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There Is Truly No Good Way to Contain a Shoe Collection

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My Shoes Are Taking Over My Whole House

We asked our readers to tell us about what lives in their closets. Wanna tell us about yours? Email!

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Tell us about yourself.
Paris, 21, a photography student living in London, England.  

What’s the oldest thing in your closet? The newest thing?
The oldest thing in my wardrobe (UK!) is my favorite yellow teddy bear night top. It was passed on to me by a friend/relative (you know, the uncles and aunts that are actually just your parents’ friends and not even related to you) and is probably ten years old, but it still fits me. It’s covered in teddy bears and flowers, and I have no idea why I keep and love it so much. I still wear it sometimes. The newest thing would be the pair of gorgeous glittery trainers from Johnnie B that I got for Christmas. I’m definitely a child at heart, so I’m obsessed with all things glittery, and these are dripping in gold sequins.

What lives in the “dark corner” of your closet? In other words, what do you continue to keep in there even though it never sees the light of day?
I’ll always keep my signed shirt from my first school, and my hockey bag. When I was 13, I left my first school, and we all brought in spare school shirts and got them signed as a keepsake. It’s been in my wardrobe ever since, even though I never actually look at it. Also, I was an avid hockey player during my school years and played for my county. Though I haven’t played hockey for years now, and I miss it, I’ll never get rid of my hockey stick, bag, and gear. It’s shoved somewhere in the back of my wardrobe. (I think?)

How do you have your closet organized? And what about shoes? Where the heck do they go?
I’ve always had everything color-coordinated — even down to shades. Everyone thinks I’m a bit strange for doing it, but it makes life so much easier and it makes choosing an outfit quicker. (Although, admittedly, my gym stuff stays at the end, and isn’t organized.) I had to buy a shoe rack for my wardrobe when I moved in, as I have too many. I also take over all the space on the shoe rack my housemate bought for downstairs, which she finds infuriating! Some are also kept under my bed, some still in their boxes! Shoes are a nightmare to store. I normally give up and pile them on top of each other.

Wax poetic to me about hangers.
Bloody hangers. We’ve always had those horrible metal hangers that everything slides off of. I’ve resorted to buying myself those velvet hangers, which are truly a life-saver. I also, dreadfully, ask to keep hangers from shops when I buy clothes! I get slightly upset when they don’t let me keep the nice wooden ones. Wooden ones are the way forward.

What’s the weirdest thing in your closet that’s just there because it has nowhere else to live?
The weirdest thing in my wardrobe… probably this strange bag made of two halves of a vinyl record. It’s horrible, and sits in my wardrobe doing nothing. I should get rid of it, but it was from my (actual) aunty and uncle, so I feel like I can’t throw it away.

Facebook Is Pakistan's Favorite Shopping Mall
Protesters at a PETA demo

“You can just check our Facebook page, you know?” said Mohammad Faisal as I stared at the racks of jeans — skinny, frayed, jeggings, boyfriend — that reach up to the ceiling in his shoebox-sized Karachi shop on a visit last fall.

For more than a decade, Faisal has outfitted girls in Karachi, Pakistan in Zara jeans and H&M shirts, reselling rejected stock from garment factories at a pittance of the retail price. His shop is so tiny that the “changing room” is essentially a closet where one shares space with bags of skinny jeans while trying not to pass out in 100-degree heat. But his Facebook page, which has been up and running since 2015, is updated with images of new stock, and so before I plan a visit — and risk an avalanche of dark denim — I can check out what’s in store online.

Faisal isn’t the only retailer on Facebook. In Pakistan, the website synonymous with fake news and "he put a ring on it" updates is used as a shopping website. It’s a platform to shop everything from antique furniture to Swarovski crystal-encrusted bridal gowns that run for thousands of dollars. It’s Net-a-Porter, Etsy, Pinterest, and a shopping mall experience combined into one endless scroll.

Everyone from high-end designers and popular retailers to savvy fabric store owners maintain a Facebook presence in Pakistan. Trends filter from the runways in New York into Instagram and Facebook feeds, eventually appearing in the collections of Pakistani designers and retailers and garnering hundreds of likes and comments until they reach my tailor (who is on Facebook), who can replicate a Zara shirt right down to the buttons. It’s like watching Miranda Priestly’s cerulean monologue from The Devil Wears Prada unfold in real time on your news feed.

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I Own 146 Lipsticks But I Only Wear This One
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Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick, $26

I own a lot of lipsticks. I tried to count them and I stopped at 146 because I was getting concerned about my hoarding. Then I started trying to guess how old some of them were, which led me down a Google rabbit hole searching “bacteria in lipstick.”

Part of the reason I own so many is because of the job I have, which is to write about beauty products. But another part of it is because I save all the ones I get because I’m convinced someday I’ll become a lipstick person. The reality, though, is that I’m a lip balm aficionado who only occasionally wears lipstick.

When I do, however, it’s Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche, usually in Chai or Sake, which are both on the dusty mauve-y brown spectrum. (I’m also predictable in my color choices, but it comes in 45 shades if you like variation.) The formula is simply the best one I’ve tried in a long time. Bite Beauty specializes in only lip products, so I guess it’s not surprising that the company has mastered this category.

The Amuse Bouche formula is not matte, but it’s also not shiny or satiny either. It’s creamy with an opaque color payoff, and it’s the most comfortable formula I’ve used. It’s what I always hope super expensive lipstick will feel like but never does. I can always get away with one swipe, too, because the color is so pigmented. And less product on your mouth equals less of that gunky crusty feeling, which is one of the reasons I don’t wear lipstick that often. Oh, and it smells like a fancy Creamsicle, which is a plus for me.

It has decent staying power, particularly if I use it with an invisible lip liner and dust a bit of translucent powder over it. But I definitely have to cut back on coffee drinking when I wear it, and reapplication post-lunch is a necessity, as with any traditional cream lipstick. It contains a lot of oils, which is great for comfort but won’t make it as long-lasting as, say, a matte liquid lipstick. But it looks and feels a hell of a lot better than one, that’s for sure.

I should probably finally clean out my lipstick collection and declare this the winner. —Cheryl Wischhover, senior beauty reporter

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