A couple of years ago I started to collect various makeup items for a personal collection. It started as just expanding my essentials (eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks etc) – suddenly before I knew it I had way more than I could keep track of and found I was barely using a huge chunk of the items. I knew going into 2019 I wanted to have a fresh start and try to narrow down my collection so it still allowed me to create and have fun with makeup, but owned a small enough amount that I’d use majority of it quite often. I documented my cull fairly loosely as this sort of thing is quite difficult to explain through photos – but generally speaking, I had a few methods for sorting through my items.
To begin, I organised each item into separate categories – primers, liquid base products, powders.. and so on. This made it easy for me to see everything that I owned and made decision making much easier. In each category I included back ups, the items that I repeats of in a tin – this meant I was able to assess how old the current product might be in my day-to-day draws. The desk in which I keep all of my makeup in was from eBay and only cost around $150AUD and it’s perfect for storing beauty and skincare items. In the draws, I use bellabox lids and bases to organise each category so everything is easily accessible – I knew I would be continuing this method of storage as it’s worked great for me so far. The first thing I noticed when I created the categories was that I had waaaayyy too much of quite a few items, so I got out a couple of containers and sorted items into three categories: keep, sell, donate/throw away (by donate, I mean to my little sisters who are used to getting my older makeup!).
S W A T C H I N G
A great technique for being super brutal when it comes to narrowing down which items to keep is to swatch EVERYTHING (by the end of this my arm was practically red raw from applying and removing so much!). This allowed for me to see which two or more colours that I owned were very similar to one another; in which case, I’d keep only one based on which I reached for more often. By swatching items I was also able to gauge the age and condition of the formula – some of the products I thought were still fine swatched super crumbly, and some of them had close to no pigmentation.
E Y S H A D O W S
Eyeshadows are one of those items I seem to cannot stop buying. With so many palettes, formulas and ideas being released, it’s so hard for a makeup lover like myself to keep their collection small. To begin with, I counted 40 eyeshadow palettes in my collection, after swatching and comparing the usage of various palettes I was able to keep only 27. Now, I know what you’re thinking – only 27!? – Eyeshadows are one of those items that I feel last much longer than the suggested use by, and for me personally I find eye looks is where I get to be really creative – so having a bunch to choose from is always a good thing. In the items I’m keeping I’ve got a few different formulas – as well as powder palettes I have a few super shock eyeshadows from colourpop, these are a cream formula, similar to putty makeup. The pigmentation of these shadows is so so good, and super easy to use. Another formula I discovered in the last year were the supernova shadows, also from colourpop. These are liquid shadows that pack an amazing, glittery pigment – beautiful on the lid.
As well as eyeshadow, lipstick is another huge category – for similar reasons too. Before I sorted through my collection, I had well over 200 lip products of various formula (mainly matte liquid lipsticks, but also a few lip glosses, bullet lipsticks and other kinds) – but after swatching and applying the same processes for the rest of my makeup I managed to half my collection and I’m pretty happy with that! After I sorted what I was and wasn’t going to keep I made categories of items I would sell online, others I would give to friends and family, and the few that were super old found their way to the bin. Now, all my makeup fits into storage compartments on my beauty desk. I knew before I sorted my collection that I wouldn’t go back to having a few staples in a makeup bag as I enjoy makeup so much as a creative outlet, and just a way to have fun! I’m thinking of possibly revisiting this idea of clearing out my belongings, perhaps with clothes next. I’d love to hear whether this is a series you’d like to follow along with as while I know I enjoy bits and pieces too much to be a minimalist, I’d like to declutter a few things!
Much Love, Ebony xoxo
** All photographs in this post were taken and edited by myself **