Someone once asked me how I decide what to keep and what to get rid of when sorting through my accumulation of makeup products. Now seems like as good a time as any to write a post about that process, since I just realized that I'm going to have to move in less than 6 weeks. Ugh! I mean, I'll be glad to get out of my current shithole of an apartment, but apartment hunting and moving are huge pains in the ass.
Before I pack everything up and move it somewhere else, I'd really like to eliminate as much of the useless shit I have lying around as possible. My piles of unnecessary belongings extend far beyond just makeup, but since that's what I mainly talk about here, that's what I'll stick with right now. Writing it all out is a useful process for me, because it forces me to come up with realistic rules for myself about what I should or should not hold on to, and to spend the time to consider whether or not I really have room for various items. So I'll go through a few categories of cosmetics here and lay out some guidelines upon which I'm basing my decisions about what to keep and what to set free. If you can think of any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
Trash or Keep
There are certain items that I can easily decide to hold on to, such as products that I use on a regular basis and/or one that are unique and well-loved, and there are those that I can easily dispense with, because they are of no use to me.
Trash: There are some things that I'm never going to use, and that I also don't think anyone else should use. I tend to come into the possession of shit that falls into this category through subscriptions (Ipsy, in particular), free samples/gift-with-purchase deals, or the occasional impusle purchase. For example, in a recent Ipsy bag, I got some "Mark Fading Pads" by Proactiv, and the first ingredient in them after water was SD alcohol. No thanks. I don't want to use them, and I don't want to subject anyone else to them, so bye bye.
Practical, non-perishable stuff: This category includes products that will get used up eventually and won't expire in the meantime, like eyebrow pencils. Yes, I have too many of them. But they don't take up a lot of space, and they will be fine waiting for me to get around to finishing them. Just don't pick up any new ones in the meantime, self.
Those categories are pretty straightforward. But I also have a lot of things that are more difficult to classify. They may or may not be superfluous. They probably are, but it's helpful to think carefully about why, so that I don't regret passing them along to someone else, because I am ridiculous.
|Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner and Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide On Eyeliner|
I've gone through some other categories, like eyeliners and lip products, in the past and weeded out a few things that I don't need.
|Urban Decay Dangerous Palette, TheBalm Balm Jovi Rockstar Face Palette, Pixi Glow Fairy Face Palette|
In my case, I have three palettes that I've designated as superfluous so far. The first one is my Urban Decay Dangerous Palette, which I compared to the smaller MUA Smokin Palette in a previous post. I determined then that I preferred the MUA version, and the few slightly different shades in the Urban Decay palette aren't enough for it to be worth holding on to.
I also have two Pixi palettes, for some reason: the Fairy Face Palette and the Eye Glow Cube. The eyeshadows in them are pretty close. The shades aren't identical, but I compared the shimmery eyeshadows in the Fairy Face Palette to others I own, especially Wet N Wild shadows, and I have alternates for almost all of them. Fairy Face also the bulkier of the two Pixis, the more obnoxiously twee, and it contains pans of lip creams that I will never use, so of the two, it's the clear choice for deaccessioning.
Another palette with useless (to me) cream products is TheBalm's Balm Jovi Rockstar palette. It has two lip/cheek creams. I don't love the colors, and I really don't like using lip products that come in this format. They're too messy when applied with a finger and too finicky with a brush. Other than those two pans, I really love this palette, so it's rough to let it go. It's totally unnecessary in my collection, though! I compared eyeshadows, and I have dupes for them all. I have a similar enough peachy blush to the one here, and I own a full size TheBalm MaryLou Manizer, which is almost the same as the highlighter in this palette. So it's just something taking up unnecessary space. Sure, if I didn't own so many other eyeshadows, it would be nice to have them all in one place. But as it is, the other dupes are dispersed among a number of smaller palettes, so the only way to get rid of them is to get rid of this one palette. Sadface.
|MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers in Atomic, Criminal, and Funk|
The saddest part is that the orange one, Atomic, is an excellent man-repelling shade. Seriously, the only time I tried it, my boyfriend took one look at me and started backing away from me saying, "No no no no no no." He looked exactly like this:
|It was glorious.|
|Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Darling, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Fierce and Tangy|
I was in this weird mindset for the longest time that I needed to own one example of every color of nail polish. Every color. All the colors. Even the ones that I don't really like or that don't look good on me. And all the finishes. It was not a realistic or healthy attitude. The result is that I have a large number of nail polishes that I just don't wear, and that I am not likely to wear in the future. I'm no longer interesting in just having a collection (and it was always about the acquiring more than the having anyway), so it's time to thin them out.
|e.l.f. Cranberry and OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress|
|e.l.f. Cranberry, OPI I'm Not Really a Waitress, e.l.f. Red Velvet|
The big question, once I've sorted through everything, is what to do with the stuff I don't want to keep? Giving it away to friends and family is one option, and I'll definitely put aside things I know people will like. At this point, though, I've sort of overwhelmed the people I know with random cosmetics to play with, and I don't think they'd be thrilled to take on much more. My local (mostly grad school) friends either already know what they like when it comes to makeup and nail polish, or they're really not interested in it at all. I've taken sacks full of stuff home to my mother and sister over the last couple of years, and they've complained that they no longer have space for it. There are lots of makeup swaps out there, but doing that wouldn't help me to reduce the number of things I currently own.
So here's the plan: Blog sale for the things I think people out there might be interested in. I'll also post a bunch of stuff for free on the blog sale, so long as someone wants to pay the shipping costs. I'd like to just send it out to people, but I am unemployed and can't afford to do that at the moment. Then whatever's left when it's time to move . . . not sure. I've looked for shelters and other organizations to donate to in the past, but I had a hard time finding anything local. It's understandable that they wouldn't want used makeup. I might do another search and see if somewhere further afield will take it, if I can get someone to drive my carless ass there.
Secondary plan: Stop accumulating things just for the sake of having them. Easier said than done, but I'm working on it.