The other day I came across this quote and I found it very interesting: “He who buys what he does not need, steals from himself“. Pretty melodramatic start for a post about makeup, isn’t it?
As I mentioned before (numerous times, I’m sure) one of my goals for this year, is to surround myself with less….. stuff.
Why? Well… because my beauty collection was getting out of control. I’m not just talking makeup here- skincare, body care products, hair products. It was all getting out of hand. I always remember collecting a ton of products, even when I lived “at home”. I’ve always been a beauty “junkie” but as you can probably expect, having a blog sort of drove me into buying even more things I had no use or need for.
A few years ago, I could easily waste a weekend away by driving around and visiting every single one of the drugstores in my area, in search of a new drugstore foundation or nail polish collection that jus came out. I’d buy it, test it for a few days or weeks (depending on the product), photograph it and write about it. After a while of doing this, I noticed a lot of the products were never touched again. I noticed that I became wasteful. Also, I was slowly turning into a hoarder.
Whenever someone takes a peek inside my office/closet/beauty room, I hear: “omg, look at all this makeup! all those makeup brushes, wow I only have two, do you even use all that stuff, like do you actually use everything?” I won’t lie. There were times when I felt judged. The truth is, unless you’re into this whole *beauty* thing, you will not understand my need for having 20 nude lipsticks. No, they’re not all the same.
At the beginning of this year though, I did tell myself that I don’t want to buy any makeup until my birthday in April. Of course, I broke that “ban” after three weeks and bought a lipstick and a mascara. But you know what? It’s the beginning of March and so far I only picked up a handful of products. It wasn’t as “hard” as I thought it was going to be once I started being a little mindful about it.
We constantly hear that we absolutely *need* this or that product. I rarely stopped to actually ask myself “wait.. do I really need this?” Instead, I’d immediately go online to check out that product. While in the past I’d often purchase the product without giving it a second thought, I now do something different. I still go online sometimes, but I leave that tab open for a few hours and think it over. Eventually, the excitement wears off and I forget all about that product I was so anxious to get my hands on. As it turns out, buying less wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it’d be- all it took was a little mindfulness.
Before buying more, look through your collection- do you have similar products? Any possible dupes? Do you really need another bottle of foundation when you already rotate between 5 others? Another good thing to remember is to never buy something at an impulse, when you first see it, but do some research first, check for reviews. *this isn’t easy to do when it comes to LE releases*
Getting rid of the old
Getting rid of the old feels so good. Sooooo good. If I showed you how much old makeup and lotions, creams, gels, hair products I got rid of over the last couple of weeks, you wouldn’t believe me. Even I didn’t know I had that much shit hidden in our bathrooms and closets. I recently did the same thing with my clothes, shoes, and purses, and I’m the worst at it- I always end up keeping half the things I meant to donate or throw away because “just in case“. This time I did things differently- I got rid of everything I haven’t worn in year (with an exception of few designer pieces I’m not ready to part with). My approach to beauty products was a bit different and I was shocked and even a little embarrassed at how many expired products were taking up space in my bathroom cabinets.
Other than feeling organized and excited about the extra space, there’s one other thing that I loved about getting rid of all those old and unused beauty products- it helped me become more mindful. After throwing away a few bagfuls of *stuff*, I question everything I buy. I want to make sure that I only buy (and keep) products that I will actually use. I don’t want anything taking up space, collecting dust- I love that my entire collection is nicely organized and not scattered all over the house because I was running out of room to store my products. Once your space is clean and organized, you’ll think twice before buying a new foundation or mascara.
Things are just things
Occasionally, I get comments or emails from girls (who I assume are) much younger than me, saying how lucky I am to have such beautiful collection of products and how nice it must feel. Well, yes, it is nice, but luck didn’t have much to do with it. I’ve been working and supporting myself since I was fifteen so everything that I have I earned by hard work. Of course, running this blog means that I get a lot of products sent to me for consideration, but that would never happen if it wasn’t for all the work I put into running and growing this blog.
As much as I love all these beautiful products though… they’re just things. And those are replaceable (I mean… again, this is unless we’re talking limited edition release here :) … ). They’re beautiful to look at, they make me smile, but things can’t make you happy.
Now that I got rid of so many old, unused and unloved products from my collection, I use pretty much every single palette, mascara, blush, liner- you name it- that I own. I at least try to make an effort to use it all. I only kept products that I love and use. That doesn’t mean that my world would end if my entire collection was to disappear tomorrow. I mean, I’d probably cry a little. I’d have a small fit. But I’d live. So why do we (because I know for a fact that it’s not just me) find it so hard to part with the *things* or the *stuff* we don’t use, stuff that’s cluttering our cupboards, cabinets, drawers, and closets?
This past weekend, I did something special. While Mark was away on Saturday, I went through
our my bathroom cabinets and got rid of every single product I haven’t used in awhile. I ended up with two huge garbage bags full of “stuff” from one bathroom alone. Some products that were unopened or gently used, I put away to give to my mom or sister, the rest I either threw away or recycled. When Mark got home, I grabbed his hand, took him to the bathroom and opened one of the drawers where I put his razors, deodorant, and aftershave, saying “there, this is for you, you can keep your stuff in here now“, “Finally” he said. I mean, it only took me eight years since we moved into our house to make some space for him in our bathroom, but better late than never, eh? Still, I say it’s progress.
While I was clearing out my beauty stash, I actually found an old Avon eyeshadow quad- a very first makeup product I ever bought myself, with my own money. Even though it’s just an empty compact, I didn’t have the heart to throw it away though, so I might hang on to that one for the next couple of years. Or.. forever.