Welcome to Towards Simplicity. I blog my goals, especially my reading and studies, and my ongoing downscaling and using up of material stuff and working towards a more minimalist lifestyle.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Sorting out cosmetics

Hi!  Inspired by the current YouTuber idea of a 'Make up inventory', (which was started by a blogger named Christine who was sick of hoarding make-up and went on a conscientious collection reduction programme with these results), I thought I'd do a photo post on the same topic.  I don't make YouTube vids as I don't have a suitable camera and can't imagine people would be interested in watching them, so I can't do the vid as a few ladies have been doing.  This will have to suffice as the blogging nearest equivalent in a few ways.

The idea of the inventory was to count up how many products in each type one had and then try to create a list of a more reasonable sized collection.  Now I'm not going to do that for a few reasons, but the main one is that my collection isn't that huge and I'm not planning on drastic reduction, just trying not to accumulate more and use up/clear out some of the things I already own.

This is my current entire collection in these photos.  It includes the few products I fished out of my handbag make up purse as well.  I recently sold four more of these big 88 palettes on e-bay (as well as several more things before that), threw out about a dozen items that were too old and had an Instagram make-up give-away for my friends (cleared out around 20 items of all sizes there), so I've already downscaled somewhat.  I possibly own 50-60% of the total amount owned in the last 5 years.  What I mean by that is stuff I had before and also things I've bought during that time.  Sadly, I never took a photo of my collection at its zenith.

The most problematic area for me has been eyeshadows, which I love. I worked out that I had about 700 shades altogether (given that I had six 88 palettes = 528!). I've already shifted more than 400 shades and another 188 are poised to go, leaving me with a manageable collection of just under one hundred. I just counted 97. That feels much more reasonable even though the actual quantity of items lost is disproportionately low when compared to the number of colours.




(There are four bottles of essential oils in the centre of this shot.)

I've loved make up for the past 30 years (you can even see two eye palettes in the header photo!) and, although I've never owned even a third of the quantity some of the YouTube make up gurus do right now, I've been through a lot of products, giving away and selling dozens of items.

These are the products I want to use up as soon as I can.  There are others I'll use up but, as they'll be replaced in kind (tinted moisturiser etc), they don't count in the downscale.


At least three are almost gone and about three more are around half used up.  I suspect I will bin one of the mascaras as I'm not impressed with it (falls and gives the panda eyes effect too much) and the two Hard Candy lip palettes taste vile and always have.  Not gone off vile, just horrible chemical taste vile.  I'll give them a chance with a coat of clear gloss on top, but I doubt they'll make it.  (They didn't.  I threw them out the very next day!  They seemed even worse, so I expect chemical vile now has gone vile added to it.  They're in the bin.)

There are a few more items that it would be good to use up, but they're favourites and one I can't get anymore.  Still, to be sensible about it, I may as well use and enjoy it now, rather than find I end up having to throw it out as it went off whilst I was 'saving' it.  Frankly, you can always find something similar enough to pass later on, even if it's not 100% the same.  So, I should add in one or two more lip glosses and a blusher.  There are no eye shadows I want to use up.


The two other 88 palettes I think I'll give away, ditto an 8 colour eye set and a quad I can sell on e-bay as it's Clarins and will probably go OK.

Apart from using up lip colours etc, I don't expect to really downscale much more as I'm OK with a collection the size it will be soon.  I like plenty of eye colours to choose from as I don't go much for the nude look, so one or two naturals palettes just wouldn't work for me.  I may do some de-potting, if I can find a suitable container, but I'll look into that more later on.  I don't live in the US, so the things I've seen on YouTube may not be available to me here in the UK.

I'm also working through my perfumes and, with the exception of the three larger bottles on the far right which are my hubby's, these are the things I'm aiming to work through this year.  Many are almost gone again, so I should be able to get through quite a few.  There are more in the green bag here, so it'll be some time before I need to buy anything.


We may be moving some time in the middle of this year, so the less stuff I have then, the better.  I'm also downscaling my precious book collection by selling some on Amazon and planning donations to the library and to friends when the time comes.  Gaps are already appearing on shelves as things go out.

Then we come to my embroidery thread collection!  I doubt I'll need to downscale that, but in case I do, I have a plan.  I know that I'd keep my stranded cottons, the basics in pearl cottons and coton √† broder (white, off white, ecru and black in all gauges), and a few all purpose metallics, but the rest are less clear cut.  So, I've started keeping a record of which other threads I use and whether they're for proper projects, or just trialling.  I expect most of my silks and rayons would go as well as many variegated threads and colours in pearl etc.  I'll see what I really use.

Any ideas for any of this, please share!

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2015

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