How to minimalise beauty products (1/?)

25th April 2019

If you're reading this, then my best guess is that you do NOT find it easy to get rid of the beauty products that you have cluttering up your home. If you do, feel free to still get a good read - you might be able to apply the simple techniques to declutter to something else where you might struggle.

Let me confess something; As a former free-time freelance MUA my room was drowning in products. My vanity was filled to the brim, with any product I'd ever bought ever. Didn't matter if the product was bad, I never used it, expered, you name it.. Nothing could make me through it out, I loved having something I considered a collection. A messy collection, but regardless - a collection.
I had samples I'd never use, foundations that didn't match, eyeshadows I didn't wear, just to mention the makeup, but that wasn't all. I had plentyful of body moisturizers forever unopened or opened once just to be never used again, hair-care that I downright didn't like, tons of hairsprays I never used, nailpolishes going old and dry from lack of use not to mention tons and tons of chemically-filled skincare. You name it - I probably had it. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, read on:

This is a photo of what my vanity used to look like about a year ago. I sadly couldn't find one of my very first vanity that was even worse and even more cluttered. It may look organised - everything has a spot, everything's tidied. But there's stuff - a lot of stuff. A lot more than this one person would ever need. Especially seeing as I no longer wear makeup on my day to day.

I was the type of person who'd be on the forever run for the perfect nude lipstick, ending up with 10 nude lipsticks none of which I liked a 100% - but I liked them all a good 90% at least. Comparing that to today I own ONE lipstick. Is it the perfect nude? No, so I blend it with my fingers to make it match better and I didn't have to look of wearing lipstick, but rather just the look of lips that are less pale, keeping it as natural as possible.

Just to be clear: The white IKEA-side table to the right is also filled to the brim with makeup and haircare, and my bathroom was overfilling with skincare. Drowning. In. Products.

So where am I now? I still have a lot of products products, however my goals are different now. Not only did I get rid of 85% of my collection - which I either sold or gave to friends and family. Nothing went to the trash! But my new goal is: Using them up.

Oh gosh, I believe in the abselute satisfaction of decluttering. Even bigger is the satisfaction than having the hoard of products and call it a collection. That wasn't always my mindset however. In the old times I'd protect expensive makeup palettes or expensive foundations with my life and never use them! Now I'm the complete opposite - I set goals to use up specific products and then slowly decreasing my collection.

Now there's some different kind of people and collectors out there, I believe and I tried to put them somewhat in categories:

  • The Active MUA
  • The hoarder
  • The Au Naturale
VERY old photo of the very makeup-obsessed I. Do laugh if you must!

The Active MUA: I went through all the stages that I described above, and recognize my flaws from each. I started out being the "Active MUA", and quite obviously the name almost speaks for itself - you're currently active as a makeup artist, either freelance, work, part-time or hobby-based building a portfolio, your current stash is meant for your face as much as for others.
How are you ever meant to downsize your collection, because even if YOU don't use it, what if you need it for someone else? Well, trust me - you can certainly still get a more minimalistic approach to your makeup collection!

First things first - start at your base. Foundations, powders, contour-shades, highlighters, anything skin.

As for foundations I suggest getting a really light shade with pink undertones and a really light shade with yellow undertones. Same as for a really dark undertone with yellow and one with pink. That'll make you able to mix and match a perfect shade for your customer, and really perfect your mixing game coming far closer to their actual foundation shade, rather than scattering among endless foundations, plus it allows you to bring all your foundations always, because you're prepared for the palest and darkest model with whichever skin tone out there, and you're doing it all with minimal products, maximum effort and talent!
If you want to really and abselutely downsize your powders... Then go ahead and get a good quality translucent powder that has no flashback. Fits every single skintone out there!
And as for contours, I recommend a very versitale contour palette. If you're a bit on the budget then the NYX contour palette was a really good product for me when I started out in makeupartistery. If you've got more to spare and you're more concerned about the quality or maybe you're concerned about being crueltry free then might I suggest the Kat Von D or Anastasiya Beverly Hills contour palettes (ABH is personally my favorite, and I managed to used every single shade all up!)

As for highlighters and blush, my prefered method to minimize a collection would be to either pop out your current favorite/most used blushes and highlighters (the ones that mainly fit light, neutral and dark skintone - again, so you can mix and match). Trust me, you can go wide and far if you have all your bases in line!

Now that we've went through the base, I'll cut it short here, and continue in a second blog post you can find here: -