If you could start your collection over, would you? Why or why not?

I’m going to pretend I’m not a blogger or else this answer will be super boring and blah, but I’m going to assume I have as much stuff as I do. I would. I would painstakingly go through a lot of what I have and “start over” more by actually taking stock of what I have, what I really love, what is redundant, etc. and slowly but surely whittle it down. For me, I feel like that IS starting over. But if I had to start with nothing, I don’t think I’d go that route. I’m not burdened by having so much, and I can deal with the process of curating without getting overwhelmed (I’m more likely to get rid of too much in a fit, and I’ve never regretted getting rid of too much in the end).

— Christine
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Wow, what an intense question! There are so many ways to approach it.

Ok, let’s say I lost my whole collection suddenly, but it was insured and I got reimbursed for the loss. There would be an awful lot of makeup that I currently own that I would not buy again. Palettes I rarely use, lipsticks that I don’t know what got into me when I bought them, eyeliners that don’t stay in place, etc. My new collection would probably be half of what it is now.

I should whittle it down to the makeup I really love and use, but I just can’t get myself to throw out expensive makeup.

Actually, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking about those old UD 24/7 eyeliners that I haven’t used in at least two years (and there are about 10 of them in my drawer). I don’t like them, they’re old, and they’re probably somewhat dry by this time. I think I’ll toss them when I get home tonight. Thank you for the inspiration, Christine! 😀

I don’t know that I’d want to start all over. I’ve really enjoyed the process of collecting make up over the years and learning about what is a quality product (regardless of price) and what isn’t and being able to weed out things that just don’t work for me and find dupes.

I did this recently. I’ve been getting sick of every gimmicky product that’s come out as brands try to flood the market. I’m over the hypocrisy of labels that call themselves “cruelty-free” while having front-runners that are racist, colorist, or otherwise cruel to people. I didn’t get rid of everything, but I did return/sell/give away where I could. I’m probably sticking to NARS and Pat McGrath, my two favorites, as much as possible in the future. Reliability counts for a lot.

No! I have worked hard on my collection and I love what I’ve got. There are many LE pieces, it would break my heart to lose them. I would have to immediately repurchase many staples, which would be very expensive.

Tammy; If the question literally means tossing EVERLASTING I already own, then heck to the NO! I wouldn’t want to lose all my LE stuff that I do still enjoy using! Perhaps, I misunderstood the question? (See my answer waaay at the bottom for reference)

I agree with you, Christine. If it meant getting rid of everything I have then no, but I could definitely stand to downsize. Although I hate getting rid of things I’ve spent money on, even if there’s other products I enjoy using more. I feel like I get trapped that way.

If money were no object, I think it would be fun to start fresh. However, since I can’t spend a lot on makeup and fortunately I haven’t lost everything in a disaster, I won’t be starting over. I have gotten much better about getting rid of products I tried and don’t like, or used to like and don’t any more.

A wise thing to keep in mind is the “Sunk Cost Fallacy.” You can look it up, but basically it’s a trap many fall into that “Gee, I spent $$$ on this palette/dress/pair or shoes so even though I hate it I’m going to stick with it.” That money is gone and it ain’t coming back. Why torture yourself? If there’s something in your stash that you hate, chuck it. If there’s something in your stash that reminds you of wasted money every time you see it, toss it.

I’m very much a Konmari believer, and if I don’t love or use something, it’s gone. I agree with Seraphine about UD’s 24/7 eyeliners. The colors are great but removal was such a pain for me (tried many different kinds of eye makeup remover, removing the colors meant losing eyelashes) that I tossed all the ones I had, and when I did I felt so happy!

That Sunk Cost Fallacy is so true for me. I’m going to use that while I purge my closet and makeup drawer this weekend, thank you!

I live the “Sunk Cost Fallacy” every day! Ugh, I need to get over it.

In the case of MAC, perhaps I should gather up all the shades I don’t like (I have quite a lot) and exchange them in the Back to MAC program. As I sit here thinking about it, what’s the point of owning six lipsticks I don’t like and never use when I can get one I will love? (I just need to be super careful to get one I actually will love!!!) I wish every brand had a similar program to MAC’s.

Thanks for this great post, Susan. I need it out and post it on my wall!!!

Mags and Seraphine, you are both welcome! Your posts help me, too. 😀

I had an eye shadow palette that I spent too much on and never used. Every time I saw it in my cabinet, I felt bad. So, yeah, every day a reminder of how I wasted money. The day I threw it out I felt 10 pounds lighter.

Me too on the “sunk cost fallacy”! I have even kept a lipstick that I was severely allergic to in my stash for a while because I couldn’t bring myself to abandon a brand new $30 tube. It’s totally irrational … (I did finally trash the lipstick on a big yearly purge, but I have to steel myself for those …)

This is me too a lot, but I resell a lot of expensive stuff rather than toss it. I use Poshmark and Mercari and make back about 50-60% of my cost most of the time. So its not a terrible loss like tossing it would feel like. You guys should give it a go. It seems weird to sell used make up, but people do buy it.

Also, for the 24/7 liners and the like, have you tried oil cleansers? These are the only eye liners I wear and thats how I remove them at night. Just a gentle massage with an oil cleaner.

Because of sanitary issues, I would never sell or buy used makeup, although I occasionally swap with someone I know well. That’s just me. YMMV. And yes, I tried an oil cleanser/makeup remover. Did not work well for me, but thanks for the suggestion!

At this juncture, I would not. I’ve got a solid core of items that work really well, and that knowledge is hard earned through a lot of trial and error that includes expense.
So at this point, for me it’s also a matter of taking stock of what I have and clearing out what I don’t need anymore.

I did it in 2014. I had been obsessed with loose pigments since I started wearing makeup in 2006. But then my collection became too overwhelming and I found myself never using anything because I could never find anything and I realized that I hated having loose jars everywhere. I tossed it all. All of it. And restarted. I think I really only kept my foundation.

The biggest problem I had at first when I started over is I didn’t know what formulas, finishes, or colors I liked and worked for me. So there was a lot of experimentation at first and a lot of subsequent declutters. I have a better idea of what I like now and can be more discriminatory in my purchases but will still pick up items to experiment with occasionally. Most of my collection consists of four brands that I found to be most reliable to me with onsie twosies of other things.

I don’t think I would start my collection over, but I could definitely stand to downsize. I have a lot of dupes, and of those dupes, I tend to stick to the same ones over and over. I’m happy that I’ve started to ignore upcoming releases and trends more than I have in the past, but I can certainly benefit from the concept that less is more. I’m going to tackle my stash this weekend!

I did it this year. Decluttered so, so much stuff and donated it. Cleared out pretty much my entire lipstick collection (I kept 2 favorites) and bought 5 new ones in formulas that I knew were comfortable and hydrating and didn’t have irritating ingredients. Three of those I haven’t even opened yet because I told myself i would work on spring/summer colors now and wait until fall for the others. Then I bought a few eye and cheek products that I had been wanting. I still have quite a bit of makeup for the average Jane but feel a lot less guilt over “neglecting” things. And planning a firm no buy on eye products because I have all the colors that flatter me.

I was in a position to start over three years ago when I stopped working. That meant that I was no longer confined to matte neutrals, foundation and blush and I could start to experiment with color and finishes. It has been fun. I also had to grapple with changes to my skin, which has meant revamping skin carafe and that is not as much fun.

If you were to ask me about my wardrobe, however, I wish I could destroy it all without environmental impact and start all over.

No. I don’t even consider it a collection.
I bought makeup since I was 13. It is now 40 years later.
The makeup I bought was based on what was available at that time…and I bought them, based on many factors….that had to do with my personality, my likes and dislikes.
I don’t buy makeup based on what is popular.
The purchases were based on my personality.
I would not changed my personality….so I would not change the purchases…..even though drugstore brands…

I don’t think I would. Sure I have had a few clunkers that I’ve got rid of and a lot of clunkers that I still am glad to have and I hold onto (they may not be the most practical – MAC She Who Dares MES, NARS Tokyo e/s duo, to name just 2, and there are more than 2, believe me). But I feel a sort of sentimental attachment to these things and as they’re only makeup, they don’t take up a lot of room (especially since I’ve started packing little-used stuff away in a drawer in our guest room so they don’t get in my way on a daily basis but are still easy to find). So, no….I wouldn’t start over, even if many of my beloved LE things were to be made available to me in this situation.


I have way too many pieces that are hard to find or were discontinued to do that.

But some days I look at it, tally up all the money spent over the years (15 years, a couple dollars here and there, no more than $10 ever on one item) and I’m like.. horrified.

Definitely would not unless I was forced to by some external source or bad event. I don’t always love everything that I buy but I pass it onto people who will love it and a lot of the LE products that I have and could never replace I would definitely grieve over. I would like to say that I am more careful with what I buy now and to some extent that is true. I do know what suits me best and I rely on Temptalia to steer me in the direction of what is the best performing products out there but I do succumb to temptation and if I didn’t I don’t know if I would enjoy it as much. Sometimes I just buy pretty, frivolous makeup but I enjoy it.

I would not start over, if the choice was mine. I did this once, a few years ago when I discovered a world outside drugstore makeup. My collection has been added to and had things tossed and it is exactly as I like it to be, today. If something happened to it, and it was insured, I would replace some of it right away. Bases and brows would be basically a replica of what I have now. The rest I would build again over time, after repurchasing some favourites as a core collection.

Like, if I lost all of my stuff and was reimbursed the full value, even of the deluxe samples? Nope. I’m very happy with everything that I own because I only buy things I know I’ll use and have good reviews.

It has taken me many years to collect my treasures. I would be very upset to lose my collection as it is. I am slowly culling it though, as I’m sure many people do occasionally. It does get out of control at times and that is why I am on a no buy right now, and it feels good.

In a way I would like to start my collection all over again, and this time I would not be so obsessed with green eyeshadows…..However it would be far too expensive to get rid of the palettes I love and enjoy – even if it is only occasionally.
What I would keep: My foundations, blush, mascaras and lipsticks – possibly a few less of those.
Eyeshadows – I would keep my Naked palettes, Lorac Pro metals, my bareMineral quads and duo (The Wild Thing, The Elements and the Scenic Route duo) and my Dior 3 Couleurs in Khaki.
I have a YSL single in Slate green – which is a perfect shade of green to keep.
The rest i would have to think about.

Sure! Starting over would be so much fun! I have a fairly minimal collection (by makeup lover’s standards), I regularly depot and give away shadows that don’t work for me. However, for the last two years, I have been growing out my hair to let the natural silver and gray shine. I died my hair gray, and then let the roots come in. I use Silver and Lilac shampoo and conditioner to keep it all in the same tonal family. But the hair color change led to a lot of trial and error to find makeup that went with it. Especially since my hair still has brown in it and my eyes are hazel/brown.

I would start my makeup collection over in the fall, when I cut the last of the bleached/colored ends off. Then I will know what will look good on my natural coloring. I have found that I like mostly matte looks with a pop of light to medium shimmer on the lid. I love being able to grab a cool or neutral Naked Basics 5 pan palette to start. The Daydream Palette and Naked Basics 2 are my favorites, so I would recreate those. Then I would purchase singles of my favorite shades and create my own palettes based on the looks I want. I keep most things in large z-palettes right now, but I find that overwhelms me.

And I have a scar on my lip that lipsticks always bleed into, so I wouldn’t buy any. I would find a good lip stain, a few lip pencils and a couple glosses or balm to add a little moisture.

I don’t feel like any purchases in my collection have been a waste. They have helped me figure out what does and doesn’t work for my new look.

Help me here. Can you really donate opened, tried once or twice makeup or skincare?? Where? I thought personal products were like pillows; they have to go in the garbage, then landfill. Sad, but I’ve always thrown everything out except on the rare occasion I knew someone well who would truly want and be able to use it.

Project Beauty Share or try calling local organizations/shelters – most don’t take used but some do.

A day late, but better late than never!
1.) I would be much more hesitant to jump on the ColourPop SSS train, for starters. Yes, they have some very cute, unique shades, but they are an evil b*tch to store! So bulky! Now I have more than I can count, and I will use them a lot when I first receive them, then they go in the drawer only to be taken out when I need a specific shade. Certain shades are workhorses, though.
2.) Another thing I would hope that I’d do differently is to not let the FOMO overtake me like a tsunami!!! There have been *those* times. KVD K-Dub ELL comes to mind… didn’t know she would make it permanent. It looks horrid on me.
3.) Most importantly, I would work on having a a leaner, better curated stash. As in, I really only love UD Vice 3, never needed Vice LTD, and hardly ever use it. Wasted space!

Yep, I did! But not even one SSS this time around. Just 5 pressed powder ones, plus, they threw in an empty quad to put 4 of them in, the other went into my MUFE XL palette where 5 others already were. I’m going to try to stay clear of buying more SSS. Last month, I did buy 3. Thankfully, 2 of those are quite useful!

No. I’m pretty sentimental about my collection and I love the products as much as what they represent of what was going on in my life at the time, special items that were gifted, etc. As far as my stash as a whole, it would feel like I was throwing out the memories with it, at least for right now. The only benefit of starting over would be knowing what not to buy, but I feel like those pieces are few and far between compared to what I have that is actually useful and cherished. I guess I’d be willing to start my brush collection over or the mascaras I choose, but that’s about it. I’ve always loved makeup, but this is a dedicated hobby going on 6 years now and a lot of time and money has been invested. I think I’d be too gutted at having to start over and wouldn’t bother.

If I suddenly lost my entire makeup collection, I’d probably just replace everything I already have, only replacing discontinued items with their closest dupes.

I would not, but if I were to start over, I’d go for quality over quantity. When I was just starting out I accumulated a ton of super cheap single shadows that offered a variety or colors, but I’ve since acquired dupes that are so much better, so essentially that money was wasted and those singles sit unused.

I did google the lot dates on all my paint pots and fluidlines. Anything that was open and used and old, I back to Mac-ed. That felt great. Some were 12 years old. So much space and weight cleared and many new lipsticks! I’m learning brushes, NARS, MAC, now Becca, Cover FX, MUFE, Juvia’s, maybe ColourPop, I will use. And some amazing drugstore brand called CYO. I don’t like things I can’t disinfect and I’m starting to go for that one expensive thing I really want rather than 4 things that are well priced. But I think I would do what I did. Nobody taught me, I’m teaching my mom!! Trial and error made my skills and knowledge diverse. And kind friends with different skin tones that let me decorate them taught me to be clean, listen,buy diverse, and make application like a massage or treat.

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