It's New Year's Eve tomorrow, so prime time I think for a (probably overly lengthy) round-up of this year's attempts towards a smaller, well edited beauty stash in general, and a make-up capsule collection in particular. I'm very happy to say that in 2015, I've made some really big strides in downsizing my collection, and it's brought me a great satisfaction to learn more about my make-up preferences, curb impulse purchasing, and really use what I already own and love.
So what exactly have I been doing to reduce my stash? I've already discussed my various strategies in other posts on this subject, but let's rehash. I believe the key to my progress this year has been what I like to call a three-pronged approach. Firstly, I have been decluttering my vanity and passing on products that are no longer favorites to family and friends. Secondly, I've been slowly but surely using things up via Project Make A Dent and Project 10 Pan. And thirdly, I have stuck to my low-buy of only purchasing two make-up items a month. Alright, let's elaborate on these three points.
2015 could easily be dubbed 'The Year of the Declutter' in the online beauty community, mostly thanks to the popularity of Marie Kondo's 'Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up' (my thoughts on the book can be found here). However, this year has not been my first year of decluttering my collection. I believe I actually started going through my make-up with a fine tooth comb back in 2013, pulling products aside and gathering them into small pouches to give to coworkers and some family members. I also got rid of quite a few items towards the end of 2014 (read my post here). In July of this year, I did another bigger purge (documented here) on top of constantly weeding out smaller things here and there.
|Box of products to donate, currently housing 4 face mask sachets, 3 blushes, 1 powder and 5 lipsticks.|
I've now permanently assigned a box for products to give away that I keep close to my vanity, so when I pull out something I have not used in a while and after a few days of wear decide I don't care for it anymore, it doesn't go back into my drawers. This is how I would like to keep decluttering from now on - not in a some big way, deliberating on every single product I own, but on a case-by-case basis, only when I realize there's something in my stash I could definitely live without.
This year, I've also finished or very nearly finished the highest number of products since I started collecting (hoarding?) make-up 6 years ago. I have just published my Project Make A Dent 2015 and Project 10 Pan 2015 finale (here); I'm getting rid of 19 products through both of those challenges. I realize that for some seasoned make-up panners, that's not a very significant amount, but for me, it's an achievement I'm quite proud of. On top of those 19, I have also used up a fair number of other make-up products that I've been including in my quaterly make-up posts: there's been a whole lot of mascaras and lip balms as well as some face primers.
|Box of finished make-up products from my panning projects.|
In both of these Projects, as well as my Project MAD in 2014, I focused mostly on some older items in my collection, and while I'm happy to have them out of the way, I think for next year, I should include a lot more newer items; the thought of them sitting in my vanity drawers unused, gathering dust, makes me a little anxious. If there's one thing that panning make-up has taught me, it's that you need to make sure you're including firm favorites in your Projects; otherwise, you're forcing yourself to use mediocre stuff while your best products are going to waste, stashed away for hypothetical future use.
Lastly, in 2015 I have been really sticking to my make-up low buy of purchasing only two new products a month, which I started three years ago (I elaborated more on my low buy progress throughout that time in this post, if you're curious). One of the strategies that helped me the most was writing down every single make-up purchase in a journal. This may sound silly, but looking at how much I already bought this year, all listed in one place, month by month, often deterred me from placing another order. According to my notes, I actually purchased 21 products this year, so I came in just a little under my allowance; one thing I wasn't sure how to count were make-up brushes and gifts - some of them I included in my final count, some of them I didn't. I also didn't count gifts with purchase, but there weren't very many of them this year.
To sum all of these efforts up, I have definitely succeeded in reducing the size of my beauty stash in 2015, while both enjoying what I already have and occasionally treating myself to a new acquisition. I feel good about my progress; I think I'm pretty close to achieving my perfect balance of sustainable consumerism, lol - or being a make-up fanatic without so much waste, if you will.
For 2016, I want to continue my path, but focus less on decluttering and more on using up what I own as well as buying less. I will be doing more Project Pans next year (introduction post coming soon!) to move products out of my ownership, and I've already announced my 2016 Skincare (face and body) No Buy over a month ago (read more about it here), which so far has been a success.
As far as my 2016 Make-up Low Buy, I had contemplated making it even more challenging by going down to just one make-up purchase allowed per month, but in the end, I decided I don't want to do that - I think it may already be quite difficult for me with my skincare and bodycare no buy thrown in the mix. The 2016 2-item allowance includes all cosmetic purchases, as well make-up brushes and nail polish. It doesn't account for gifts from friends and family, gifts with purchase and PR samples. Rolling unused buys forward is allowed but not encouraged (by which I mean that if I only purchase one thing one month, I am allowed three products the next, but I'll do my best not to do that). I think these rules are quite fair and should definitely be doable for me. I will also continue writing all my purchases down - I have also applied this strategy to clothing and accessories purchases this year, and it's been very helpful.
And that's it! I hope it was at least somewhat interesting for those of you who are also trying to reduce; I would love if you shared your progress and plans for 2016 in the comments, or shared little tricks and tacticts that made it easier for you to work on your goals. Have fun tomorrow at your New Year's Eve parties - we need to celebrate our downsizing achievements, after all!