Friday, March 16, 2012

Fickle Friday: Shopping Your Own Stash

ZOINKS!

After nearly a year of beauty blogging—a year when I amassed more makeup than I could ever use up on my one face—I find myself becoming almost desensitized to new product launches, collections, and all the pretty little things that spread like wildfire around the blogosphere. I'm not completely immune—I will always love makeup—but I am no longer so easily led over that cliff. A friend who had once been an actor told me that there are only four original story lines in Hollywood, and I often remember that when I think about makeup and The Next Big Thing.  It's already been done. Carry on.

Though formulas and textures will continue to improve, and more and more makeup will contain treatment, there are only so many minky-grey or shimmering petal or rosy red colors designers can come up with. Even if this season's new packaging is beautiful, like Dior's Garden Party clutch compact, don't I already have cool pale pastels just like them in my own stash? And would I ever use such anemic lip gloss? No.

Drool, drool, and more drool. Too bad the formula and finish are awful

In my goal of making more discriminating purchases, I have been paring down in parallel: taking in less new stuff while whittling down what I already have, specifically to the items I tend to use all the time. In a massive purge, I moved more than 90% of my excess to a blog sale drawer, a sale I intended to hold this past Christmas, and yet I still haven't done it. Why am I hanging on? Because I am FICKLE. What if I like that thing again, I whimper. But surely it must feel liberating to let these perfectly-good-yet-abandoned items go to someone who will actually use and appreciate them.

Let's face it. Letting go is hard. I bought said item for a reason, and one would assume that reason is still valid. So I have decided to let my instincts guide me when I am thinking of parting with an item I haven't used in a while (if at all):
  • If I had put the item into the Purgatory Box practically unused, it's safe to let it go. Life is too short for blah makeup. 
  • If I put something away that I got a fair amount of use out of, a product that once did, indeed, wow me, then that is probably worth keeping. Fickle can come in handy here.
The only caveat to the second scenario is I cannot have more than one of it's kind. As in, I need only one pink-tinged ivory base or dusty lavender eyeshadow and only one sheer rose lipstick (oof, that's gonna be hard). No matter how pretty, if I have more than one of a kind, it's really just about the packaging, and since I depot, who cares! La la la  ♪ ♫  Having multiples can be stressful, and being stressed out by makeup is just, well ... pathetic.

Obviously, the best to come out of all of this is shopping my own stash. Sometimes putting things away for a few weeks (or longer) lets me fall in love all over again. So its like getting something new. And that's where a palette system comes in handy. I can move items in and out as the mood strikes me. Sometimes Hannibal helps me choose. (Click to see how cute his wee paw is.)



Are you a ruthless reductionista (buy-use-toss/gift) or do you tuck items aside and later shop your own stash? Or (OK now, be honest), have you ever repurchased something you threw away? More than once?

All photos mine except the Dior palette from stock

34 comments:

  1. Haha...Ashamed to admit it, but yes I have repurchased something that I threw/gave away *blush*...I hate to think about how much money I have wasted on makeup. Just today I was looking at my stash & debating what to get rid of, but it's so darn hard for me to whittle it down :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Naomi, I am certain I have repurchased NARS Gipsy at least three times! Every time I expect it to be the berry shade promised, but on me, it's just a warm red.

      What about putting your excess into a box and slide it out of sight, like under the bed? I do this with my husband's clothes, and if he hasn't missed them (or even asked about them, for that matter, as in "Where did my Viking Kitten tee shirt go?") then I figure it's safe to release. (Hope he doesn't read this.)

      Delete
  2. Bleh, I'm a pack rat. I fear getting purging only to come to discover it was the *perfect* product.

    I have a passionate, love-hate relationship with most of my MU (love: it's fun, girly, cheers me up, transforming; hate: it's a codependent relationship and I hate that, sometimes the whole transformative effect can scare me, it's not me staring back, and I don't like the cost or effort to maintain).

    Yes, many of my blah BB purchases I have bought, given away (my mom has opposite coloring of mine) I have repurchased, and now love BB Sepia, Choc Shimmer Ink, some LM e/l's I've deemed too much to fuss with I've repurchased and now love, along with concealers and foundations (too much effort to keep up with).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mom has opposite coloring, too, so I am sure you know how traumatizing it was to grow up and be dressed by someone who chose colors SHE liked! Oh, sweet Jesus, all the rusts and pumpkins and hunter greens I endured, when inside I am pink! pink! pink! For my 8th birthday she knit me an afghan made in pink squares (like a quilt) and she later told me she wanted to vomit the entire time, lol.

      I should just pile this all into a big box, bring it to work, and stick it in the Ladies room with a FREE sign over it the way a friend does.

      Delete
  3. His paw is adorable. And "anemic lip gloss" made me giggle. It's true, isn't it?

    Lately I've been thinking about this as well. The same things come out over and over again, repackaged and re-promoted. Being on my ban has made me carefully consider every item that I think about buying, and even though I still have a running wishlist, I'm really not that interested in purchasing any of those things at the moment. I'm sitting on my hands, so to speak. I've also been trying to reduce the stash, and that helps me rediscover things. I think I could stand to overhaul some of my products (ditch old/junk items and focus on quality over quantity big time) but it's a slow process. "Reduce" is the word of the year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reduce for me, too, including my flub!

      I recently received an e-mail that I could go to Facebook and vote for MAC to bring back certain eyeshadows, and I almost voted for Moth Brown. But then I came to my senses when I remembered almost ALL browns look like death on me, so a little magic grey dust from a moth's wing ain't gonna cut it.

      Delete
  4. Your cat looks rather shocked at your stash ;)

    I am downsizing my makeup collection. I have too much of everything. I find it much easier to "shop my stash" when it has been a tiny bit less of everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flyavsted, Ivan was shocked at my stash, especially because he knew that was less than half of the stuff I am getting rid of!

      I wish you the best of luck on your downsizing. Sometimes I look at two eyeshadows and I feel like having to choose between two daughters! (Spoken from someone who obviously did not breed!)

      Delete
  5. I have done this too... Swapped something away but wanting it a year later. I guess make up really follows where you are in life? Sometimes I want everything simple, sometimes I want everything glam etc....

    As I get older I buy more expensive luxe products, but fewer items. However, I always fall in love with the new items I bring home!

    I feel as if there are 2 make up voices in my head... One says: Oh Lilly! That BB blush looks the same as the MAC blush... YOU DONT NEED IT!.... And then the other voice says: But if you buy it, you will be happy and you will use it and what if they DC it? Buy it NOW! NOW! NOW!..................

    Its a hard knock life, loving make up ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sing it, sistahwoman. I just bought NARS Desire and then decided I had to have Gaiety. Only Charles Munsell could tell them apart. Doy.

      Oh, and for the record, I have swapped BB Pewter (the Chrome one) THREE times. And at least that many times with Edward Bess Intimate. You think I'd eventually catch on, but I can be expert at fooling myself. The thing that always gets me, is I will swap it away, feel all smug, and then read a review where someone LOVES it and suddenly I will feel like I am missing out. Story of my life.

      Delete
  6. Is it bad that my eyes went all googly when I read the words "blog sale"?
    That was SO not the intention of your post. tee hee!

    Back to the topic at hand -- Though my collection is modest, I do cull it and put up everything I know isn't suitable for me up for swap. It's surprising how quickly that list grows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but don't you then take back in something from teh swap? THAT was my problem with swapping; I wasn't lightening my load, lol.

      As for blog sale, I am forcing myself to do taxes first, so there should be something big, no HYOOUUUUGE coming shortly after mid April. My plan is to get everyone to spend their tax refund on meeeeeeeeee. Actually, I am planning to donate $ from my next blog sale to the local no-kill animal shelter. >^..^<

      Delete
  7. I'm done with shopping for new stuff just like you. I feel exactly the same way you do-desentizied to all the new stuff. It's funny, when it comes to clothes, I'm much more ruthless in removing items I don't wear and donating them. I have no problem with getting rid of shoes either. But makeup is harder for some reason. But this past week, I've hit my limit. I've been going through my stash and removing stuff I don't use. I still have more to go through and plan on doing that this weekend, but I'm already starting to feel liberated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES about the clothes! I have a stack of boxes and bags in my living room that is so large (waiting for the Good Donor truck to swing by on April 7), it looks like we're moving out! Of course, I did a significant amount of weeding out after Mr. Petals and my color analysis, but still. That said, I donated a giant trash bag of J. Crew shoes a few years back that I would give my eye teeth to have back ... so I am not always wise in my decisions.

      Tracy, what will you do with your excess, blog sale? If yes, do not be hurt if I don't buy anything, lol! I used to swap on MUA until I realized I wasn't making any progress! Especially with all those crazy "extras" sent to me, and also some extremely generous swappers (who were probably bloggers like us) who just GAVE me perfectly good, like-new makeup. I amassed a huge Becca collection from one generous swapper. I decided to stop, but I finally had to hide my swap items because people were still contacting me and I was FORCED to look at their lists, yanno. Hee.

      Delete
  8. It KILLS me to throw away makeup! I guess I grew up being told "waste not want not" so I think that maybe someday I'll end up using that . I'm hoping I can find a way of organizing the stash so it's easier to use. Your kitty is too cute btw! His "shocked" expression made my day. =) And speaking of kitties, mine are the reason I cannot store my makeup outside of a closed drawer. The girl one steals my brushes and munches on 'em and the boy one knocks everything off and hides them under the furniture. I find at least a couple long lost lip balms every time I look under the bed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EmmyJean, yes! To this day, I don't know what became of my original Beautyblender sponge. Sometimes I think one of the larger cats ate it! I also have had a few eyeliner pencils with nibbles on them. And anything laying on a flat surface is fair game for being knocked off in kittyland. That is because in their eyes, I live to serve.

      It is hard to throw away makeup! I think when I can identify what it is I am really looking for and/or really holding on to, it will be easier to let go.

      Delete
  9. There are only so many roses, berries and plums out there in the Lipstick Universe. Ditto MLLB mauves. (I'm not a red, peach or coral person.) It doesn't matter which company manufactures them, there are only a few variations in texture, many of which look identical to each other when actually worn. I tell myself this. I know this. I have never worn a lipstick down to a nub in my life. I don't need more. I recently tossed supposed favourites that were seven, eight years old. I have several newer ones that should do the trick for the next couple of years.

    So why am I looking at Dior's new Extreme Lipstick?

    Because I'm a sucker for New! Improved! Moist! Luscious! etc., etc.

    Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Argh, I know! I'm currently watching a forum discussion about Yves Saint Laurent 'Rouge Pur Couture - Vernis a Levres' Glossy Stain (what a mouthful!), and I felt that initial hiccup in my heartbeat. But I reigned myself in. I DO NOT NEED ANOTHER LIPSTICK! I do NOT need a super-duper pigmented lipstick. And I HATE GLOSS! No matter how pretty the packaging. So I WILL NOT CAVE. lol

      I have worn a lipstick down to a nub in the past, but just barely and probably only once. Still, I want to high five myself and claim victory for even that one tiny achievement. Meanwhile, I am this |--| close to imposing a no buy on myself. The sickest part of it all is that I have gone back to my original loves: Px and JI. For all the high-end luxury out there at my disposal, my needs boil down to being really quite simple.

      Delete
  10. "What if I like that thing again?"

    Question for the ages! I haven't yet repurchased something I tossed but I've learned not to say never. :)

    Like fashion and everything else, makeup comes back in revamped forms and I'm pretty sure I will like something later that I've abhorred in the past. But if I haven't used something in 2-3 years, it's a sure sign that I'm not crazy about it. I've started to give away things and am contemplating a blog sale, but my resistance to blog sale has more to do with the difficulty of admitting regrets rather than the act of parting with the goods. Soon though! Probably. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no problem admitting to regrets, but this:

      "... if I haven't used something in 2-3 years, it's a sure sign that I'm not crazy about it."

      is key and is something I should pay a lot closer attention to.

      When managing a wardrobe, the rule of thumb is if you haven't worn it in a year toss, donate, or repair it. Trends aside, clothes don't have an expiration date, so I should really be more ruthless with my past cosmetics purchases.

      Delete
    2. I meant to add that I have a friend who threw away everything over a year old. And I mean EVERYTHING.

      I don't believe all makeup goes bad when owned by a single user (I have some 5+ year old eyeshadows, which I use regularly and are perfectly fine and some 2+ year old lipsticks), but I now think the age thing will be important to keep in mind when I am in my culling phases. If I haven't used it in a year, out it goes.

      Delete
  11. Hello, I love this post and all of your comments! Thank you for your candor...it's good to know there are others who share similar afflictions. My hunt for the latest/best started a couple of years ago and my only hope is that I like to keep stuff contained in my bathroom vanity but I am reaching its capacity and am getting nervous. My latest tactic is to swatch on my hand before I buy and then go home to compare with what I already have. Often, I find they're not much different and the products tends to lose their aura of being original and wonderful, or I just buy the one that is different instead of all of them. But one has to be brave to endure the snooty sales staff. And it does not help when brands are not available locally; the internet is an enabler, especially late at night when I can't sleep unless I get the ONE I just have to have. And anticipating stuff in the mail is fun, too! I'm lucky that I can give stuff away to my daughter who then gives away stuff she doesn't want to her cousins or dumps. She has no problem throwing away old makeup whereas I keep them until they die a natural smelly death in my vanity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous, my huge upsurge in makeup only started a couple years ago, too. Before that I had a very small and manageable stash that all fit into a tiny basket I kept on top of my vanity. Seriously!

      You know what happened to me? Makeup Alley. It had come up in previous web searches, but I thought it was strictly a swap thing, and I never paid much attention to it. But the day I typed "taupe eyeshadow" into the search field was the end of my makeup chastity.

      Swatching colors and then taking them home is an excellent idea! I might steal it from you. In fact, when I get my makeup down to a reasonable amount, I might think of bringing it with me when I shop, leaving it in the car, of course. So I can outside after I swatch my hand (or paper, if I want to do a lot of it) and compare the colors in natural light, rather than that atrocious lighting in mall stores.

      I do agree that once we give a purchase more rational and discerning consideration, the glow of that new thing diminishes.

      As for Internet shopping, the SINGLE best thing I did for my wallet was to move my laptop to my office. Period. I used to have it near my comfy leather armchair where I read or watched TV, and it was so easy during commercials or when I was, otherwise, feeling a bit bored, to pick up the laptop and shop. I'd even have it going while I was watching non-commercial shows I love. Eric Northman, True Blood's hot vampire could not compete with the new Rouge Bunny Rouge collections, lololol.

      Delete
    2. Hah! What a coincidence. My affliction started with the discovery of MUA while searching the web; the TV and my computer are in the living room; and I shop during commercials and sometimes during programs or when I want to keep my husband company while he watches sports. Thanks for the idea of moving the computer to cut down on shopping...that sounds like a good move for me. And the swatch thing does work; products on the back of your hand in natural light don't look as original as when they are in their beautiful containers. I tracked down 7 different highlighters and went to great lengths to get them from Zuneta and other web stores before I realized that they all pretty much do the same thing to my cheekbones. What a nutcase I have become! But at least a prettier one.

      Delete
  12. as always you seem to read my beauty mind. I have mini stashes all over and surely only i can understand why some makeup goes on the bookshelf, some in the closet, and some in the medicine cabinet! I was sick of this self-induced what-the-f-am-I-really-doing madness and bought a 5 drawer Muji acrylic case a few days ago, and if it can't fit inside it has to go. But what will go inside?! I've been selling on eBay and giving away and I too want to have a blog sale (But ugghh taking pictures and loading them up ) . You mentioned you bought stuff for a reason; but that reason was relative to when you bought it! What was a passing whim or when you caved in to the hot item or fantasized it would work in a way that was not realistic means that reason is probably not valid anymore. You wrote awhile ago that you like when you have less choices because then you are forced to be more creative and use your products in different ways, not to mention, USE the products. What's greater than going on a vacation, etc. and KNOWING what is going in a purse sized makeup bag?!

    i like the idea of your fickle box though, because i have for the later part of a year been in a barely eyeshadow phase. i did a smoky eye last night and felt downright clownish. I prefer kohl and mascara now and a bit of bronzer, but then there might come a time when i'm more comfortable. in the end of all this beauty banter, i think loving how something makes you feel, and holding on to that (if it ain't broke don't experiment) might be the best motto so we can love makeup but get on with it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about not second guessing ourselves and just going with the flow. My current look is a very "clean" eye, as my friend veuve would say, sheer rosy lips, and bright cheeks. That's pretty much it. So all this STUFF feels like it is weighing me down, but the one thing I absolutely must do, while I decide once and for all what to do with it, is to stop taking in new stuff. Period!

      Makeup on the bookshelf?? Heh. I guess it goes where it fits, but that's one area that hadn't occurred to me yet.

      Oh, and I bought a freaking Ikea Alex last summer! The big one. To store my makeup with room to grow. Ugh-oh-rama.

      Delete
    2. so if you had to go away and had 1 hour to pack; would you know what would go in your makeup bag (purse sized!!) i'm getting there. and then there are a few variations i know i like. but at the end of the day if i love what i have i can make it work for me, instead of searching for something, but i don't know what. it does feel like it weighs me down too. i want so much of it gone! but then i go again and make the same fickle mistakes sometimes. and the newness is exciting and then wears off-- like A DRUG! i forced myself to have like 3 polishes a long time ago and it worked flawlessly; a red, a ballet pink and an etc. color . well i'm up to like 30. and i love them all , but i'll never use them and i just think wow, there's like 500$ of nail polish right there, what a loser. we're hoping to move back to france within 2 years, so that's my motivation to minimize!

      Delete
    3. Don't be so hard on yourself, LissaSioux. It's only makeup, and we could certainly have much worse obsessions. Even just making the transition to perfume could be devastating to the wallet. Or leather goods. Or shoes. Or an Hermes obsession!

      And, yes, assuming all loved ones, including pets, were safe, if a fire were to break out, I could grab my makeup bag, laptop, purse, and LaCie Rugged backup disk and be out of the house in less than a minute.

      Now if we were talking about what I'd pack for shoes for a trip .... Ugh. I always overpack there, and Une femme wrote a great article about that very thing just today!

      Delete
  13. You already know I'm a packrat. But I do it all for my blog... yep that's the ticket. I don't do a million comparison pictures like some bloggers do since my memory isn't that good! But every once in a while I hear everyone talking about something that I've stored and I desperately want it again. I'm happy if it's in my stash. I've rarely rebought it though.

    I admire your simplicity but I haven't caught the bug yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right, Marcia, you take one for the team! :^) Plus you are/were a makeup artist, so you have way more reason than I to buy all the lovely new things.

      I think about doing those comparison pictures that I love so much on other blogs, but when I consider the mechanics of doing them, it mentally exhausts me.

      I wouldn't say I have mastered simplicity yet. I am only now just starting to think about it. Maybe it will turn out that I enjoy makeup and all the pretty colors too much and to not stress over it. Just make sure it's always put away so I don't see piles of it on my vanity top. :)

      Delete
  14. Oh, I'd love to shop your blog!! Oh wait, I'm not supposed to buy anything either...isn't it depressing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is! And that, in itself, is depressing, hee.

      Delete
  15. Such a great post Zuzu. I'm late to reply (I have been so bad at commenting the last few months!). I did some purging in December and need to continue to do so. As more comes in, the same amount if not more needs to go. Once I let go of something, I realize I don't actually miss it. It's just taking that first step!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No regrets? :) I've whittled down to actually very little. It may help explain why I haven't been blogging much since last fall. I am finding that as I get older, I am less interested in impact colors, preferring a slightly nicer version of myself without obvious color. Except lips. I still love a colorful mouth, as long as it's in harmony with my tone.

      Delete

I love reading your comments! If you have a specific question or request, please feel free to e-mail me directly. Comments that contain advertising links or shameless plugs will not be published.