State of the collection, January 2019

Posted on January 18, 2019 under Inventory

2017 was year zero of tracking my beauty spending, and I hoped to reduce both dollars spent and products acquired in 2018. In a broad sense, I managed to do both. I didn’t set myself a budget for the realms of haircare, bodycare, or skincare, since I don’t tend to overspend in those categories, but at the end of 2017 I gave myself $400 to spend on makeup, nails, and brushes. I easily stuck to that budget, with $268.93 spent in those categories and $769.61 spent overall. This year I spent a lot more on skincare: $271.89, to be exact, which is more than I spent on makeup, nails, and brushes combined. That indicates two things: 1) I obviously became more interested in skincare in 2018, and 2) I transferred some of my desire to spend to that category, although my overall spending was down from 2017.

Here’s a breakdown of my spending per category, with “Misc” made up exclusively of cotton pads:

And since I saved a lot of money through gifts, gratis, sales, PC Optimum points, and my employee discount, here’s the value of what I bought ($1813.58 total) broken down by category.

The most eye-opening thing these charts show me is that while 43% of what crossed the threshold of my home in 2018 was makeup, only 25% of my spending was in the makeup category. While I still love makeup, it’s no longer a spending priority – 10 of my 19 makeup purchases in 2018 were replacements, with nearly all of the new products being gifts or bought with Optimum points. I still like makeup, and I like to try new products, but I prefer not to spend real money on makeup these days.

This year a total of 107 products entered my life, with 57 purchased by me (whether full price or at a discount) and the remaining 50 being gifts or gratis. 36 of those products were replacements; the remaining 71 did not directly replace anything already in my routine.

And here’s the inventory for this year; you can read 2017’s inventory post for a little insight as to why I’ve set up my spreadsheet this way.





As you can see from that last row, I reduced the size of my makeup collection as compared to last year, but it’s still larger than it was when I first started making yearly inventories in 2015. My makeup consumption has naturally gone down as my interest in purchasing in that particular category has waned, so I’m hoping I can continue to pare down my collection in 2019 and really enjoy everything I have. There is a lot I want to write about consumerism in general, and I’m sure I will in due time, so for now I’ll just say that I will be buying less this year.

Lipstick Collection: Fuchsias and Bright Pinks

Posted on April 16, 2018 under Inventory

Fuchsia was the first lipstick colour I ever fell in love with. When I was 19, you could expect to see me sporting fuchsia more often than not. It’s a colour that I’ve grown out of somewhat; I still really like the right tone on me, but I don’t think it’s my most flattering colour anymore. (To be fair, when my fuchsia obsession was at its height, I had brown hair.) Regardless, this portion of my collection is still pretty robust, even after trimming it down in the summer.

This category can get slightly hazy – sometimes there’s not a lot separating a warm fuchsia from a pink-based coral or a cool fuchsia from a warm lilac. I’ve just gone with my gut here, which has involved rearranging the configuration of products I presented in my lipstick inventory post back in the summer. (By the way, as always, arm swatches are available in that post.)

And here are my bare lips:

Lancôme Le Lip Liner in Rose Lancôme

Man, isn’t this colour just so pretty? It’s bright and unapologetic and it has the hint of warmth that I love in a good fuchsia. Although you definitely should not spend $30 on a lip liner, if you do, Lancôme liners have an almost gel-like quality and they glide on very comfortably and evenly. Personally I like to cheap out on lip liners, but I’ve found it really hard to find a bright, warm fuchsia and I bought this with Optimum points anyway. (Of course. Come on. I buy everything with Optimum points.)

ColourPop Lippie Stix in Heart-On

Ugh, I still hate the name. However, this is a great lip liner option – it’s cooler and deeper than Rose Lancôme, so it fulfils a different function. You can see in the photos in the original post that a purple undertone can become more apparent in cooler lighting, which makes it a nice layering option to change the undertone of a fuchsia lipstick. Also, one time I wore this lip liner by itself to work, and a man asked me why, and I said because I liked it, and he said, “No you don’t,” and I still don’t know what he meant by that. Actually, I’m pretty sure he meant he didn’t like it, which is fine because he was buying Just 4 Men hair dye because he wants to pay more money for less hair dye solely because there’s a picture of a man on the box. Anyway. This lip liner reminds me of that man. I hope he’s having fun touching up his grays.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Angela

I honestly have no idea how to categorize this lipstick. Is it a bright magenta? Is it a super bright cool-toned pink? Is it almost a lilac? I don’t know! In the end I decided that it’s too light and bright to be magenta and too pink to be lilac, which leaves it in the vague “bright pink” category. Rest assured that the Audacious formula is one of my favourites of all time – I have five of them! You can read my full review of the formula here. Angela is my most recent addition to the Audacious collection (though it’s not really that recent an acquisition since I bought it in August). I was slightly nervous that this colour would be way too much, but I shouldn’t have worried. In general, I can pull off really saturated colours, and this one totally works.

Bite Beauty Matte Lipstick in Custom Colour

Oh, you thought NARS Angela was freakishly bold? Well, allow me to introduce to you this custom colour from Bite Beauty, which is Angela on steroids. This is possibly the most unapologetically loud lipstick I own, and I love it for that. The formula is also great – I’m in a small minority who doesn’t live and die by the Amuse Bouche formula, but I really enjoy the matte formula Bite offers at their lip labs. It strikes a nice balance between wear time and comfort. In the original post you’ll be able to see that it can appear a bit more purple in some lights, but overall I think it’s just shy of being a true purple. Whatever it is, I love it.

ColourPop Lippie Stix Matte X in Poppin

This is genuinely one of the best lipstick formulas I have in my collection, and I always forget about it. It has a true matte finish but manages to look beautifully smooth on my lips. It also wears like a champ. And this is just a really nice colour – anything that leans berry is going to be flattering on me, but I like that this colour has that nice vibrant punch. If I ever make another ill-advised ColourPop order, I might have to try some other Matte X colours, because this one is seriously so good. (And, hey, it was a GWP, so I didn’t even spend any real money on it.)

Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in Lovesick

I have such an intense nostalgic love for this lipstick. It was one of the first I ever bought, right when I was first getting into makeup in early 2013. I have a perfectly clear memory of buying it: I was at the end of my first year of university, just finishing exams, and preparing to move back to Toronto for the summer. I bought it from the Pharmaprix near my dorm and put it on just to see how it looked. I wasn’t used to so much colour on my face, but I found that I really liked it. I wore it constantly during the summer. On my nineteenth birthday, I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that it was a really flattering colour on me. Wait, here is a picture from that exact day of discovery:

Anyway, I then proceeded to buy like fifteen more fuchsia lipsticks that summer because I had found My Colour. This is no longer My Colour, but it’s still a great lipstick. They haven’t made this colour in years, so I cling to my tube. (By the way, this is my second tube – the first one melted in the sun – so it’s not actually five years old. Just, like, three. Whatever.)

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiore

I’m pretty much over liquid lipstick these days, but Stila’s formula is about as good as it’s going to get for me. Fiore was a gift from my friend Kristin a few Christmases back, and she obviously knew me very well when she selected this bright pink! I actually prefer this tone on me to the OG fuchsia, Revlon Lovesick. (I’m wearing it in the picture on the sidebar! Which was taken 3 years ago the last time I lived in Glasgow, ha.) Though this is undoubtedly a bright pink, it’s a bit more muted than some of the others I have. It’s like a daytime bright pink. I don’t know what it is – there’s just something in the undertone that makes it a bit more of a reasonable colour.

Lancôme Matte Shaker in Pink Power*

Dude, I love this lipstick. Like, I’m over liquid lipsticks and I still love this one because it truly doesn’t feel like a liquid lipstick. And this is the kind of in-your-face vibrant warm fuchsia lipstick that I’m all about. It’s just so good. I think if I had to pick a single fuchsia from my collection, it would be this one. The colour is just exactly what I want, and I can’t rave about this formula enough. And this is coming from someone who just declared that she is over liquid lipsticks. I have tried enough liquid lipsticks that claim to be different to be wary, but this one actually is. (It doesn’t wear the same way as a classic liquid lipstick, either, but this particular colour stains so brilliantly that that doesn’t matter.)

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine in 28

I really didn’t need to buy this lipstick, but I love it anyway. I’m not normally a sheer lipstick person, but I absolutely love the Rouge Volupté Shine formula for casual days (and travel, when comfort is of the utmost importance). Though this is definitely a bright colour, the fact that it’s sheer means that it’s not too much when I want to slap on a sheer foundation and mascara and run out the door to grab brunch. And though this is (obviously) not a long-wearing formula, it fades to an even stain, which is a bonus. Obviously, I wouldn’t call this a fuchsia, but it fits into the catch-all category of “bright pink” for me. It appears a bit warmer in photos than in person, but in real life it’s definitely pink.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture in 57

This is where the colour category gets a little fuzzy. In my big lipstick inventory back in the summer, I put this in the coral category, but swatched next to a bunch of true corals it looked really pink. However, here it is photographing very coral, especially compared to the true fuchsias in this post. So, apparently I can never win with this colour, but I still consider it a warm bright pink with a slight blue-y duochrome shift under some lights. That sounds kind of like something a middle schooler circa 2006 might have worn, but I promise it’s really pretty. This lipstick is pretty much a trophy for me, unfortunately – the formula’s nothing special, and I think the floral scent is truly revolting. I mean, I still wear it, but basically the only reason I don’t part with it is that it’s YSL. Which is a bad reason, I know, but that’s the way it is.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Electric Poppy

Speaking of warm pinks that are borderline coral-y but really who’s to say what is what when colours are so nebulous and subjective and can we all just agree that I’ve had a hard time trying to categorize these last few and I’m doing my best…! This one is just so gloriously playful. It’s not a serious colour at all; it’s just fun. In my experience, the Matte Revolution formula is consistent across all colours – that is, it’s creamy, comfortable, and reasonably long-wearing.

And because I feel like I’m going crazy with these warmer pinks, I went on a bit of a swatching frenzy:

L-R: YSL #28, YSL #57, Charlotte Tilbury Electric Poppy, Marc Jacobs So Sofia, Revlon Fire and Ice

Maybe you can better understand where and why I drew the line? Maybe not. The more I think about this the more I’m second-guessing myself, even though back in August I was convinced I was entirely wrong in my classifications of YSL #57 and CT Electric Poppy in the coral category. It’s a slippery thing, and the line between “warm bright pink” and “definitely coral” is hazy. At least for me. Maybe you guys are better at colour taxonomy.

I had a lot more lipsticks in this category back in the summer, but luckily I managed to trim the collection down to a more reasonable size. (Okay, there are still a lot of lipsticks here.) Even though fuchsia is no longer my go-to colour I seem to have had to do a few culls specifically targetting the excess of fuchsia in the past few years, which I guess goes to show that old habits die hard.

2017 Makeup Inventory

Posted on January 12, 2018 under Inventory

I haven’t been totally happy with the way I’ve done my makeup inventories for the last few years. Comparing the total number of products with the total from a year ago only tells some of the story. This year I’ve made a chart that tracks these numbers as well as how many products I used up and destashed for a more holistic look at my consumption habits over the past year. I’ll have to evaluate how this is working for me later on, but there’s no harm in trying something new!

In my inventories I don’t count skincare or haircare products, only makeup and tools. I also haven’t counted backups in my total count. There’s no real reason for this, but I never have, so I don’t want to throw off the counts by starting now. I only have a few backups, anyway – for products I know I will go through.

Here’s my inventory for 2017:


I increased my stash of face products by 4 products, or 13.79%, this year. Honestly, I don’t think a 4-product increase is bad at all! Most of this expansion happened in the cream/liquid highlighter category. I also acquired 3 primers, whereas this time last year I had none. I’m still not sure I totally believe in the absolute necessity of primer, and I’m guessing that I will not have 3 in a year’s time. I got a lot of foundations in 2017 but decluttered quite a few too, so I ended up with 3, the same as last year’s total. Otherwise not all that much changed – I tend not to hoard things like concealer and powder, just swapping out old products when necessary, and I haven’t bought blush in over a year.


I have 3 fewer eye products now, which equals a 5.66% reduction. This category was a bit hard to judge accurately as I depotted a few Wet n Wild palettes into a MUFE magnetic palette – this means that my palette count went down but single eyeshadow count went up, though I didn’t actually keep the majority of the shadows in the depotted palettes. I got rid of a lot of my pencil liners this year because I rarely use them. I generally don’t see this category increasing or decreasing too much in this coming year – there’s not much fat to trim anymore, but I’m also not particularly interested in buying any new eye products (other than staple replacements).


Of course lips are my weak spot, and there was an overall increase of 9 lip products in 2017, which equals a 16.07% increase. I would have liked this to be lower since obviously lipstick is my biggest overall makeup category and I want to know I’m getting use out of everything. However, you will note that I gained 35 lip products in 2017 and only decluttered or used up 43, so I can’t be too hard on myself – more went out than came in. I still don’t really know how the hell I managed to acquire 35 products (more than 50% of my entire stash) in one year – that’s almost three products a month! (Although, actually, I have already added three lipsticks to my stash this month, so I guess I can see how that would be possible…) By the end of 2018 I would really like to see an overall reduction in this category.


This is a pretty vague category, which I increased by 25 products or 49.02%. Most of this increase came in the form of brushes. I bought duplicates of several of my favourite/most-used brushes, so I feel okay about the increase. I genuinely use almost all the brushes I bought daily. I’m feeling pretty good about the state of my brush collection at the moment, so I doubt I will add much to this in 2018.

Overall, I have a total of 224 products. I acquired 117 products in 2017 and decluttered or used up 125. My collection increased by 35 products, or 18.52%, which is down from last year’s increase of 24.4%. In last year’s inventory post I did say that I wanted to decrease my collection by the end of 2017, which clearly didn’t happen. I’m setting that goal again for myself this year, and I think this time I’ll probably actually follow through!