Monday, August 17, 2015

Minimalist Monday: Half-Yearly Make-up and Nail Polish Declutter

Using the same make-up products daily through my Make A Dent and Project 10 Pan challenges has really brought home how much I'm actually able to make good use out of what I own. In short: NOT. AT. ALL. And I'm not even talking about completely using stuff up, but simply feeling like I gave that pretty shiny thing I bought the love and attention that it deserves.
Which is why I quickly started to feel overwhelmed again with the size of my make-up and nail polish stash. While I have been purging my collection here and there for the last three years (see my last declutter post here), passing lots of goodies to friends and family and occasionally tossing something in the trash, this time I felt that I needed to be more ruthless, and really ask myself two questions: whether I was going to use the product more than once or twice just to assuage the feeling of guilt, and whether it was a unique shade I didn't already have at least two dupes for in my stash. What emerged from the culling process was a rather sizeable pile of stuff that I thought I'd share with you.
First off, and what you see in the first photo, is a palette full of various depotted eyeshadows and blushes I knew I wasn't using for a while now. The palette itself used to have a foam insert for round pans the size of a MAC shadow (here's what it used to look like), but by removing it, I was able to both cram more inside as well as put together pans of all different sizes and shapes. It now houses MAC (Deep Truth and Solar Force), Inglot (the square satin pale peach, round dark grey and metallic silver), DIY pressed pigments from NYX and Barry M, two Too Faced eyeshadows from the Natural Eye palette, one shadow from Physician's Formula Canyon Classics quad, and two La Femme blushes. By decluttering all these pans from my Z-Palettes, I was also able to go ahead and depot the Stila In The Moment palette (review & swatches here; look who's talking about having too many palettes back in 2012...), pictured above. I usually find that by depotting my less reached for palettes, I'm able to make better use of the individual shadows housed within.
Continuing with the eyes, I decided to pass on most of my bareMinerals 7 Ways to Bare Eyecolor set (review and swatches here); I simply DO NOT reach for loose eyeshadows, even in lovely neutral hues. I also went ahead and included some of my pencil liners in the giveaway pile: Urban Decay 24/7 pencils in Binge and Mildew (swatched here) and a brand new, unopened Milani Liquif'eye in Brown. I simply have other eyeliners that are very near dupes, and while I do manage to use up an entire pencil occasionally, these things do dry out - so no point keeping back-ups in my stash, they're going to be unusable sooner rather than later.
Lancôme Color Design Palette in Coral Crush (swatched and reviewed here), along with the L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Golden Emerald (click!), Lise Watier Tartan Magique Ombre Soufflé and the recently reviewed YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer were also given the boot. All very decent products, but I just have too much - I still don't really wear green or teal on the eyes, and I chose the Sleek Oh So Special eyeshadow palette over Coral Crush for that warm peachy feel. Since I just recently got a smaller palette (Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow in Hanashoubu), I felt it was fair to pass on one quint to someone else to enjoy.
Culling my blushes was probably the most painstaking part of this declutter, and the most time-consuming. I swatched a whole bunch and wore a few on my cheeks for several days to see what my final thoughts would be. In the end, I'm getting rid of Revlon Photoready cream blush in Flushed (click, I own two shade dupes in cream blushes alone), Laura Mercier Lush Nectarine and Laura Geller Boysenberry powder blushes (click, both pull too orange on my skin for my current taste). The Benefit Watt's Up cream highlighting stick never really suited me, so I'm giving it away together with the Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in Lavish Lilac (click - sorry, forgot to include it with the eyes stuff - not my favorite formula, I won't be able to even make a dent in it before it completely dries out).
Lastly, lip products. Most of these have been swatched, reviewed in a lukewarm manner and worn maybe once or twice: Nature Republic Botanical Shine Tint (click!), bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie lipstick in Make Your Move (click!), Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge in N9 (click!), Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Ripe Raspberry (click!), Bourjois Color Boost crayon in Red Sunrise (click!, I own too many reds), and an older tube of MAC Viva Glam IV (too frosty for my current preferences). There's also a brand new, unused tube of something MLBB mauvey from a brand I've never heard about that I received in a complimentary GlossyBox, but I'm not all that interested in trying it and would prefer for it to go nice and fresh to someone more appreciative.
Now, nail polish! That was a bit of a messy process. I had my eye on some bottles that I knew I haven't touched in over a year, but before getting rid of anything, I wanted to give them one last chance by way of a quick fingernail swatch, as you can see above. I decided to keep OPI Pamplona Purple (thumb), Zoya Pixie Dust in London (middle, never worn as a full mani - I want to see if I reach for it this fall/winter season) and Revlon's Perplex (pinky). I've decided to toss Wet n'Wild Shield (index, not into metallics anymore, an old bottle) and pass on Revlon's Black with Envy, as well as OPI Lights of Emerald City (both layered on my ring finger, LoEC always bubbles on me!).
I also said goodbye to OPI Kiss Me On My Tulips mini from the Holland Collection (I own a very near dupe from BarryM) and OPI Chicago Champagne Toast (never worn as a full mani in the two years I've owned it). While I was swatching and comparing my polishes, I counted my stash and it turned out that even after various purges and only one polish purchase so far this year, I still own about 70 bottles. Frankly, that's insane, and it's making me a bit sick to my stomach - I mean really, do I need this many?! I don't do nail art, I don't consider myself a collector, I'm not even that much into polish anymore... Just why. I'm seriously contemplating a nail polish no-buy for the foreseeable future.
These are three products from my stash I decided to throw out rather than give away; they were all too old and mostly used up.
The good thing about looking through my nail polish stash was that I also had a chance to do a bit of cleaning - I like to keep the necks of my bottles free of any dried polish residue so that the caps screw on more firmly and prevent the polish inside from drying out. I recommend a good polish remover and something lint-free for this task (meaning, not cotton wool); I used Orly's nail wipes intended for gel manicures.
There you go; I hope my purge pile was at least somewhat interesting for you. All of these products (minus the three tosses mentioned above) have now been divided into a couple pouches with a specific recipient in mind. A quick count reveals that I decluttered 22 single eyeshadows (powder & cream), 1 eyeshadow palette, 3 pencil eyeliners, 6 cheek products (powder & cream), 7 lip products (full size & mini), 1 deluxe sample of face primer and 4 nail polishes (full size & mini). Together with the throw-aways, that's 44 products less in my stash. I would say that's probably equivalent to a 'one in, one out' policy adopted by some, given that I'm allowing myself two make-up products and/or nail polishes a month (that's 24 a year, but doesn't include gifts, gifts with purchase and other freebies - and that stuff adds up quickly).

I suppose my one take away from this process would be not to wait before purging a product you know you don't really love - that way, you benefit from having an edited collection at all times, but also the products you decide to pass on are at their freshest for someone else to enjoy. I usually keep a donation bag in my closet for all the clothes I'm deciding to get rid of, and I'm planning to now have a separate box for my unloved make-up. Have you guys been purging anything lately, or are you over the decluttering trend? I'm secretly waiting for the pendulum to swing the other way and to see people start hoarding again, lol. How are you feeling about the state of your make-up stash?


  1. I recently just purged a bag load of makeup...and I have hard time getting rid of everything since my family members and friends already got a pile of makeup a few weeks ago. Ah, the struggle :D

    1. Haha, Sara, I got so excited recently when I realized there's a family member I haven't given anything to yet :D And better yet, she's really into make-up and skincare stuff! If everything else fails, I think it's better to donate or even throw away than having unnecessary stuff sit in piles in your space.

  2. yay for purging. dude i am going through this right now.and i have so much stuff!!!!!!!!!!!
    i'm trying to adopt that 'magic tidying up' thing but ever two steps i take forward, i take one step back but at least everything is now in one location and i've set aside two giant bags of make up to give away. the remaining stash is still more sizeable that i'd like to but i think i need a break to relax before moving forward with more purging.

    1. Hi Jenn! You know, I've been thinking a lot about the different stages of a decluttering process lately, and I'm thinking about writing a separate post on the topic. But for now, I'll say this - I'm not able to do everything completely and once and for all, like in the KonMari method. I'm much more of a 'first pass, second pass, third pass' type of girl. I need time to digest those things, and yes, I need breaks too :D

  3. Its nice to hear, that you are decluttering again. I've got about 350 pieces right now and I would be happy to have ~250 pieces. I have decluttered 100 pieces in 2014 and 44 pieces in 2015.
    I came to the conclusion, that I won't declutter any more because my 100 redundand pieces consist dupes of very special colours or favourites (20%), dupes due to palettes (30%) or colors which are nice to have but won't be rebought (40%). In most cases I own less than 1 dupe of the colour. Due to the palettes I own 3 dupes of a certain shade of brown, but I am not able to declutter because 2 are in palettes, 1 is half empty and the last one is the dupe of the half empty one.
    I'm trying my best to avoid buying dupes and back ups. I have only bought 2 nail polishes (black and nude), 2 eyeshadows (blackened petrol and blackened violet) and 1 lipstick (nude) and I have used all of them exept the lipstick...

    I have tried my bare Minerals eyecolors but I don't like them very much. It seems like I remove them while blending (is it the same matter with yours?) I've tried to sell half of them but hopelessly only two people bought one. Now I'm thinking about sell all, but I think that nobody would buy them o_O
    I think I'd love the L'Oreal Golden Emerald Eyeshadow. This shade is not available here. I'm wearing a LOT of green and teal on my eyes (I avoid pinks and pastel colours!)

    1. Lila, you're so precise in knowing all of your numbers! Did you do a complete inventory of everything, divided into categories? I'll be completely honest and admit that I do not want to count everything I own - I'm sure it would add up to be an overwhelming number, and it would just make me feel like a hoarder. I do know more or less my numbers for lipsticks, blushes etc. but not everything all together.

      With the bareMinerals eyeshadows, I find that the shimmery/ metallic ones are super pretty and can be very intense on the eyes, especially when used wet/ over a sticky base, but the mattes or satins aren't all that good, and the hassle of dealing with a non-pressed product is too much for me. I tried to press two of them myself, but only one turned out half decent.

      The L'Oreal shade is really pretty, but somehow swatches better than it applies on the eyes? Haha, sounds like I'm being super picky :D

    2. Yap, I've started with the inventory 2010 and I update it at least twice a month. The inventory is divided into sub categories, but they exclude deodorant, toothpaste and soap. It helped a lot to count all those products. Otherwise would not have stopped hoarding things @.@

      Mmmmh I don't get used to wet application. I've tried my duochrome one, but it didnt last on my Urban Decay primer and it was very sheer. I haven't tried the shimmery and matte ones on wet application. I think I should recap that.

      I know lotsa shades which are swatched somewhat better than applied >.< I have this which *all* taupe shades. They seem to disappear on my lids.

  4. Im surprised Monica, I thought you were going to ask the products if they gave you joy! When I do my sometimes monthly empties post, I always have a section for tossed items. That way I can keep my collection to the items I actually use. I'm easily overwhelmed by products and find rows and rows of products overwhelming. You gave away so much stuff- good for you!

    1. Lol, Neo, I think it's pretty obvious these products were not giving me as much joy as they used to, which is why they ended up in the purge pile :) I think including giveaways and throwaways in monthly empties is a really good idea, that way you can keep on top of things before they pile up :)

  5. Monika, it's been so interesting for me to follow your journey in decluttering/using up products thus far and see the progression. Through it all, you have been really honest to yourself and to your belonging with great discoveries along the way. Kudos to you to have made it this far, really!!

    I'm sort of in the same boat with skincare right now.. it feels like a never-ending, superfluous supplies coming out from my medicine cabinet & stash all over the place -- seriously, I have not been buying a single "replacement" thing since I started this so-called project, and I'm still going, how crazy is that?? Since I'm not purchasing anything, I have to be creative in using other things that has the same purpose. E.g. somehow I ended up with lots of toner-type skin care (like Glossier Rose Water spray, or Japanese "lotion" pack-type, etc.) and I rarely use them because I would normally use acid toner. I tried to give them some love, using them for makeup removal, to revive masks, etc. and at some point, I just had to toss some because there is no way no how I will ever going to finish them. Lesson learned and move on. Another example is my heavy reliance on cream/balm cleanser that I pretty much neglected the other foaming/water-based cleanser. Again, I tried using them as much as I could until I decided enough is enough, my skin just doesn't do well with that type of cleanser anymore so I tossed some, too.

    I think part of me feels like I'm going to "miss" not having that toner/cleanser because I don't have anything else in my stash, but I also discover, I *can* live without them! And this is a bigger realization. My hoarding mentality comes from a place of lack, it always has been like that, and this is skin care I'm talking about, something that is truly a luxury, not a necessity.

    I'm still in a happy spot, makeup-wise, but like you, waiting for the pendulum to swing the other direction. I don't know if it will be in my case, this is why it's been pretty dry on the blogging front (compounded by having the Tod at home). Or rather, I'm waiting for a product, a launch, or a collection to wow me. Haven't seen anything like that, yet. Maybe if Suqqu comes over to local Nordie ;-D I love this series, the Minimalist Monday. Looking forward for more!

  6. I have been pulling out nail polish bottles for a declutter - think I will do a giant one now and post it up to reflect on it. I'm not doing terribly well in my challenges - am enjoying the sample one, but need to slimline my collection as it is still too overwhelming for me right now.

    I wouldn't be able to throw away Lights of Emerald City or Lush Nectarine, more strength to you for that!

    Pamplona Purple is stunning on you!

  7. like many beauty addicts, I took pride in having a larger collection for quite some time. This year was a bit hectic as I was formally diagnosed with depression and I realized that clutter was the last thing I needed in my life. Suddenly, the prospect of hoarding unused, expired makeup disgusted me. Also, I've been cruelty free for a year and I found most of the non-cruelty free items were not getting used! Selling my products didn't make much sense to me and I did mini purges here and there. I had one particularly bad day and I just decided to purge probably half (maybe even more) of my collection. I filled an entire tote with beauty products, allowed friends and family to take a glance and then donated it to my local women's shelter. The only items that I purged but did not donate was my collection of luxury, animal tested lipsticks. They're in a box for collecting purposes, not using purposes. Ridiculous? Yes, but I love collecting lipstick packaging ;)

    I started to feel that most of my purchases were impulsive and the items that I did use on a daily basis were the ones I researched, saved and invested in. Therefore, my new collection consists of mainly the luxury items that I carefully picked out. Now that I know what products survived my huge purge, I plan on using that information for future purchases.

    Anyway, I plan on doing a post about my progress as well. Your posts were a huge motivational factor with this. They reminded me you can be a beauty addict and not have to hoard an unrealistic amount of makeup

  8. I regularly purge products and have a giveaway bag that I pull out when people visit to let them rummage through lol...but I feel like I've been more serious about decluttering for about a year now (aside from my temporary purchase insanity when Elena was born, which I'm paying for now...but I've hardly bought any makeup since April). When I read posts like this though I'm reinvigorated all over again! I have about the same number of polishes but I REALLY want to get that down to 50 irks me that I have some that just never get worn in a calendar year! But its so hard when what I have I quite like...but I'm sure there's room for more ruthlessness.

    Anyway, you did amazing here Rocaille!! You must feel a bit lighter anyway, huh??