I'm going to start off by telling you about my relationship with L'Occitane's Almond Milk Concentrate, and this will work as my example for the rest of what I want to talk about.
I discovered L'Occitane's Almond Milk Concentrate when I was interrailing and it quickly became this unaffordable, unattainable beauty product that I didn't just enjoy using but actively coveted. For a long, long time it represented the epitome of luxury. To own it was to live out a small fantasy of mine, in which I played the part of "that sort of girl", the girl who owned luxury beauty products in beautiful glass jars and kept them on a beautiful dressing table amidst other beautiful things. Since I started blogging I have milked (no pun intended) every last drop of Almond Milk Concentrate that has happened to cross my path by way of goody bag or gift. Although I've enjoyed owning it, I haven't really indulged in the pleasure of using it. This is because to actively and regularly use it would inevitably lead to me finishing the product. And, in this mad world of mine, finishing the product equates to my simple fantasy of being "that sort of girl" with "those sorts of things" being shattered.
It would be easy to think - gosh, how weird of you. But what I want to stress is that this relationship with luxury goods has seemingly become normal, and I witness similar relationships occurring between people and things all the time. It's branding that does it. Sophisticated advertising sells us a lifestyle instead of a product and we buy into our luxury perfumes and body creams for that lifestyle rather than the products themselves.
However, (although it easily could be) this blog post isn't about criticising that branding or advertising - what I'm interested in is that the goods I'm choosing to hoard have definite use-by dates. If you've got a luxury handbag that you bought last Christmas but have never worn out of the house then that's one thing, but my current jar of Almond Milk Concentrate is coming up to being one year old and I really should have finished it by now. If I don't actually start using it then I'm as good as throwing it away. And the same principle applies for any and all beauty hoarding. If you have a brand name lipstick that you love but daren't use too often then I implore you to re-evaluate this decision. Surely it makes more sense to use your more expensive products more often, to get your money's worth! If you get off on being "that type of girl" - the one who wears Chanel perfumes or Tom Ford lipsticks - then actually go out and be that girl. Wear your perfume, your lipstick, your body cream, whatever it is that you love, and enjoy every second of it - because sooner or later those products are going to turn foul and if you haven't made the most of using them then you're going to be left feeling cheated.
If you want to buy into branding then let the branding work for you. Buy less, use more and then go out and just repurchase the things you really love. Now, please excuse me whilst I go and indulge in a spot of L'Occitane - for the next month I'm going to be living the dream!