I had a head start. At the start of the year, I went through my beauty products and did a massive clean-up. My cream shadows—some I had for more years than I want to admit— were all goners. Not even joking, some of these dated back to when I lived in D.C. I moved to Chicago in 2009, so, yeah … I also had quite the stash of Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks and I practically held a memorial ceremony for them. Beach and Nectar, from her spring and summer 2010 collections, were especially painful to toss. So old yet hardly used. Not to the extent I intended to when I bought them, anyway.
And, that’s the thing. I don’t intend to neglect something I paid good money for but I think it’s easy to get caught up in new. There’s a split second that you decide, “I HAVE TO TRY THAT,” and then before you know it your beloved Shimmer Brick gets tossed aside and forgotten. And that “have to try” urge continues on and you have a cycle of “shimmer bricks” that you feel guilty about. There’s a reason why when you go to Sephora.com, the ‘Just Arrived’ section jumps out at you. I scan that constantly, but here’s the thing: new doesn’t mean need.
I’ve been lucky enough to try a lot of things through blogging that I haven’t bought myself. But, I still buy makeup. Most of the stuff I use, actually. Essentially, I’m discovering new beauty and trying products at a pace I can’t really keep up with. Nor, do I want to.
There’s a reason it feels so good when you ‘hit pan’ on a product (my face shows serious pride everytime I Insta story my almost used up Laguna Bronzer!) And the implication of what it means to ‘re-buy’ something: damn, it must be good.
But what about all of those lost beauty products I’ve raved about that will ultimately be thrown away? What is the implication of that?
This purge, almost halfway through the year, is significant because it coincides with a renewed 312 Beauty. I’m going to be trying out a new experiment in an effort to be more intentional and creative with makeup. It’s a seasonal approach to the makeup bag that I’m calling the beauty wardrobe.
The best part of living in Chicago is four distinct seasons with moods and traits all their own. The changing of my closet wardrobe is something I’ve done my whole life. In part because we had small closets growing up and you had to pack away the winter clothes and coats. Now, it’s more symbolic. I love approaching a new season. There’s hope and aspiration tied to starting fresh with a new set of rules. The beauty wardrobe is my chance to make sure the Shimmer Bricks of my past don’t become my regret in the future. It will be a seasonal beauty capsule in time. (Summer edition rolling out soon!)
But, back to the purge. If I’m being honest, I’m holding on to a few things. Like my Naked Palettes. I love them but not equally. I’m not ready to say goodbye, though, because they are not expired and may have a role in an upcoming season. But, I’m putting a lot of stuff on notice.
Along the way, I’ve asked myself the tough Qs.
Do I use it? This is the biggest aha! Because there’s “do I” and “would I” if I had more face? Take Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipstick. It was a Valentine’s Day treat to myself and I absolutely love that lipstick. But do I use it? Not nearly enough. It fell into the new then forgotten trap. So wrong! I’m sorry, Pillow Talk. You deserve to be worn. You will get your moment.
Do I like it? I was surprised by how much stuff I had that I just did not like. Perhaps I liked it at one point but it could have also been a sample, a freebie of sorts or a gift. Or something I bought and changed my mind on. It happens. My goal is to not let that happen in the future.
Is it my style? I have a pretty good sense of what I like and what I’ll take a chance on. I realized I don’t really like coral lipstick. Or hot pink. I also just really love black liquid eyeliner so all of those bright blues and purples aren’t for 2017 Laurie.
Does it work for my skin? There’s plenty I like that doesn’t work for me. NARS All Day Luminous Foundation is one example. It is too heavy for my skin and no matter how I try to sheer it out it looks like a mask. I’ve seen this on other people and it looks like airbrushed skin. Such is life.
Is it expired? I want to save this topic for another day because I’m always curious what is really the rule of law with expiration dates. I use a common sense approach and that’s the reason I have Benefit boxed blushes from years (and years) ago. Goodbye Coralista. Goodbye Hervana. Goodbye Bella Bamba. Rockateur, you get to stay.
This bag is truly bursting at the seams. It feels so good and yet there’s also a mild shame to it.
What to do with makeup you don’t want? I have a few options.
If it’s used or expired, I think it’s best to toss.
If it’s new, I find a new home with friends or family. If it’s new(ish), like a powder blush with one or two uses, I’ll also try and give that away. This is where common sense comes in. No one wants janky used makeup but barely touched is another story.
Recycle. MAC has a Back to MAC program. Other brands are intended for reuse, like Kjaer Weis compacts. I also look to recycle any packaging that can be as well for the items on the ‘toss’ list.
I’m feeling lighter and more focused with this purge. I’m also more aware of what I have, love and trying to fight that urge that is telling me to get the new Becca Chrissy Teigen Glow Face palette! Because, honestly, I don’t actually need to want.
How do you handle this? Are you a use up until it’s gone and don’t buy anything new?