I’ve always been more into skincare than I am into makeup, mostly because I like the minimal look which requires very few products to execute. I had an enormous stash of lotions and potions way before I started blogging, but after I launched Glamorable, my makeup collection grew exponentially. I also began following more and more bloggers, who always recommend the latest and greatest makeup products, which of course I had to have, too. Problem is, I would end up buying things that I enjoy for a week, maybe a month, and never go back to them again. I feel like the process of buying a new lipstick made me happier than actually using it.
Over time I became painfully aware that my opinion is far from popular, and that belief solidified when I started my subscription to Birchbox. One of the biggest complaints I would see on social media is that the boxes had “too much skincare” and not enough makeup. For me, the opposite was true. I would get unwearable [for me] eyeshadow and lipstick colors from Birchbox, Ipsy, and other beauty boxes, and wonder how come everyone else seems to be happy to get yet another highlighter and I am just not into it, at all. I eventually canceled all of my beauty subscriptions for that reason. However, feeling like a “broken” beauty blogger was weighing heavily on me, and I usually bought products just because everyone else did, to fit in. I thought that if I didn’t buy something from yet another stupid MAC LE collection or whatever is flavor of the month these days, I’d be the odd one out, and there went my hard-earned Benjamins.
My spending habits didn’t change when I started receiving PR samples. I would still buy as many products as I did before, and I would also receive a lot of makeup from brands and PR agencies on top of that. Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful for that! However, eventually my collection outgrew my bathroom drawer, both of my medicine cabinets, and the bedside table. I started complaining to my husband that we don’t have enough storage space, without realizing that I basically used up what little storage we did have, all for my makeup.
Finally, last year I fully recognized that my makeup collection is, in fact, a “collection”. IOne day I sat down and asked myself, “Why am I collecting all these things?” My apartment is not a museum, and I can’t possibly use up these products before they expire, so why do I keep buying more and more stuff? A couple months ago I got my third tall IKEA ALEX [a beauty blogger cliche, haha], that I immediately filled up to the top with stuff that was sitting in boxes on the floor. That was when my common sense finally said enough.
2017 was the first year when I didn’t make it to VIB Rouge. I think I literally made one purchase at Sephora last year, only because I had the Christmas gift card and Ebates was having a double cashback event. At first, not shopping for makeup was tough. I know how stupid and consumerism-driven it probably sounds to some of you, but I almost had a withdrawal each time I received yet another email alerting me of Friends & Family sales or a new launch, thinking that all the other girls in my blogger circle must be shopping right now. I used to justify buying new launches because it would bring in more traffic to the blog [and it did!], but I decided to take a “traffic cut” instead. I guess blogging for me has never been about pageviews or money after all, considering how easily I gave up the opportunity to be indexed higher in Google search rankings.
Even though I stopped buying new makeup, my big purge didn’t happen until much later. Once I started, it was actually pretty easy to say goodbye to a lot of these products that no longer brought me any joy. I guess, Marie Kondo was right after all? 🙂
Most of the makeup I got rid of has been in the drawers for years, and I suspect that it either dried out, or got moldy. I tossed dozens of old mascaras, cracked/dry Colourpop eyeshadows and other cream shadows, nasty-smelling cream blushes, eyeliners, concealers, BB creams, foundations, and other products that could potentially give me an infection or a pink eye if I used them again after all these years. There were many favorites that I wish I had used while they were still good. This regret fueled the whole purging process, because it means that I will cherish each product that remains, and I will actually use and enjoy them before they expire. Gently used makeup will be offered to my friends and family, and brand new products will be either gifted or donated.
In the end, I tossed about 70% of my makeup stash, which still left me with a lot of products. I couldn’t get rid of them all, and that was the whole point of this downsizing experience: keep everything you use and/or love, and toss the rest. Surprisingly, this made shopping my stash easier, too, because I can see my entire collection at a glance in front of me, rather than running from room to room, and checking the drawers all over the place.
My eyeshadow drawer in particular looks quite barren. That shows just how bad I was about buying or holding on to colors that didn’t work for me, or colors I simply didn’t want to wear. I tossed a lot of bright shades, glitters, very shimmery pigments, and most of those dried out Colourpop singles. I did love each one of those Colourpop shadows though, this brand offers such good value for the money!
So what’s next, you ask? Well, I am going to see which of these products I reach for more often than others, and then do the second wave of purging to get rid of everything I kept but didn’t use.
When was the last time you did a big makeup or skincare purge? Do you buy makeup because you need it, or are you more of an impulse buyer? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclosure: This post features PR samples and products purchased by Glamorable, and may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to Disclosures & Content Use page.