If you had to start your collection over, would you do anything differently?

I would buy less shades in a formula I enjoyed; I wouldn’t have a “collect ’em all” mentality, just because the formula was exceptional — unless I actually liked and would wear all of those shades! I’d try to take more time and go to counters/stores to test foundations before buying them.

— Christine
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Lot of miss-buys (mainly bad colour choices) when I first got into makeup, but I’ve actually been happy with pretty much all of my purchases for the last few years.
I’d say take shelf life into consideration more when buying a product. Like only buy mid/high end cream products if it’s a shade I’m going to use a LOT, or I’ll probably get like 3 uses before it dries out.

Yes to shelf life consideration. Over the last years there’s been a push against parabens and preservatives (which is important if you’re allergic to parabens) but I feel like the regular consumers just right up get duped by these movements.

Preservatives aren’t inherently bad, they make your products last long. Last year I bought Sephora Lip Stories and Bite Beauty lipsticks that started molding within 4 months even though they were stored properly. That’s an awfully short amount of time. And then when you check the ingredients these products straight up have no preservatives in them. I’ve had MAC and Colourpop lipsticks that were with me for 3+ years and didn’t mold even when they had no preservatives in the ingredients so it’s probably also due to the specific formulation of these. But if I knew they were gonna go downhill fast I wouldn’t have bought so much.

Thanks for the heads up about those lipsticks! I’ve been actually wanting to try those two formulas but they’re not easily available here, good to know before I make an investment for expensive overseas shipping.
I actually still have a Mac lipstick that must be almost 6 years old at this point, but it still smells and looks exactly the same, so I think it’s fine.

Yupp… with parabens we used to get five years out of a good product… now you’re lucky to get two. For no reason. (Well, because one imperfect trial suggested there COULD be an association between parabens and cancer… turns out no one could substantiate this buttt… cancel culture had ruined parabens by then.)

Definitely! There are eye palettes, lip products, and cheek products I wouldn’t replace. I would avoid liquid lipsticks altogether, except for a few glosses. And there is one particular brand I would not buy from again.

There was a time where I had one foundation, one concealer, a couple of powders, a few eye shadow palettes and singles in the basic colors, about 6 blushes and a dozen lipsticks. I was frequently buying because I did finish stuff up!

If I had to do my stash over, I think I would like to go back to those times when everything fit in one of those acrylic organizer things. My entire stash was at my disposal in a single container and getting ready was so easy, so yes. I would become, not a minimalist, but someone with a very carefully curated small collection.

I remember those days. It was so simple back then. I used to put on all of my makeup using the little mirror in my 4-shade eyeshadow palette while sitting on my bed. I had two or three lipsticks and one or two of everything else. I have way too much makeup now, but I wouldn’t want to go back to being that simple. Maybe just cut it in half.

I would invest in classic, quality formulas (quality over quantity). I also find I am a sucker for heavy, substantial packaging. It just makes the makeup ritual so much more of a pleasure! And, of course, I’d pay more attention to ingredients focusing on products that benefit my skin.

Honestly, I don’t think I’d do anything different… I do truly appreciate & enjoy all the products I still have, as I have tossed/given away items that were really bad, or shades that don’t work for me (thank goodness my daughter has completely different shade preferences, LOL!). In some ways, I think I’d skip buying backups, although I really only do that when I find a really good deal, or an item is HG, and I fear it will be DCd or is LE. I bought a backup of L’Oreal GlamBronze, although it is huge, because it’s really the only bronzer that works for me, and it was LE, but it seems L’Oreal brought it back under a different name, but I don’t regret it. As for products that truly don’t work for me, I still enjoy experimenting, and have even started wearing some shades I never thought I would, because they happened to come in palettes/sets.

I’m the same with Bobbi Brown Telluride. Only bronzer color that works for me. Well others do work, but Telluride is how I would naturally bronze if I bronzed! I have the one I’m using and two backups and I don’t regret getting them.

I feel like my collection is the way it is because earlier on in my makeup journey, I was doing a lot of experimentation; I wasn’t really sure 1) what would work for me and 2) what I liked. It took me a couple years of trying things out to figure out those two things. So now I can make my makeup purchases more judiciously, and I definitely feel generally happier and more satisfied with my purchases in the last year or so. But I feel like I couldn’t have gotten to this point without the earlier phases.

That said, though, I have similar comments to yours, Christine:

-Fewer shades in formulas I enjoyed.
-Rather than buying things to try them out, I’d ask for more samples of things at Sephora and similar stores to try stuff out. Takes a little more time and I’m impatient, but would also have saved me a ton of money. I have too many foundations.
-I’d have stopped trying to find the perfect Barbie pink lipstick and realize that Barbie pink just doesn’t really work all that well for my skin tone, lol.

I actually laughed when I read your response, Christine, because I used to do that. A new lipstick or eyeshadow formula would come along and I’d buy more products than I could possibly use before the next newest, greatest formula would be released. I’m much more discriminating now when it comes to my selection. Other than that, I can’t say I’d do anything different. I’ve never bought back ups or rushed to buy LE’s, etc.

I still resist the urge to buy more colors of a new product I like. It can be a real struggle sometimes.

I have gotten much better about buying backups. I only buy backups for products I’ve already replaced and know for sure I will keep replacing…and usually when they’re on sale. This includes eyeshadow primer, brow pencil, foundation, and setting powder.

I wouldn’t change a thing. In spite of having an overwhelming amount of “stuff”, as I lamented earlier, I really do enjoy my makeup and it’s not like I’m purchasing precious gems, Chanel bags or Tiffany jewelry every week. If anything, I’d purchase a few more things that I passed on when I was trying to be “sensible” and I’d probably have purchased 2 of a few LE things that I use a lot and will miss when I finish them.

Yes, Christine, the Pokemon mentality has gotten me a few times, too! Gotta catch ’em all! Some personal examples: MAC Pro Pan e/s singles (not all, but around 60?), Nyx’s older e/s singles, Revlon Kissable Just Bitten Balm Stains chubby sticks (I bought them all, and now I NEVER use them!), L’Oreal Infallible e/s in those little pots, MAC lipsticks, UD Vice Lipsticks…but I only have one pair of lips, so 🤷

Another thing I definitely wish I would have done before 6 years ago, would have been investing in classic, stellar quality pieces. In other words, doing as my dear old Mom used to say; “always go for quality over quantity, and you won’t be so disappointed.”

I wouldn’t buy so many eye shadow palettes because I was excited about one or two of the colors in them.

I’d choose just a couple brands/formulas of lipstick that I really liked, and get all of the colors I could see myself wearing, instead of constantly trying new formulas.

I’d buy a WHOLE lot less of Mac, particularly their eye shadows. It’s tricky because Mac got me into more mid-high-end makeup, but I also just don’t use my Mac makeup at all except for one lipstick and the eye pigments. I’d also go off reviews before buying, the way I do now, which I didn’t do AT ALL when I first started getting into makeup. If I had even known about Sephora or Ulta, I think maybe I would have really understood there were many high end makeup options and not just gone for Mac.

I will say my other big introductions to quality makeup, Prescriptives and Clinique, I don’t regret at all and I still love the Prescriptives liquid foundation that was my first foundation ever.

I don’t think I would do much different. Most of the regrets that I have related to makeup are related to things I did not buy. I have regretted quite a few things that were LE and I didn’t pick them up and then of course, I regretted it when they were no longer available. Case in point is the recent Chantecaille Finishing Powder release. Sometimes I will hunt the secondary markets or pay exorbitant prices on Ebay but not this time. I might cut back on my lipstick purchases if I lost my whole collection but probably not, LOL! I mean I am still buying them now when I have so many I could paint a room with them.

Great question, Christine.

My answer: Yes, absolutely!

1) I would not buy doubles of any LE items no matter how perfect they look on me because I’ve never gone through a whole item except staples such as mascara, eyeliner, foundation, etc.
2) I would not get caught up in crazed LE releases just for the fun of it. I know what looks good on me and should never purchase something thinking, “I can make that work.”
3) I will never again purchase a product based on packaging allure.
4) I never need another e/s as long as I live. That goes for nail polish, lipstick and highlighters (my weakness!)
5) I wish I had spent more time testing/researching my high end brushes before investing.

I would’ve bought UD’s Born to Run when it came out. I didn’t know at the time that it would cover nearly all my bases.

While I don’t regret trying out different brands and formulas and types, I wouldn’t have tried so hard to like liquid lipstick. It was 2016-17 when I started on makeup. Options were limited.

If I had to start over, I’d get the basics I’m using now minus all the trial and error in finding what worked best.

I would have more patience and buy something I really wanted vs. compromising. It may mean saving for it at first, but it would also be minimal regret. Early on, I compromised mostly due to price and have some regret and ended up shelling out more money because in the end, I bought what I loved most. So more discerning, looking at reviews and not get caught up in the hype. I would take advantage of samples offered and makeovers. In the last few years, I have paid close attention to skin care and invested in the ‘canvas’ that the makeup is applied onto, because if your skin is not in good condition, the most expensive makeup is not going to look its best on you. Skincare first!

I sure would! For a start I would be more picky about the quads, quints and palettes that I have picked up over the years. And given the current quality of a lot of singles in the market by the likes of Sydney Grace, City Color, Colour Pop etc I would invest in more of them in the exact shades that I would use.
The only thing is that my eyeshadow colour preferences have evolved over the years, so I would allow room for growth.
And now that I know my foundation shade, I wouldn’t have to suffer buying bottles of foundation that never, ever suited me either.

Goodness. I seriously wish I had so much less. I’d have so much more in my wallet but I guess when being into makeup first hits you, you want to try it all and buy things sight unseen. When I was younger, I stuck to very classic looks – 4 MAC single eyeshadow, a few eyeliners in brown, dark brown and black, MAC concealer in NC20 and compact foundation in NC30, MAC blushes in Prism, Blushbaby, Harmony and Ginger, lipstick in Twig, Viva Glam III, and Sweetie, lip liner in Subculture, Half-Red and Chicory. That was it. I’d only do a professional look. Now its too many blushes that turn the same color on me and way to many eyeshadows. I could do this again, but I’d have to have the knowledge I have now – I’d stick to eye brightening eye shadow, gel formula eyeliner in 5 colors, one lipstick from each of the basic color categories with coordinating lip liners, one long lasting blush from the basic color categories in shimmer and satin or matte, NARs concealer, CC cream/BB cream, and luminous and semi-matte foundation (Armani and Estee Lauder Double Wear). I’ve gone on a no buy and doing my best to give makeup away….

Makeup is about experimenting that’s how you learn what works for each individual so I don’t think you can bypass that step. I would slow it down and not buy every LE release just because it’s a LE, only buy what works for me. And research, research, research before I purchase.

I don’t have so much makeup other than lipstick actually (at least in term of eyeshadows, I have 3 palettes that I rarely use, 1 of which was a gift). I have 1 mascara, 1 concealer, no foundation, 2 blushes, 1 bronzer, 2 liquid eyeliners and 4 kajal pencils. then a ton of lipstick that I seldom wear/use.
I think my new approach will be to increase my blush collection.
I have many nude lipsticks that wash me out and avoid wearing. Lisa Elridge suggested on her channel to use blush to balance nude lipsticks that make you look too pale! with that suggestion in mind, I will start experimenting with my unused lipsticks again.
Otherwise, I will stick to my no-buy although deep in my heart, I really would like to buy laura mercier caviar eye sticks, a charlotte tilburry matte revolution lipstick and those colourpop shimmery eyeshadow gels.

I’m with Christine on only buying shades I’ll actually use, rather than the entire range because the formula, packaging, or brand is bomb.
Also, I wouldn’t have gotten as many backups. Or at least not backup stuff I hadn’t actually had to replace yet. I have 2 whole drawers with backups I may never get to because I love exploring new releases. And as new products come out, the formulas and shade ranges keep improving, so I’m far less likely to run down my powder HGs. Also, I have a ton of lipstick backups that may go bad before I have to replace them, so I wouldn’t get cream/liquid/lipstick backups, at least not in the same volume. I got burned by Chanel years ago when they DCd my HG, but it was at a time when that’s the only lipstick I wore and it would have made sense to get backups. I now cycle through 10-20 different puppies in a month so the chance of running them down and having to replace and be met with a DC is really low.
Also, I would return or give away products I know right off the bat were a mistake to buy. Instead I keep them, just in case I change my mind or something.

I would take advantage of training classes that are offered by MAC so I could get the most out of my collection. I’ve always found them to be stellar with artistry and until recently with the onset of Pat McGrath, they have always been the ultimate for make up application for me. Much of my collection sits unused unless I make a concerted effort to put it into the rotation because, while very pretty to look at, I have no idea how to mix and use all that I have. I just go with the very little that I know about and even my weekend look now is just full-face-office-chic, maaayyybbeee with a pop of color, but my bold sassy days are over.

An yes about the collect them all mentality – I still do that. I have trouble just buying one palette because there might be that 1 day where I’m feeling like walking on the wild side and want to try “that other palette”. I still regret not getting Pat McGrath Decadence though, even though I would be reluctant to work with it because I wouldn’t know what else to combine it with. I could work with it somehow but it would be a very simple muted transition shade with just a little pat of one of the shadows on the lid and that’s it. That hardly seems fitting for such a glamorous palette. It would fall into one of those that I am glad to own but it would sit unused.

I’d buy less, because now I have a better idea of what products and brands work for me, how to better avoid buying exact dupes, and what I get the most use out of. There are brands I avoid now that I didn’t in the past, so I’d stay away from those, too. I’d still be a collector, but a more discerning one. I’d still be curious about new products, too.

I’d buy less loose eyeshadows/pigments, as there are many more easier-to-use pressed options that are mainstream. Lots of indie brands are making pressed shadows, too. I wouldn’t give loose ones entirely up, as I still like the unusual shades that one can only get in loose forms.

I’d buy more from indie brands, as they are easier to find and order from than ever before, and almost always cruelty free (which I prefer). I’ve been buying indie more and more as I get tired with mainstream brand’s repetitiveness and declining quality.

If my my makeup all disappeared tomorrow, I’d likely still be a collector of colors and finishes like now, but I’d have past experience to guide me in making choices that work for me and contribute to my overall visual “themes.”

I would definitely severely cut back on lip product acquisition, as I’ve found that when I wear lipstick, I really only reach for strong or unusual colors, so my 100+ light-to-medium, neutral, boring, TIMID lip products would not find their way back into my stash. And peach can just go to h&ll. You know … I think I could easily have 20 or fewer lip products if I thought really hard about versatility, and also read or watched reviews to get a good grasp on texture and such.

I’d likely start exactly the way I did before and go 75% or more indie, as that’s where I still find the majority of products that interest me — especially eyeshadows! (The vast majority of my blushes and highlighters are indie also.)

The one thing I would definitely do different is to have a system before I start; for example, I’m positive I would end up with just as many single eyeshadows pots, but I wouldn’t wait until I was overwhelmed by the options before I arranged them in ways that make them more accessible and user-friendly. I just recently started arranging my eyeshadows, and as tedious and time-consuming as it is (and will continue to be for a while yet), it has already made a difference in how often I reach for them. If I started with a system like that, I’d be less likely to go through long periods of avoiding using my products because it’s just too difficult to find things and/or make choices.

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