Monday, September 30, 2013

What's the Point?

I have to admit that doing a complete cold turkey on buying makeup has made my life so much less burdensome.  Knowing my answer is "NO!" makes me look at all the pretty things on the blogs and media sites and not feel compelled to make plans to buy.  Every once in a while, I still get dollar off or percentage off email offers and I make a list and start justifying in my mind why it's okay to buy (refills of thing finished, my hg something or another).  But going through that exercise is kind of a brain drain.  It's been easier to close the Internet window and just say "NO!"  I feel a bit like taking a page from Nancy Reagan and her very simple Just Say No anti-drug campaign.
Source
Meanwhile, I won't be ridiculous.  It's only been 18 days, which is no time at all.  And, because I placed a pre-order prior to that, I had been inside the Bergdorf beauty department to pick up skincare during that time, AND I picked up a few things at Sephora and Nordstrom for friends.  There's something to be said about buying makeup for friends and not for oneself; it has an effect to satisfy without the actual cost of ownership.

Sorry to bungle up your campaign with such little matters, Nancy, but buying boatloads of makeup is very addictive.  Deeply ingrained consumption needs are very intoxicating, too.

With some seriousness, I think maintaining this blog is making me a more neurotic person. Maybe I have the neurotic New Yorker thing going on anyway, but I'm questioning the sanity of keeping this little project going.  Some things happen which DO make me bat an eyelash and I don't like it.  For instance: why do my Bloglovin follower numbers go up and then down?  why do people follow me on Twitter and then unfollow me?  (Ok, maybe it's ok when the meme cats unfollow me)  Why do I care when there are comments or no comments?  And spending so much time staring at my makeup drawer mired with indecision about pairing a lipstick to eye to blush to finish of foundation can not be normal right?  Why am I spending so much time staring at my face and taking pictures of it?  It feels very self involved -- in a bad way.

I had a good bit of misgivings about putting up photos of my face initially.  But I thought showing a product in use is a good way to showcase a product.  I still think it is, but then somehow feel like my face is taking over.  And good grief, I don't need my face out there anywhere!  I still have lingering fears that my face will show up with a Google search and I'll get a phone call from a friend or a relative (or work colleague!) and they learn just how narcissistic I am.  So why put up my face because it causes me neurotic anxiety?

I blog in secret.  No one in my real life knows my blogging hobby.  Isn't that weird?  What consumes such a big part of my time and waking free moment is a secret.  That's weird to me and I have no real desire to expose my hobby to real people because there IS something narcissistic about it.  Isn't there?  (Meanwhile, Mr. Belly knows of this "blog" thing I do, but I don't think realizes to the level I am involved.  I think he knows it be a very abstract construct and here I am "blogging blogging blogging")

Meanwhile, I hope not to offend other bloggers out there, because I am sure my reasons, and my narcissism is not why drives them.  And there is nothing intrinsically wrong with makeup.  None at all.  Most people value their appearance and many work to enhance it.  My issue seems to be veering a bit into an area called "Over the Top."  Hobbies are hobbies until they start to take over.  Me, I feel completely, overly saturated.

Do you know my one year blog anniversary is coming up?  After 200+ posts later there's nothing really more to explore other than putting up new purchases, new "looks" and new series on stuff.  Kind of doesn't excite me.  Originally, I was planning on re-doing the blog and making it look a little nicer for the anniversary.  Maybe doing another giveaway to celebrate, but now I'm not all that into it.

I still love beauty products.  Probably much as I ever did, but what's the point of having a blog if I just do just regular ol' stuff and it also causes me some grief?  There's tons of positives about having the blog.  Tons and tons and tons.  But the negatives seem to offset a good chunk of it.  I'm at the figurative crossroads.  One way leads to consistent blogging & perhaps purchases in the future the Other way leads to my regular life.

This whole beauty blogging thing is just a small part of the larger thoughts I'm having about my life in general.  I don't know where this will lead, but at least some more posts on all the Japanese pretties in the near future. 

Gack!  That's a lot of words dedicated to belly gazing on such a dinky topic.  Ciao, everyone.  Hope your weekend was fantastic.  I love autumn!

23 comments :

  1. Hey there!
    You always seem to take my muddled thoughts and solidify them into coherent babblings! I was reading and nodding along with you. I do like how my blog is a 'secret' and all mine. I giggled when you referred to Mr Belly's 'abstract' idea of what your blog is all about- DITTO! I get the feeling of saturation often, but my blog is offering me more positive feelings than con's at the moment- so blogging goes continues. Have a wonderful week ahead and Just say No ! even if I can't.....xxx

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    1. When blogging is fun, then you keep going! :) I'm glad you are having a good time with it. I have a ton of fun, too. Just I feel a little bit overly inundated with makeup at the moment. Have a great week, lovely Jo! No need to say no unless you feel you need to!

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  2. Hi Belly! I know what you mean about things like beauty blogging taking over everything else and—though it's dramatic to say—consuming your life. I've been blogging about myself (ha, talk about narcissism!) since I was 14, so I'm completely used to the idea of taking note of my life and talking to strangers about it... but the beauty blog is only under a year old, much like yours, and while I do post frequently on there, I do my beauty blogging in chunks and queue most of the post. I used to sit down and write a post everyday, and linger around other blogs and get absolutely no work done. Then, it just got tiring. I recently made a Facebook page for my beauty blog (???) and then I decided to change that into a more general page because I wasn't comfortable with the idea of being so focused on the beauty blog... IDK. I have similar feelings. It does seem somewhat off to me, too. I feel a little 'yeesh' about the amount of picture of myself I've been taking.

    Lately, I've been doing a lot of the other things I used to do. And while I still love makeup, it doesn't take up my entire day. It's become something I enjoy doing and cooing over and I don't feel as compelled to keep updating or keeping track of numbers anymore. Gaaah, it's a confusing feeling. I do want my blog to still be useful to other people, though, and I've stopped feeling the need to get new products as they come out. I realized that a lot of my purchases as of late were made because I felt the need to try them out so I could write about them. Isn't that insane? I don't like being a collector of makeup; though I do enjoy it when I can talk to people like you (!) about stuff like this because a lot of people in my real world circle wouldn't understand me. "What's the point?" they'll ask. I mean, you get the point, I think. At least, the point of a shared interest in something seemingly shallow that just inexplicably makes people happy.

    Anyway, there really shouldn't be no pressure to blog, I'm realizing. I like expressing excitement or disappointment, but I do agree that sometimes it gets repetitive. I do not like being just a consumer so I've been trying to take time off being that and I've been focusing on other things that I love doing, too. :)

    LOL sorry for the long comment! I love autumn, too!

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    1. Thank you, Carina for the thoughtful comment!! The beauty topic is frivolous, but the comraderie is not. That is definitely the neatest perk about having a beauty blog. It's impossible for me to retain "normalcy" when I try to keep up with new purchases because it really is so much. I totally feel overly-full of makeup at the moment. I get a lot of feedback that new product features are not what really interests them consistently, so that is good to hear. The flip side to that is the blog statistics always blip up with new features. then again, those are probably not regular readers of my blog. Anyway, I really enjoy the series on eyes you have been doing and the makeup bag features of your friends. You have a wonderful way of keeping content on your blog very fresh and interesting! xoxoxox!!!

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  3. This was interesting to read and close to home. I am very impressed that you have done 18 days, I think I would struggle with a week :)
    I think what bothers me the most with my makeup addiction is that its not really stuff you are going to retain for that long, its not like if you were a book collector and then could look at your collection in years to come, I just look at it all and think how much I have spent on it and that in say 10 years time I will have nothing to show for it. Its also the sheer amount of stuff we buy, I mean its just all too excessive really, I know I don't need like 40+ lipsticks, I do feel for me its a hobby gone a bit too far.
    Mind you I'm sure if I was rich I wouldn't give a nut about buying it all ;)
    xx

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    1. Clare! Interesting mention of books!! I was studying literature in college and I have a massive collection of books. I feel overly saturated with books, too!!! I thank heavens for electronic book readers for helping me not turn into a Pigpen and a major hoarder of everything.

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    2. I have to agree with belly on this! A handful of humanities degrees and working in books has totally destroyed any romanticism regarding paper+print for me. I find book clutter rather worse than makeup clutter in fact -- and until they print the volume that smells as good as Meteorites I doubt that will change ;)

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  4. For me there's a bit of tension between "possibly helpful but also possibly normalising exceessive consumerist behaviours" posts (reviews of shiny new things, swatches of stuff most people have to order blind online etc.) and "here I makes my own fun with stuff I already own, inspired by...idk, morally beneficial encounter with NATURE or somesuch wholesome thing, but then god how narcissistic to think people would actually care to see me slap on some old and discontinued slap w. my total lack of skillz" posts. I tend to waver between whichever one is least offensive, which is enough leeway to keep the blog trundling along.

    Not an ideal solution, perhaps :P I'll be following this discussion to see what more experienced folk have to say.

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    1. Hmm. As a reader, I don't think posts based on FOTDs or experiments using older/discontinued/hard to find products are narcissistic. In fact, I find those posts far more interesting because so many bloggers swatch new collections anyway. To me, beauty blogging isn't monolithic, thank gawddess, and there is a taxonomy of beauty blogs, anyway--swatch/product blogging, collection blogging, geek blogging etc. And DAF functions as a beauty blog, so of course you should do what you're already doing! :D

      I've described your blog as a geek/artistry-focused beauty blog a few times here and on MUB, but do you agree with this description and how would you describe DAF? :)

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    2. Geek/niche interest for sure, artistry...not so much! :) Mostly unfocused, however, as I am not nearly as thoughtful or insightful as dear belly.

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    3. Actually, Kate, I agree very heartily with Shryh1 on the artisty in your blog. There are many beautiful bright shiny things there, to be sure, but even with stuff I don't own (of stuff you've featured), I really love the insipration your provide. some of my best "looks" are direct copies of stuff I've seen on Drivel About Frivol. :)

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  5. I think with blogging, as with life, really, you do what you are most comfortable with. :) If you're getting increasingly paranoid or if blogging isn't as pleasurable as it used to be, I think it's fine to take a break or stop entirely.

    But if you leave MUA, I will die of heartbreak. :P

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    1. I think the oddity that is my brain seems to suffer with the blog as well as enjoy it! AH! The complications of being very odd Belly.
      Aint going no where, of course.

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  6. Hey Jane, and Kate,
    I just want to shout out that I love reading your blogs because I really appreciate your aesthetics and great personality. I totally understand that you finally feel burnt out of the repetitive cycles of buying stuffs and reviewing them. You ladies have a life as well. Your readers know that. I think your blog should be your space where you can write at your own pace (rhyme, lol). So don't get stressed out of it. I will stil support you enven if you stop blogging entirely. :)

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    1. Aw, thanks Iris for putting me even in the same sentence as Kate. That is a really mind-blowing thing for me! :)

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  7. You do your thing. I love and appreciate your blog, but if it makes you anxious in any way, stop! Your peace of mind comes first.

    BTW - stopped in Saks today and picked up one Cle de Peau fall single. The packaging is to die for. I really am going on a low-buy now - I'll shop during Sephora FF and if I need skincare, and that's it. HOLD ME TO THAT, PLEASE.

    (This means no more THREE now. Yes. But the stuff is permanent, which is great.)

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    1. Adele, I SAW your CdP single picture. That packaging and that color is killing me! KEEEELING ME! I will be watching you, so you be good... mostly. except during F&F. And let me know what you get so that I can feel voyeursitic. :) THREE & Addiction can all wait for now. Right? Yay for permanent things in brand lineups!

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  8. I completely feel ya' on having your picture out there...though if anyone were to dig I think there are a few full face shots (just random not really makeup related because I put them up when I started this blog) from a long time ago. However, having a job in such a public space makes me very hesitant to really put Fotd's or anything like that up - I dunno what I would do if some stranger I've never met recognized me in real life??? Part of the reason I like my job is the anonymity of it and that I can, for the most part, leave it when I'm done for the day. I know I have a very small blog, but you never know who's out there??

    A few of my family members know I have a blog, but they don't have a clue about it really since they don't know what a blog is. And they never ask either lol :-) All this is quite fine by me though...it's a good reminder that my little space is simply that...my little space and nothing more...it's what I choose to make or not make of it...but they are my family and will be there no matter what new cream I try or new blush I swatch. My husband is fully supportive and fully aware of all this blog entails, as I get excited by and lament the ups and downs and everything in between.

    It's funny...I never knew how many emotions blogging would bring out :-)

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    1. Imagine the odd feeling of having a stranger recognize you irl? :) although my blog is so dinky the odds are very very slight. Slight, but still makes me paranoid. Who knew blogging is an exercise in emotional release? And I thought it was just about showing pretty makeup.

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  9. My dear Belly, I do love your honesty and the New Yorker style tell it like it is! I think everyone here comes to your blog partly because of that. I cannot say that I can relate to your conundrum and yes, please kick my a$$ from this moral high ground that I'm about to share ;-) Of course you care about your follower, the comments, etc, you have put so much effort into thinking about the post, taking photographs (the reason why my blog posts are v. sporadic compared to many is because I get lazy taking photographs), those are a lot of time and energy that you put in so of course you care! And I don't think you or anyone out there who are posting FOTDs are narcissistic the least bit; hello! this is a beauty blog, reviewing stuffs that are supposed to be on the FACE?

    Now, about the makeup addiction, which I can totally relate. And why I can detect a bit of.. shame? (maybe I'm wrong) when you say that you blog in secret. I think all of us are addicted to something, one way or the other. Some are more socially acceptable, some aren't. I think this is worth digging. I can't tell what is it for you, or what makeup/this blog serves in your life, but from my experience, little "nagging" emotions like that really worth exploring because it can lead to something new. I would definitely pay attention to things like, "why does this blogging cause me grief?" or "consumes my whole waking hour" --> if that's how you feel, and just keep listening for the answer. Maybe keep blogging about this, keep the discussion open among us. Noone will know the answer for you, only you can discover it for yourself.

    O.k. I'll stop talking nonsense here. Can't believe it's almost a year huh?

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    1. I shall forgo the a$$kicking if you let me get a cuddle with the Toddler! :) Why? WHY? WHY you say such wise and coherent things?! Those things have zero space to reside here on my blog. My blog is for belly aching, navel gazing and looking at pretty makeup.

      Regarding addiction. I guess it IS addiction. Maybe? I'm trying to wrap my figurative arms around the shame part. I honestly don't think it's any different than collecting anything else one might collect (antique furniture, kitchen gadgets, exotic fish, etc). Some more deep thoughts must be had and worked over in my head.

      One year! My baby is growing and she's so bloated and full of expensive makeup!

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  10. I think sometimes we confuse quantity with greatness. You don't have to post every new item out there to keep me interested, you don't have to be the most innovative makeup artist alive; it's about the *tone* and the approach; I like to read blogs for the swatches obviously - I'll order 90% of my makeup/nailstuff sight unseen - but aside from this; the personal experience is what keeps me coming back for more. Your blog shouldn't feel like a horrible burden, something that makes you stressed/nauseous/sad...cos that makes me worry about you! Do what makes you feel good, also; looking at stats can make your self image twisted; please don't let them come between you and what's important.

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  11. I LOVE this!!! It's so true, it really is, and I can relate :)

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