Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Downsizing My Collection: Purging

After the past week of my Project 10 Pan makeup spending ban, I've really begun to reflect on the reason why I'm doing this and my vision for my makeup collection.  This started out as the realization that I have way too much makeup and I'll probably never use it up.  But what I'm coming to realize is that I really just want a collection I'm happy with.  I've always worn makeup but before I really started experimenting with it, I never had makeup that I loved.  I always just wore makeup because I was supposed to and because I knew it made me look better.  Now I wear makeup because it's fun and I enjoy some "me" time each day when I put my makeup on.  So what I really want is to look at my collection and feel that the items I have are things I really enjoy.  Then why do I keep products that I've purchased and don't like or even hate?  I guess I feel like it's wasteful to get rid of something that I've paid for with my hard earned money.  I don't feel so bad giving things away, because I feel like other people might enjoy them and that would make me happy.

Makeup is really an experiment in finding things you love.  Sometimes that can be hard because you find a lot of duds along the way and as soon as you find that holy grail item, it seems like the company discontinues it and comes out with ten similar new products (Maybelline Dream Mousse Concealer, anyone?).  I'm sure this is exactly what makeup companies intend.  That way, we try and pay for five items until one works.  Then start the whole process over when they discontinue that.  It's a vicious cycle to make us spend more.

Luckily, with the popularity of the Internet and resources like Makeup Alley, YouTube and bloggers, a bit of the guessing game is taken out.  If everyone else likes a product, you may like it too.  If everyone thinks it's crap, it's probably crap.

So here's the point.  I went through my makeup collection and purged several items for a variety of reasons.  The mascaras pictured were all well older than six months (the expiration for mascara is 3-6 months).  Some of the mascaras were products I liked, some were products that were okay, and some I hated. The eyeliner was really good buy the brush was difficult to work with for me.  The lipstick was fine except that it had completely fallen out of the tube.  It might be wasteful but I just didn't like this lipstick enough to depot it and use it that way.

Then there's the powder.  I hate this powder.  I can't even explain it; It makes me so angry!!  I originally bought it hoping for a full coverage matte powder from the drugstore but I found it to be cakey and heavy feeling on the skin.  Additionally, this product oxidized on me very badly and very quickly.  Overall, it was a horrible powder and I would even feel bad giving this junk away to someone else.  It's kind of odd how much I hate this inanimate object but I felt so good throwing it away!

So here are my ethical questions for all of you.  How do you feel about throwing away makeup if you can't give it to someone else who would appreciate it?  How do you feel about throwing away makeup that you just plain hate?  I'm fine with my decision because most of these were expired items but it left me wondering what other people's opinions were of tossing bad makeup.

What I tossed:

N.Y.C. Smooth and Natural Matte Powder Foundation in Urban Light
N.Y.C. Show Time Volumizing Mascara
N.Y.C. Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara
N.Y.C. Liquid Eyeliner
Essence Black Mania Mascara
Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara Waterproof
Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara Washable
Essence Lash Mania Ultra Volume Mascara
Wet N Wild Mega Plump Mascara
Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Mascara Duo
N.Y.C. Ultra Moist Lipwear in Petal


  1. I have breakout-prone skin, so I toss items that exceed the suggested expiration dates. I don't consider it wasted if I don't use the whole thing, especially if I used it frequently and enjoyed it. It's safer for my skin to toss things even if they aren't empty, and I don't want to deny myself the use of, say, bright teal eyeliner that could never be used up in a reasonable time unless I wore it every day.

    That said, I'm with you and try to use up what I can before I buy a similar product. For example, I won't have ten foundations going at one time because there's no chance I'll use them up. I'm good with one dewy, one matte, and a tinted moisturizer so I can get a variety of looks and coverage. Usually, I use it all up, no problem.

    However, if I buy a bum product, I toss it if I can't pass it along to someone else and move on. I will return it if I try it once and hate it (and kept my receipt, which is rare), but some products sit around and get tested a few times before I can't tolerate them anymore. I don't see the point in keeping a foundation that's the wrong color, an eyeshadow primer that doesn't work, or an eyeliner that won't go on smoothly. Like you said, makeup is fun, it's my me time in the morning, and it's pure enjoyment on my days off. I don't want an inferior product dampening my experience. I guess I look at trying new products as an investment in a hobby, or something like that. Not everything will be a winner, but when I do find those holy grail products, it makes the search worth it. People like you and other gurus on youtube help a lot. Getting reviews and demos before I shop has really limited my bum buys.


  2. Ally, I LOVE what you said about makeup as an investment in a hobby! You're so right! It really is a hobby for me so why make myself feel guilty if I buy something crummy. I think I need to purge some more and start researching my products better instead of impulse buying every time I have to pick up milk at the store.

  3. I have started a project 10 pan & 5 bottle ban, but with a few different rules, I have put a 3 month limit/review. I feel very guilty about throwing things away as the cost of makeup in Australia is crazy expensive but as you and Ally mention if things are well passed the use by date I feel better bining them. I have way to much and need to start being sensible when purchasing new products. I can no longer afford to waste money, time and storage on products that aren't loved.


  4. Totally agree with Ally. I also only buy things as I need them and if I decide to try something different and it doesn't work out, I will either give it away or throw it out...mind you, I do feel guilty about chucking things but have to remind myself that it's pointless to let crappy things accumulate.

  5. Glad I could help! It's a new year, time to get rid of negative ways of looking at some things, which is one of my resolutions. I agree research makes a world of difference and helps decrease buying crappy products, but unfortunately there's just no way to completely avoid duds. I don't see the point in torturing myself by using up an inferior product.

    Also, one of my favorite parts of your blog and channel, is finding drugstore super stars. I don't have a lot of money to spend on beauty, and nothing makes me happier than paying less for something and getting high quality results. For me, it's more about the end results and the joy of using the product, not so much the price tag or the name stenciled on the bottle. If I need to splurge on a product to get results, trust me, I'll splurge. But I'm not going to run out and buy whatever jazzed up palette is the current "it" product if I can achieve similar results with either much cheaper products or things I already own. Seriously, part of that mentality is because of your channel and other beauty gurus I follow. I wouldn't know where to start without a little push in the right direction.


  6. I think that everyone has reaffirmed what I was thinking. There's no use keeping things that I don't like, especially if they are old. I think I'm going to go through my makeup and toss some more. I'll try giving some things away one more time but after round 5 of giveaways and STILL no one wants it... there's probably a reason why!

  7. I agree about researching things before you buy them to help prevent the bad buys. That being said, I typically don't give makeup to anyone except family. If I hate the product (wrong shade/wrong formula) and no one wants it, I toss it or try to mix and match it with other products that have flaws. I'm currently on a Project 5 Pan and I'm using items that I bought, didn't love immediately, and set aside - but they work out ok with a little extra effort. I would never force myself to use something truly awful, but if I can make it work and get more use out of it, I will! :)

    1. Amanda: I think the same way! If I can make it work out okay by tweaking the product (mix it with another, set it with this powder, etc) then I'll use it up. But things I hate, I'm just ready to get rid of them right now. I hate opening up my drawers and seeing those awful, crummy products. Maybe I'll make a regret buy video and then chuck them!

    2. Good idea! A regrets video would be helpful -- then you could get rid of them knowing they were just plain bad and you don't need to feel guilty about throwing them away. Since posting last time, I already threw away an Almay trio I got for clearance at Target because it was crummy and taking up room in my makeup area. AND I don't feel guilty at all! lol ;)

  8. Makes me feel bad that I wasted my money, but some of the things I'm so happy to throw away, but still angry I spent my money on it.

    1. EXACTLY! You took the words out of my mouth!