Today’s post is certainly not the first time I’ve spoken about makeup addiction. I’m positive that today’s post on makeup addiction will not be the last. But it is necessary to shine a light on addiction to buying makeup and how to determine if you have an unhealthy relationship with buying makeup.
In 2019, I developed an unhealthy relationship with buying makeup. At best, I’m overly consumeristic. At worst, could I develop a makeup addiction?
I encourage you to keep reading if you think you may have a makeup buying addiction or that you have an unhealthy relationship with buying makeup.
*Please note: I am not a mental health specialist, social worker, addiction counselor, etc. This article is based on my own experiences and online research. If you feel you have a serious shopping addiction, please contact a specialist.*
Shopping addiction is an emotionally driven compulsion to shop uncontrollably. As with many other addictions, shopping addicts may experience an uncontrollable urge to shop that leads to an immediate, purchase-driven high.
Are there different types of shopping addiction?
Shopping addiction can be generalized (i.e. addicted to shopping that is agnostic of category) or can be focused on a particular niche product category (ex. makeup, sneakers, etc). Additionally, while there are varying forms of shopping addiction, most shopping addictions are driven by some emotion.
Five main types of shopping addiction are commonly recognized:
Bargain Hunters | Bargain hunters are shoppers who feel the need to buy items purely because they are on sale regardless of whether they need them.
‘Bulimic’ Shoppers | Buyers who constantly cycle through purchasing and returning products. In other words, these shoppers may “go on a spending bender” but later return much (if not all) of what was purchased
Collectors | Collectors are shopping addicts who feel the to “complete” their collections, so they’ll buy all the items in a particular range of offerings
Compulsive Shoppers | Compulsive shoppers feel the need to shop as a coping mechanism to relieve emotional strain or emotional distress.
Flashy Shoppers | Flashy shoppers are not afraid to spend to buy items that will impress others
Trophy Hunters | Trophy hunters are always on the search for the perfect product. For these types of shopping addicts, the hunt is part of the high
Personally, I would consider myself a compulsive shopper who makes purchases to alleviate emotional distress, particularly anxiety and sadness. Although I would not classify myself as a ‘bulimic ‘shopper per se, I do feel a sense of regret when I buy things and may attempt to sell items that I’ve never used or worn.
As previously mentioned, shopping addiction can be generalized across all shopping or it can be specific to a particular product category such as cosmetics. Makeup addiction is very real. In many ways, our relationships with influencers have normalized the idea of amassing a huge makeup collection.
How often do self-proclaimed beauty addicts like myself lose all sense of control during a big beauty sale? How frequently do we hear regular consumers say that they purchased a “palette that they didn’t even like” because they collect that particular brand? Why do so many scalpers scramble to buy and resell limited edition collections?
Are there makeup addiction signs?
According to PsychGuides.com, there are common emotional signs of a shopping addiction. From a makeup addiction standpoint, the emotional signs that you developed an unhealthy relationship may be:
Spending more than you can afford on beauty products
Buying beauty products as a reaction to feeling angry or depressed
Buying more beauty products as a way to feel less guilty about a previous shopping spree
Harming relationships due to spending too much on or shopping too frequently for beauty products
Losing control of the shopping for beauty products
How to determine if you have a makeup addiction?
Similarly to the above, I have adjusted the below self-assessment questions for makeup addiction. Answering yes to the majority of these questions could indicate that you have or are starting to develop a makeup buying addiction:
Do you shop for makeup when you feel angry or disappointed?
Has overspending on makeup created problems in your life?
Do you have conflicts with loved ones about your need to shop for makeup?
While shopping for makeup, do you feel euphoric rushes or anxiety?
After shopping for makeup, do you feel like you have just finished doing something wild or dangerous?
After shopping for makeup, do you ever feel guilty or embarrassed about what you have done?
Do you frequently buy makeup that you never end up using or wearing?
Do you think about money almost all the time?
Final Thoughts on Makeup Addiction
Makeup collecting (or hoarding) is something that began to take form with the rising popularity of social media influencers. Believe it or not, I believe that it is possible to love makeup and “collect” makeup without being addicted to it.
Your internal motivating emotions, the emotions you feel afterward, and your finances will dictate whether or not your hobby has gone beyond a fun pass-time and moved towards a makeup buying addiction.
If you think you may be developing a shopping addiction or an addiction to buying makeup, then it may be worthwhile to take the time to analyze your purchasing behaviors. I will be sharing some of my tips for breaking makeup addiction in a future post.