Thursday, July 29, 2010

News Du Jour: Are you a beauty Hoarder? 7.29.10

I gather that if you are like me, and I am sure you all are since you are reading a beauty blog, that you are obsessed with makeup. Do you have drawers and drawers filled with makeup? I do!

I found this article in the LAtimes and had to post it here to share it with you all. It is long but it is worth the read! What do you guys think? Are we all beauty hoarders? Are you addicted to cosmetics?

"Are there multiple shampoos in your shower caddy? Old face creams gathering dust in your cabinet? Have you been accused of having a bathroom that looks like a Sephora store? Most important, does any of this make you a "cosmoholic"? Yes, there is such a thing as "too much," and it's a fine line between the mildly messy makeup lover and someone psychologically addicted to beauty products.

Organizing pro Linda Koopersmith, author of "The Beverly Hills Organizer's Home Organizing Bible: A Pro's Answers to Your Organizing Prayers," has tackled bathroom and cosmetic organizing projects for more than 20 years and run into some serious hoarders. "I had a client who was a self-professed 'cosmoholic,'" Koopersmith says. "She filled over 40 tubs with cosmetics and stored them even though their shelf life has long passed. I actually moved her cosmetics out of a storage unit that she paid $260 a month for over five years and put them in garage cabinets. She refused to let any of it go. … She literally spent herself out of her fortune. Literally bankrupted herself."

Hoarding is the acquisition of and inability to discard items even if they're worthless, hazardous or unsanitary. Dr. Renae Reinardy, who founded the Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change in Minnesota, says that hoarding beauty products can be fed by several different disorders and that people with this issue usually hoard all beauty products — make-up, shampoos, creams — regardless of type.

"The million-dollar question is 'What is the function of the hoarding behavior?' because that's going to determine what kind of help people need," Reinardy says. "I would look to see what's fueling the fire to buy those cosmetics." Psychological conditions such as
body dysmorphic disorder, compulsive acquisition/spending, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety or depression can all be part of the problem, she says. A therapist has to do a full diagnostic interview to determine the root of the dysfunction.

"I had a client who spent $10,000 on face cream trying to minimize her pores," Reinardy says. "When we're so desperate to look a certain way, and when we rely on that for our well being, people will do whatever they need to do, especially if there's body dysmorphic disorder. Finances and space issues go out of the window if we put all of our happiness on whatever feature that we're trying to chase after."

When it comes to compulsive acquisition and spending, Reinardy says that what constitutes crossing the line is different for each individual. In essence, it's about spending beyond your means. "It can be about a $10,000 purchase or a $150 purchase of perfume," she says. "If you're saying, 'I was just out shopping and I love Macy's and this was on sale so I bought it,' that's going to look more like compulsive acquisition."

If cosmetics hoarding is related to obsessive-compulsive disorder or depression, there is likely to be hoarding in other areas of the person's life too. "I look at my cosmetic drawer, and do I have more cosmetics than I use? Creams that I can't let go of? Absolutely," Reinardy says. "The difference is when you're not able to use the space in your home that it was meant for. So if my entire bathroom is full of cosmetic products so that I can't use the shower, sink or toilet anymore, it's a sign that it's out of hand."

Dorothy Breininger, founder of
Delphi Center for Organization and a producer of the A&E television show "Hoarders," says that most people who handle cosmetics responsibly will clean them out once a year for sanitary reasons. "Cleansers and moisturizers tend to have fatty acids in them so they go rancid in about six months, so that's the reason we want to change those out, and mascara is just a breeding ground for bacteria, so that's usually a three-month turnaround," Breininger says.

But in her line of work, she frequently sees cosmetics hoarders who ignore all that. Sometimes the cosmetics represent a time of life the woman doesn't want to let go of. "We all turn to cosmetics to change our appearance and give us the feeling of being more beautiful .…Young gals who are 16, 17 buy a lot of makeup because they're experimenting," she says. "But a lot of these women that I'm working with have loads and loads of makeup from when they once were in the theater or leaving the house for work and doing a particular job and now they're not, for example. So they're kind of holding on to cosmetics thinking that they can go back to that life or re-create it again."

There can be a dark side to being a beauty junkie, and if getting your fix is no longer pretty but rather pretty out of hand, find a therapist to help.

I am not going to lie, this scared me, I am going to clean out my makeup drawers right now!


  1. I don't think I am. I throw things that are past expiration! But I do get a rush from looking at my large collection haha

  2. I have a growing collection but I don't keep things much past their shelf life. I try to go through my makeup at least once a year.

  3. I'm 36 and I have just last year become addicted to hoarding makeup. I don't know if it is since I watch alot more utube and learn more or it is just that I am getting older. I hope it's got nothing to do with my age...I'm lucky and still look very young even without makeup so if it has to do with my age it is all in my head.Yikies...

    I didn't think that I was getting that bad but I think this will make me have another look at myself and my shopping habbits.

    Don't know if I should be thanking you....or just curse you for pointing it out to me.

  4. I think I have a huge love for makeup and buy a lot, but I wouldn't say I am at the stage of hoarding (at least not yet..)

    Just wanted to let you know I am having a giveaway for 6 M.A.C products. It ends on Wednesday. Check it out if you have a chance.

  5. I think I am on the cusp of becoming makeup and beauty product mad... oh no.... :)

  6. Nice article. Yea, I've watched Hoarders a couple of times. Does this scare me? Not at all, I buy within my means, I have space for everything and space for what it's meant for. If shopping a little bit makes me happy, then so be it! So long as you know when to draw the line, it's ok! ;)

  7. This totally scared me too. When I think about it, thank God I moved because it caused me to purge quite a bit of my makeup and products. Granted there is always the excuse to go shopping now that I am in London settled...but this makes me think twice.

  8. This scares me too!! I would never pay for a storage unit, I'm happy with my dressing table tower, but it worries me that I might have ' a pschycological issue' with make-up lol :)
    But hey, don't let this stop u buying to feed your obsession :D

  9. this is who I am, a cosmoholic...

    I need to clean out my makeup right now too!

  10. My name is Michelle and I'm a hoarder. Yikes! Thanks for the post-- it's making me think closely about why I buy what I buy more seriously.

  11. I have always had more makeup than necessary for the past 15 years, but just yesterday (b/c i bought another blush) I was looking at everything and thinking do I really need all these different shades?? I always go through my powder products, but this article has really made me think about my lipsticks and lipglosses. Those don't last nearly as long and I seem to have a never ending desire to buy new colors when they come out. Unfortunately that is every month. I am glad that I only use one mascara, concealer, cream, cleanser, and toner at a time. Now to limit buying lip products! Thanks for this post, it is a good one!

  12. Okay - I'm not as bad as I thought I was. But I can't help it if I need to have every milky pink nude lip gloss I see.

  13. This is such a great blog post,
    I came close to a very very mild addiction to buying cosmetics when I found myself spending £100 in one go, but now I convince myself that I don't need any of it and actually sell the stuff I don't use anymore. I see so many beauty bloggers who are obsessed with cosmetics, it's such a shame!

  14. This is a great blog post! I'm a true makeup hoarder and slowly am becoming a beauty product hoarder. I try not to buy too much skin care products since I don't want to have my cabinet be be full. So what I do now is when I run out of the product completely, I repurchase a new one.

  15. funny how iv just had a good old declutter, tho i havnt quite thrown them away they are jus in a box, but this is that push i needed to throw them in the trash - OCD!

  16. This is scary...I buy more that I need but I don't think I'm a hoarder...yet. The one thing that helps me keep things out of control is moving countries every so often like I've done in the past.
    In any case, more than make up (which is faily small volume) my main problem are clothes. Every time I have a look at my tiny closet I sigh in despair, use to have three closets for clothes when I was living in NY in a studio and now have only one!

  17. I think I'm a junkie and a hoarder. I get emails from every beauty site and manaufacturer and when they have sales or specials I buy regardless if I need them or not. I'm up to three large 20-gallon tubs of cosmetics and skincare. I've spent literallt $10,000 over the last 8 years. I justify it all by saying I'll eventually use all of it. I know, I'm sick.

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