I love makeup!
But the truth is, I simply have too much! Each year in January I take the time to conduct an annual inventory of my entire makeup collection. I began this tradition back when I was a pro-dancer. The first two weeks of January have traditionally been a slow season after the whirlwind of holiday parties and festivities. This yearly makeup inventory gives me a reason to touch every beauty product, evaluate what I have, and make plans for the new year.
Photo: My “go-to” look to pair with black and silver assiut. These are two of the ladies in my drop-in troupe Swirl on Dec. 10, 2017. From left: me, redvelvet, and Zemira at HaflAdira.
2017 Makeup Review
Last year, I realized that my makeup collection had grown to epic proportions. Instead of a makeup bag for my “daily face,” and a larger makeup bag for my “Davina face,” I had four small bins of redundant lipstick, eyeshadow, and blush. Some of this was acquired because I wanted to try new things. However, a lot of it arrived at my home in the form of subscription services.
Why did I quit makeup subscription services?
Read “My Last Ipsy Bag” from January 2017
In 2017, my initial plan was to use up my makeup collection. I was just going to plow through it all, not buying anything, and allowing my collection to naturally thin. Then, as products ran out, I would proceed forward replacing only products that I needed. If I already owned a duplicate, I would simply turn to the next item in the category and use them up until the category was completely depleted.
What I learned shocked me! Some makeup products takes a long, long time to use up! This is especially true for colored products like eyeshadow and lipstick. While I expected to use up dozens of products last year, it turns out, I was wildly optimistic. Over the course of 2017, I only managed to finish 2 lipsticks, one concealer wheel, one bb cream, and one foundation! Most of my other products are a bit more “used” but far from finished.
Makeup Inventory Spreadsheet
This year, because I simply have too much quantity, I am implementing a very simplified inventory method. Over the next four weeks, I’m going to gather all my products together, sort them by product class, and do a basic count. I’m using a simple Google spreadsheet that I will be able to access from my phone. Having a cloud-based spreadsheet will make it easy to reference when on the go. So on those days when I’m out and about shopping and tempted to impulse buy, I can refer to my inventory spreadsheet to see what I actually need.
When I was setting up this makeup spreadsheet, I wanted to make it more goal-based and so I added some check-in dates. As I move through the year, my goal is to revisit my collection and continue to purge items that I’m simply not reaching for. So even if I choose to keep something during my inventory process, if I haven’t reached for it by June, I have to question my motivation, and perhaps let these unused products go.
How do I fund my makeup collection? I turn Minutes into Makeup!
As I sort the products into their various categories for evaluation and tally, I like to actively purge the obvious items that, with a single glance, need to be thrown away. Anything that has separated, grown a film, hardened over, or broken apart immediately gets tossed directly into the bin. I treasure my skin, and it’s easy for me to toss any suspicious products to avoid irritations, breakouts, and potential infections.
Photo: The pile on the table is all being purged. What’s in the container is staying.
Check Use by Dates
Once all the obvious problems have been eliminated, and the products have been sorted by category, I then begin checking expiration dates. Like food, makeup does expire. Traditional and commercial products do have preservatives, but they do deteriorate over time, allowing mold and bacteria grow. There are some standards that apply to makeup with dates from “date of open.” Products in the US are marked with the “open container” icon with a date in months or years. This indicates the time the products are good after they are opened.
- 3-6 months: Mascara
- 6 mo – 1 year: Eyeliner if you “double dip” with gels 6 mo. Pencils dry out.
- 1 – 2 years: Pencil Products – eyeliner, lip liner
- 1 – 2 year: Liquid and cream products like foundations
- 1 – 2 years: Lipsticks – Liquid lipsticks less time, bullet lipsticks longer
All Natural Makeup 3 months – 1 year
The rule of thumb is to treat all natural cosmetics the same way you treat food. Without preservatives and stabilizers, these products will go bad faster. Keeping your all natural makeup in the fridge can extend the life of preservative-free products. Be sure to pay close attention to the texture and scent of your products to avoid products that have gone off.
If you are interested in seeing some of my makeup looks,
check out my 2017 Makeup Playlist.
This year, because I am starting the year with so many products in each category, too many, really, I only am restocking one of my favorite eyeshadow palettes. in 2017, BH Cosmetics re-released their classic “Take me to Brazil” eyeshadow palette in an expanded format called, “Take me BACK to Brazil.” This 35 color pressed pigment palette costs $16.99 or less depending on the day, BH Cosmetics offers a LOT of sales. As a performing dancer, I feel like this palette offers me every color I could need.
I also invested in a second colorful palette from BH to inspire new looks in 2018. The Zodiac Palette has a selection of shimmery baked eyeshadows that I’m looking forward to experimenting with to create a host of new looks. It will be several months before I need to buy anything else, and this gives me opportunities now only to freshen up my makeup looks, but to have the fun of playing with new colors.
Bigger Collection = More Time-Consuming Project
One of the results of having a bigger collection is the realization that this inventory is not going to happen in an afternoon! It’s going to take me several afternoons of swatching and testing to get this spreadsheet completely and accurately filled out. I’ll be sure to share an update when the project is finished.
Best of luck with your makeup review,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
January 3, 2018
PS – I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that I’m not an affiliate of BH Cosmetics. I am simply a happy customer who really enjoys using their products. I’m especially fond of their eyeshadow, concealer wheel, and powder blushes.
If you like the eyeshadow palettes above (Take Me Back to Brazil) and left (Zodiac,) I recommend visiting their website and signing up for their mailing list so that you can take advantage of their best offers. While I cannot vouch for every product they make, I don’t mind taking risks with eyeshadow when their prices are affordable.
But do your research. There are plenty of reviews on YouTube and on blogs across the globe. Good luck finding the products that suit you!