Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Aiming for Minimalism: Cosmetics

Although some people who are trying to lead a more minimalist lifestyle might find it easier to simply purge their home of surplus items, my budget doesn't necessarily allow for that.  I suppose you could call my process "minimalism through attrition" as I've chosen to use up what I have that IS suitable and then, if replacement is necessary, I'll try to find a more practical version.  A perfect example of this is my cosmetics stash (please pardon the thrifted, repainted and dinged-up-over-time dresser that is being used as the backdrop).
I've been working on cutting my collection of makeup for some time now.  I think, at one point, I had four times what's pictured here.  I loved, LOVED buying makeup because of the promise it held...it was going to make me beautiful!!!  Yet I still stuck to a few basic shades, feeling uncomfortable and not quite myself if I wore anything more extreme.  The first major cut involved hauling most of my makeup to the bar where I worked part-time as a waitress.  I showed the other girls the makeup and offered them whatever had been brought in.  We were all close and often wore each other's products anyways so it was a quick way to pass these products on to other people who might use them.  I've bought little in the way of makeup since then although some of the unopened packages I had at that time have finally been unsealed for use.

I'm still working on making further cuts/changes to the collection you see in the picture.  Here are my thoughts on my existing makeup:
  1. I use a mineral foundation and, very rarely, MAC concealer.  I'm on the fence about switching to a pressed powder type of mineral foundation simply because its a smaller package and easier to pack in my travel bag.
  2. Highlighters - I have pressed powder highlighter and a sample of highlighter by Benefit.  I like the simplicity of the powder but I *much* prefer the size of the Benefit sample.  I don't use it often (only on nights out or special occasions) so a small size is more than enough.
  3. Lip Glosses - I have 6 items that I lump into the lip gloss category although some of them are more like tinted moisturizers.  In the future, I'd like to keep choosing products that add colour and keep my lips from drying out and I only want two shades, a lighter one for more casual looks and a darker shade (for when I know I need to wear makeup but am feeling lazy...lol).
  4. Lipsticks - I have 6 lipstick shades that I use and the really amusing thing is 3 of those shades are almost identical, a just-slightly-darker-than-my-lips pink (one is MAC, one is a Sephora long-lasting lipstick, and one is Rimmel but has more shimmer to it).  The other 3 shades are more dramatic; a dark berry shade, a shade which is aptly called "Wine" (which I LOVE and can't seem to find a similar shade to act as a replacement) and a bright red.  Ideally, I think I can eventually get this down to 3 or 4 shades.  I have 3 lip liners (one is AWOL from this pic) but once 2 of them are gone, should be able to stick with a neutral or "clear" lip liner.
  5. Blush - I have 3 blush compacts right now but 2 are very similar so I look forward to cutting this down to 2 shades; a rosy shade and a slightly warmer shade of blush (I choose my blush based on my planned lip and eye shadow).
  6. Eye shadows - I can wear fairly conservative/neutral makeup at both of my jobs without any problem so the nude shades of eye shadow I have, combined with a brown or black liner (why do I have 3?!?) are more than acceptable.  When I go out, I prefer a smokier eye so darker greys are helpful and the shimmery shades I have are used to dress up my "day" eyes when necessary.  If I had any really strong willpower this could probably be cut down to 3 shades but I'll be quite happy if I bring it down to 5.
I used to regularly fall into the trap of buying a set of new makeup whenever I had a special occasion.  Now I just grab the colours I'm comfortable with because I know I'll look good.  I'm hoping that by not buying additional makeup and replacing only the shades I love, that my makeup collection will be cut down and will someday, ideally, fit into a small makeup kit.  I'll take another picture of my makeup closer to summer as some of these items (notably the lipsticks/glosses) will likely be used up.


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