the back of my brain there was a voice shouting ‘hey Nicki, what about all the stuff you already have that is near enough the same as what you are looking at now, you spoon?’. I came to the realisation that, with too many products, comes too many possibilities; it is a sheer waste of time to have to sit there for ten minutes and decide what to put on your face.

This was part of the reason I started doing my ‘Shop my Stash’ posts; to rotate around my makeup and give myself some restrictions in order to make decision making a quicker process. But all of this rational thinking has come from many years of experience; I feel sorry for the teens of today who are bombarded with new trends and products at such a fast pace.

I remember how impressionable I was at that age, and still am at times; with the

pressures off peers and social media it can be very daunting. The whole of our society is a walking advertisement of which it is hard to escape from. Even our favourite singers, models and actors are a walking billboard of ‘I’m perfect, this item is hot, you need it in your life if you want to be like me’. It is not exclusively for Instagram and YouTube influencers who make a living out of showing off all of the choices we have.

The teenage desire to ‘fit in’ and be deemed as ‘normal’ (I use the term loosely as I believe there is no such thing) means that heads are filled with all of these choices at a very young age and for many, could be hard to navigate.

I liken it to trying to sail a boat through a full on hurricane; products swirling at you from every angle, hundreds of images of ‘perfection’ making you feel insecure and you cannot chose what to do with it all as you don’t know which option/choice is the best. I can hear the thoughts now:

  •         What if the products you choose and the choices you make fail and you look         even worse?
  •         What will happen?
  •         Will people laugh at me?
  •          If my makeup isn’t a designer brand, will I be shunned for it?
  •          They will think I’m not good enough, won’t they?

I imagine these are the types of thoughts that teenagers have on a daily basis because I know I used to have them as well as many of my friends. I still occasionally have thoughts like this concerning my makeup choices but I mainly have them about being a mum; which is a minefield I will save for another day.

Choice is like most things in life; it is good in moderation. People always say that ‘variety is the spice of life’ but on the other hand it can throw up more questions than it answers. If you like something, whether it be a product or a look, think next time you contemplate reinventing the wheel as adding a new choice to the mix, stop, think, if it is not broke, why would you want to fix it? Ciao for now makeup fans xx

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