Sunday, February 2, 2014

The oldest makeup in my hoard

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Ancient cosmetic artifacts.
In the last few years, two main things have changed about my makeup collecting habits. First, I have such a ridiculously large hoard of makeup and nail polish that my past selves would be baffled and probably judgmental if they knew what was ahead. (We could psychologize about what has motivated this change in behavior in me - latent hoarding tendencies coming out, the consumerist mentality of blogging, ramped-up procrastination efforts - but let's skip that for now.)

Second, because I have so much of everything, I am much more ruthless about what I discard. I still don't throw things away unless they are absolute garbage, but I have a lower threshold for what I will give away to someone I think would like it better, and a higher threshold for what is worth keeping around "just in case I decide I want to use it some day." That last point is debatable, I guess. I do have a lot of colors of eyeshadow that I almost never wear, for example, but that I think I might want some day. But if they perform poorly and aren't getting use, then they're out.

That all means that if I had done this exercise even two years ago, I would have a lot more old crap lying around to show you. As it is, with one main exception, these are all things I still like and use.

I'll go through the list in chronological order, based on the year in which I think the product was acquired. All dates are approximate! I don't really know exactly when I picked up most of these things. It's based more on a general sense of where I was in my life when I first used it. More relative dating than absolute dating, you might say.

Note: There are lots of photos below the jump.

ca. 1995: Annabelle blush brush and unknown powder brush

I guess these aren't technically makeup, but they're the oldest objects in my hoard at the moment. I "borrowed" both of these from my mother when I moved out of my parents' house to go to college in 1999. I'm sure she bought them several years earlier, which is why I'm putting them at 1995, but they could be even older than that.

I think my mother used to use the big powder brush for blush, somehow. I use it all the time, but for pressed face powder. It's not amazing, but it's fluffy and does the job well. It has not shed a single hair as long as I've known it, and I've washed it many times.

I don't use this blush brush very often, though it's durable too and picks up a good amount of blush. It's just a little scratchy, and so it's not my favorite. The ferrule is a little loose now, but it hasn't fallen apart.

I doubt they were at all expensive when they were new. Annabelle is a Canadian drugstore brand. Besides, that's not how my mom rolls.

ca. 1996: CoverGirl Perfect Blend Eyeliner in Winter White

I have no idea why I still have this. It's become completely hard and useless. I'm going to throw it out now.

Apparently I got a lot of use out of it at some point, though. I've definitely had this one since high school. I'm sure I bought it after seeing a tip about lining the waterline in white in YM or something.

ca. 2000: Maybelline Wet Shine Lipstick in Pink Pout

This was my second tube of this stuff. I also went through two tubes of the shade Sun Streak, which was a warm beige with gold shimmer. I loved these so much. They're sheer and easy to wear for someone who is a little bit intimidated by makeup. They're discontinued, but you can still get them on eBay. Here is how Pink Pout looks on my lips:

I don't really wear this anymore, but I still like the pink with gold pearl, so I keep it around. It's pretty.

ca. 2004-2006: e.l.f. Featherproof Moisturizing Lip Liner in Natural Blush and Rimmel Exaggerate Full Volume Colour Lip Liner in Ravish

I don't wear lip liner much, so these have lasted a long time. The e.l.f. liner is really nice and matches my natural lip color fairly well.

The Rimmel liner was part of my first failed experiment at wearing red lipstick. The matching brick red lipstick is long gone, but I still get some use out of this.

Here are swatches of both:

ca. 2005: Revlon ColorStay 12 Hour Eyeshadow in Copper Spice

This is still one of my favorite neutral eyeshadow quads. It's pretty beat up because I travel with it fairly often, since it has everything I need. ULTA still has this one for sale for less than $4, but it looks like they're phasing this format out. I hope they keep the colors and formula.

They're all nicely pigmented and very smooth. The first three are mildly shimmery, and the darkest shade is mostly matte. It's good for everyday/work looks. The third one down, the coppery shade, is my favorite. So, so pretty. Here are swatches without primer:

ca. 2005: Quo Cosmetics holiday palettes

These three palettes came as a set on deep, deep discount after Christmas. Quo is a Shopper's Drug Mart brand, so obviously I was still living in Canada at the time I bought it. This is a great kit. All of the products are fantastic quality and the colors are really wearable. Even though it's almost a decade old, the lip colors haven't gone bad. I did take q-tip and scrape the top layer off of everything a year or so ago. I really should use these more. They used to get a lot of attention. I think I'll leave them out on my vanity and try to give them a little love.

The one thing that bothers me about this set is that I feel like the packaging is color-coded wrong. I mean, it's clearly not color-coded at all. I've thought a lot about this, because I'm a fucking weirdo, I guess, and my mind wanders while I'm putting on makeup. The red palette is the eyeshadow, the dark grey one is the blush/bronzer, and the silver is the eyeshadow. At the very least, the red one should be the lipstick! It only makes logical sense! I'm flexible about the others, but ideally the eyeshadows would be in the darker grey palette, because most people put darker colors on their eyes than on the rest of their face. I still to this day reach for the one that is color-coded the way I think it should be, instead of the way it is, despite their being labeled. My brain is stubborn and unreasonable. No swatches for these, because there are too many products, and you can't have it anyway. But Quo is worth checking out if you are in Canada.

ca. 2007: Maybelline Shine Seduction Lip Gloss in Beaming Berry

Another major favorite, included in part because I had been repurchasing it since 2004. I think this is my fifth tube. The first one I got as a free sample in the mail around 2004. When the second tube was about to run out, I discovered that it had been discontinued. In a panic, I bought three more from eBay. This is the last of those. I can see that the bottom of the twist up thingy has reached the clear window below the lid, so it won't last much longer.

I like this because it's a shade of pink that's really close to my natural lip color but a bit brighter, so it just enhances my lips a little. It's shiny but not shimmery, barely scented, not sticky, and lasts a long time for a gloss. Damn you, Maybelline! I see that there are some still available on Amazon: two for $10. I'll have to think about that. Or else I'll take this tube the to the drugstore and see if I can find something the same color. Here is how it looks:

Obviously I am not a stickler for supposed expiration periods on cosmetics. If it's not water-based, it looks and smells normal, it still performs properly, and I still like it, I'll keep it. All of these things still work just fine. I don't have mushy, nostalgic feelings about any of these products (I do about some objects, but not this makeup). I'll be sad when I run out of that Maybelline gloss, because it's good shit. But most of this stuff just reminds me of my 20s, and I am perfectly glad to be finished with that phase of my life.

What about you? Do you ditch everything after the recommended 6 months to 2 years? If not, what's the oldest shit you have lying around? Do you still use it, or are you holding on to it for sentimental reasons? I really am curious!


  1. I wrote a post about old makeup a few months ago because I discovered I still had an eyeliner from ca. 2007. The sad part? I still haven't thrown it out, despite realizing that it's ancient. Not that I would use it on my eyes. Why am I still keeping it? I don't even know. I'm pretty good about discarding liquid liners and mascara quickly because I'm prone to eye infections, but I'm a bit more lax on the face stuff. Prior to moving overseas and ditching a lot of my stuff (in 2008) I had makeup that was ANCIENT, like from the early 90s, for reasons that I still do not fully understand.

    1. We are mysterious creatures. I think I held on to that white liner, because I didn't have another one. Nevermind that I clearly hadn't tried to use it in many years, or it would have been obvious that it was no good. I kind of feel like if you sharpen eyeliners down a bit, they'll be safe even if they are old, because there's no way for bacteria to get down in there. But I am not overly cautious with these things.

  2. I still own a Garden Botanika blush in Adobe that was discontinued around 2000, so who knows how old it really is. There's hardly any product left, and I finally found an exact dupe for it last year, but I still can't bring myself to throw it away. It's like I want proof that the shit actually existed. Or maybe I like knowing that I own something 'rare' that no one else can have (even though no one would actually want it.)

    1. Well . . . this way if you lose your dupe you will be able to use it as a reference to find another one? Let me help you rationalize!

  3. I own that copper spice quad as well! It was my go-to for a while and I still use it every now and then.

    This was a really fun post. I'd love to read about your process of picking things to eliminate too.

    1. Oh, that's an interesting idea! I'd have to think about how to do it, since everything I got rid of most recently now lives with my sister and mother in another country.

  4. I love old makeup posts; they appeal both to my hoarder impulse as well as my nostalgia.

    I did a big makeup purge around 2002 when I went to college and then wore almost no makeup for the next decade, so I have very little old stuff hanging around. The only pre-college item that survived was a vial of Urban Decay microglitter that I later found with my jewelry supplies. One of the oldest things I do still actually use, though, is a Neutrogena eyeshadow quad I bought in probably 2004 and hit pan on about 6 months ago. It has the perfect blending shade for my skin tone and I use it everyday now, so luckily I got a backup on clearance when they were discontinued.

    1. I've only ever gone a few months without wearing makeup, since high school. But until a few years ago, I didn't ever wear much except mascara, concealer, powder, and blush, so I always had those around and little else.

  5. I didn't wear makeup in college, but I do have some from high school - late 90s. Some Wet n Wild palettes (frosty blue and purple oh my!) plus an offbrand black cake eyeliner I stole from my mom.

    1. Were the Wet N Wild eyeshadows any good back then? I never bought any until recently.


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