At the beginning of this year, I got rid of a huge portion of my beauty collection.
Like, really huge.
I talk about practicing mindfulness all the time and at the beginning of this year, I’ve decided to start practicing it also when it comes to spending money.
This isn’t something I only started to exercise in the beauty department, though. I did the same thing with my closet; I never realized I had so many clothes- some of which have been sitting in my closet, still with tags, for years.
So, where am I today? Well… I may never be a beauty/makeup minimalist, but I’ve definitely become more mindful. I no longer buy things on an impulse. I no longer buy products just because they’re surrounded by hype or because they look pretty. I do my best to use things up and rotate as much as I can, to make sure that I actually use everything I have.
I’ve cut my beauty spending by probably around 70% and you know what? Even though I’m a huge beauty junkie, I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on much.
Sticking to my goals
One of my goals for this year was to surround myself with less “stuff”. The beauty department was where I really needed help. Back in March, I wrote a post about Spring Cleaning Your Beauty Stash. In it, I talked about how embarrassed I felt, after seeing how much skincare, body care and makeup products I had, just sitting around. Products that have expired, products I never even opened, products I only used once.
I mean, talk about being wasteful. That moment, when I was sitting on my bathroom floor, with two bags full of products I was getting rid of, was a wake-up call for me. During my huge clean-out sessions, I only kept products I knew I’ll use and up and continue to reach for. As far as my makeup collection goes, I try my best to keep most of my products visible, so that I actually use them. I rotate them and try to switch things up.
Another thing that I’m keeping a better eye on? Expiration dates (most of your beauty products should have a “use by” date somewhere on the bottle/jar, if you can’t find it, try to locate this little icon that displays a number of months for which is safe to use the product after opening it). I hope to never again end up with hundreds of dollars worth of unused but expired products.
Spending the big bucks
Just because I’m on a beauty diet, doesn’t mean I don’t allow myself an occasional splurge purchase.
Like a good foundation, a $56 eyeliner or a $78 makeup brush, which, I absolutely felt was overpriced, but decided to buy it anyway (this beauty dieting is much more difficult when it comes to LE products!). Truth is, a lot of high-end makeup and skincare (especially) products are over-hyped and not worth their price tag. I will not spend money on overpriced skincare that’s filled with basic ingredients or heavy fragrance, just because it comes in a pretty jar. At the same time though, there are SO many products that are absolutely worth the splurge. So, while I still splurge, I do it differently than I used to.
I don’t buy what I don’t want. I don’t know how many of you can relate, but I almost never bought “just one thing” when shopping for beauty products. I do most of my beauty shopping online because, you know, I don’t do malls, stores or shopping centers. So, it was nearly impossible for me to buy only a new mascara or a lipstick, or a backup of my favorite foundation. I mean, if I’m going to place an order, might as well add a few more products and qualify for free shipping right? Or place an order, just so I can get my hands on that GWP or that cute point reward. Yes, that kind of mindless spending doesn’t happen anymore.
Now, I am completely fine with buying only what I need (or want) without adding 7 other things to my cart. If I can’t decide whether I want to spend money on something, I put it in my cart, but don’t buy it right away. If I still feel the “need” for it the next day, I’ll get it. I don’t do impulse buying any more- and that seems to have been my biggest problem.
But it’s so pretty!
Every beauty lover out there loves pretty packaging- amirite? If you’re a blogger you know that pretty products also make for good photo props. I mean, I am literally surrounded by lipsticks, pretty lotion bottles, powders, beauty tools- so, it only makes sense that I use them as props in my photos, no?
When you spend a small fortune on beauty products and you don’t end up using every single one of them, there becomes a time when you gotta take a step back. For me, this happened when I noticed that I bought something just because “it’s pretty” or because it will look nice in pictures. I mean, it’s pretty stupid, if you ask me.
In the blogging and Instagram world, it’s easy to get lost sometimes and look at your beauty spending as an “investment” in your blog. Of course, this absolutely is the case for people who blog strictly about beauty. BUT, as someone who once used to spend a small fortune on photo props every couple of weeks, only to recycle/get rid of them months later, I gotta say that you need to work with what you’ve got. You don’t need to have a huge collection of high-end makeup, a white marble vanity, and a perfectly bright setting to create beautiful blog photos. Wasting money on things you don’t have any need or use for, certainly isn’t the answer (that’s actually something I’ll be discussing in an upcoming photography post).
While I still own over 20 nude lipsticks and my beauty collection might seem, to some, a bit (or, a lot) excessive, I’ve made a lot of changes this year. I still hear “do you actually use all of this?!” whenever someone sees my beauty stash or walks into my room. Now, I can honestly say that I do.
Curbing my beauty appetite was surprisingly easy, too and I definitely wouldn’t call it “a struggle”. All it took was some mindfulness.
Jennifer FrankJune 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm
Always so envious of your photography. Absolute goals!
Jen, Velvet Spring. x
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm
Aww thanks so much Jen!
BeautylyminJune 8, 2017 at 12:53 pm
I am a lot better than I used to be with my beauty spending habits but I know I could do better again. I will try to take inspiration from you! xx
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 18, 2017 at 1:33 pm
It’s definitely a work-in-progress kind of thing! :)
knightsglowJune 8, 2017 at 12:58 pm
Love your post! I rarely use makeup so I’ve never completed a single product (outside of brown lip liners). I tend to hold on to products just because I still have product left when I should really throw it out since it’s most likely expired! Trying this tonight. ?
Danielle BeautyblogJune 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm
I’ve definitely been a lot more mindful of my spending this year and it’s felt so good! I had a bit of a splurge on cult beauty yesterday but I’m still a sucker for a gift with purchase so that’s why that happened!
Danielle’s Beauty Blog
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 18, 2017 at 1:33 pm
GWP goodies always seem to get us hehe :)
Linda Libra LocaJune 8, 2017 at 3:21 pm
I get the same question, and just like you I can say: Yes. I do wear all of these lipsticks, I use all of these creams. My mindfulness was a forced one in the beginning, I went on maternity leave and my budget for beauty was pretty much nonexistent overnight. Diapers and onesies took the place of lipsticks and skincare. But i realized soon enough that i could do with the stuff that i owned already, and while I do still buy things, I don´t do it nearly as often and with great care and consideration.
The “Inspired by” series was actually born from this, I wanted to see if I needed new stuff to recreate the newest looks. So far that never was the case.
Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm
I definitely don’t do mindless splurging anymore and it feels so good. I love your “Inspired by” series, always a pleasure to read those posts and see you recreate the looks. x
Linda Libra LocaJune 18, 2017 at 2:23 pm
They are a lot of fun to do as well.
Dagmara KlichJune 8, 2017 at 4:09 pm
I can totally relate, at the beginning of the year I had this need to downsize my collection and I definitely stopped buying beauty products as much as I used to but I have probably lost the way once again, so need try harder :) The truth is I don’t need any more makeup, I’m more mindful with skincare, so I should really make the most of my collection and stop the impulse buying. x
Mummy’s Beauty Corner
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 18, 2017 at 1:40 pm
I find it so much more difficult to control my spending with skincare, but I definitely try to invest in quality products, unlike in the past where I’d buy things just because they were surrounded by hype.
Aleksandra // bunniesaremagicJune 9, 2017 at 5:23 am
Splurging on quality stuff if you’re overall don’t overspend and it is genuinely something you need is not so bad, we forgive you ;)
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 18, 2017 at 1:41 pm
Why, thank you! :) I definitely made some progress :D
Natalie RedmanJune 9, 2017 at 6:20 am
Well done girl! It’s great to treat yourself but I think sometimes we do get carried away. Especially by pretty packaging!
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJune 18, 2017 at 1:41 pm
Thanks Natalie! Pretty packaging is definitely something that tends to suck me in hehe ;)
Nathalie AlexandraJune 9, 2017 at 9:43 am
Good for you to wanting to have less makeup and beauty products, but its also important to still being able to buy products that you love and know you need.
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 11, 2017 at 6:02 pm
I agree! :) Thanks!
Kiri YanchenkoJune 9, 2017 at 5:49 pm
Your clear perspex drawer system is so great! I want one. Where did you get it from?
(Maybe comment on my blog coz I always seem to lose replies to Disqus…)
Next – I have pretty much always practiced less is best – however I know I could still streamline.
Like for instance, the hand cream post that I am about to release is all based on products I use and own. I mean when I did through my drawers I have so many hand creams! And I don’t own much stuff!!
I agree I am a sucker for beautiful packaging yes!
My makeup section of my cabinet is pretty empty – so I guess I could say I am most successful in my beauty diet there. I don’t wear much stuff, and because I am older I only use what really works for me.
Skincare is another matter – as that is what I am passionate about and what I blog about most.
Set to Glow
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 11, 2017 at 6:04 pm
I wrote an entire post about those hehe :) You can click on the photo and it’ll link to that post.
I love beautiful packaging too, but definitely started paying more attention to things like formulas and ingredients in the recent years.
Rosie von WaldherrJune 10, 2017 at 9:29 am
Love this post! I’m in the exact same place as you described in the beginning! My goal, starting right now is to really start using what I have and get rid of what I don’t use – giving it away to friends and family is a start =D Of course, getting things I really want is still on the plan (Like the Naked Heat palette =D)
Rosie // Curvy Life Stories
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 11, 2017 at 6:06 pm
I’ve been doing the same, so happy you’re practicing this too, Rosie. Feels so good to not have so much unused stuff around!
mikaJune 12, 2017 at 7:01 pm
Honestly I keep repeating myself (lol) but your photos just keep getting better and better I’m always in awe T______T and I need to go on a beauty diet for sure! My emotional state is so connected to shopping, I wish it wasn’t but then I would be eating more of my feelings instead haha. I hope soon I can just get myself better so I can stop relying on material objects to make myself feel better!
Paula @ thirteenthoughts.comJuly 11, 2017 at 6:05 pm
Aww you’re too sweet Mika, thank you SO much! Haha, I can relate! I used to have the same connection, but I’m doing better now. Hope you get better, my Love but yes, makeup is better than eating your feelings LOL! :)