Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the products you own?

Oh, absolutely! I have a ridiculous amount of product because this is what I do as a job, and the volume of what comes in and goes out is overwhelming. Whenever I feel this way, I try to sort or organize to help tidy areas up or to shift product out (for donation/giveaway).

— Christine


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Gayle Avatar

Wow! This topic is certainly one I can give my opinion on. (Long time reader, first time commenter.) I have a whole room dedicated to makeup, and it’s becoming too small, if you can believe it.

When I try to tidy up, it’s overwhelming and nerve racking, takes days, and I still don’t make much progress.

Let’s face it. I probably need a cosmetics anonymous group! 🙂

Cheryl Avatar

Yes I do and I do de litter and I’ve gone to only buying singles in eyeshadows. No more palettes. And my favorites are in z palette’s. I know exactly what I have and use that why and I get rid of the eyeshadow I don’t live and use..
The other kind of makeup I don’t buy a lot of so it’s mostly eyeshadows.

Lesley Avatar

I feel overwhelmed by my skin care because I have so many specialty products that I don’t necessarily need everyday but I might want occasionally and there is the added concern about using too much at once and the resulting irritation. I also have too many hair products. Morning and night I have to think about my routine and I hate that. I used to be overwhelmed by my makeup but I have whittled it down to a manageable amount so it’s easy to make decisions for the day.

Mary B. Avatar

I was that way about hair products. Then one day I asked myself, “What am I DOING???” I was wasting so much time and money and energy on hair stuff. I decluttered it all and now only have my one fave shampoo & conditioner, plus a once-a-week hair mask from the same product line. My hair has never been happier.

But I do buy and own too much makeup. 🙁

Eileen Avatar

Nope! First of all, I regularly toss cosmetics that have seen better days so my collection never gets out of hand. I have no trouble saying goodbye to cosmetics that have expired, don’t get much love, were mistakes to begin with (thankfully very few of those!), or are no longer fashionable. I know I sound like a broken record when I say this, but because the colors, textures, finishes, degree of pigmentation, and formulation is constantly evolving, I prefer to move on to something new rather than clinging to products that no longer “spark joy” lol.

Ana Maria Avatar

I was never into having a big make-up collection, so I was never severely overwhelmed.

But at some point I did have a somewhat bigger collection, 2-3 products opened in some categories, multiple palettes, several similar colors. And I realized that having too much choice is overwhelming for me, I easily get choice and waste fatigue, especially when I don’t fully like some of the products.
For me narrowing down really hard my collection made make-up way more enjoyable.

Nancy T Avatar

110% yes. Very, in fact. It has been this way for at least the past 3 years? Something like that. And yet I still sometimes buy more color cosmetics. I really do know that I don’t need any more. Just yesterday, I was discussing this with a friend. I explained to her that this is “my drug of choice”. Afterwards, I realized how sobering that comment was and its full depth. I’m waking up.

Nichole Avatar

I do. What has helped me is pulling out my daily used products, and a variety of blush, bronzer, liner, lip products, a DIY palette and a couple of regular palettes and I use that for a week or two. Then I switch it out…it’s like I’m shopping my stash.

Frozendiva Avatar

Not really.

I might buy a few things that I normally use (skincare, cleansers, etc.) on-sale or at a discount, and so when I use up the product, I just use the new one.

I also tend to use stuff up and will buy palettes when mine are getting 2/3 or more used. There is enough rotation that I don’t really feel I have too much, unless it is for a short time.

I will also make a point to not buy stuff until I use up some GWP products or perfume samples, skin care samples, etc.

If I do feel I have too much, I will just not buy anything much.

Pearl Avatar

Yes. When I first got back into makeup, I was buying indiscriminately and had a slew of products that I didn’t like, didn’t want and didn’t know what to do with. Then I realized what brands I liked but then still bought every collection that came out for about 4 years. Many declutters later I have the collection I want and if I don’t keep it organized, I feel overwhelmed. Organization is key for me.

Chelsea Avatar

Yes!! I just cleaned out my lipsticks last month to a more sizable amount. It’s still way too much but I’m working on it. This month I’m cleaning out my Alex drawers and giving away a ton of make to friends. I want to work on owning less and using more now that I’m really too busy to play in makeup frequently

xamyx Avatar

Not really… I have a pretty substantial collection, but I still find it manageable, even in a small space & infrequent decluttering… I buy products I truly enjoy, for the most part, and I do routinely pull products I’m in the mood to use, and keep them in a separate space, and can easily pull a look together very quickly if necessary. That said, if I kept all of my products in their designated storage spaces, it probably would get a bit overwhelming if I were tight on time…

Ginny Avatar

Yes but less so these days. I’m coming to terms with my actual makeup habits rather than what I wish my habits were. I love makeup but will finally admit I can’t be bothered with products that are fussy to apply or maintain whether it’s the formula or the packaging. If it’s too extra of a step I just won’t do it. If it takes precision blending I won’t do it. If the lipstick is drying or it feathers then it’s done. I’m done with those extra sparkly shadows because they get in my eyes and hurt. I just want stuff that’s accessible and easy to use and wear. Because of this I have thrown a lot out and don’t have as much of a desire to try a bunch of new stuff. However I do still have a lot of overlap in my eyeshadow colors and often feel like I “should do something about it.” C’est la vie.

Gia Avatar

Love following Christine and Temptalia. But my one pet peeve is how influencers in beauty portray their world of beauty products in such a spare and non-cluttered way, usually in all-white and glossy surroundings. It is misleading. The reality is that influencers have hundreds (if not thousands) of products stashed somewhere. They cannot donate amounts that would lead to such a spare, elegant portrayal. For once, Christine hints at the mega amount of products she lives with. I’m thinking this is just the tip of her beauty product “iceberg”. Reason I bring this issue up is that it makes those of us with reasonably large non-influencer collections seem inadequate when we just can’t seem to keep it organized and spare looking in our living areas. Perhaps this topic can relate to many of us who follow beauty influencers??? Would love a dialog on this topic.

Frost Avatar

Short answer – no
Long answer – I need to buy more since I’m still a beginner to get my “fit” 🙂

I’m curious if you’re going to review more foundation or in general face products in 2021. Most reviews I can find here are back in 2016 or 2017. Always seeking to upgrade my foundation, powder, concealer and primer… Thanks!

Donna Avatar

I joke with friends I have enough make to keep a small South American country stocked. Friends cannot wait for my clear outs and even comment most looks unused, yes they are
.I admit.finding items I forgot I had!

Andrea Avatar

Where/how do you donate products? Are you able to donate things that have been swatches? I have a lot of products and some of them I’ve only swatched because I received them free for testing and they didn’t work out. I don’t want to throw away these full size products but I also don’t want them lying around going unused either.

Christine Avatar

There’s a local organization I donate to, so you’ll want to call around to see if any local organizations may take lightly used! It may not be possible due to COVID, though. I’ve been mostly donating new products for the last couple of years (it is easiest), and for the last year, only new. I’ve been recycling/trashing any liquid/cream products out of safety concerns, unfortunately, that I’ve tested recently if I’m not keeping them.

Liberty Avatar

Ooh that’s a great idea to look into. I know my local food bank has a women’s support center tied to it. I already donate my clothes and new beauty items to a children’s receiving home, but if someplace accepts used, I’d be thrilled.

I use 70% rubbing alcohol with a fine mist sprayer to my pressed powder products.

Lydia Avatar

Not really, I have maybe once or twice when I got into the habit of impulse buying stuff on sale, mainly Tj Maxx or markdowns at Walmart/Target! Once I realized that impulse purchases almost never work out for me, I’ve been maintaining an I’ll say “medium size” collection pretty decently. Less disposable money has helped a lot, lol! Every cloud a silver lining!

Shelly Avatar

Oh boy – this is a timely topic. I retired a year ago and I have a shoe box and a Caboodles tub full of makeup plus a small container of lipsticks in my pantry by my bathroom. I feel like I’m confessing here! I really never realized how much I was wandering the stores, getting sucked in by the ‘newest’ products, the mascaras that promise ‘false lashes’ , the glowy foundations, etc. My friends and family have always asked me ‘what’s the latest’ because they know I keep up on trends. But now that I don’t have a 9 to 5 job, I look at all of these products and think “this is excessive!” I will always be a makeup and skincare maven but 2021 is a good time to declutter; thank you for this topic—it’s a SIGN!

DVa Avatar

Overwhelmed, no.
Maybe by lip products, which reminds me I was planning on going through those and getting rid of a load I have in a backup case. It’s out of sight and out of mind, which means I’m not using them, so may as well cull the herd.
I do get a bit sad I don’t get a chance to use as much anymore, and sometimes when I go through my stash I get a little gleeful by something I’ve forgotten about.
I’ve been very careful for the past 6+ months, only buying truly unique products (at least for me) and new formulations, especially in the cream/liquid cosmetics category.
I’m all topped up with skin care for the next six months, and hair care too, so I’m not spending much.

Nishad Avatar

I used to have a HUGE collection but when I relocated to Spain ten years ago I had to stop. This is mainly because wages are much lower here but prices are for skincare and makeup are very high. Added to that, I worked for people who either didn’t pay me on time or at all, so I always have to be very careful with money. Over the last ten years, I have followed your blog but only bought one or two makeup items a year as treats.

Aspasia Avatar

Yes, and I created a spreadsheet last year (got the idea from some of the commenters here) to list every item in my collection by category. It really dampened my desire to buy more products, especially since I’m staying in as much as possible on the weekends when I don’t have to work, and not wearing makeup (still working in-person).

Jen Avatar

Yup! But it’s mostly because the storage and organization system I have right now stinks. Because of space issues everything lives in those three drawer plastic towers and it’s not easy to see what I have, never mind get to things that aren’t immediately at the top of the drawer. I think once I’m able to improve that situation a lot of the overwhelm will go away.

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