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Erica Avatar

I’m on a no buy for foundation, concealer, mascara, shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, body wash and styling cream. I am determined not to buy any of those aforementioned products until I finish up those products. I’m getting giddy bc I am really close to being able to purchase new shampoo and conditioner! I don’t forsee using up blush, lipstick or eyeshadow though!

Nancy T Avatar

When it comes to skincare, haircare and stuff like my HG MAC Prep & Prime for lips, I actually am very good at using every last drop. Face powder, primers of every type, foundation, concealer, my beloved Nyx Taupe blush for contouring all get totally used up, too. However, I fear for most of my rather insane levels of color products ever getting used up. Already have a few MAC lipsticks starting to smell off, so I’m going to have to slow waaay down. Especially with lip products, as their being moist means that they don’t have the same super extended shelf life of powder eyeshadow and blush formulas.

Linda Avatar

I find it reeeeally hard to finish blushes and eye shadows completely, they most often get tossed due to age first, but I LOVE finishing foundations, serums, lotions, shampoos – such a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. Same with hitting pan. I actually am Project Pan-ning 17 items in 2017, wish me luck LOL.

Deborah S. Avatar

It’s not important at all to me. In fact, the opposite might be true. There are products I own that cannot be replaced that I don’t want to finish but still wear because that is what I bought them for. I know that many people collect makeup just for the sake of collecting and never use the product but that isn’t me. I refer to my makeup as the collection but I use everything. Also, with regards to my hoping certain products are never used up, I know that the same product or something really similar will undoubtedly turn up but who knows if I will hear about it, be able to purchase it, or whatever. So no, not important for me to use things up!!

Mariella Avatar

Deborah, I feel the exact same way about some LE products that are really “special” – Guerlain Cruel Gardenia powder is one such item, as is that Dior Glowing Gardens highlight from last year. There are a few others (some of the MAC Matte2 shadows are now in this category since they’ve been discontinued). With products that are always available, it’s no big deal but some of those LE ones are products I really enjoy and would miss if I finished them off so I tend to be a bit “stingy” with them, rather than using them every day.

Tamara Avatar

Not at all. Years and years ago, though, I used to actually hit pan or finish a lot of stuff. In my twenties I used strictly Mary Kay, and I used to finish eye shadow singles and blush. My stash was small then. Now I have tons of stuff aside from skincare I only finish things like foundation, primer, concealer, powder, Too Faced Melted Lipsticks, mascara.

Bonnie Avatar

I never finish anything! I think powder foundations, concealers and Dior Lip Glow are the only things I’ve ever finished.
Christine I just posted a look and it posted sideways I think. Is there any way you can fix it? Thanks!

Marie-Estelle Avatar

It is essential to me to finish my products. To a point where it becomes ridiculous because I will even try with disappointing products ?.

Years back I couldn’t afford anything. I am ever grateful that it changed. I needed time to learn to indulge (and not save every dollar just “in case”) but I certainly don’t want to reach the opposite extreem. Now that I use makeup on a regular basis I realise how much it takes to finish a bottle of foundation, a concealer, corrector (I do use them abnormally slowly it seems lol) and I am thus more careful of what I buy (no return policy where I live).

LindaP Avatar

I wasn’t sure if this question was about finishing products like sprays or powder or using things up! Too early, no coffee. 🙂

Using products up is very important to me. That drive is also a stressor. I am coming to terms with the fact that it is often unrealistic, and that it depends on the type of product.

Eyeshadow — I used up an entire Becca Ombre Rose Palette b/c I was getting back into makeup, and used it just about every day. Will I use up my four Viseart palettes in completely? No way. I’m sure I hit pan on some shades, I can see that already. But there will be other that remain lightly used. That’s just reality.

Blushes — Tom Ford, Nars, MAC, Milani — there is a lot of product. You need very little. It will take me years and years to use up a blush. Will I ever? Unlikely.

Bronzers — This I actually do use up. I find one that works by season and stick with it. Overall, the LM bronzer/blush is the best product for me of all I’ve tried (summer and winter). I’m making quite a dent in that mound of product and that makes me happy.

Highlighters — Maybe. I use LM Matte Radiance 01 almost daily, and I can see getting to the bottom of that one. The few others I have, never in a million years.

BUT there are other face products…I will use my winter foundation exclusively until my summer coloring demands a new shade. I’ll continue to use the same primers and concealers. Those are products I can finish, and will. I see no need to get new products in those areas, and leave what I have unfinished.

Roxi Avatar

I’ve been using the Laura Mercier matte radiance almost every time I do my makeup, and there’s not even a dent on the dome! I’m mostly always impressed by people who can use that one up or even hit pan!

Alecto Avatar

I use my Hourglass Diffused Light daily (got it about 6 months ago), and the level inside the compact looks exactly the same. The stuff is … endless (which is okay, because it’s a staple for me).

Marie Avatar

It depends on the product. It’s not very important to finish or hit pan on colored items like blush, eyeshadow, or lipstick. I like variety and I know I will keep buying new colors and textures. (I have a joke– How many shades of brown eyeshadow do I need? All of them.)

But for other items, I will use religiously until the last drop. Primers, powder, brow products, black eyeliner, black mascara, and contour… I use up everything in the package.

Foundations and concealers are different bc my skin tone changes a lot by season. I’ll try different shades and formulations, mix colors, and try to use up what I have… but there is a lot of product and I don’t usually finish a whole bottle of liquid foundation before it’s time to toss it.


I only ever finish foundation, mascara, and skin care. This year my goal is to hit pan on a few more products. Especially as I’m saving $ towards a house, using up what I have and not purchasing tons of new items will continue to be a priority to me!

AB Avatar

A little bit, as for me it’s a gauge of how I’m doing between indulgence and practical (financially). In last months, have used up one liner. a blush, and a lipstick. Hit pan on a eyeshadow. Used up about 1/2 of my skin care products, and mascaras of course. So, not bad, not best.

Aj Avatar

Not for makeup anymore, if I’m close to finishing a product that’s great! Other than that, it’s fine if I don’t as long as I still use them once in awhile at least.
For skincare and bodycare, it is important that I finish them. Especially with skincare, I don’t want it to expire before it’s even halfway done. I’ve cut down on my bodycare a lot, so thankfully it’s easier for me to finish products.

Aj Avatar

I haven’t really cut down on makeup haha.
But for bodycare I just got overwhelmed with the amount of lotions and body washes I had that I just finished everything and I now only buy two of each – my holy grails essentially. They’re all unscented or have a faint fragrance that fades away.
Another reason is that I also got into fragrance more and my body washes + lotions would sometimes clash with them so I was only able to wear a perfume when I was wearing unscented lotion. This pushed me further into only buying what I really loved since I wanted to wear my perfumes more often than my scented bodycare.

Mariella Avatar

In theory, it’s important (except for LE products that are long-lasting like powder products – I remember Way Bandy saying that powder lasts “between wars, darling!” and I choose to believe that). But in practice…not so much. I get so distracted by new things (often they are very similar to things I already have…I keep buying the same shades over and over) and so eager to try them. I am trying to be better this year, especially with eyeshadows. There is so little I really need. But I do want to finish up some facial cleansers and also some foundations (I still have an “old formula/old packaging” Guerlain LdeP and really ought to use it more and finish it off).

Fran Avatar

I really like to finish skin care, hair care, base products (primers, BB/CC creams, foundations/concealers, setting/finishing prowders, finishing sprays), and staples like eyebrow gel, and mascara. On the other hand, I love to play with color makeup, so it’s completely unrealistic for me to finish most eyeshadows, lipsticks, and blushes. If I was the kind of person who always wore the same eyeshadow look, and basically the same shade of blush and lipstick, then I’d try to find the best product out there, and then finish it, but I like experimenting and wearing new looks from day to day. If I need to justify the cost, I think of it as a creative hobby…

Alecto Avatar

To me as well. I know people who spend a whole lot of money on their hobbies and entertainment — fishing, fantasy sports, movies, etc., with no more “payoff” in the end. I once had a male coworker comment on my getting yet another Sephora box at work, and I made the point that I’m positive he spends more on fantasy sports and Texas Hold’em, with considerably less satisfaction and less to show for it when all’s said and done. And I was right.

It truly is a creative outlet.

Roxi Avatar

It’s probably because I don’t wear makeup everyday, I’ve yet to finish, even hit pan on any makeup products, even since I started wearing makeup 7 years ago… To be honest it’s a bit frustrating, I would really like to finish at least base products (foundation, concealer, powder) or an eyeliner / mascara / brow gel, it’s such a waste to always throw them away once expired. I guess a no-buy must be implemented!!! (I say this to myself every year, I know I know…)

I’m indifferent to finishing color makeup in powder forms. I love collecting eyeshadow, blushes and alike. Actually, I am almost mortified to hit pan on one color before others in a premade eyeshadow palette, it just gives me anxiety! But I do find it extremely difficult to even make a noticeable dent on a small 1.5 gram eyeshadow, so I guess i shouldn’t worry much…

As for lipsticks, I know I’ll never finish any, I just limit myself not to exceed my current lipstick holder (which holds 30, but now I have only 20). I pretty much constantly declutter, the ones that have been there a bit too long, or the ones i haven’t touched once for several months, or the ones I don’t like that much. So I’m happily using my stash, and I buy new lipsticks when I really like them.

I’m doing very good regarding skincare / body / perfume / hand and lips. I buy a 100ml bottle perfume each time before using it all up. My shampoo / conditioner / body lotion are consumables in the house with my husband’s help. I love buying 1000ml bottles of those products! For any skincare that I really dislike, after like a month, i actually toss it out – I never force myself to use up products that doesn’t benefit or please me, but leaving the bottles and jars in sight upset / stress me. But it’s not often that I meet skincare that disappoint me, I now always do research and ask for samples.

Alecto Avatar

Not at all, really. I get that for some it’s a way of setting boundaries for themselves, or a way of genuinely trying to not be frivolous or wasteful, and if that’s important to you, it’s a decent way of going about it. I don’t really splurge on anything in this life except makeup and art supplies, so for the most part I’m fine with indulging myself, and don’t foresee finishing much except the basics (skin care, primer, foundation, powder, mascara, etc…). I absolutely don’t have a problem with using up skin care or makeup basics — in fact I find myself running out sometimes when I’m not paying attention.

I never finish for the sake of finishing — if a product doesn’t work for me, or work as well for me as another that I have, it goes. I don’t care how much money you spent on something, tying yourself to a thing because you wasted money on it is a double trap. I’ll never have a half-dozen or more foundations, because I want one foundation that works for me (two, actually, one full-coverage and one tint+SPF), and I’ll only keep the ones that have shown the most potential and get rid of the rest. Same with all other non-color products — I make notes to myself about what I do and don’t like about a product, and if I find one I like better, I get rid of the the ones that don’t rate as highly in my opinion, and keep the notes so as not to duplicate my mistake.

But for color products, I refuse to limit myself, with one exception: I don’t see the point in getting two or more of essentially the same color, no matter how much I like the color, unless the new dupe is part of a palette that has enough other things going on to justify it, and the duped color is a workhorse color for me.

Having said all that, I’m also not the type to … say … buy 18 different lotions looking for the holy grail lotion. So in that respect, I don’t find it necessary to do “no buys” or set “finish it first” limits. If I do find myself unhappy with a lotion or skincare purchase, and can’t or won’t return it (and it’s in sterile packaging), then when I get a decent replacement, I’ll take the other to work and leave it with a note “free to good home.” There are always takers.

Now … I *could* benefit from an intervention for my drawing pen addiction, but that’ another issue entirely.

Anne Avatar

The products I finish now (since I’ve gotten so selective in the past few years) are most likely the ones that will go on my repurchase list. The rest I enjoy, toss, return or give away. I don’t have a specific goal to finish a product. I either do or I don’t.

Valerie Avatar

I’ve made it a goal in 2017 to use up products before purchasing more. I’m particularly concerned with foundations, concealers, skin care items and body lotions. Shadows and blushes I’m far more relaxed about as I just have so many there is no realistic way I can use it all up. So Im focusing more on making sure I limit the number of dupes I purchase. There is only so many shimmery champagne colored shadows a girl really needs 😀

LindaP Avatar

I want to say thanks to everyone here for your input on this post. This one has been an important one for me. I know it’s “only makeup,” but my own personal make up leads me to stress about things that sometimes I should just enjoy.

In thinking about it, I use up plenty of stuff like foundations, concealers, lipsticks, skin care, hair care — a lot of the types of products others mentioned. Reading the replies here made a light bulb go off. I’m going to stop stressing about not using up the “color stuff.” No one is pressuring me but me.

Seriously, it’s time to just enjoy the eyeshadows and blushes and whatever. It’s fun to be creative and enjoy the process. We all end up where we are in our psyches through the confluence and compilation of so much that has come before. I’m so disciplined about so much. Letting go of this piece of stress I made up for myself already feels like a relief. Thanks.

Anna Avatar

Your post resonates with me! Having grown up in poverty, I was always used to having “one of everything”: one pair of shoes, one jacket etc, and I never got a new one until the previous one died. I still feel guilty when my kids have more clothes then just to get by till the next wash.
So it has been a great revelation to me to find out, that people can have more than one or few items of make up! I have always used up everything, even eyeshadow, since I had one quad for 5 years fpr my eyeshadow needs. Now I have a lot more to choose from, but I can’t deny still having the nagging feeling of wasting money if it is not on a vital necessity.
I have realized that it is a part of learning to love myself to be able to spend money on make up without guilt

LindaP Avatar

Hi Anna,

You describe the struggle of my life. I too grew up with little, so that nagging feeling of wasting money looms large in my life — always. As we know, being prudent and fiscally responsible is a good thing. 🙂 But you and I take it to another level in our psyches because of our backgrounds.

I have wiggle room in my life. I worked super hard with my DH to get to this place. Learning to relax and enjoy it without guilt is still hard for me too.

Shannon. N Avatar

I’d say medium importance!

I go through mattifying powder, face primer, mascara, and eye shadow the most/fastest.

My goal for this year is to really down size my stash and finish things before opening another. I currently have at LEAST 5 foundations open right now. So YIKES!!!

I also adore the feeling of hitting pan 😛

LaMaitresse Avatar

Certain products I am very fussy about finishing, such as foundation and skin care, primarily because of the cost. I’m getting really annoyed at the new trend of skin care companies fusing pumps so you can’t open them and use every little bit. I do understand that products become unstable and the active ingredients are rendered fairly useless with prolonged exposure to air, ie a jar, but when there is 25% of a product still left in a glass pump that I can’t use, and that cream was pricey, I am going to be annoyed (cough Guerlain cough Meterorites Oxygen Care Radiance Boost!)
I was terribly wasteful with my cosmetics, rarely hitting pan, but I have changed my ways dramatically and will continue to do so.

PRNoir Avatar

I typically finish every last drop I can muster out of foundations, primers, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, powder products, etc. I’ve yet to fully use up a lip product, so I usually chuck those when they smell off or start to dry out. The only time I have thrown items away before finishing them is if it was a drug store item that has broken. I’ve tried a couple times to repress my WNW dulce de leche with no luck so I just tossed that, same with my NYX blush in taupe. I shattered my deluxe sample of becca’s opal powder highlight so I put it in my pestle and mortar and ground it up and put it in an old glitter jar

Bon Bon Avatar

I do hit pan or completely devour my favs like primers, highlighters, foundation, blush and setting sprays. I’m very wasteful with eye and lip products. Except my Mally eyeshadow sticks.

Genevieve Avatar

I only use one mascara, blush, highlighter and setting powder at a time because otherwise it would chaos. And I did, for quite awhile, use only one foundation too, but that has gone to the wind. There is no hope of me finishing all my eye shadow palettes and lipsticks.
However I am much better at finishing one skincare set at a time (cleanser, moisturiser, serum etc).
I have three rotating bottles of shampoo and conditioner and they certainly will be used up before I open anymore – just can’t fit anything else into our shower recess anyway….

Brenda Avatar

It’s sooo tempting to treat myself to something new. But that wears off very fast. It ends up on my “pile” of makeup. Don’t get me wrong, I love my stash to pieces. But I’m going to focus on “using” what I have before buying another pretty shiny palette that I don’t really need. It’s a good feeling when I use up a product before I open another, and it’s easy to do with foundation, concealer, blush, primer, finishing powder etc. Cleansing products, moisturizers, serums etc. are an easy one as well, don’t open a new one until the first one is finished. Discipline is going to be my key word this year!

Wajiha Avatar

Very! But it applies mainly to skin/hair/body as those are much easier to finish. With makeup I realise I probably do own more than I can finish in a lifetime (cheek and eye products especially) so with them I tend to ditch once I think I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of them or they break/expire/go off etc.

Donna E. Avatar

Aside from mascara, foundation and primer I am in no rush to use up anything. I enjoy my stash, I don’t feel that I have so much stuff that I am feeling overwhelmed. I do enjoy watching my stuff last. Don’t call me weird I just enjoy savoring them.

kjh Avatar

Largely unimportant. The things I use daily are used up: skincare, fab triple duty, Paula TM, concealer/corrector/brightener. Color: too varied to use up, plus, I don’t always use it. Hair care is also a use up, though I do fall for sales and wind up with back ups. As for color, suffering from TMS (too much stash) rather prevents the using up. I think the narrower your buying habits and/or color faves, the more likely you are to finish products. My friend who uses only Aplum blush certainly uses up more than I do, with>30 from nars only, not to mention others. It only stands to reason.

Rachel R. Avatar

Using up skincare, sunscreen, and fragrances is really important, because the ingredients go bad after a while. Ditto for liquid and cream foundations. Most drug store stuff is inexpensive enough that I don’t sweat it.

I have so many eyeshadows and liipsticks, I know I’ll never use them all up completely. I’m OK with that, as long as I use them at all (I try to use different things every day), and I’m happy.

That said, I bought a lot less makeup in 2016 than in the previous two years (I was revamping my collection). I intend to buy even less in 2017. I want to use up more of what I have and not buy unnecessary dupes.

Silvia Avatar

Not important to me much I love to have a few pieces of everything eyeshadow, blush, lipsticks, eyeliners, pencil liners, gloss, etc. and love to rotate every day according to what color I’m wearing matching my clothes, especially for certain special outings. I guess foundation and mascara for safety’s sake specially foundation I like to finish before it goes bad.

Cathy Avatar

I don’t even think about it, to be honest. It’s so rare for me to hit pan on a beauty product. The exceptions are mascara, lip balms, body lotions, body washes, S&C’s….I do always use those up unless I really don’t like the item, in which case I’ll just give it to someone else to try, or simply toss it. But shadows, lipsticks, blushes, bronzers just don’t get used up at my house. I think the last lipstick I used up was MAC Patisserie and that was probably over 10 years ago!

Ana Maria Avatar

I try to be very conscious with my buys, because I have wasting. So it’s essential for me to finish a product, then go to the next one. I use this website and others to get as much information as I can for each buy, so I don’t buy bad formulations or colors; I also try products in store, sometimes several times in different days. And if I hate something, I try to use it as something else (use shampoo to clean brushes, or face creams as hand or body lotion).
But it’s more important to throw it before it expires, than just finishing it. If it’s out-of-date, it goes out.

Lucie Avatar

It is important for me now. It was not before because I was starting in makeup and in wanted to have a big collection, every colour, every texture and so on…. Now, I’m on a low-buy system and I want products to be economic and deserve their price. I’m satisfied when i finish a product because that means I’ve completly made it profitable. I’ve wasted no single drop for the price i paid. And then, old products let places for new products and I don’t accumulate makeup items.

Glenda Avatar

Generally, it’s fairly important because I paid good money for it but it’s more important that the product work for me, then it’s a definite yes. Especially skin care and foundation, I can’t begin to go through the palettes, but I keep trying!

Bonnie Avatar

So Armani Luminious Silk, Nars Orgasm Blush, and Maybelline Better Skin Foundation, be flattered!! And my Cargo reverse lip liner…it’s amazing. I have been using it at least once a day for over a year, and it doesn’t run out. Best $16 I ever spent. It’s like the oil in the Chanukah lamp. I will happily rebuy, but I don’t need to yet.

Vanessa Avatar

There are certain products that I don’t like to keep tons of. I like to finish up skin care and I don’t change up my skin care frequently because it works for me. I also like to finish up foundations, concealers, face powders, bronzers and mascaras.

Caro Avatar

50/50. It really depends on whether I liked the product or not. If it’s just not doing it for me, I’m okay with throwing it out. But if it was a more expensive ‘luxury’ item, I’ll probably hold on to when I can use it next.

Kim Avatar

I am doing a January no/low buy, sadly I should have checked my stash before hand as I ran out of my KVD liquid liner on the 2nd (having to get creative). I am using up my concealers, powders foundations, primers, brow pencils before allowing myself to buy more. I am refusing to toss stuff that I like because it went bad from having too much. My collection has become so large that I am trying to take on a “mindful makeup buying” mentality. Only if it is super interesting and different than what I have I am not going to buy it. I could probably go the rest of my life without buy another eye shadow and be able to do several looks.

Brittany Avatar

It depends. I try to finish things harder if I notice that I’m actually half or more done with a product. I seem to prioritize different products and others I don’t care if I finish or not. 😛

Brow pencils are things that I try to use up for sure, though. I guess because brow products are what I use the most over anything else, so it’d feel wasteful to toss one without finishing it.

Melle Avatar

Depending on some products, it is important for me to finish before repurchasing. I feel a necessity to finish products such as: powder foundation, black eyeliner, neutral (brown/taupe-ish) eye shadow, blush, facial wash, and facial/body lotion. If I don’t finish them, then I run the risk of buying way too many of these particular products and never finishing any of them. Now, when it comes to lipstick…I can never have too many. Lipstick is my only vice of choice, but now I am really trying not to purchase (yeah right!) before finishing at least a couple of lipsticks. I realize now that I have so many that realistically, I won’t finish most of them.

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