Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring Cleaning and New Makeup Strategies

Like most people at this time of the year, I'm busy spring cleaning. I'm a hoarder by nature, and culling is a really difficult process. Books, clothes, nail polish -- my bedroom is a museum of contemporary excess. But as much as I enjoyed the hunt to acquire such items, I'm a flighty lover and an even poorer curator. There's also a good chance that I'm moving into a much smaller space by the end of this year, so I'm beginning the painful process of removal in stages. I'm currently at Stage 1, which is the immediate dumping of things I don't want. Anything that's too old and not fit for selling, giving away or donating is in the garbage. Stage 2 is for dealing with things that give me a pause, as I don't want to be overly reckless and end up in that horrible land called Regret. (Seriously, don't ever go there. Awful place.)

Naturally, I came to several decisions about my makeup strategy for the next stage of the... er, journey (*wide arm gestures toward... eternity*). I've long come to terms with the fact that this rinse and repeat cycle is forevermore. I don't want to be a pure minimalist, and I'm going to both love and let go of many things as I plod along in life. In the past I spent many hours mentally punching myself in the face for "wasting money" and being "fickle," but the other day, I watched my mom try to drink a smoothie that was way past freshness and had a "come to" moment. Okay, waste is bad. But no need to make ourselves sick over what's already done. BOOM.


Image Source

(Isn't that picture truly inspiring??)


Eye Shadow

Before: Loved neutrals, large palettes, mix of mattes + shimmers, all-over shades. I harboured a particular weaknesses for creams and hybrid textures although I didn't indulge much.

Now: Still love all those things, but I'm a low maintenance shadow gal on the regular. I don't do complicated smoked out eyes and rarely blend more than two shades. This doesn't justify the amount of eye shadows I have managed to amass.

Goal: Live shadow-free for a year and focus on mastering eyelining. My lids have to be makeup-free anyway if I want to continue to wear the double-sided eyelid tapes for monolids. I've already given away a lot of solo shades and will put up others in a blog sale, to be held shortly.


Eyeliner

I have very obvious asymmetrical eyes that seem to be becoming more asymmetrical as time passes. It seriously bothers me, and I avoided eyeliners forever because it only accentuates the problem. Now that I'm using the double-sided lid tape for the "smaller" eye, the difference isn't as dramatic and I'm slowly getting into lining the eyes, concentrating mostly on the lash line using simple black or brown shades.


Goal: WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS. Advance to liquid and colourful liners.


Lip Colour

I don't like hoarding lip glosses because they expire quickly. I also dislike overly shiny finishes lately, although I preferred them in the past because they felt more hydrating on chronically dry lips. Now? I like good old traditional lipsticks, brighter pinks, corals and reds, and I adore a good matte formula. Creamy liquid lipsticks are my second favourite option. I also discovered that I detest splaying lip brushes in gloss tubes, like the Diors, although I like the formula and colours. Because I don't like the applicator, I find myself never using them.

Goal for lipsticks: Next level up! Thinking that it's time to tackle MAC Impassioned.

Goal for glosses: Many have been given away already. Be very particular about future purchases.


Bronzer

I managed to downsize my bronzer collection down to just two, then finally just one. Then it grew again to two recently, and now I'm on the hunt for a third to add that slightly sunburnt illusion, rather than to add glow or contour. Perhaps a matte reddish tone, rather than the yellowy golden browns that are popular? Or, would an earthy shade of blush do just as well? Thoughts?


Goal: Slightly confused and require a lot of testing at counters. But I am definitely going to choose function over form. This is a rough one for the season, as every brand is promoting beautifully embossed bronzy things.)


Highlighter

I have 3-4 that serve my purposes perfectly well. Don't need any more.

Goal: Might get rid of one or two.


Blush

The sky is the limit!


Goal: The sky is the limit! When I die, my blush collection is coming with me. Seriously. HANDS OFF.


Foundation

Small changes in my skin condition convinced me I could try meltier foundations again. I was wrong. Currently standing at two BB creams, three CC creams and five foundations. None of them seem quite right for the moment, in terms of shade, coverage, finish.


Goal: Find one summer foundation that matches my tanned face and look for proper formulation for my skin type, not falling for marketing hypes and brand prestige. Get rid of the most unsuitable 2-3 bases.


Mattifying/Setting Powder

No loose powders. No loose powders. NO LOOSE POWDERS.

Erm. *longing glances at Laura Mercier*


Goal: Stop fussing around with subpar drugstore offerings. Go back to MAC Blot or something convenient and call it a day already. Get two shades (winter and summer) and blend the two during transition seasons.


Finishing/Illuminating Powder

It's a new obsession. It began with the Hourglass Ambient Lights, fueled by Clarins Opalescence, and now I can't seem to stop looking at them, including BB and CC powders.


Goal: Not quite sure about this one. I want to say no more powders, but I don't want to restrict myself if something amazing debuts this year. Wah wah.


Nail Polish

Before.

I still enjoy a good manicure, but gone are the days of keeping up with endless tides of new launches and looking for dupes. I feel as if I've given away BOXES of polish and yet there are still three full shoeboxes. I'm keeping two but the third must go.

Goal: Get rid of the third box and keep to the two. Future purchases will invoke the dreaded one-in-one-out rule.
 
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I'm not listing anything else because I don't care enough about those things or they've become irrelevant due to the new goals. (No need for eye primers because of the no shadows business. I rarely buy mascaras. Etc.) Unlike previous plans, I feel like all this is very reasonable and totally doable. It helps that I already started the process and am halfway through most of the goals already. Already the room and counters are looking much neater. It's a good feeling.

44 comments:

  1. Hooray! I love a good spring clean xx

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  2. Great post! My boyfriend will soon be moving into my one bedroom apartment so I need to find places for all my prized beauty possessions as well. Try the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner for your eyes, it's a splurge but I keep going back to it and it lasts way longer than drugstore versions :)

    Jessie
    www.bethechic.blogspot.com

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    1. Tell him not to bring any toiletries, lol.

      I went for UD instead of KVD but I think that I'll take your rec and switch. Thanks!

      (Please mind the link policy!)

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  3. Yes to MAC Impassioned! Such a gorgeous shade and so much more wearable than it looks in the tube. Also thank goodness you aren't letting anyone near your blush stash.

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    1. I LOLed for real when your comment came through. I like that other people are now invested in my blush stash's permanence.

      Everyone is giving me thumbs up for Impassioned. I'll have to swatch and compare to Candy Yum Yum and Pink Pigeon, but it's probably a go!

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  4. This is a master plan! So organized and detailed, which sure sounds very doable.
    I only have a vague overall goal, mainly wanting to reduce. Nowadays I try to get different colors if I like the formula rather than keep trying the newest things. Sorting through my stash really helps, too. I just realize I have all the dupes for the new Marc Jacobs nail color offerings in my stash, for example. I'd say it is a breakthrough! :)

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    1. I took some time to think about it instead of impulsively pounding out random rules. As Gummy pointed out in a recent post, I think going shopping also makes me feel full and want to cut back. And I used to have this hang-up about having cheaper dupes of higher end things, but that's no longer the case anymore.

      I want to see your nail polish collection, lady!

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  5. Very detailed! I wish was this goal oriented LOL. I just chuck things. I'm with you on the eyeshadows though-I barely wear them anymore. But for some strange reason I'm still longing for the NARSissist palette WTF.

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    1. I chucked a bunch of things this month - you'd be proud!

      The NARS palette is a good one. If you had it, you'd stop looking at the rest of their shadows forevermore. :)

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  6. I just picked size lip products that I almost never use or dislike using and decided I'm going to see if my friends want them (if not, into the bin they go)! Seriously, it's so hard for me to let go of makeup I bought because I feel so guilty about wasting money.... Props to you for being so controlled and being able to sell off your unused products! Good luck with the eyeliner mission :) Eyeliner is especially fun to wear in the summer because it's too hot to wear loads of eyeshadow and whatnot!

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    1. I actually find eyeliner hard to wear in the summer because it melts off a lot even during winter. But other people seem to deal with it fine, so I'm trying to learn. :)

      Good luck finding new homes for your lippies!

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  7. Clean ALL the things!!!! LOLOL love that and love this post!!! Wonderful that you are allowing yourself one category that's not to be edited, but for it to flourish and enjoy forEVER :-) I hear you on the loose powders. I've gotten rid of all but one, though there are several that have been on my wish list forever. BUT I pretty much never use them anymore, preferring the convenience of a compact (smaller and easier to travel with!). How's the moonlid tape working out?? I've always been really curious about it, but never actually knew anyone that tried it. Editing is so tough sometimes, but sounds like you've got some very realistic goals! woooo!

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    1. Haha, yes! :D

      The tapes are pretty good but not strong enough to hold a heavy crease. I can only make little ones, and if I'm not careful with the application, the tapes lose the stickiness and the lid starts to droop, making it obvious. I'm going to do a post on it since a few people expressed curiosity about them.

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  8. Good for you for being so disciplined! I am pretty careful about what I buy these days so it's not too often I get something I regret, but I have still managed to amass a small box full of stuff I rarely ever use. I need to do a blog sale too and get of them.

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    1. Thanks, Louise! I've been feeling experimental, so there were plenty of mistakes, but as long as we learn, right? You'll have to rein me in when we hit Pacific Mall. ;)

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  9. Back to your reductionista roots, I see! All sound like good goals, although going eyeshadow-free sounds totally crazy to me, as I am a little bit of an eyeshadow addict (although my one true love is lipstick). But good luck :)

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    1. Hehe, sort of a return although not a full one. I'm not getting rid of all my shadows because I still use them for setting pencil liners and know that I'd want them again in a year. Products with wide ranges of colours are so easy to accrue - both shadows and lipsticks. I'm just not that keen on trying to wear green shadows and such anymore. Maybe later. :)

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  10. I think "journey" is a good word! Fits in with your goals and the "level up/down" concept.

    I sold my Hourglass lighting powder because I felt like it was emphasizing my pores, but I've been using new skincare that seems to be dealing to that a lot better, so now I'm wondering about the palette... so glad it's become permanent! It's not in stores here yet though :(

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    1. I've always used journey to detail my progress but it was starting to feel overused and sentimental. Thanks for catching that - I didn't realize I was tying it in with level up/down. You smartypants!

      I think my pores are forever wide open and doing their best to get clogged, so I just pay them no mind. I like the Ambients because they're much more subtle and fine compared to other things on the market. Not really a must-have for anyone unless you're obsessed with complexion enhancing.

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  11. Love this post!!! Since I "restarted" to purchase makeup only last year I don't really have anything to get rid of atm but I know what I don't need so I steer clear. Laura Mercier loose powder... step away, it ain't all that, I got one and never use it because I find it too coarse. In all honesty I liked Clinique better. For that sun burnt effect you're right, the proper shade of blushes will work for that and I get the feeling you may find what you need in what you already have. :)

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    1. I actually had and loved the Laura Mercier, lol. I got rid of it in a previous blog sale when I was going through a hard time, but I always regretted getting rid of it. Hence the longing stares. ;) I'll check out Clinique though - I've sort of been meaning to try that yellow powder for cancelling out redness.

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  12. these are great goals liz. lol about the blush. also for the reddish bronzer try becca's duende? I found it a bit reddish and i didn't want that lol. i can't wait to see the blog sale yay yayay

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    1. I didn't think to check BECCA - have been looking at MAC, Bobbi Brown and Estee Lauder. Thanks for the rec!

      And the blog sale won't be that grand. I tossed and gave away a lot of things, so it's just a few leftovers.

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  13. your makeup musings truly are a fascinating and addictive thing to read, so you know.
    So many things to think about here - I too want to try that LM loose powder, that Ambient palette looks amaaaaazing, and I am impressed at your 3 boxes of polishes which makes me want to give away a few of mine (I sadly have even more than that, gah!)
    I need to throw some glosses, big time, but am totally up for buying shadows and the things from your blog sale, boo yah

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    1. I'm a prime candidate for a psychology study, that's for sure. :>

      I was climbing near 4-5 boxes before realizing that my room was turning into a massive fire hazard. It was either insure the products or start getting rid of them. LOL

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  14. I really enjoyed this post. Call me a creep, but I love reading about the psychological processes behind other people's makeup purchases. It sounds like you and I were both raised by thrifty-to-a-fault mothers, which can really take its toll; I still feel a spasm of guilt whenever I buy a beauty product more expensive than $10, even if I can easily afford it. (That said, I've gotten my mother to start collecting Essie polishes, which I count as a small victory. Before last year, her only nail polish was a sheer pink from c. 2000.)

    I think you and I have directly opposite views on lipstick and eyeshadow right now! I've amassed more lipsticks than I'll ever finish, but my eyeshadow collection is tiny (hence the constant appearances of NARS Lhasa and Habanera on my blog), so it's "onward and upward" for all kinds of eyeshadows. Which is very exciting.

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    1. We're both total creeps then. :) Reviews are helpful and all, but I always find the voice and personality behind the choices more fascinating than the objects, which is why I love your blog. I've been doing less musings and more reviews for some reason lately, but I want to mix it up again like before.

      I got over the guilt issue only a year ago, but even now, I still feel a pang at the oddest moments. But then I think of things like the smoothie incident and want to just start enjoying nice things without constantly trying to salvage as if we're in pure survival mode. I don't know about your mom, but my parents are post-war babies who grew up with that mentality and it wasn't until recently that I realized how deeply ingrained that was also in all of us (my 3 siblings and me). Despite all the skimping and saving, my parents never did very well and I think they only suffered for it. It's really difficult trying to change a lifetime of habit and accompanying philosophy, so good for you and your mom for the nail polish breakthrough! I hope she's very happy with her Essie collection. :)

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  15. i love these 'reductionista' related posts. i've been thinking of just how much CRAP i've accumlated and i've started giving away makeup. its just too much! i need to set some goals for myself too.

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    1. It definitely gets worse with a blog and PR samples in the mix. But I was always like this to begin with - flighty and experimental as hell. Friends and family benefit greatly from the frivolity however.

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  16. I decided last year I was going to focus on liners more than shadows too, Liz - I just wear them more; my signature look has been the winged liner flick for the better part of a year. I have slipped a couple times and bought new shadows, but they're all neutrals that can be worn with eyeliner easy-peasy.

    I'm also on the same page as you with respect to lip glosses - I've been wearing them lately only to get rid of the last of some that were nearing their end. But on the whole I'd much rather a matte(ish) bold lipstick to go with my eyeliner :P

    I love that you're going BIG with your blush collection - it's the only area of my stash that I'm much more lenient with too. I have 30 shades and I keep toying with the idea of capping it off there, but then I just can't!! Too many pretties out there still to try.

    (GAH I have so much to comment on, sorry!)

    I've been in the process of trying to keep my polish collection at 100 and also employ the one-in, one-out rule. I think I'm down to 109 from 118 or something and these last few shades are tough. I find it particularly hard to let go of high end shades - though I don't have too many of them that I don't like because I'm more fussy in choosing shades.

    Overall I think this is awesome work Liz and totally achievable. I hope you'll do a follow up post here and there to let us know how it's going?

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    1. Follow-up posts are a good idea! Will keep me in check, too. I'm feeling really good about the no eye shadows thing. It was always the biggest pain in the ass and I was never very good at it. It feels like a relief to let that go. And it gives me an excuse to focus on MY LOVES instead. You've been such a trooper with that nail polish capping biz - you totally deserve at least 10 more blushes in the stash, LOL. (I'm laughing but serious!)

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  17. LMAO @ your blush fiend-ness. We are two peas in a blush pod, my friend.

    I am a hoarder of all things make-up and can't seem to give anything up. (In all fairness, there is only one day a week that I don't wear full face make-up...) But I agree with the glosses. I keep them for swatching/reference purposes but I can't bring myself to use ones that are more than a year old. I found some NARS glosses from FIVE YEARS AGO. OH GOD THE SMELL. This is why I concentrate more on lipstick than lip gloss in general. :P

    I myself am not a huge fan of red-based bronzers as I find they're not as flattering on Asian skintones (they are, however, awesome for dark skintones). They can make skin look ruddy and sunburnt. I say go for a satin golden-toned bronzer.

    Also, the Hourglass Ambient Powder Trio is back. Do you like to use it all over? Or as highlights? I don't need but I JUST WANT IT. Obviously, there is going to be minimal spring cleaning for me...

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    1. Soon, we'll need, like, a blush depot. Lately I can't resist this urge to buy blushes in groups of 2s and 3s.

      I have NARS Wonder that's going on the third year or so and I can tell it needs to be used up quickly. Nothing wrong with it in terms of colour, smell, texture... but I know it's been around for a while and it makes me nervous. Also, whenever a company updates their packaging, suddenly my older version seems just ANCIENT.

      I'll bronzer consult with you on Tuesday when we meet up!

      Re: Hourglass - I use Dim all over to bring some life back into my face after a flat foundation/powder, Incandescent as highlighter (although that's my least fave) and Radiant as a sort of illuminating bronzer (you can focus on the typical sections of the face that get bronzed but it's subtle enough that you can sweep it all over). If you like other Ambients, it's hard to go wrong with this trio. I was hoping they'd come out with a set of different shades together, but it's nice that this is permanent too. I could see myself getting Dim on its own later, if I ever hit pan on this palette.

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  18. LOL at blushes and eye shadows!! Thank goodness I'm not too crazy about highlighters or bronzers or nail polishes at all. I'm a total sucker for blushes, es and lippies though. And for bases, I've been pretty good. I really need to use up at least half of what I own before I'm allowed to even LOOK at other bases >_<

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    1. Yeah, if I had a good routine going with bases or skincare, I probably wouldn't have felt the need to look at other foundations. I think it's also difficult here with the seasons changing. I was the palest of pale when I picked up the Shu Lightbulb, so now the colour is totally wrong. Already my forehead is getting dark while my neck is still pale, because it's sunny but cold and we still need scarves.

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  19. "That's a plan, Stan." as the hubs would always say to a good plan. All the best and it has inspired me to re-look at my empties strategies. I actually met a friend who is a makeup professional and he gave me a huge bunch of new makeup with the parting words of dumping my old makeup, "Gurrrl, it's just makeup!" LOL!

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    1. Hehe. It is, but it's also something we work hard to pick out and purchase, so it warrants some thought before recklessly mass purging. :) Looking forward to seeing your renewed strategies in execution!

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  20. I feel like you need to make a trip down here and organize me!!! My little system of 2 out, 1 in seems to be working at the moment although I'm very ad hoc at actually tossing unfinished things - must be the hoarder in ME, hah!!!

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    1. I think you could probably crack a whip over me instead! You're doing wonderfully. :D

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  21. I like your strategies - it's time i should come up with some too!!

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    1. Only if you need/want to! I think sometimes we get caught up in a purging frenzy as much as a buying one. :)

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  22. AAAAH. Thank you for keeping one category a 'sky is the limit' category. I needed that.

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