I’ve finally reached the breaking point of any makeup enthusiast’s nightmare: the makeup purge.
I’m embarrassed to admit it: I have an obsession when it comes to collecting [aka hoarding] makeup. But let me first describe how I’ve been poorly managing my stock pile of random makeup products, and how I finally confronted this issue for the ultimate but necessary purge.
I can’t help that I get furiously curious about a new makeup item on the store shelf, or when I encounter a product I maybe heard some random girl mentioning some time ago. Sometimes I’ll be good enough to stray from purchasing that new makeup product. Other times, I’m terrible — I will shrug off thoughts about my current mess and buy that [yet-another] mascara, or eyeliner, or lipstick, etc. Anything to tell myself, “But I don’t have this exact shade and will never find it again,” or “The one I have at home will run low soon,” or… ya know what I mean. Once in a while I’ll notice that my tiny vanity table is out of space, so I’ll grab some items that I haven’t reached for in the last maybe 2-4 weeks and toss them into a ziplock bag, storing them away in a storage box in my closet. Then I’ll usually use that new item a few times before I get bored or learn it’s not working for me. I get lazy to make any effort of returning unused/disliked items. Then I habitually repeat the vicious cycle all over again the next time I’m in that makeup hoarding mode. Before I know it, I’ve wasted too much time and money and I’m stuck with a pile of forgotten makeup.
I was feeling guilty looking around at my room — the excess, the mess, the shame — which led me to my ultimate decision. This weekend I raged to re-organized my vanity table, and while at it, I tackled my closet too. I pulled out that heavy box of old collected makeup baggies and went through everything. I got rid of nearly 75% of my makeup collection. Several were old drugstore products, a few were department store brands. Most of them were accumulated over the past year, but even a few random ancient items were from at least two years ago. Um, gross?
Looking at it, I couldn’t believe that I let it get that far. I felt disgusted at myself. But this is a huge lesson learned, and I encourage you all to do the same. From here on out (at least at the best of my will power) I vow to be smarter and cleaner when it comes to my makeup collection. I listed some note-to-self tips below on how to prevent this in the future:
HOW TO AVOID HOARDING MAKEUP
1 – Identify your Needs vs. Wants
Keep an organized running “wish list” of products that you learn of or get curious to try. Every now and then, I’d mark which ones are ‘nice to haves’ versus ones that are ‘must haves’ in my collection. The must haves should be things that you need because 1) you’ve lost or run out of your favorite product and now is a good time to replace it, and/or 2) you’ve done plenty of research on this item and it’s the best option to up your makeup game. The ‘Nice-to-Haves’ should be things that you don’t necessarily know too much about yet but heard a few comments on it, or are things you’re waiting to replace your eyeliner when you’ve run out. I’ve done this in the past and found that it helps to keep my mindless shopping under control since I have a list to focus on and refer to the next time I’m at the beauty/cosmetics aisle.
2 – Return unused/dissatisfactory products
Sometimes you won’t be able to really feel out a new product or notice any allergies until you’ve used it a few times, which is why most stores are really lenient to customer returning cosmetics products, e.g. Walgreens, Sephora, Ulta, larger department stores, etc. I started to keep all my receipts for makeup/beauty purchases in an organizer. This way I can see how much I’m spending lately, how frequently I make purchases, and most importantly I’ll have the option to return any items I ended up disliking.
3 – Label your makeup
This is a pretty advanced step, but you can use small label stickers to write a purchase date (and/or even a price) as a ‘Note to Self’ reminding you to make use of the product. I often felt that I wish I knew how long I’ve had a certain product, because makeup items do expire. Other times I wish I could quickly remember how much I’ve spent on something, because it would better help me evaluate its costs to its quality/benefits amongst my other items on the vanity. Of course, I don’t think you should commit yourself to this unless you’re certain you’ll be keeping the item. I also recommend placing a label somewhere that won’t obstruct the pretty packaging.
Hopefully I’m not the only one with this makeup hoarding habit, but I think these steps will prove to be helpful. I’m sure there’s some other cool ways to be efficient with your makeup collection, so please do share some tips and thoughts on this!
Pretty & Peace.