Don’t Feed It After Midnight: The Beauty Gremlin in My Brain


I’ve noticed a change in my beauty buying habits over the last couple of years. I feel like I put a lot more thought and care into my purchases. I like to think I now go into the beauty department armed with a strong sense of self: I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I don’t waste as much money as I used to, because I’m critical, analytical and smart. I weigh the options, read the fine print and, most importantly, see through all the marketing hype. Generally speaking, this is true. Every once in a while, though, I still make a purchase that defies logic. It’s like there’s a little gremlin in the beauty center of my brain that causes a short circuit that leads to bad beauty decisions. You didn’t know there was a beauty center in the brain? Sure there is. I’m pretty sure it’s next to the hippocampus.

A few weeks back, Igremlin bought a tube of Joe Fresh Matte Sheer Tint. The gremlin took control of this purchase, and thus, the decision-making process that preceded it went something like this:

1) I hate liquid makeup of any kind: foundations, tinted moisturizers, BB creams. They don’t work for me. I hate the way they feel on my face, and they often clog my pores. Powder foundation has proven to be the best option for my oily skin time and time again. But the gremlin made me think:

Well it’s matte and it’s oil free, so this one’s different. It’s clearly formulated for my skin type, so it’ll be better than all the others I’ve tried.

2) I know that packaging has no bearing on the performance of a product. But the gremlin made me think:

The packaging is so clean and simple looking. They didn’t need to dress it up in a fancy package, so it must be good.

3) I know that where a product is made has no bearing on its performance. But the gremlin made me think:

Product of Italy? You don’t see that very often. It must be good.

If any of this sounds familiar, you might have a gremlin in the beauty center of your brain. As it turns out, this product is not good. It offers zero coverage and doesn’t blend into the skin. It just sits there in the pores, mocking me and my poor decisions.


What allows the gremlin to take over? I can’t really say for sure. I have a few theories though. For me, the gremlin will take over if I’m in a hurry of if I’m in retail therapy mode and have already made up my mind that I’m going to buy something before I even go in the store. Also, if I go to the store looking for a specific product and the store doesn’t have it, the gremlin will often force me to buy something else to help me get over the disappointment. These are not rational purchases.

What has the gremlin made you buy? Answer in the comments.

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