image of different types of makeup products

Odd Considerations when Shopping for Makeup

One of my guilty pleasures as of late is watching videos of beauty gurus on Youtube. I love learning the newest lipstick combinations and watching tutorials on glam makeup, or everyday glowy makeup, even through my own attempts at following the tutorials usually end in total disaster. I find it so calm and interesting to watch talented folks share their knowledge on beauty and skin products, and I often find myself wanting to try out the recommended care products because they often look so amazing on the models!

The challenges of shopping with migraine triggers

Unfortunately, due to chronic migraine, I also absolutely dread going to beauty supply and makeup stores. Not only do they usually tend to absolutely send me into whiplash upon entering from the thousands of scented products lining the shelves, they also tend to be extraordinarily, painfully bright, and loud. As well, I am not an online shopper. I feel too much anxiety ordering products online, especially beauty products because they so often look different online than they do on me, and I like to try things out before I commit to them.

As trivial as it may seem, migraine poses a real dilemma to me being able to explore something I find really cool: beauty and makeup products. I previously wrote about how migraine affects my ability to wear the hairstyles I grew up loving, and not being able to go into a store and try new makeup is another way in which migraine hinders one of my interests.

Strong scents and bright lights

While asking for accommodations for chronic pain is so often times necessary, I feel as though hoping for a scent-free, dimly lit, quiet makeup store is a little contradictory. After all, they are trying to sell glitz and glam, but it sure would be nice to be able to explore the aisles, and get expert help from the cosmetologists and beauticians in the store without fear of triggering a migraine and getting too sick to make the drive back home. It makes my stomach feel nauseous just thinking about spending time in a beauty store. I always felt really discontent when walking around in the mall (another nightmarish activity I don’t know how I did so often in my teenage years) and suddenly a strong scent of perfume would brush me in the face when passing a makeup counter.

Small annoyances

For many who suffer from migraine, even subtle scents can trigger a painful attack, and that means a lot of very strong scented perfumes are out of the question. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have shopped in-store for beauty products, but usually, I get makeup from grocery stores of drug stores--- for one, there are times when I have to be at these stores anyway, to get food, toiletries, or medication. The beauty aisles in these stores, too, usually don’t smell too strong, because there aren’t open ‘tester’ products on the shelves, making exploring them much more bearable. This, however, isn’t the same experience at all---I still can’t try out the makeup before purchasing, so sometimes I end up wasting money on products that don’t work when I get home. And... there aren’t any specialists of experts around to answer questions or give advice at the average grocery market. Ugh. It’s really a small annoyance compared to the pain migraine can cause, but it sure can get me down sometimes.

No clear answers

The few times I have gone into Ulta, or Sephora, I have asked for help and picked out products I really like, but I have also gotten a migraine without fail. It is one of the worst environments for me personally, and it bums me out whenever I see a new, cool video for a makeup look I’d like to try, because chances are I won’t be able to go out and research, in person, those products. I am still trying to find a workaround for this specific, migraine dilemma. I tend to feel so much better about myself when I feel and look good, and for me, trying out beautiful makeup looks is apart of that. I honestly just find it fun, too (and yes, even--perhaps maybe even especially-- those of us who do suffer from pain so often, deserve to have fun when we can!) For now, grocery store lines and risky online beauty product purchases are my go-to’s, but I would love to be able to eventually have migraine relief enough to shop and explore the beauty stores.

Do you have a similar experience with difficulty buying makeup or other products like soap or cleaners? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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