Yay, getting rid of things! I did a pretty thorough destash before I moved in September, but decluttering is a constant process and I have found even more that needs to leave my collection. I’m going to go ahead and say that in nine months I downsized my lipstick collection by almost 50%, and I am very proud of that. More on that in a bit…
First, a few things that I left behind in Toronto when I was there over Christmas – a relatively small purge which inspired a larger round.
First, the hideously bad Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation. I mean, hideously bad if you’re me and have dry skin and don’t like full coverage. If you like full coverage and have combo or oily skin, you might like this! It really did look like shit on me, though.
I absolutely fell in love with NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation back when I first bought it in November 2016 despite its trickiness. Over time, my skin started rejecting it, and I just found that it never looked flattering. I don’t think my skin got any dryer, but something definitely changed. It’s a shame, because it really was lovely, and I only used about 1/3 of the bottle. At least I bought it with Optimum points – I’d really hate to get rid of a $60 foundation that I spent real money on. My mom has informed me that she has taken the liberty of adopting this foundation and actually enjoys it, so I feel quite happy knowing that someone is getting my Optimum points’ worth.
The Seventeen Instant Glow Shimmer Brick is a really pretty rosy highlighter, but I’m trying to cull my highlighter collection. Ultimately it has to go because I rarely use powder highlighter and it’s just a bit more dramatic than I usually go for. It’s still a nice product, though – the Boots house brands do a great job.
ColourPop Ultra Blotted Lips in Split is just not my thing, as it turns out. The lack of staying power, finnicky application, and dryness on the lips are – shockingly – not a winning combination.
ColourPop Lippie Stix in Trixie was just never the colour I wanted it to be, and I found the formula too slippy for my tastes. ColourPop is just so frustrating – I’ve found a handful of really great, cost-effective products from them, but there are also a lot of duds amongst the impulse purchases I threw into my cart to meet the $50 free shipping minimum. It’s probably not worth all the wasted money and product for the few good things. Ultimately, I think I have to break up with ColourPop.
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Mystery* is a really pretty plum that’s just a bit too patchy to be workable. Let’s be real – I have plenty of lipstick, there’s no use holding onto stuff that’s not quite right when I could be wearing formulas and colours I absolutely love. Out of the six of these lip pencils that Buxom sent me back in 2016, I now only have two – but I wear them constantly. That’s a lot better than having four that I neglect and two that I wear.
Lastly, the Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art 2-in-1 Cream Eyeshadow and Sparkle just never worked for me. I love my Stila and Urban Decay liquid eyeshadows, so those are the ones I’ll continue to use. I meant to do a full review of the Revlon ones, but suffice to say they’re thick and sticky to the point of being downright uncomfortable.
When I got back to Glasgow, I was in a decluttering mood, and over the past few months I’ve been combing through my collection, trying out things that had been gathering dust, and tossing more items into my declutter pile.
Some highlighters had to go! Kiko Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter is pretty, but I’ll always prefer the Glossier Haloscope in Quartz. While I do very much enjoy the formula and wow factor of the Makeup Revolution Liquid Highlighter in Starlight, realistically I’ll get far more wear out of my subtler highlighters. I was enchanted with the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent when I first got it, but I really do prefer cream and liquid highlights these days. This is a very pretty product and it looks practically untouched, so it’ll be nice to pass it on to a friend who will enjoy it more than I do!
I have finally accepted that I don’t wear bronzer, so it’s bye-bye to the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer in Light Bronzer. I got this last winter and wore it, like, two times in the summer, and now that we’ve made it through yet another winter and it remains pretty much untouched… it’s time to admit defeat. I find the tone of this a bit too orange for my liking. The Body Shop Honey Bronzer is actually a great tone for me, and if I ever want to dip my toes back into the bronzer world again I’ll repurchase that. But I think for now I will live a bronzer-free life.
The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops were passed on from Aisling, but none of the foundations currently in my stash require adjusting and I don’t tend to purchase foundations that I won’t be able to use straight out of the bottle. Speaking of mismatched shades, I really liked the formula of the PS… My Perfect Colour Concealer in Nude Beige, but it was not, in fact, my perfect colour.
Lots of liquid lipsticks that are out the door today! Time to say goodbye to Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks in Fiore, Aria, Viola, and Beso. The first two are goners because they’re too old (though Aria is still one of the prettiest colours ever – you can kind of see it in this ancient post). Viola was just never that flattering on me, and I prefer NARS Annabella over Stila Beso if we’re talking warm reds. Other casualties were ColourPop Ultra Matte Lips in Tuesday and Lychee and Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit in Nice to Fuchsia. Tuesday was an obvious candidate for eradication; Lychee was yet another dud in my years-long attempt to find my perfect lilac; Nice to Fuchsia was a hype-fuelled purchase in a Kentucky Walmart that I just never fell in love with.
I have declared this many many times, but I am finally ready to officially and truthfully state that I am over liquid lipsticks. I’m not even going to say “burn my house to the ground if you see me buying another liquid lipstick,” because I don’t need any incentive other than the thought of my lips shrivelling up and dying. Also because arson is illegal so I will not encourage that behaviour. The only liquid lipsticks I have left are ColourPop Dr. M (because it is a very special colour), Stila Chianti (because I haven’t found a bullet lipstick alternative to it yet), and my two Lancôme Matte Shakers* (because they don’t look, feel, or wear like liquid lipsticks).
Other lip products that had to go: Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 017 (featured here – old; not my most flattering colour); Lise Watier Rouge Gourmand Velours in Cake Pop (featured here – four years old and not something I wear very often); Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Beetroot (mini – I’m not a huge wearer of deep reds and I prefer something a bit longer-wearing for such a dramatic colour); Maybelline Color Drama Lip Pencil in Keep It Classy (too similar to other neutrals I own, though the formula is lovely).
I also got rid of that Primark glitter lip kit that made me look ill and hurt my lips, for obvious reasons.
That’s thirteen lipsticks gone in this post in addition to the twenty-four I decluttered this past summer. When I did my lipstick inventory in August, I had an overwhelming seventy lipsticks. So I have managed to reduce it by just about bang-on fifty percent, with a total of thirty-seven lipsticks in my collection. It hasn’t been this small in years! I honestly wasn’t even aiming for this; I was just throwing things I didn’t like into a declutter box for months until I suddenly realized I’d halved my collection. I didn’t wear a lot of makeup this past school year because I was only on campus three days a week and I didn’t feel like doing fancy/exciting makeup most of the time anyway. I think that made it a lot easier to get rid of things, because when I was wearing makeup at least 40% less frequently than I had been, I wanted to use things I really, truly loved on the days that I did. That meant chucking a lot of things that I only wore when I remembered about them and keeping the things that I really love. Thirty-seven lipsticks is still more than a human actually needs, but my collection has been hovering at fifty (or more…) since at least 2015. I’m not going to use this declutter as an excuse to buy 15 more lipsticks, but ridding my collection of the dead weight does give me a bit of breathing room to carefully select a new product here and there, as I did when I got a new Marc Jacobs lipstick in Copenhagen this month.
Eye things: Bella Pierre Shimmer Powder in Snowflake is a very pretty sheer white shadow, but do you think I have the patience to mess around with a loose eyeshadow? No. Of course I don’t. Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara frustrated me with its underwhelmingness.
A few truly random things: The Body Shop Sparkler All Over Shimmer, because I have no opportunity in my life to wear body glitter. Superdrug Naturally Radiant 5% Glycolic Acid, because I bought it out of desperation and I prefer an 8% glycolic that doesn’t smell weird. The Real Techniques Essential Foundation Brush is certainly not essential to me. I have highlighter brushes that I prefer to bdellium tools 944.
Recently I’ve been reflecting on minimalism and decluttering. I’ve reduced my makeup purchasing significantly in 2018 (like, the only makeup products I’ve purchased – as opposed to received as a gift – are a £4 concealer in March and an £8.99 tube of mascara in April). That said, I don’t think this extremely low level of buying is going to continue on forever. I’ve come a long way in reducing my consumerist tendencies and impulse purchases, but I’m not naïve enough to think that I’m done buying makeup forever. Inevitably, I get rid of a lot of things. And I think that’s okay! A lot of these products are things that I’ve had and used for years, that I’ve managed to get a lot of mileage out of but that aren’t right for me anymore. I don’t think it’s horrific that I didn’t actually finish up my tube of Rimmel lipstick, because I used it frequently for at least four years and I got my $6.99’s worth out of it for sure. And products that I didn’t get a lot of use out of – like ColourPop Tuesday – we can chalk up to learning experiences.
I like to have a diverse makeup collection because it’s fun to try new things and to have options. But I also like to feel like everything I have is being used. So if I’m going to keep buying new makeup, I will also continue to declutter, so that my collection remains within that sweet spot. When my makeup collection first swelled to a size that I found unmanageable, I thought I could perform one big cull and be done with it. But that’s definitely not the case – as long as I’m buying new things, old things will have to leave my collection. I don’t tend to sit down and pick through my collection all at once, either. Instead, I use something, realize I don’t like it much, and throw it into a box. When the box gets full, I do a blog post and let my friends go through everything. This might be the last declutter post on here for some time since I’ve definitely trimmed the fat, but you can bank on seeing another one at some point. That’s just the nature of the beast.
By the way, I’m moving back to Toronto tomorrow, so wish me luck hauling 3 suitcases and a backpack across the world!
Oh, Lord. This post has been a massive undertaking. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time on a blog post. I put this one off for a long time because it was such a daunting task, but here we are: a catalogue of all of my lip products. There are a lot, because I’m a lipstick kind of gal first and foremost.
I’ve categorized these roughly by colour, and according to how they look on my lips. (They may pull slightly lighter or less intense in arm swatches.) Some could have fit into more than one category or don’t fit easily into any categories; I used my best judgment for those. Human error is evident in my categorization. These are all swatched in the same order that the tubes are arranged. Tubes are wound up all the way to indicate usage unless otherwise noted. I’ve also indicated approximately when I got each lipstick.
I’m thinking of doing a series of lip swatch posts by colour family as well, but that will depend on how ambitious I’m feeling. I don’t know how YouTubers swatch like 50 lipsticks at a time because my lips pretty much force me to stop at 10. If I do this I’ll include notes on the products – this time I didn’t do mini reviews because the post is long enough as it is. This is what happens when you have too much lipstick.
Anyway, let’s get on with it…
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche – Honeycomb* (Mini) (February 2017)
Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss – 017 (July 2013)
Little Mix by Collection – Jade (March 2015)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – Hush Hush* (December 2016)
Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Mini) (June 2016)
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution – Secret Salma (June 2017)
NARS Audacious – Anna (April 2017)
Maybelline Creamy Matte – Touch of Spice (Summer/Fall 2016)
L-R: Bite Honeycomb, Rimmel 017, Collection Jade, Buxom Hush Hush, Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Charlotte Tilbury Secret Salma, NARS Anna, Maybelline Touch of Spice
Notes: My most-worn out of all of these is Hush Hush – I find the rosy brownish pink very flattering and pretty much a no-brainer. Bite Honeycomb (a beige) and Rimmel 017 (a light peachy pink) are not colours I would instinctually assume are my most-flattering, but I like them a lot. Out of all of these, NARS Anna is my least favourite – it’s just a little too cool to be easily flattering on my complexion.
Light and Medium Pinks
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – White Russian* (December 2016)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – Ransom* (December 2016)
MAC Matte – Please Me (Summer 2014)
Maybelline Creamy Matte – Lust For Blush (Summer 2015)
Lise Watier Rouge Gourmand Velours – Cake Pop (Summer 2014)
L-R: Buxom White Russian, Buxom Ransom, MAC Please Me, Maybelline Lust For Blush, Lise Watier Cake Pop
Notes: Not my favourite category – when I’m going for pink, I tend to go for something more vibrant. That said, Maybelline Lust For Blush is one of my favourite lipstick colours ever.
By the way, for some reason those two Buxom colours did not want to photograph as the pinks they are, but you can see how they actually look (on my face) in the full review post.
Fuchsias and Bright Pinks
NARS Audacious – Angela (August 2017)
Lancôme Color Design – Wannabe (August 2014)
Lancôme L’Absolue Rouge – Pourquois Pas? (April 2017)
YSL Rouge Volupté Shine – 28 (May 2016)
Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain – Lovesick (November 2016; my second tube)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Fiore (December 2014)
Lancôme Matte Shaker – Pink Power* (May 2017)
Joe Fresh Long Wear Liquid Lipstick – Fuchsia x2 (May 2014)
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution – Electric Poppy (October 2016)
ColourPop Lippie Stix Matte X – Poppin (March 2016) (Not wound up all the way because the bullet broke off)
L-R: NARS Angela, Lancôme Wannabe, Lancôme Pourquois Pas?, YSL #28, Revlon Lovesick, Stila Fiore, Lancôme Pink Power, Joe Fresh Fuchsia, Charlotte Tilbury Electric Poppy, ColourPop Poppin
Notes: Fuchsia lipstick was my original love when I was 19. I remember looking at myself in Revlon Lovesick and thinking, “That looks good on me!” Maybe it’s the fact that I had brown hair then or maybe it’s just changing preferences, but fuchsia is no longer my favourite lipstick colour. Though I still have Lovesick (which is long-discontinued), I lean towards slightly warmer, brighter fuchsias now. Lancôme Pink Power and CT Electric Poppy are two of my favourites.
NARS Angela is very hard to categorize, so I stuck it in here.
Peaches, Oranges, and Corals
ColourPop Blotted Lips – Sucker (August 2017)
NARS Audacious – Brigitte (November 2016)
ColourPop Blotted Lips – Candyfloss (August 2017)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – Covert Affair* (December 2016)
Tony Moly Cat Chu Wink – Orange Pop (February 2014)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – Intrigue* (December 2016)
ColourPop Blotted Lips – On A Stick (August 2017)
Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss – 06 (Fall 2013)
ColourPop Lippie Stix – Trixie (August 2017) (Not wound up all the way ’cause I was afraid of it breaking)
Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème – So Sofia (August 2017)
Revlon Super Lustrous – Fire and Ice (June 2017)
ColourPop Ultra Matte Lips – Tuesday (January 2017)
YSL Rouge Pur Couture – 57 (May 2016)
Lancôme Color Design – Posh Pink (Summer 2014)
ColourPop Sucker, NARS Brigitte, ColourPop Candyfloss, Buxom Covert Affair, Tony Moly Orange Pop, ColourPop On A Stick, Rimmel 06, ColourPop Trixie, Marc Jacobs So Sofia, ColourPop Tuesday, YSL #57, Lancôme Posh Pink
Notes: Peach, orange, and coral are all colours with which I have traditionally had a rocky relationship. It’s funny that this is my biggest category, although I guess technically it is three smaller categories. I have definitely been appreciating these types of colours more recently, but in the beginning of my makeup collecting days I would never have given most of these colours the time of day.
In retrospect I’m not sure why I put YSL #57 or Lancôme Posh Pink in this category, since I always say they’re not quite coral but rather warm pinks. ColourPop Tuesday is borderline, here – I’m not really sure how to categorize or even describe it. Dark coral? Reddish coral?
Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain – Romantic (Summer 2013)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Beso (Mini) (October 2016)
NARS Audacious – Annabella (August 2017)
Clarins Rouge Prodige – Fusion Red (December 2013)
Little Mix by Collection – Leigh-Anne (Fall 2013)
Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick – Raspberry (May 2014)
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution – Red Carpet Red (October 2014)
Lancôme Matte Shaker – Kiss Me Chérie* (May 2017)
NARS Satin Lip Pencil – Cruella (Mini) (March 2015)
L-R: Revlon Romantic, Stila Beso, NARS Annabella, Clarins Fusion Red, Collection Leigh-Anne, Joe Fresh Raspberry, Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red, Lancôme Kiss Me Chérie, NARS Cruella
Notes: I do love red lipstick, but I find it pretty easy to keep this section of my collection fairly pruned. In terms of true blue-based reds, CT Red Carpet Red has been the only one in my life since I bought it. All of the others are warmer or deeper. I used to be a staunch blue red fan, but I have opened my heart to warm reds recently. NARS Annabella is a new find which I am really enjoying.
Berries and Plums
YSL Rouge Volupté Shine – 17 (June 2015)
NARS Audacious – Audrey (November 2016)
Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick – Scarlet (March 2016)
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche – Beetroot (Mini) (June 2017)
MAC Cremesheen – Hang-Up (December 2013)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – Mystery* (December 2016)
YSL 17, NARS Audrey, Joe Fresh Scarlet, Bite Beetroot, MAC Hang-Up, Buxom Mystery
Notes: “Berry” is a pretty broad category, as you can see here. It’s also a little vague; the difference between a dark red and a berry can be fine. YSL 17 is my lightest berry and one of my favourites – it’s easy, flattering, and more of an everyday berry than the others I have, which are more dramatic. I always think I like berry lips on myself more than I actually do – I was surprised to see how few I had in comparison to other categories. Maybe it’s the nebulousness of “berry” that I don’t like – I prefer something more distinct, like a red or a magenta. Speaking of which…
ColourPop Ultra Blotted Lips – Split (August 2017)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Lume (Mini) (October 2016)
Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit – Nice To Fuchsia (April 2017)
MAC Satin – Rebel (Summer 2015)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Aria (May 2014)
L-R: ColourPop Split, Stila Lume, WnW Nice To Fuchsia, MAC Rebel, Stila Aria
Notes: Some of my favourite colours to wear! I think magenta is so flattering on a variety of skintones, mine included. MAC Rebel is my favourite lipstick colour ever.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Viola (Mini) (October 2016)
ColourPop Ultra Matte Lips – Lychee (January 2017)
Little Mix by Collection – Perrie (Fall 2013)
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm – Shameless (February 2014)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – Chianti (March 2016)
L-R: Stila Viola, ColourPop Lychee, Collection Perrie, Revlon Shameless, Stila Chianti
Notes: I used to be a huge purple lipstick fan. I actually still really like it in concept, but I guess I’ve become picky and purged a lot of my purples because they weren’t quite right. I find that purple tones are apt to make me look quite sickly if just a bit off. That said, I adore Stila Chianti, which is the most amazing dramatic blackened purple.
Maybelline Creamy Matte – Burgundy Blush (March 2017)
ColourPop Ultra Satin Lips – Prim (March 2016)
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche – Whiskey* (Mini) (February 2017)
L-R: Maybelline Burgundy Blush, ColourPop Prim, Bite Whiskey
Notes: This category would not have existed prior to my purchase of ColourPop Prim. As it turns out, I like dark brown lipstick. I still have not ventured into the territory of more 90s mid-toned browns, though I like them on other people.
ColourPop Ultra Satin Lips – Marshmallow (March 2016)
ColourPop Ultra Matte Lips – Dr. M (January 2017)
Essence Matt Matt Matt Vibrant Shock – 09 (March 2017)
Barry M Lip Paint – Black (Fall 2014)
L-R: ColourPop Marshmallow, ColourPop Dr. M, Essence 09, Barry M Black
Notes: These are all very fun and very impractical. I am not the kind of person who wears colours like this in public regularly, but I feel good having them on hand. All of these were inexpensive, and I have worn them all in public at least once, so I think that’s all we can ask for.
Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil – 020* (February 2017)
Milani Color Statement Lip Liner – Nude (April 2017)
ColourPop Lippie Pencil – Contempo (January 2017)
Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner – Enchantment (2016 sometime?)
Arbonne Lip Liner – Berry* (September 2015)
Clinique Quickliner For Lips – Intense Jam (January 2016)
Lancôme Le Lip Liner – Rose Lancôme (August 2017)
ColourPop Lippie Pencil – Heart On (January 2017)
Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner – Red Diva (Late 2014/Early 2015)
MUA Lip Liner – Brooding Plum (Late 2014/Early 2015)
Collection Lip Definer – Damson (March 2015)
ColourPop Lippie Pencil – Nevermind (January 2017)
Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil – 044* (February 2017)
L-R: Bite 020, Milani Nude, ColourPop Contempo, Rimmel Enchantment, Arbonne Berry, Clinique Intense Jam, Lancôme Rose Lancôme, ColourPop Heart On, Rimmel Red Diva, MUA Brooding Plum, Collection Damson, ColourPop Nevermind, Bite 044
Grand total: 70 lipsticks, 13 lip liners
Notes: Obviously, this is a lot of lipstick, and you will soon be seeing a declutter post. I have to say I don’t feel super great about the 70 mark – 50 seems like the largest number I could have and still reasonably use everything. Somehow it doesn’t seem like that many lipsticks when I actually look at them, of course.
The mean number of lipsticks per category is 7, the median is 5.5, and the mode is 5. Yes. I do math now. (No I don’t.)
43 of my 70 lipsticks were purchased in 2016 or 2017, which seems pretty absurd but which I guess is a good thing because it means there’s not too much old, crusty stuff in my collection. Honestly, I don’t think that I’ve purchased more than usual in the past year and a half – if anything, I’ve decreased my consumption. I declutter often, though, so most of the stuff I bought way back in the early days is long gone. Still, I should probably chill with buying lipstick. I clearly am not hurting for it.