Something that comes with beauty blogging/vlogging for half a decade is an accumulation of excess product. Between purchasing things for posts, receiving PR samples, and just buying things ’cause I like ’em, the stash steadily grows over time. My collection has felt especially overcrowded and cluttered lately, so I’m doing a giant product purge to clear out the old and refresh the new.
First up: my lip drawers. For starters, the rest of my collection is not at this level of hoarding, I swear. It is legitimately embarrassing how many lip products are in my possession. Somewhere along the line my lip drawer became a black hole for products, and instead of clearing old ones out, I just kept dumping new ones in. There are some products in my lip drawer that I literally bought the summer I started my YouTube channel… FIVE. YEARS. AGO. And while I haven’t used those products for a while, they are still sitting in there, taking up space, and hiding the products that are still good from sight. It’s like a junk drawer: once things are too chaotic and messy, you avoid even opening it unless you have to. That needed to change.
I’ve been using two drawers for storage, and my goal was to downsize to just one. The before photos:
I dumped out all of the products on my floor and began sorting. The majority of products I needed to toss were in the 2-5 year age range and just plain old. When it comes to expiration dates, I’m more concerned about lip glosses because the wand-tube packaging harbors bacteria. Everyone says to toss them after a year, which I try to stick to, but if it’s one of my favorites and it doesn’t look/smell/apply any differently, I’m not going to nix it right when it hits the 365 day mark (I’m looking at you, Chanel Jalousie). Lipstick is longer lasting, considering you can cut off the top and wipe it clean. I kept all of this in mind while sorting.
Into the toss pile went the majority of my Revlon lipstick collection, which made me a bit sad. I love Revlon lipsticks, but I purchased most of mine almost 4 years ago, and many of the sticks have dried out significantly. Most of my MAC lipglasses were 3+ years old and totally chunky and separated- eww, toss!
After a general “this is way too old” sweep through the pile, I began sorting in “heats”. I started with color categories: pinky mauves, bright reds, nudes, etc. For each category, I swatched every color on my arm, noting the formula, texture, and shade. I then began finding dupes and eliminating them (older product usually lost), and just generally asking myself: do I like this color? Is it something that still fits my makeup style and personality? There were several colors that I remembered really loving, but swatched on my arm and thought, “Oh hell no!” Frosty lipsticks? TOSS! It’s funny how your preferences change over the years. For colors I was unsure of, I lip-tested to make my decision.
After I went through all of the color ranges, I re-gathered the “yes” products and went through the process all over again with different categories: sheer lip colors, jumbo balms, etc.
After several hours, I was finally finished and felt pretty good about both my “keep” and “toss” piles. You can probably see a ton of products in my toss pile that I’ve raved about, and to be clear, the majority of these products are being tossed because they are expired, not because I don’t like them anymore. There are also some that are from a product line I love (ex: CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Balms, Tarte lipsticks), but the particular shade isn’t something that worked out for me (or I have dupes) and I would rather give it to a friend who would use it more. I’m sad that there are a handful of Revlon Lip Butters in this pile… I love them so much but at three years old they were just NOT looking good or sanitary anymore.
Unfortunately, used lip products are not usually eligible for donation (for the obvious sanitary reasons), so unlike the rest of my purge, this portion will not be going to a local women’s shelter. None of the MAC products are actually being tossed, as they are all eligible for the Back 2 MAC recycling program. The final “toss” pile:
Here is the updated, reorganized lip drawer… I achieved my goal! My total number of purged items is 80. EIGHTY. Out of 185 items to begin with (omg, I know…), this is roughly 43% of my lip product collection. I cut it nearly in half! While this is still a very large amount of products, it is significantly reduced, and the remaining items are on probation: if I check back in 6-8 months and it hasn’t been used, it’s finding a new home!
Phew! This is definitely going to be the most extreme area of my makeup purge process, so I’m glad to be done with it, and I even rediscovered some really great products in the process. Do you ever “purge” your makeup stash? What are your tips and tricks for deciding when it’s time to let something go?
Check out the other posts in my Purge series!