If you had to start your collection over, how would you approach it?

I would start by repurchasing my very favorite, holy grail products starting from the basics and anything I’d wear more than a couple of times a week. This would include foundations (probably two formulas, as I tend to prefer fuller coverage but also like something a little lighter but more than tinted moisturizer), brow products (brow color, brow gel), mascara, eyeliners (I need at least 10 colors–I love mixing up eyeliners in a look!), five or so lip colors to start, three blushes, two highlighters (like a gold and then a rose/copper), setting powder, brushes (oh my goodness!), and two eyeshadow palettes (again, to start). I wear a pretty full face of makeup and enjoy that, so I’d need a lot to start, haha!

— Christine


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Susan Avatar

Fun question! OK, let’s say that, oh, I dunno know, my home was in the path of the Kilauea Volcano and was encased in solidified black lava and I had to start completely over. I would purchase my holy grail foundation, one good blush/highlighter palette, two formulas of concealer (one liquid for undereye and one powder for blemishes), one brow pencil, several gel eyeliners, an eyelash curter, a small brush set, and my HG mascara.

Then I’d think long and hard about which lipsticks/glosses I **truly** wanted, and ditto for eyeshadow palettes. No more palettes that are so big (UD Vice, I’m lookin’ at you) they’re awkward to store and use. No more eyeshadow singles that, while pretty, rattle around in a drawer and are rarely used. Going forward, I would vow to not buy anything just because of packaging nor before waiting for swatches and reviews.

Mariella Avatar

First, I’d have a good cry and probably need some sedatives! Then, I don’t think I’d do much differently except I’d buy fewer blushes. Since discovering the Dior Rosy Glow blush, I’ve come to realize that I really don’t need all the blushes I’ve amassed. I have maybe 10 that I would keep because they are so good and such good shades for me – the MAC ED blushes and Sweet Sentiment Mineralized Blush and Tarte’s Natural Beauty are ones that really stand out – but I’ve so many others that I rarely use any more so I’d not bother to replace them. I’d save fewer of the LE cream products I have (mostly shadow sticks) for “special” because they dry out and become unusable. And I’d try to have fewer than 3 of my HG shades of lipstick on the go at one time (Craving and Capricious – I’ve one tube of each of those that is starting to go “off” and it’s because I have 3 of each of them in use at any one time to make life “easier” – one in my purse, one in my bathroom, one in my gym bag….I need to just take a moment to move ONE from place to place)

Vittoria Avatar

I love this! Something happened while traveling and I lost all skin care, makeup + tools, everything. A good cry and a sedative or 3 were somewhat helpful. Cried my way to the nearest makeup store which didn’t have much for me but I made the best of it.

Pearl Avatar

Perish the thought! I love my collection and I’m pretty sentimental about it. I don’t know that I would start it over. It’s been quite the journey collecting my stash and I’m pretty attached to the products in some part because of the memories surrounding when and why I collected them. I’d probably re-stock basics but not sure if I’d re-build the stash like I have it now.

Mariella Avatar

Pearl – I’m the same as you (and I’m sure we are not alone) – I commented the other day when the first part of this question came up and I said much as you – that silly as it seems, I also have a sentimental attachment to quite a few of the items I own – I remember my first MAC eyeshadows, I remember buying She Who Dares e/s (one I rarely use) because it was so lovely I nearly got whiplash walking by it on the display….my children bought me some of my makeup – fortunately, all things I really wanted and still use but even if that hadn’t been the case, I wouldn’t want to part with them.

joy Avatar

first i’d repurchase wayne goss anniversary set #2 if available. otherwise i’d buy individual brushes (eye 18-20, blending 6, pencil 5. airbrush). i’d also get hakuhodo kokautan fan brush h4454, sephora pro mini airbrush sweep, sonia g pencil 2 & rae morris square kabuki. then i’d pick up an all matte palette such as viseart grand pro or ud ultimate basics and build another palette with shimmers/metallics. 2 foundations, 1 med/full & 1 light/med with physical spf. 2 brow pencils (hourglass), one cool, one neutral/warm. 3 highlighters: 2 high shine ones in gold (amrezy) & pink, 1 more subtle, daytime appropriate highlight (fort de france). kevyn aucoin’s sculpting powder. kvd tattoo liner. pat mcgrath gel pencil in black and black coffee. hourglass ambient blush mood exposure in mini size. 3 lips: ysl liquid matte stain in 25 beige secret (med rose), tom ford devore (my perfect nude) & burberry liquid lip velvet in oxblood (deep plum). ambient lighting powder in either incandescent or mood light.

joy Avatar

o and i’d also stock a couple of pencil shadows for slap dash looks. by terry bronze moon & frozen quartz, laura mercier caviar stick in cocoa, & nudestix magnetic eye in smoke & twilight.

Holly Avatar

I would buy a good quality set of brushes too. I don’t have that currently, so total destruction of my collection seems like a good reason to invest in a good set.

Marie-Estelle Avatar

Tricky but interesting question!

I have a lot of eyeshadows and highlighters…. So I think I would buy a core of eyeshadow palettes from viseart and Pat Mcgrath. My HG, and build from there. I would then get two highlighters, a pinky and a silvery one…and stick to it! Same for blush, I would stick to 5 max.

Lipsticks wise… I guess I could settle with 4 or 5. That is more or less what I rotate with (my favourites!)

For the rest, I would only buy one lose powder, one liquid foundation with strong coverage and that I can thin out. Corrector and concealer, brow powder, mascara, brown and flesh tone eyeliner. One pinkier bronzer. I am really only buying eyeshadow if I buy anything lately!

Brushes would be a good budget too… But I would rebuy them slowly. Only the favourites thought.

Nancy T Avatar

Oh dear, I would hope that I’d never have to! (Time to get renters insurance, me think…)
I’d have to immediately replace ALL my skincare, foundation, primers for eyes, face and lips, concealer, my HG eye products (Essence Midnight In Paris Gel Liner, Marc Jacobs Blaquer Highliner, Maybelline Full & Soft Waterproof Mascara, brow products), HG cheek products (UD Rapture, MAC Burnt Pepper, my brand new Smashbox Rosemantic Highlighter, Maybelline Molton Rose Gold Highlighter, MAC Whisper Of Gilt), at least 5-6 lipsticks (MAC Cosmo, UD Outspoken and Pat McGrath Strangé are absolutes to get replaced) and 2 lip glosses (Fenty Gloss Bomb and GA Luce), Nyx Slim Lip Pencils in Ever, Mauve and Red Hot. And definitely repurchase MAC Soft Brown, Orb, Twinks, Goldbit and Woodwinked e/s’s, Viseart Amethyst Theory palette and ABH Modern Renaissance Palette!

Ilene Avatar

I would restock Tom Ford terra bronzer and the Becca kabuki brush which is petably soft! Tom ford mascara and Maybelline great lash, brow pencil, under eye brighter, Chanel the beiges light palette, BB pale pink pot rouge and same shade in powder blush. Laura Mercier blush brush, Burberry English rose lipstick Chanel lip balm. Bobbi stick foundation, translucent loose powder, a liquid highlighter,light brown powder for contouring under chin, the upcoming chantecaille summer collection and several lip chics. It’s a start!

Deborah S. Avatar

This is a tricky question and perish the thought that it ever could happen! If we are just talking makeup, as opposed to skin care also, then I would pick up my HG foundation if it is still available, Chosungah 22 and the Dr. Jart BB cream in Light for days when I don’t need a full face. I would pick up the Smashbox Primer Water and MAC Fix Plus. I have to have a finishing powder so HG Guerlain Meteorites. I think two blushes would get me started, Ciate Summer Love and Nars Goulie. I don’t need a highlighter if I have the Ciate blushes as they have a little shimmer to them. I would have the most difficulty with eye shadows and lipsticks because my ideal eye shadow palette hasn’t been made yet so I would have to find a couple of smaller palettes with enough shades that I could have some diversity in looks and frankly, ColourPop and Nabla would both work fine. I would then pick up 3-4 lipsticks, a red, a berry, a pink and something along the lines of MAC Twig or Whirl just as an everyday lipstick. I do like to use a lip liner so a neutral toned lip pencil. I also really like the L’Oréal Shines and could get one of those just for hydration. Lastly, Cover Girl Super Sizer mascara in the waterproof formula and I am done.

MacKenzie G. Avatar

The thought makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up . . . but, forgoing skin care for the moment, it would get broken down something like this:

Tools: Wet n Wild crease brush (probably several), large eyeshadow brush, small eyeshadow brush, large powder brush, small stippling brush, Anastasia #7 brush, Beauty Bakerie blending sponges (6 for the price of one beauty blender??), Laura Mercier eyelash curler (not cruelty free, but a gift from my mother), and some pencil sharpener.

Face: Glossier stretch concealer, RCMA No-Color Powder, and Too Faced Cocoa Powder Foundation.

Cheeks: Glossier Cloud Paints in Puff and Beam, Fenty Matchstix in Amber, and Yacht Life, Bite Multisticks in Blondie and Honeywheat, CP Super Shock Blush in Between the Sheets and Super Shock Highlighter in Lunch Money, Pixi Glow Mist. I’d probably eventually fill in with more Bite, Fenty, and Nudestix cheek products.

Eyes: WnW Photofocus eyeshadow primer, UD eyeliners in Demolition, Smoke, and Eggplant, CP eyeliner in Honeydude, Smashbox eyeliner in Bubbly, Kylie eyeliner in Dark Bronze, one pot of a deep brown cream/gel liner and one pot of teal liner, CP Dope Taupe pomade, and mascara (don’t have a holy grail yet). Eyeshadows would be fair game. No palettes, only singles (or palettes I could depot). I’d try to only buy singles when I have them planned for at least a half dozen looks so it’s not so willy nilly.

Lips: Too Faced Sugar Daddy, UD Mrs. Mia Wallace, Morning After, Peyote, and Fuel, CP Lippie Stix in Cookie, and Fenty Gloss Bomb. Probably no lip pencils.

If I had to do something different, I’d buy less powder cheek products, wouldn’t dabble in foundation, would avoid holiday eyeshadow palettes, and DEFINITELY steer clear of liquid lipsticks. I know this said “how would you approach it?” and not “what exactly would you buy?”, but I’ve really learned what I love. Maybe I should actually pare my collection down a little so I’m more in keeping with what I just wrote . . .

Jennifer Avatar

Tough question! I would repurchase my HG face products so fast!.

Estee Lauder double wear, estee lauder color corrector, tarte shape tape concealer, clinique setting pressed powder and laura geller balance n brighten color correcting powder foundation.
I’m a blush junkie but I would limit myself to my favorites. Laura geller baked blushes: pink grapefruit and pink buttercream are a must, I would eventually get them all again though lol benefit Galifornia and mac springsheen.
Highlights I would limit to two: Anastasia amrezy and Becca Champaign pop
It superhero mascara and covergirl clump crusher mascara
Eyeshadow palettes I would do differently. I’d only repurchase a few. Anastasia soft glam, too faced natural matte, too faced sweet peach and lorac unzipped.
Lips is hardest. If I must limit them Tarte daiquiri, tarte salt life, mac ruby woo and KVD mother.
I dont care much about eyeliners but I guess I’d replace rimmel scandal eyes black.
Oh and must have my Anastasia bronzer in rosewood!

Brenda C Avatar

This would be a daunting task, but fun! If I had to repurchase it all I couldn’t imagine the cost. But I would know that I would just have a pared down stash from what I have now. My Chanel Foundation, Natasha Denona Blush Palette, Mac concealer, Dr. Brandt Primer, several Pat McGrath lippies and liners, a varied selection of Marc Jacobs eyeliners, Ciate Mascara, Pat McGrath eye palettes, Guerlain Meteorites, brow products, and a fixing spray. All my other facial moisturizers etc.

Genevieve Avatar

If I were to start my collection all over again, I am certainly much more savy now regarding my foundation shade and my pink undertones, so I would be choosing the foundations I have now.
Ditto for the blushes, mascaras and setting powders.
However, I would be much more selective about my eyeshadow palettes – I would purchase the Naked 1 & 2 because I have come to use them so much after initally not wanting to buy them.
I would repurchase Lorac Pro Metals, bareMinerals The Elements and duo The Scenic Route and Dior’s 3 Couleurs in Khaki and quint Jardins. That’s about it to begin with.
Lipsticks – now that would be hard – but whatever was in the cinnamon shades and berry red shades.

Silvia Avatar

I would start by replacing all my WetnWild eyeshadows, blushes, lipsticks, eyeliner, highliters, liquid lipsticks and two of my favorite foundations L’Oréal Lumi and Maybelline Fit Me! I would repurchase also all of thexMikanu products I have. Research mascara does really show up like my Princess Essence and one waterproof one for rain & weddings or attending some highly emotional event where I might need it even or even for laughter! Or some great news! I would pretty much té lace the same stuff I own plus anything Nars! Or Hourglass! I wouldn’t want to star again though already having to start a life in this country and having left my house and lots of family behind in another one. 🙁

Silvia Avatar

Oops! Milani not thexMikanu
Mascara that does really show up
té lace? repurchase
one even
Omg! Wish I could erase and start over again! What is this thing writing? ?

Moxie Avatar

I’d skip the dud brands — products didn’t work like I’d hoped / weren’t worth the hype or cost / etc — and just buy the quality products that I know work, as opposed to collecting for the sake if it like I used to.

I’d also let folks know not to buy me products that they always seem to to think I want that I never actually use, which would save them money and save me from having to keep trash products because they were gifts.

Emilie Avatar

I would repurchase my everyday basics: foundation (Tarte Amazonian Clay), concealer (Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum), brows (Benefit Gimme Brow), powder (Rimmel Stay Matte), liquid liner (Kat Von D Ink), pencil liner (Urban Decay Perversion), and mascara (Too Faced Better Than Sex). I’d buy Kat Von D Metal Crush eyeshadow in Thunderstruck (and a backup) immediately, it’s my favorite highlighter. I’d also get TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer.

Then, I’d probably repurchase my favorite palettes. I would go for Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance and Soft Glam (which replaces a lot of lesser quality dupes in my collection), the Tarte Tartelette palette, the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette, and the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye palette. Over time, I’d probably try to rebuild my Naked palette collection (minus the Basics palettes). Most of my colorful/fun eyeshadows come from limited edition palettes, so I think I’d probably want to wait until more of those came around than to go buy a bunch of singles. Maybe I’d finally find an excuse to splurge on one of the more fun Pat McGrath palettes.

For lips, I’d probably just get the basics. Urban Decay Fuel, Milani Matte Naked, Marc Jacobs No Angel and Slowburn, Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Sante Sangre, and Bite Thistle.

For blush, TheBalm Girls Getaway palette, Milani Luminoso blush, and Benefit Rockateur.

5 palettes, 5 blushes, and 6 lipsticks– wow! Kind of puts things in perspective. I’m sentimental about my collection and would hate to lose it, but that would be the ultimate declutter! Made me realize what my essentials are.

Ameerah Avatar

If I was starting from scratch, I would probably not own more than half the amount of makeup I currently own. I think I would be very good and buy only things I know I need and know works wells for me.

Z. Avatar

I’d repurchase my everyday HG’s right away and then add to my collection as time went on.

Immediately, I would purchase:
*foundation – mac studio fix fluid, mac pro long wear nourishing waterproof
*concealer – tarte shape tape
*powder – RCMA no color powder
*eyebrow product – nyx micro brow pencil
*mascara – something from the drug store, maybe maybelline lash sensational or covergirl clump crusher
*eye primer – too faced shadow insurance
*eyeshadow – tartelette in bloom
*blush – tarte amazonian clay blush
*highlight – becca opal, parisian lights, or vanilla quartz
*lipstick – mac blankety
*brushes – real techniques/eco tools

If I was on a strict budget I would strip this down, but overall these are the first products I would want to purchase.

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