Friday Photo: My Other Obsession

When I wrote about my shoe collection earlier this week, Madeline had an interesting question for me. Well, it was interesting to me, anyway, because it was about mascara, and I find almost EVERYTHING about mascara interesting. Madeline said:

” Now, i’ll throw a really hard question to you: how many individual tubes of mascara do you have? I know now you’ll be counting till tomorrow (i’m evil, i know )”

Oh yeah: THAT. The mascara. Oh my holy hell, the mascara:

THE MASCARA

Oh, hai, everyone! My name’s Amber, and I’m a mascara addict.  Actually, in my defence, I have to point out that at least half of the FOURTEEN TUBES OF MASCARA you see before you were sent to me as review samples, so I didn’t actually go out and buy all of them. I mean, I may be crazy, but I’m not THAT crazy. Well, not yet, anyway.

My addiction to mascara has been with me since my early teens. It began at roughly that point life when you start to become aware of your appearance, and one day you look into the mirror, and think, “Damn, who stole my eyelashes, WHO?” In my case, no one stole my eyelashes: they do exist, but, as is the case with many redheads, they’re so pale that they may as well NOT. I guess the correct term for them would be “strawberry blonde”, but mine are more blonde than strawberry, and if I wasn’t wearing mascara, and you were standing close enough to see (or rather NOT see) my lashes, you would probably think I was some kind of half human/half reptile hybrid, and you would call up Will Smith and ask him to take me down.

That would never happen, though, because there is basically NEVER a time when I’m not wearing mascara. (And also because if you ever try standing that close to me, I will cut you. I really hope you’re reading this, woman at the gym who got onto the treadmill right next to mine yesterday when there were TEN OTHER COMPLETELY EMPTY TREADMILLS AVAILABLE… ) Seriously, my mascara consumption is the stuff of legend. When I lived in halls of residence at university, the fire alarm in our building would frequently go off in the middle of the night, and we’d all have to pile outside to stand in the freezing cold until the fire brigade arrived to switch it off again. With just a few short minutes to prepare myself for this ordeal, my choice was simple: I could either throw on some clothes, or I could throw on some mascara. That’s why, every single time that fire alarm went off, I would be found standing shivering outside in my dressing gown: but by God, my eyelashes looked marvelous.

These days, of course, I dye my lashes, so I’m less likely to be mistaken for an alien, should anyone ever see me without makeup.  Dying lashes only changes the colour of them, though: it doesn’t lengthen them, or curl them, or volumise them, or do any of the other wonderful things mascara can do. This was the truth I learned as a young teenager, when I would leave for school in the morning completely bare-faced, and mysteriously manage to arrive there with half of the Cover Girl counter on my face. My plan, if my parents ever found out about this, was to claim to have been mugged by a makeup artist. Because, seriously THAT’S WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE.

That’s why, throughout my formative years, my most frequently asked question wasn’t “How many pairs of shoes do you have?” but “Are you a drag queen?”

It’s also why I have a Sephora loyalty card, even although I don’t live in a country they deliver to. GOD.

24 Comments

  • Claire says:

    Here's another hard question………………..

    Which one is your favourite.

    I only have 1 Mascara because I love it sooooo.

    Chanel Inimitable in Waterproof Black (it's the daddy :-))

    • Amber says:

      That's actually an easy one: Lancome L'Extreme Waterproof in black. I swear by it (and Lancome mascaras in general: I swear I've kept that company afloat over the years!), and no matter how many other mascaras I have, this is the one I almost always wear – haven't found anything to beat it yet!

      • Claire says:

        Oooh……..that's the one I always used (or some other Lancome incarnation :-))

        I think I got a free tube or something from Chanel and I've never wavered since! It makes my eyelashes touch my eyebrows……….nearly.

        Come to think of it, it's the only constant in my vast make up box.

  • Cookie says:

    Well that's not so bad, I think. There are currently 5 mascaras in my makeup case and khm, 9 different eyeliners, which happen to be a particular favourite of mine.
    I am quite familiar with the problem of pale lashes, and what I find most irritating is that you never really manage to get those really pale bits on the roots properly covered, and the idea of putting lash dye so close to the eye makes me a bit squeamish. Is there a reason to be?

    • Amber says:

      Well, the problem with eyelash dye is that if it gets into your eye, it's going to sting, and it's going to sting BAD. I used to get mine done at the salon, and I don't know if I just had really bad luck with my choice of salons, but no matter how many I tried (and I tried a LOT), I'd always leave with red eyes and tears running down my face, because the dye would always, always get into my eyes. Now I do it myself at home and it's much better, both in terms of the result and the sting-factor: I guess it's one of those things that are just easier to do for yourself than to have someone else do for you – I'm used to it now, so I don't often get any in my eyes, but there's always the odd mistake!

  • arlene says:

    I'm not even counting mine because if I don't acknowledge the addiction I can continue to indulge in the addiction. Estee Lauder Double Wear Mascara here I come!
    .-= arlene´s last blog ..Knitwit =-.

  • Rock Hyrax says:

    I see the shadow's back then…

    • Amber says:

      It's worse than that – it's NEW shadows! There's always this huge influx of new members every January, and they clearly have no idea about the Amber Rules (a bit like Aussie Rules, but obviously all about me.) :)

  • Maz aka MallyMon says:

    I always spend hours choosing mascara, open it and use it spasmodically and then it runs out of date and then I throw it away.

  • siany says:

    I have three mascaras that are all the same (Rimmel, Extra super length). Why three? I have a bad habit of doing my make-up on the train (so sue me) and sometimes in my rush to leave the house I'll leave my mascara in a different handbag. So i do the only sensible thing. I buy another one when I get into town and finish my make-up. I do this a lot. It's not very clever.
    .-= siany´s last blog ..The Face of Habitat round up =-.

  • Robyn says:

    Hmm it's probably not a good sign that I looked at your mascara collection and I said to myself,"Oh, it's not that much". Maybe I was just expecting there to be a flood of these coming out of a storage bin, like those girls who have 50+ blushers. I have about half what you do, but I've only just started collecting a couple months ago (and I have to buy my own, sadly. No one sends me any, though I'd be totally open to the idea ;) ). Isn't there an issue with having too many because they go bad/dry out rather fast (6 months, I believe was the number)? I always worry I wont get through mine before they get gross.

    I'm not sure what I own too much of, I always feel like I don't own enough of things.

    • Amber says:

      I believe mascara is supposed to be replaced every three months, to prevent infection. I must confess, though, and I know I'll probably get lynched for this… I only replace mine when they run out. Granted, I've normally used up the tube by the time it's three months old (as I said, a lot of those are samples and most of them rarely get used because I'm super-fussy about mascara), but I get through a LOT of mascara! The ones I don't use very often are with me until they die, and let's just say I've never had an eye infection. That's TOTALLY not what you're supposed to do though, so, um, don't try it at home, kids :)

      • Robyn says:

        Now that you mention it, I feel like I've heard it was 3 months AS WELL as 6 months. :S I usually just get rid of them when they run out/are too dry to work anymore as well.

        Also, I totally bought Lancome l'extreme waterproof and the Anastasia mascara (which has a bit of a chemical smell, don't know if it's just mine or not) because of your reviews on Dollface. But yet I'm still attached to Bad Gal and Buxom lash (in combination). Lancome mascara never seems to work for me, for some weird reason. I think I need mascaras for volume, rather than length. As my lashes are long, just thin and see through.

        • Amber says:

          I think mascara is weird that way – what works for one person can look totally different on someone else: I've tried loads that people have raved about, but they've just done nothing for me. Still I keep buying them, though :)

  • Tracey says:

    I feel a lot better about my 32 tubes of mascara now. Okay 29.
    .-= Tracey´s last blog ..Antarctica =-.

  • Rose says:

    Hey Amber

    I too have redhair and am constantly buying brown mascara and cover my lashes in it daily.

    I;ve never dyed my lashes, what do you use to do this? I'm a bit worried I'll be allergic to the dye or end up with brown smudges everywhere. Also Is it worth it if you still require mascara daily?

    Rose

    • Amber says:

      I use a kit by Dylash, which you can get in Boots or Superdrug. I find it worth it because my lashes are super-pale, so it means that when I'm not wearing mascara (which isn't often, but say I'm at the gym, or on holiday), I'll still look like I have eyelashes! It also means I don't have blonde roots showing when I put on mascara. That said, it WILL only change the colour of them, so if you're looking for length, volume, etc, you will still need mascara for that. Hope this helps :)

  • haha, I love this post! I have the same amount of tubes of mascara (I think even more actually…eeeek), but I bought them all myself. Yes, this is a problem. I'll attend mascara-holics anonymous with you anytime :)

  • Nina says:

    Heehee. Great post, thanks for making me smile :) I currently have four, which is okay, but I will only take one of them with me to NZ… Lancôme L'Extreme of course! :)
    .-= Nina´s last blog ..Leaving on a jet plane =-.

  • Madeline says:

    My question was answered in a full lenght, wonderful post!! How cool is THAT??? Thank you Amber, for making me smile today! So, back to the point: fourteen tubes is not that much, really… i would have expected you to come up with at least 20 (*just kidding*)! I, myself only have about three or four tubes, and only one which I absolutely adore: Collistar Mascara Infinito. I came across it by chance, as it was given to me free during a promotion at Sephora. It gives you amazingly long lashes, with volume too. It doesn't flake, leak or clog up and your lashes will never look like you ripped them out and replaced them with spider legs.

    My beauty obsession rests in a different area, though: eye shadow. I have about 4 full eyeshadow palletes (the ones with 50 shades) and dozens of other smaller ones. I don't think i ever got around to trying them all on!

  • Hoshi says:

    I have two, both great ones that I scored at the Dollar Store in town- I know, cheap, but I'm barely 16 and cash is not forthcoming. I barely ever use them, since I look in the mirror and think, "Wow, whose eyelashes did I steal?"

    I know. You can all hate me now. ^^

  • Rebecca says:

    I only have my Cliniques left now, I think. There's an old Innoxa one around here somewhere but I haven't used it for about 3 years. Ever since I took off with my mother's sample sized High Impact I've never bought another brand. There are probably more impressive mascaras than Clinique ones but I like them so much I've never bothered to find out.

  • He he, just read this and have to comment, because, um, is having a Sephora loyalty card despite living in the UK a sign of having a problem? Because, umm…

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