Pre-moving declutter part II: Face and Eye Makeup

Posted on August 31, 2017 under Declutter

Throughout the years I have hauled my ever-expanding makeup collection back and forth between various locales. I’m never going to be a makeup minimalist, because I think it’s fun to try new products and to be able to do lots of different looks, but in preparation for my upcoming move back to Scotland I’ve been slowly weeding out useless products from my collection. There are things that I’ve been moving with me for years that I never touch. When I have to move my entire life via plane, I have limited space for the most important things I own. I don’t want to waste space transporting stuff that I hold onto only out of some strange, nebulous compulsion and not because I actually use it.

Since my last declutter, I’ve continued to put things aside to pass onto more loving homes, and finally I am ready to share my latest ruthless round of culling with you. Some of these items are products which I’ve had almost as long as I’ve been a makeup user but which I can no longer justify keeping. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there’s nothing like a transcontinental move to help you declutter!

Because there were a lot of products, I’ve decided to do lip stuff in a separate post. Today we’ll be going over eye and face things (and a few other random bits).

Face Products

Paul and Joe Illuminating Primer: I don’t see myself using up this DS size; I don’t think it does much and I won’t miss the extra step.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation in 110 Porcelain: Despite my dry skin, this formula works quite nicely on me – it’s lightweight, medium coverage, and not too drying at all. It’s also a great colour match for me as it’s a very fair, yellow-based shade. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this product, especially since it’s one of the few foundations at the drugstore that’s actually still cheap. But I have too much foundation as it is, and this one didn’t fill any specific niche for me. I want to use up what I have before it goes bad, so out this goes.

NYX Colour Correcting Palette: These colours are a bit too creamy and crease-prone for me. The only one that I got any use out of was the peach, and even then it didn’t layer nicely with other liquid and cream products. You can see that the yellow and both of the concealer shades are totally untouched.

Sleek Blush By 3 Palette in Lace: This was a longtime favourite; I have no complaints about the formula of either the mattes or the shimmer shade in this palette. But I only ever used the middle shade, Guipure, a warm pink which has the prettiest sheen thanks to its gold shimmer. When I think about it, I rarely reach for Guipure over, say, Hourglass Luminous Flush or my LE Chanel blush, both of which give a similar – though not identical – effect on my cheeks.

ELF Illuminating Palette: These powders are terrible and look like nothing on me.

ColourPop Super Shock Cheek in Rain: A lovely warm lilac which I used to have good fun with. Looks great applied heavily to the cheeks and up the temples. However, I don’t love cream blush, and this product taught me that I won’t wear purple blush on a regular basis. I pretty much bought it to test that hypothesis, so I consider it money well-spent.

Eye Products

L’Oréal Voluminous Base: The last time I bought a mascara primer I concluded that I would never work this extra step into my routine, and that has held true. Lesson learned, belatedly.

Revlon Mega Multiplier Mascara*: This mascara did basically nothing for my eyelashes.

Lancôme Grandiôse Extrême Mascara in Bleu Nuit*: I was never impressed with this mascara, and the unremarkable effect it had on my lashes was not mitigated by the colour. The navy blue barely showed up on me, leaving me with a mascara that read as a rather boring black. Pass!

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk: Once upon a time NYX was impossible to get in Canada and I made my mom buy me not one but two of the 2013 staple Milk when she was in New York. (Now there are two NYX stores in Toronto.) Let’s see – this creases like a bitch on me when used as an eyeshadow base and is too thick to reasonably use as an eyeliner. I used up that much of the shorter pencil when I was trying to make me and my two friends look dead on Halloween and otherwise it has not been useful.

Stila Smudge Sticks in Halfmoon, Purple Tang, and Lionfish: I use these liners very rarely and see no point in keeping them around.

Maybelline Colour Tattoos in Tenacious Teal, Electric Blue, and Inked in Pink: The days of cream eyeshadow are largely behind me, though Inked in Pink was once a daily-use product for me. Tenacious Teal and Electric Blue are not colours that I ever wear. I probably shouldn’t have bought Electric Blue in the first place, though I believe it was on clearance for a reasonably $2.50. Tenacious Teal served its purpose in replicating David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?” video.

ColourPop Super Shock Shadows in Beverly and Stereo: At a year and a half old, Beverly is completely dried-out and useless. I enjoyed it while it worked! Stereo, a dark plum with gold shimmer, was never the colour I wanted it to be – which is my fault for trusting the (Photoshopped) swatches on the ColourPop website. Realistically, I’m not going to use it – out it goes.

Lancôme Color Design eyeshadow in Infinitely Indigo: Four years after this eyeshadow made its way into my collection c/o Aisling, it’s finally time to say goodbye. I’m actually at a point in my makeup-wearing life where the colour this eyeshadow appears in the pan appeals to me, but it shows up much more muted on my eyes. Unrelated, but I wonder when Lancôme is going to repackage their eyeshadows: the black and clear plastic looks quite cheap.

Stila Eyes Are the Window Palette – Spirit: These are nice sheer, buildable shadows, but I have a lot of neutral eyeshadow and this is the palette I reach for the least. All the shades are dupeable within my own collection, so I won’t miss it.

Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Ultra Matts V2: I begged Aisling to send me this from England when these palettes were all the rage in 2013. These are nice enough matte eyeshadows – they don’t live up to, say, ABH or KVD quality, but for a $15 palette I have no complaints. There were a few colours I really liked in this palette, too. The plum, Villan (sic) was a particular favourite. But these colours just don’t speak to me these days.

The Body Shop Eye Palette in Smoky Plum: This palette is constantly almost getting destashed, and then I use it and remember that I really like it. These taupey purples really appeal to me, and each shade in this palette is carefully-selected. But I still never seem to reach for it, and when I want a neutral purple eye look I have other options.

Lancôme Color Design Palette – GWP: I held onto this quad for the peach shade, Kitten Heel, which really is beautiful. The other shades, though they complement Kitten Heel perfectly, are utterly generic and not especially great quality. In the end, I don’t use Kitten Heel enough to justify keeping this quad, and I can get similar looks from other products.

Lancôme Color Design Palette in Blush Sweetness – GWP: I did at one point really enjoy these pinky shades – and they are incredibly soft, smooth, and blendable – but I pulled this palette out after at least a year of neglect and found that I didn’t like the look I got from it. Save for the middle shade, every other colour in the palette is easily dupeable, and I don’t really like the middle shade on myself anyway: it makes me look a bit ill, whereas a more saturated pink looks like a deliberate statement.

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment Trio and Comfort Zone Palette: After literal years of saying I would, I finally bought an empty palette (one of the tin ones by MUFE) and depotted the Wet N Wild eyeshadows that I actually use. The depotting process warped the plastic so the compacts don’t shut, so I’ll have to toss these.

Fragrance Samples

I had no idea I had collected so many fragrance samples that I will never use. I’m not big on fragrance anyway, and my tastes lean towards the very simple. I’m passing on these samples of Givenchy Dahlia Divin, Narciso Rodriguez For Her, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, Paco Rabanne Olympea (x2), Dolce and Gabbana Dolce, Burberry Brit, Lacoste L.12.12 (x2), Thierry Mugler Alien Eau Extraordinaire, Prada Candy Florale, and Prada Candy Kiss.

Miscellaneous Products

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Rosy Outlook and Essie Play Date escaped my big nail polish declutter, but when I wore them again I felt very “meh” about both. Rosy Outlook is a little too saccharine a pink for my tastes, and I wish Play Date were a tinge warmer. It’s not the most flattering colour on my nails.

I’ve never found a use for my Real Techniques Pointed Foundation Brush, but perhaps one of my friends can.

That’s 27 makeup products, 12 fragrance samples, 2 nail polishes, and one brush. Not bad – and wait until you see the lipstick declutter!

Nail polish declutter + inventory

Posted on June 06, 2017 under Declutter, Inventory

I’m getting to the point where I’m close enough to moving across the ocean that the metaphorical weight of all of my possessions is becoming rather burdensome. I’m itching to divest myself of material goods. I have a bin I’ve been filling up with clothes as I realize I no longer want them; there’s a makeup bag sitting on my vanity that serves the same purpose. I’m becoming rather ruthless by my standards.

I’ve actually been thinning out my nail polish since September, because it takes some time to really put your polishes to the test. I usually change my manicure once a week, so when I counted up my stash and realized I had 41 bottles of the stuff, I knew I’d have to start early.

I have never considered myself a nail polish person. I tend to purchase it on whims and never hem and haw over a $10.99 bottle of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure the way I do over a $10.99 Maybelline lipstick.

Now, I suppose I am a nail polish person in some ways. I vividly remember sitting in the back of a grade 11 biology presentation and painting my nails out of sheer boredom. (I had a brief fever dream of becoming a paleontologist, and it took about half a biology lesson to talk me out of that one.) Since then I’ve scarcely been without painted nails; I’d estimate that since late 2010 I’ve gone maybe 15 days with bare nails. I began religiously painting my nails months before mascara ever touched my eyelashes and two and a half years before I got into makeup in any real capacity.

But I’m not the type of person who tracks new nail polish launches, knows about indie brands, can justify luxury nail polish purchases, or can name ten dupes for any given nail polish colour. I just think having colours on my nails is fun. Yet for a fairly casual nail polish wearer I think I have a lot of nail polish.

When it comes to moving, I view nail polish as one of the most frivolous things I could bring with me, a staple though it may be in my life, and so I’ve committed to decreasing my collection significantly. My goal was for everything to fit into my two acrylic nail polish holders (each of which holds 15 polishes) with no overflow. I think ideally I’d like fewer than 30 polishes, but that’s a good, practical place to start.

The mighty stash, before.

My first step was to cull everything I knew I didn’t like enough to even try on, which did not yield the most fruitful results. The second step was to test every polish I owned. This process took me a good 7 months. I used coloured dot stickers to designate each polish I tried as a for sure keeper (green), a for sure purge (red), or undecided (yellow). Once I finished this first round of testing I removed all the red dot items from my acrylic holders and found that everything fit much better, with minimal overflow.

Then I tested out all of my yellow dot items. I designated most of these polishes this way because I didn’t love them but still didn’t want to get rid of them for whatever reason. A few were given yellow stickers because I thought I had dupes for them within my collection, in which case I tried one on each hand and kept the best one.

In the end I got rid of 21 polishes. I did buy three more during this time period (with one gifted to me on top of that), but I tried to curb my nail polish buying significantly. I now have a total of 25 polishes, one base coat, and one top coat.

Here’s what I got rid of:

Stuff I just plain didn’t like: two polishes from the long-discontinued Wet N Wild Fergie collection, in Dutchess and Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night.

Things that are getting old: YSL Bleu Majorelle, Essie Cocktail Bling, Wet N Wild Party of Five Glitters, Orly Go Deeper, Joe Fresh Mist, Joe Fresh Oyster.

Colours I don’t like: Misslyn Rose Sublime (thought it was going to be more of a dusty mauve), Essie Bahama Mama (looks more wine than purply-berry on my nails), Sally Hansen Pucker Up (I never wear red nail polish), Essie Tart Deco (I tend to stick to cooler colours), Revlon Chroma Chameleon in Topaz, Nicole by OPI A Million Sparkles, Sally Hansen Grape Shifter, Sally Hansen Carnival.

Colours that are close to things I like better: Sally Hansen Coin Flip (I prefer a more white gold), Sally Hansen Wined Up (I only wear wine nails around the holidays), China Glaze Merry Berry (ditto). I’m also tossing my bottles of Seche Vite and Essence The Gel Nail Polish Top Coat because I like the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat better than either.

Here’s a quick look at what I’m keeping – you’ll see that I really meant it when I said I like cool colours on my nails.

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel in Bordeaux (does kind of smell like wine); Sally Hansen Gem Crush Nail Colour in Lady Luck; Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Rosy Outlook.

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Kiwi; L’Oreal Color Riche Le Vernis A L’Huile in Vert Époque; Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Sugar Apple; Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Barracuda; Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Let’s Get Digital; Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Eyes; Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Sugar Fix.

Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Pacific Blue (x4, because I’m a freak); Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Damson; Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Byte Blue. YES I HAVE A PROBLEM.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Midnight Mod; Orly Nail Lacquer in After Party; Essie Play Date; Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in All Chalked Up.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Gilty Party; Lancôme Nail Polish in 003; Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Blush Over Hue; Beauty UK Nails in Black Out; Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in White On.

And my standard base and topcoat duo: Witchcraft Be Strong, which helps prevent my nails from peeling, and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat.

And here’s how I’m going to keep my collection under control:

  1. No more buying nail polish on a whim. The same care and research should go into buying it as I put into buying makeup.
  2. No more buying near-dupes of Sally Hansen Pacific Blue which I know will never live up to the original. You know what, I will spend $30 on a bottle from Ebay because I know it’s the only thing I will ever love!!!!
  3. No more buying Essie polishes. They have some beautiful colours and always have stunning seasonal collections, but I just never get on with them. I’ll use the ones I do have because I like the colours, but I have to stop myself from buying more no matter how alluring the colours!
  4. In that vein, buy only from lines that I know and trust. My favourite nail polish formulas are Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, and Barry M Nail Gelees. Those lines have enough colours to keep me covered and I know I love the formulas.
  5. NO MORE GLITTER POLISH! It’s always disappointing and more trouble than it’s worth in both application and removal.

Anyway, I reduced my nail polish collection by 40%, which I think is a pretty good amount. I really can’t see any clutter in what I’ve kept, aside from the fact that I own four bottles of Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, all of which are necessary.