Just say no

I used to have a costly addiction. It started in college and it only got worse as I grew older. I, Tracy, am addicted to cosmetics.

I used to spend about $40 a month on beauty products. I had boxes full of half used curling gels, unopened  blush compacts, lotions, hair dye (I don’t even dye my hair) and every scent of shampoo and conditioner. I used to get bruises from showering because there were so many bottles and I couldn’t help but knock them down on myself. I was afraid to open the cabinet under my sink for fear of the inevitable, forgotten cosmetics avalanche.

When I quit my job over a year ago I decided to look at my credit card bills and see where I could curb my spending. It was easy to see that my CVS (Duane Reade/ Rite Aide/ cosmetics aisle of the supermarket) obsession had to go.

I knew at the core of this problem was a deep down feeling that I wasn’t good enough. If I could just find the right anti-frizz serum my hair will be perfect and then I will be perfect. If I can just find the right shade of lipstick I will have the grace and confidence of a cover girl. All I need is the right deodorant and then…But there was always something that needed to be fixed and it was easier to think that I could buy a solution rather than admit that I had a problem.

I had to accept that a new and improved product wouldn’t make me new and improved. I’m perfect just the way I am – hair frizz and all. So I decided that I wouldn’t buy a single new cosmetic product until I ran out of everything I already had. A year later, and I’m not even close to finishing everything.

Here are some of the positives of my hiatus from the cosmetics aisle:

One day the only things that will clutter my bathroom will be the wine and candles.

1) I’ve saved about $500 a year.

2) My skin is better because I’m not irritating it with so many different chemicals.

3) I feel more confident because I know that I don’t need all that extra junk.

4) My bathroom is more organized.

5) Now I can read a makeup ad and laugh at it rather than think I need that new shade of “lip butter.”

Do you have any embarrassing addictions? Any success stories about curbing your addictions? I’d love to hear about them!