Decluttering My Foundation Drawer for 2022
As someone who loves a laid back, natural look I sure have a lot of foundations – too many, honestly! They just happen to accumulate because I am always curious to try the newest releases, especially if they are from my favorite brands. That is why I try to purge my beauty drawers annually, both to check for expiration dates and just to reassess if I still like everything. After all, our tastes change all the time; it’s perfectly normal to be in love with a product for a some time and then move onto the next favorite.
Purging may seem overwhelming, especially if you have amassed a sizable collection, but there are only two things I look at when deciding what to keep and what to toss.
CHECK EXPIRATION DATES – I actually have no issues keeping some foundations a few months past their expiration date as long as they don’t look or smell funny. If the formula starts to separate or has an off color or smell, it’s a sure sign to toss that bottle, even if it still has a lot of product inside. I know it seems like a waste, but it’s the lesser of two evils, between sunk cost and a full-on fungal or bacterial infection.
SWATCH EVERYTHING – A shade that was a good match a year ago might not be a good match today. My skin undertone actually changed slightly since I started using tretinoin so none of my old foundations match me anymore. I used to be a true neutral but now I need warm-toned and olive-toned products, and I had to purge everything that leaned too pink. The three best places to swatch for accurate color match are on the side of your cheek, neck, and wrist.
WHAT I KEPT & WHY:
1 // Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Light Revealer Natural Skin Illuminator Pearl ($48) – From all the luminous skin tints I tried, this one suits my complexion the most. It’s a flattering shade of peachy nude that seamlessly blends into the skin, giving it a radiant glow and a hint of color. It doesn’t provide enough coverage to mask imperfections, but the formula contains so many light-reflecting particles, the light is basically doing all the concealing for you.
2 // Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Luminizing Fluid Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Neutral 1 ($45) – This foundation is a bit of a dark horse in my collection. It’s not widely popular and I never see anyone talk about it, but it’s very unique. The formula adapts to your skin’s needs throughout the day and mattifies oily areas while simultaneously hydrating the dry spots, so the skin always look even. Unfortunately, it’s being discontinued so once the shades sell out, that’s it. I decided against buying another bottle because I’d rather finish what i already have, which will take a while anyway.
3 // Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation 2 Fair ($44) – This is currently the most pigmented foundation I own. It gives the skin medium to full buildable coverage while also allowing it to breathe. I also like that it’s not a true matte, but a semi-matte finish, to me it looks more natural in real life, although you wouldn’t notice any difference in photos. I like using this one for special events and on bad skin days when I have several areas to camouflage. Unfortunately, it also got discontinued, so I wouldn’t be able to purchase another bottle even if I wanted to.
4 // Charlotte Tilbury Healthy Glow Sumer Tint Moisturizer ($42) – I can’t use it on its own because the shade doesn’t match me at all, but adding a drop or two into my regular foundation or sunscreen turns anything into a tinted moisturizer. Well, at least they’re not discontinuing this one yet!
5 // First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer Bone ($28) – I didn’t even know that FAB made tinted moisturizers, but as a fan of their Ultra Repair line, I had to try this one and it quickly became a favorite! It provides light coverage that doesn’t mask imperfections and slightly evens out the skin tone, making it the perfect companion for a low key no-makeup look.
6 // Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation 1 ($44) – This is my “everyday foundation”, it’s slightly more opaque than a tinted moisturizer, but definitely has some coverage if you have mild discolorations to conceal. It still allows for more pigmented areas, like beauty marks, to peek through, so I use it mostly to hide redness and post-acne spots.
Speaking of which, I need to wash the divider, too 😉
Six products still seems like a lot, but considering what we started with, I’ll take it as an achievement. I enjoy having some variety in my collection, which is why I kept a little bit of everything: a full coverage product with a heavier, matte finish; a luminous base that gives the skin a radiant glow; two tinted moisturizers, one with a bronzing effect and another one for everyday use; a lightweight medium coverage formula with classic semi-matte finish; and a dewy light to medium coverage tinted liquid for good skin days.
When was the last time you purged your makeup drawer? Would you be interested in seeing the before & after for other makeup categories?