Today’s article is not one I anticipated on writing. I’m sitting on a patio listening to the rain and watching the winds from Tropical Storm Barry blow down limbs and trees. It’s sad to say how numbing it’s become after so many hours of persistence. And yes, I’m thankful that it isn’t worse. Hurricane Karina taught many Southerners humility. Say what one will about southern history and the ugly past, but when Katrina hit, from my point of view, there was no discrimination and no hate.
Everyone reached out and helped each other because each other is all that we had. Complete cities washed into the ocean. No power for weeks, and for some people months. City-wide barbecues and grocery stories giving away free food occurred daily. The news broadcasts covered the looting and fraud. But very little was said about the outpouring of neighborly love. And it is times like these that I reflect on things that I’m thankful for and that make me happy. It’s also a time for me to do some of the things that I procrastinate doing.
One of the things that makes me happy is playing with makeup. And one of the things I put off doing is cleaning out my makeup case. Now, I’m no critic or reviewer, but there are lessons in just about everything. And there’s nothing like a tropical storm teach a lesson. So, that’s my topic for today—what I was reminded of from Barry.
DISCLAIMER: Barry was nowhere close to Katrina; so, please do not think that I’m making a comparison between the two. I would never diminish the horrors left in the path of Katrina. The comparison of this post is not to make light of the serious of natural disasters. It is simply to show that overall principles are similar.
Tropical storms are to be taken seriously. For one thing, they can cause a lot of damage, but they can quickly can grow into hurricanes. They also are just as unpredictable—changing course and speeds. They are a guessing game, and once the alert goes out, everyone must be prepared. The materials and items gathered are the ones that are most essential and valuable—whether sentimental or financially. Choice must be made. Very few people are able to pack and take everything. In for storms, one packs important papers, photos, cash, medications, batteries, food, clothing, and diapers. And you want to store these items in a container that is secure and sturdy.
For years, I stored my makeup in pouches or cases. For many people, this is ideal, but for someone like me, not so much. First, in a pouch it was very difficult for me to keep anything organized. When I needed something, I usually had to remove nearly every item. It was so tightly packed that often the lids would pop open or fall off, and I’d ended up with spilled makeup. I also tended to drop my pouches, which lead to breakage, and often the pouch didn’t fit into my purse. Now anyone who knows me, knows I’m somewhat of a cheapskate, and I didn’t want to spend money on a makeup case. I purchased an inexpensive plastic one, which I ended up cracking.
Plastic cases are fine. The issue wasn’t the case as much as it was the owner. I simply handled it too roughly. I travel quiet a bit, so I was constantly storing it with other heavy luggage in a trunk. It got banged around a lot, and therefore, wasn’t much protection. I needed a storage unit of substance, and that meant investment. I suppose in all; it was money well spent since I do invest in cosmetics that are semi-expensive. Your girl isn’t going to go full-scale bouche and purchase exclusive makeup. However, the products I do have cost enough to make me want to not have to repurchase until I absolutely have to do so. For that reason, I purchased I metal makeup case.
Now, I’m sure a just as good and less expensive case can be purchase. I do think I overspent for two reason. First, I purchased at a brick and mortar store—an exclusive cosmetics store. I purchased from there because I needed a case in hurry and did not have time to wait for shipping. I shopped around at other department stores, but I could not find one that had both the space and was sturdy enough. Once I realized that I was going to have to pay more than twenty bucks, I decided I might as well buy one that I thought was pretty. It comes with two keys to lock it—not that I require or use that—but I thought it a nifty feature.
Second, with a hurricane preparation, you need to select the items that are essential and make sure that you have enough supplies to last for the duration of the storm (and after). The real tragedy of Katrina is that many people did not think it would be as severe as it was and only packed enough supplies for one to three days. But after the storm, cities were completely demolished or too unsafe for return. People either did not have what they needed or did not have enough. And most did not have those items that mattered most—the sentimental items.
When cleaning my beauty storage case, I had to ask myself what all that junk was inside. I’m guilty of having purchased products I didn’t need because of beauty influencers or advertisements. One item that I’m one hundred percent certain that I waisted my hard-earned money on is brushes. I have several brush sets; and although they are not expensive, they still are a waste of money and space. I’m not a cosmetologist or beauty expert, but here is what I know—most people have favorites and use what they are most comfortable with using. Regardless of brand, I tend to use the same type brushes from each set. And that number is small. I prefer brushes with short, tightly-packed bristles. These brushes allow me to control both placement and application. Rarely do I use large, fluffy brushes, with the exception to dust off powder. I only need about three types of brushes. The rest are pretty adornment for my dresser.
This leads me to the next point. Functionality is more important than beauty. It is super easy to become distracted by looks instead of function. In preparing for hurricanes, people need items that work. It does not matter how aesthetically appealing a product is if it does not get the job done. That is why it is crucial that items are checked. Be sure that lanterns aren’t corroded on the inside and the bulbs aren’t blow. Have extra batteries and LED lights.
I have some brushes with really pretty handles or brush heads. But the truth of the matter is the brush heads become stained after a while, and some of the handles cause the brushes to be difficult to use. Some colored heads look so pretty but shed. Pulling brush hairs from pallet pans, clothing, and face may be cumbersome and irritating. Furthermore, they have to be replaced quicker than other brushes, which costs one to spend more coins. That does not mean that all inexpensive brushes are poorly made. I have some very affordable, synthetic brushes.
When going on an extended trip, or even out for a long evening, the cosmetics packed should be the ones that you know you will need. For example, I normally do not reapply mascara. Therefore, that is an item I can omit if I’m pressed for space. However, if I’m going on vacation, I want to take my most favorite, least problematic mascara. See, I wear contacts, and some mascara may irritate my eyes. Therefore, I do not try new brands when I’ll going on a trip. I also tend to pack waterproof in case of rain or wanting to get into pool or hot tub.
Eye shadow pallets are nice to have, but unless you’re a makeup artist, I do not think many people use the majority of the shades in the pallet. For me, it’s more cost-efficient to purchase either, mini pallets (not mini in size but in colors) or singles. A great trick for singles is to buy the empty magnet pallet cases and create your own pallet. It saves money to invest in the colors that you use the most.
Foundation is a tricky item. I tend to take more than one with me when I travel. The way some foundations hold may be dependent of weather conditions and how long they must remain packed. I had one foundation that turned to the consistency of water due to getting to hot in the transport areas. Sometimes, I need to mix foundations to find the correct shade. These also react differently to primers. For that reason, with the multiple foundations, I pack multiple primers.
During storms, flexibility is important as well. Having a battery powered radio is an excellent way to keep abreast of changing weather conditions. But people also need multiple ways to communicate to loved ones. Cellphones batteries die. If you have a cellphone with a removable battery, it is wise to have a charged spare as well as portable charges. If you must travel in inclement weather, has a backup USB cord. They can fail or short. And also, be sure that it is of one of quality. Over time, the covering of my USB cord wore away to expose the wire, which caused a poor connection. On one trip, it finally went out and I stopped at a local dollar store and picked up one. Several months later, I noticed that my phone did not hold and took longer to charge. I took it in the cellphone company who swore it was my battery, and that it would cost anywhere from $70.00 to $125.00 to repair. (The battery was not removable.) Being stubborn, I went to a cellphone company in a different town. Not only did they inform me it could be the cord, but they gave me a cord for FREE. The problem has been solved. So, ensure that you have the proper products on hand.
Another product that I think I was sucked into purchasing was a highlighter/bronzing pallet. Honestly, more times than not I can’t tell the difference when a bronzer has been used. And most highlighters look the same to me. I don’t especially like the look of highlighters on me anyway. It makes me look like I’ve been punched and that’s the shine of the bruise. If highlight and bronzing is your thing, then go for it. These just do not land on my essential items list.
Finally, simplicity is golden. In storms, often it is necessary to travel as light as possible, especially if multiple people will be traveling. Space in cars and hotel rooms may be limited. Items that can serve multiple purposes are ideal. For makeup, that translate to a single cosmetic being used in more than one way. An example would be a liquid lip that is eye-safe and can be used as an eyeliner or shadow. This may be a bronzer that may also double as a blush or a contour.
Another way to simplify is to use a setting spray to help makeup last longer. For the longest time, I did not use this, and I promise I did one day and fell in instant love. That stuff works. In the humid south where make rolls off in globs, I’m able to apply makeup once and have it last throughout the evening—unless
I do something crazy to my face such as rubbing it. Using a setting spray saves me both time and money plus space in my purse. A word to the wise though. Not all setting sprays are created equal. I purchased one that squirts. Although it works well, it is like an assault to my face in application. The mist is much gentler, but some contain alcohol. Be sure to shut your eyes. Others contain thick fragrances; so, be sure to test it before purchasing.
So, basically, that is what I was reminded by the tropical storm as I cleaned out my makeup case. I hope that some of these tips are useful. Be sure to comment to tell me your tips, and if you’ve had any learning experiences from two events that are seemingly unrelated.
That’s it for this list. Well, not really. There are several more items that were frequently mentioned, but I arbitrarily decided to stop at fifteen. If you would like a part two of this list, let me know in the comment, and I will be happy to oblige.
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