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The Big Make-Up Declutter

Wednesday, 15 February 2017
decluttering your makeup collection

I have a confession to make. You guys should know by now that I adore colourful make-up, and creative makeup, and I love the artistic freedom that makeup provides. But all the vivid eyeliners and rainbow hues I wear on my face in videos, photos and tutorials are not how I go about on a day-to-day basis. So here's my confession: I mostly wear neutrals. I love bold lips, and you'll find me, during the best part of my free time, rocking a purple or cobalt or grey lipstick. But for eyeshadow? Eyeliner? I'm a much bigger fan of neutrals than I've ever let on. Especially in recent months - as my clothing style has evolved, my makeup style has too. And while I'll still break out a blue or orange every so often, I'm much more comfortable in bronzes and coppers, as well as warm berries. My clothing style is minimal and basic: black skinny jeans, blue boyfriend jeans and a handful of monochrome tops and striped t-shirts form the foundations of my wardrobe all-year round. Now, at age 23, I admit that wearing a rainbow on my face everyday isn't really for me. I love it on other people, but I'm quite content with a couple of eye palettes - namely the Coastal Scents Winterberry palette, Makeup Revolution Neutrals vs New-trals, and the Collection Eyes Uncovered 'Nude Bronze' - to see me through all seasons.

It's been a long time since I had a thorough clear out of my make-up collection. Every so often I'd find something lurking at the back of my drawers and realise I'm not all that keen on it after all, and I'd throw it away or give it to my mum if she wanted it, but I really needed a good de-cluttering session. In January I decided it was time. Not only had it been so long since I'd looked through my stash that I'd forgotten what was there, but it was also time for me to cut down on a lot of the crap I was hoarding but barely touching. I was keeping far too many multicolour palettes that I only used for editorial looks and far too many plain old lipsticks I never wore because I'm a self-confessed addict to liquid-matte lippies. Not only this, but let's face it, you don't need a full set of Alex drawers from Ikea worth of makeup, you really don't. I'll never be one of those people who comments on videos like 'omg who can wear all this makeup' etc, but realistically, it's not for me. I don't like hoarding, but I'm so sentimental about makeup and sometimes it's just like, oh but I MIGHT use that palette in the distant future for a one-off tutorial, so in January I figured it was time to cut the crap. I need to stop buying so much makeup and stop hoarding so much of it too!

I pretty much halved my entire makeup collection, and I'm very proud of myself for it! I really should have filmed this so it would be easier to show you, but I didn't, so this is going to be a really long post. I wanted to do a second part showing you guys my lip- and eye-related products too, but there are just too many, so stay tuned for a make-up collection video over the next few months.

In this post I'll be taking you through the ins and outs of how and why I rid myself of unnecessary makeup, and where I plan to go from here. I'll try to keep this succinct and not ramble or tangent too much, so grab a cuppa and get settled - this'll be a long one!

PRIMER

STARTED WITH: 16
FINISHED WITH: 7

As someone who only started wearing foundation primer on a daily basis in maybe, say, the tail end of 2015, I've built up a fair collection of primers very quickly. Some of my favourites include the Nivea for Men Post-Shave Balm, and the Barry M 'Original' Flawless Primer. I wrote a post on both of these primers last year, and you can read it HERE if you missed it. For me, it was a no-brainer that these two would stay. Another one I used to love is the Barry M 'Colour Correcting' Flawless Primer - a green primer that's supposed to erase redness, and while it does help to combat my discoloured face, and I enjoy it in general, I admit that I've grown much more fond of its original counterpart, and I feel that hoarding this one doesn't make a whole lot of sense so I passed it onto my mother. Also passed on was the BeautyUK Prime FX Foundation Primer (read about it HERE), the Collection Primed & Ready Illuminating Primer in Warm Apricot, and the Kiss Light Reflecting Facial Primer - the latter two of these I find to be mediocre at best, and would probably benefit someone else better. I also passed over the Maybelline Baby Skin primer which I actually only picked up at the end of 2016. While I think it does a pretty good job, I bought this primer to help disguise the pores on my nose, but if I use it there it interferes with my application of Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Creme de Rose which I use on a daily basis, so I'm sticking with what I know.

What else is left? Lots of eye primers, that's what. The W7 Get Set Eyeshadow Base in Natural is here to stay, as is the MUA Pro-Base Eye Primer an old-but-gold firm favourite of mine. New to the block, but by far my favourite primer of the moment is the Eye Primer from George @ Asda - it's surprisingly lightweight formula only requires a dot on each lid to extend the life and stop the creasing of your eyeshadow.

So, what didn't make the cut? The Along Came Betty Prime of Your Life got booted - it was an old hand-me-down from my mum which I really enjoyed when I first got it aged around 19. The George @ Asda Face Primer was binned as it's not particularly great, as was my ELF Essentials Eye Primer as it was well-past expiry and I have another unopened one waiting in the wings. I also gave away the ELF Primer & Liner Sealer I got last summer - it's a pretty decent primer, but out of all of them, it's probably my least favourite. Last, but not least, I threw away my MUA Undress Your Skin Flawless Skin Primer - I started off thinking this was an OK product, but grew to enjoy it last year. It's a couple of years old now and I have about a third of the bottle left, so I figured it was safe to just buy a new one given that it's not going to break the bank.

FOUNDATION


STARTED WITH: 15
FINISHED WITH: 8

I'm definitely someone you'd describe as being a foundation hoarder, and I'm not afraid to admit that. Foundation is a staple in my makeup collection, and I own so many because I'm always after something different depending on my mood - sometimes I crave the lightweight skin-like feel of a BB cream, whilst others I want a matte, heavy-duty finish that covers every imperfection on my face, and I've recently even grown to love the dewiness of certain foundations, something I used to never be able to enjoy.

Starting with my staples, my Revlon Colorstay for Normal/Dry Skin wasn't going anywhere as it's currently my most-worn beauty product. I wear it everyday for work, and even on my days off I find myself reaching back and relying on it. It's probably the best-matching in terms of colour out of all my foundations, even when I had accrued fifteen of them, and it's high-coverage which is something I've been looking for lately as I've been much too lazy to deal with the extra step of applying a concealer. My Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Serum Foundation was also not going to be moving because it's a beautiful, lightweight and dewy number that'll leave you feeling fresh-faced and gorgeous. A new favourite of mine is the 17 Stay Time Foundation, which I own in the shade Soft Ivory. Sadly, this colour is too pink for me so I don't wear it on its own, and instead wear it mixed with my Revlon Colorstay for another boost of coverage. I'm looking to get a better shade match, but the shade between this one and Natural (which is too orange) is often sold out in my local Boots, and I've yet to even come across a tester as it's usually missing. I didn't like this foundation when I first bought it, despite loving its concealer counterpart from the get-go, but I learned how to apply it properly with a damp sponge and I've been enjoying it ever since. Another firm favourite of mine is by Bourjois, again, and it's their City Radiance foundation. Incredibly lightweight, but beautiful in application, scent and looks, it's by far my favourite lightweight number to pop on when I don't plan on being out for long. It's not a high-coverage foundation, but it's a happy medium with the right concealer. I've also kept the Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude foundation, a very silky, liquidy one that, again, isn't the most full in coverage but is really nice to apply and feels pleasant and light on the skin. A good primer and concealer will help it to looks its best, but I enjoy it as a lightweight product.

What else is left? After this, I've held onto a mix of CC and BB creams. The Bourjois 123 Perfection CC Cream is an old favourite of mine that I've actually forgotten about. It was one of those products I used to wear to work all the time, and then for some reason - a change in mood or a shiny new product, perhaps - I forgot all about it. I should really throw this one out, as I'm pretty sure it's way past expiry, but it still swatches and applies well, and I don't seem to have much of it left so I'm going to try and use it up and remember how much I enjoyed it - then maybe I'll purchase a new one. Next is the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream, another lightweight and dewy product. It's one of my favourites for the summer and is a product I bought specifically for being on holiday and out-and-about during the summer months. It's in a darker shade than I'd normally buy so it matches the tan I often acquire in the heat, and it feels like skin. Last but not least, I'm still holding onto the BeautyUK Matte FX Foundation. It doesn't feel or apply like a foundation, and is more of a light coverage, but it's not dewy, nor is it cakey, so it's a nice little number for the days where I don't want a glow but also don't want a thick coverage. It's a velvety kind of matte, and it applies lovely and smooth and sits well on the skin - you can trust me, my skin is dry and often doesn't work with matte products!

So, what didn't make the cut? I passed my MAC Face & Body onto my mum, as she can get away with the same shade as me in it, and as much as I enjoy it as a lightweight option, I can't actually remember the last time that I wore it. It's definitely been too long to justify keeping it. My free sample of Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24hr Foundation was binned because I was matched to a shade much too pink-toned, and because I can't stand the smell. I'm not someone who's sensitive to fragrance in my beauty products, but I really can't tolerate the overpowering perfume, even if it does disappear a little while after application. Whilst I actually really enjoyed the Morning Baby! BB Cream by Miss Sporty, I barely ever reached for it so I put this in the pile to giveaway. Also kicked to the curb was the Miss Sporty Mission Correction 3-in-1 Foundation - a good product, but I eventually got a bit fed up of the scent and honestly, I relied a lot on my staple foundations that I just didn't have enough time for this, and it's the same story with the MUA Skin Define Hydro Foundation. I loved my H&M BB Cream but it's about three years old now and seems to constantly leak from the nib so the cap is constantly a foundation-filled mess, and I got rid of the Maybelline Fit Me! Anti-Shine Foundation Stick simply because the colour match was a little off and it looked a tad too orange on me. It's a shame because I think the formula is great - I'm not often one for those stick formulas, but this one was creamy and easy to blend, so I'm pretty gutted that the colour just wasn't working for me. I'd have gotten a ton of use out of it if it had been a better match.

CONCEALER & CORRECTOR


STARTED WITH: 14
FINISHED WITH: 8

I also had too many concealers because I'm one of those people who's constantly chopping and changing their mind on which is their favourite, and I search often for my wonder product. Although I'm subject to changing my mind a lot, there are a couple of favourites of mine that I knew weren't going anywhere. Ever. To kick off with, the 17 Stay Time concealer is by far one of the best products I've ever bought. It's not as thick and creamy as the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer, another favourite I've kept, but it works just as well as hiding undereye circles and blemishes, and lasts just as long. The Pixi Colour Concentrate in Brightening Peach is a godsend when my eyes are really blue/purple underneath so there was no chance of me giving this pot of goodness up, and I've hung onto my Maybelline The Eraser concealer - I actually have this in two shades, one is darker to match my summer tan and BB cream, and the other is my lighter, A/W shade. A decent all-rounder, I find this best to work under the eyes and around the nose and mouth, and I'd use an alternative concealer on the tip of my nose (where I have a lot of redness and discolouration) and on blemishes.

What else is left? The Miss Sporty Perfect Stay concealer still has a home as I find this to be an amazing budget concealer. It works great under the eyes and on discolouration and blemishes, so it's a brilliant all-rounder and lasts your average workday. It's also a brilliant travel companion as the tube is small and narrow. I've decided to keep Rimmel's Wake Me Up concealer, one that I wasn't a big fan of when I first got due to it's lack of coverage, but I've actually been really enjoying using this to brighten and cover the undereyes, and I think it works well to add a small, thin layer of coverage in places like around the nostrils and mouth. It's got quite a dewy finish so gives a fresh-faced feel and look. Lastly, my 17 Phwoarr Paint is getting kept too. I go through phases where I love this as a concealer and phases where I don't, but I think I've found its true calling in using it with a small flat brush to conceal and brighten around my brows, where it covers my discolouration and stays put. I don't have any textured skin issues here so it can't cling to dry patches or blemishes and blends away well.

So, what didn't make the cut? Straight into the bin went my NYX HD Concealer, a product I bought long before NYX hit Boots, and was only sold through their UK website at the time. It's definitely a decent product, similar to Collection's concealer wand, but the shade is far too pale for me and I've owned it for too long to even bother using it up. It's look a bit messy in the tube, so it had to go. The BeautyUK Conceal & Correct also went, simply because the shade was a bit off. I can't tell what about the colour puts me off, but I think it may be too pink for me and I can't blend the tone away - shame, because I actually really enjoyed the formula. I binned the 'Highlighter' stick I got as part of the Primark Contour Crayon set, it was definitely more of a concealer coloured product than highlight, and I never actually used it, so into the bin it went. I chucked my Topshop Brighten pen, a product I used to love but now have no need for since I bought the Pixi colour corrector, and I also let go of my Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer, only for the fact that it's 3-4 years old and all gross and messy at the top. I plan on repurchasing this one after I use up one of my other concealers as it's a brilliant all-rounder. Last but not least, I owned a second Collection Lasting Perfection in shade 3 Warm because in the summer 1 Fair is too light for me, but Warm is too orange/dark and they're very difficult to mix together given how thick the consistency is, so I've given up and passed this one over to my mum who can work with this shade.


POWDER


STARTED WITH: 8
FINISHED WITH: 6

Powders are powders, and I don't find one to be more special than the other. That said, I often repurchase the same ones, and, upon looking at my collection, I found there were only a couple I didn't use. I'll forever repurchase the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, as it's one I've been using since I was a teenager and it's still one of the most affordable and most effective on the market. I have two of these at the moment, one opened but not actually used, and one opened and in the process of being used. I've also hit pan on my Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder and plan to use it up over the next few weeks. I love this powder as it's so finely milled and it makes it feel a little silkier, smoother and more luxurious on the skin than my other purchases - there's a good chance I'll be buying this again once it's gone.

What else is left? The NYC Smooth Skin Loose Powder in Transparent is still my favourite loose powder that I've ever tried. It's a little messy and I wish the packaging was a little less clunky and clumsy, but at the same time, the amount of product you get for the price is pretty damn good. I don't often break out the loose powders, but when I do, this is my go-to. Also staying is the MUA Pro-Base Matte Satin Pressed Powder. I didn't like this when I first got it because it seems to have a slight shimmer to it when I looked at it under flurouscent lights, but nowadays I enjoy it. It's not heavy or cakey, and the soft, silky texture reminds me a little of the Revlon Nearly Naked powder. Lastly is the Physician's Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Powder, an adorable pink compact that has hearts embossed onto the actual product with a mix of skin tones, a lighter shade and one single heart of a pink blush - this actually started in a skin tone and wore away to reveal the pink underneath, it was very cool and unique! I don't use blush so I avoid the pink, but the rest makes for a beautiful, lightweight powder.

So, what didn't make the cut? The Natural Collection Loose Powder is getting booted because, as I said before, I'm not all that keen on loose powder. It's definitely a good product, it's not quite the NYC Smooth Skin powder but for £1.99 you can't go wrong - I just feel like it isn't necessary in my collection. I'm also dropping the ELF Studio HD Powder. I only ever use it on costume looks to set white face paint or make my skintone appear paler, like I did in my Harley Quinn tutorial (HERE), so I don't feel it's worth keeping and I'm overall not particularly keen on it.

CONTOUR & BRONZE


STARTED WITH: 14
FINISHED WITH: 8

I'm constantly hunting for my perfect contour, and I'm very picky with bronzers too. I have quite a few favourites, but my drawer was bursting and sometimes I couldn't pull it open as it was too full, so it was time to be ruthless. I have a couple of favourites, with the first being the Collection Highlight & Sculpt Contour Kit that comes with a beautiful, shimmery highlight and the most perfect, ashy brown to add some striking definition to the face. I'm also a big fan of both the Primark PS Contour Kit and the Barry M Flawless Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit - both come in a similar rectangular layout and contain a bronzing shade, a contouring shade, and a highlight shade. I'm constantly changing my mind about which of the two is my favourite, although currently it's the Barry M one. My favourite bronzers come in the form of the Catrice Cosmetics Sun Glow Shimmering Bronzing Powder which adds a slight shimmer to the skin as well as a bit of colour - it's more of a subtle and buildable one, so it's great for novices. I'm also a big fan of the ELF Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzer (shade St Lucia) as the bronze shade is a little darker than most of my others and gives a healthy glow when applied with a massive fluffy brush.

What else is left? I go through phases of enjoying and then forgetting about the 17 Define & Conquer Contour Kit. I don't particularly use the light powder, but I do like the contour shade. I feel it is a little warm for a contour, but it's a pretty decent buy and I'm determined to finish it, even if I don't necessarily repurchase it at the end. Also being kept is the Bronze & Sculpt Contour Kit by MUA. The highlighter gives a stunning glow to the skin, while the contour looks more warm-toned in the pan than it translates to the skin. It was one of the first contour kits I got (if not THE first) and I loved it for months until I discovered the Collection one. I'm also keeping the Freedom SFX Ghost Stories Kit which contains white, grey and black cream and powder face paints, so it's a great one for Halloween and costume looks. Because you get so many colours in one palette, I think it's great as I don't have loads of face paints etc just lying around, and I prefer to have this instead of face paints anyway.

So, what didn't make the cut? I passed my Bourjois chocolate bronzer over to my mum, who doesn't use bronzer but says she'll probably give it away to a friend. There's nothing wrong with this one but it's a little too light for me and takes a while to build up. The H&M bronzer I've had for forever is getting the boot but it's actually going into a drawer of makeup that I'm keeping because it's photogenic. My Chocolate Desire bronzer by I Heart Makeup is alright but I basically never use it so it's time to go. I used to love my W7 Honolulu bronzer but it's another one that lies forgotten about, and the Miss Sporty Ohh! Tan So Fine bronzer isn't particularly pigmented so I feel it's pointless to keep as it's mediocre at best. I parted ways with my NYC Smooth Skin bronzer in Sunny - I actually used to really enjoy this but I'm pretty sure I didn't use it all in 2016.

HIGHLIGHT


STARTED WITH: 19
FINISHED WITH: 11

If you couldn't tell by the fact that I started out with 19 highlighters before my clear out, I'm a little bit obsessed with that glow everyone's always looking for. I own so many beautiful highlighters, and honestly there was only one I knew I disliked, but so many of them are so similar that it was totally pointless to keep them all. Jeffree Star's Skin Frost in Lavender Snow was a sure fire keep - it's the only lilac highlighter I own and the product itself is beautiful. I've gotten a lot of use out of it since I received it for Christmas! I'm also keeping my mitts on the stunning Kat Von D Thunderstruck Metal Crush eyeshadow as it makes the most beautiful white-golden highlight and is currently my most used one along with Lavender Snow. The Hocus Focus Illuminator by Soap & Glory looks incredible mixed in with foundation or used beneath a powder - I particularly love it with the aforementioned KVD product, and I'm keeping my Freedom Pro Highlight palette for sure because the creams give a magnificent glow and it's such a travel-friendly palette.

What else is left? My favourite Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Peach Lights remains as it's a fall-back product for me and a stunning, multi-dimensional product. I also enjoy the shade Rose Gold, and whilst it's a bit too red for a highlight on me, it doubles as a great eyeshadow and also looks gorgeous in photos as a prop. Barry M's Light Me Up! Liquid Highlight was a favourite from 2015, and while I use it a little less nowadays - reaching for powders more often -, it's still an absolute pleasure to own and wear. Technic's Get Gorgeous is one of my favourite bargain products as it leaves an eye-catching champagne glow to the skin, and I'm also still a huge fan of the Barry M Illuminating Strobe Cream as it's great for adding a glow when you're in a hurry or on the move, and also works well as a base for a powder. Same thing applies to the MUA Luxe Highlight Shimmer Stick.

So, what didn't make the cut? Whilst I really enjoy it, I've decided to pass my Primark PS Strobing Kit onto my mum as I think she'd get better use out of it now than I do. I think it's a great product, especially for those who are a little more shy with their highlight and it's awesome for newbies who don't want to go overboard, but I have similar shades already in the Freedom palette and whatnot, so I think it'll get more love with her. The Collection Gorgeous Glow Blush Brick is now in her hands - I contemplated using it for eyeshadows but they all end up looking the same. With a light enough hand this can work as a highlight, but I do enjoy piling it on and this ends up just being a blush. I never got into the MUA Strobe & Glow Highlight Kit so I've gifted her this too, and she's also been given the George @ Asda Highlight & Define cream highlighter. It's a stunning cream product that comes in a lip-gloss style tube, and it looks amazing on the skin, but it doesn't look all that different from my other cream and liquid products to justify me keeping it. I've also given mum the Collection Speedy Highlight Stick as I reach for my Barry M offering far more now than I do my Collection one, and the W7 In the Night Glow - it's a stunning highlight but looks very similar on to my Technic High Lights. Speaking of which, I've decided to leave this one at Jack's since I don't particularly need it at home but it's one of my favourite highlights so I don't want to get rid of it, and I've also left there my Natural Collection Highlight Stick - it's so shimmery and catches the light which I love, but it often goes neglected in my collection at home. Booted completely is my Rimmel Wake Me Up Instant Radiance Shimmer Touch in Shimmering Sands, which I got a few years ago from the likes of Fragrance Direct. I just don't think this is a very good highlighter, and it's not a thin enough consistency to be mixing with foundation so I've long since given up with this, it was just collecting dust.

That's it for this post - if you made it to the end, thank you for reading! I'm pretty chuffed with how much I've cut down on my makeup stash and how ruthless I've been, and I wish I'd recorded it to make it easier to explain everything to you, but I'll do a makeup collection video at some point! What do you think of a 'makeup declutter: how-to' post? Let me know in the comments!

When was the last time you cleared out your stash? Are you guilty of hoarding products you don't use?

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