If you started over, how would you approach building your makeup collection?

I would definitely re-purchase any of my favorites/go-to products that were still available. I’m going to pretend that I’m not a blogger in this scenario (as the rest of my answer would be quite different), so then the next step would be to think about the types of products I wasn’t able to replace (discontinued/limited edition) and whether there are comparable products available today. I’d try to think about what I owned and do more comparisons so that I wasn’t buying 30 coral lipsticks at once but maybe a few. I’d apply that approach throughout my most used colors/categories, and then I’d slowly acquire any additional products as I find need for them.

— Christine
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Using an app like your vanity from the start. Purchasing less on recommendations and whims and more on what do I really need or want (then basing those product type choices on recommendations via bloggers, vloggers, etc., as I have done). And if I had greatly discipline in this “do-over-again” scenario, set a budget every month or for the year. Hmmm, is this a way of getting us to prep for a better 2019? LOL!

I’d purchase slower. In the beginning, I bought everything I thought I liked but as my collection grew, I began to understand formulas and brands I preferred over others. In the end, I ended up wasting lots of cash and giving away lots of products.

I think my first step would be to purchase my everyday essentials – it cosmetics CC cream, NARS soft matte complete concealer, Tarte lifted sweat proof mascara.

Other than those, I would definitely stick to brands I already know I love – NARS, MAC, and Bite Beauty. I would purchase new releases from those brands that interested me along the way.

Using all my knowledge gleaned over the years as well lessons learned by trial and error, I would definitely have a more simplified approach to my collection.

1 face primer, 1 pore filler and as a special treat, CT Flawless Filter in shade 3
1 go-to liquid foundation (probably GA Luminous Light)
1 powder with coverage, 1 finishing powder
1 BB or CC cream
2 concealers, 1 fluid, 1 creamy – 1 lighter the other a bit darker (1 high end, the other drugstore?)
1 Bronzer that I love (maybe CT Bronze and Glow to fulfill contour needs as well)
Kevin Aucoin contour book?
2-3 Blushers that I love (not 10 that are just okay and 2 that are HG)
Viseart Cool Mattes
Viseart Neutral Mattes
Viseart Paris Nudes
Laura Mercier Cake eyeliner for tight lining
Lancôme Defincils mascara
ABH Brow Wiz or Benefit Goof Proof brow pencil

These would be my go-to basics on my list. When it comes to lip products, my ability to choose falls apart! I love my lipsticks and lip glosses, lip balms and all the different shades….how to choose……where to begin…… ??

Thank goodness this question didn’t include skincare!!! (I’m including sunscreen in the skincare category).

I really like my current collection and I hope I wouldn’t be in this situation, because some things would be hard to replace. What I would do is pick up products that are the best suited for my current needs and age. I have hooded eyelids, so good midtones mattes eyeshadows would probably be the first thing I would replace and maybe get a few liquid eyeshadows to jazz it up. I wouldn’t go to crazy on eyeshadows because there is always new trends and formula and I’d keep some place if something truly special would come along.
One thing I wish I could redo is cheek products. I don’t really like contouring anymore and right now I’m using up my contour powders to finish them up. I much prefer a good bronzer. I would keep the highlighter and blush at under 4 for each which is more than enough for variety.
For lips I would pick 2 more neutral lipsticks, one red and one lipgloss. And own 2 concealers and two foundations and one setting powder.

Judith, regarding your hooded eye lids. Most insurance companies will pay their portion for you to have your eye lid surgery. You do however, need to make an appt with an opthomologist. Most regular eye Drs can not do the surgery and will talk you out of having it done. They are afraid of you continuing your eye care with new Dr. I sure did! They are your one stop eye care SPECIALIST. Mine has done above and under my eyes (I paid for under eyes). He has been my eye care specialist for all eye exams. Doesn’t push his own glass/contact lensecwhere on you and has done my cataract surgery. Just a though for you.

I think I’d be looking at it from a few perspectives – one is being sure I’m separating “person” from “persona” when selecting items – how I really LIVE vs how I imagine living in a perfect day scenario. I’d want trusty “workhorse” items (I’m very loyal to certain mascara/foundation/powder products, for instance), but also some room to stretch and play and be creative (mostly eyeshadow for me) – but whatever it is, it has to be a collection that reflects what I use, how I use it. I would want to cultivate it from the standpoint of “I know exactly what I have, and why” – so that it feels personal and authentic to who I am. I also have to be (just as I am with shoes/clothes) realistic about what I really wear and use versus what I might love but wouldn’t use enough to justify it. Part of this is about where I live – we have some climate extremes, plus it’s very dark in winter and light in summer; the fact that I will wear certain formulations and colours only seasonally also impacts what I buy. For instance, I can get away with more variety in powder products which can last longer, but I’m learning to be more wary of how many liquid, cream, or gel/waxed based items I have and if I can really make use of them before they break down or lose their initial texture/quality. I also would start off with an inventory as a brutal evaluation of what I have – making notes about what I would or would not purchase – I found it was particularly good at helping identify more “subconscious” habits that otherwise might have not revealed themselves. Through doing so, I learned that I do wear red lipstick but I buy too much of it, much faster than I normally use it, because my go-to is usually a stronger eye and a lighter lip. So red is in, but I need to be loyal to one or two shades, not six! 2018 was a spendy year for me, but good and generally smart purchases; but 2019 should be a year where I USE them and not feel distracted. I’d hope to create any new collection in that same spirit.

Now that’s a great question!
I would do so in a more cautious manner, taking into account that it’s really not a *bad* thing that I may have exact dupes of shades I’m fawning over in a palette, but that mine are scattered between palettes and singles. In other words; no, I do not need the convenience of having them all in “one place”. Because, realistically, how often do I ever travel? Plus, I actually had fun when I moved between 2 or 3 palettes, perhaps even throwing a single in, when I was replicating those 2 teal and bronzey looks where you used CP Salvaje and then the new UD On The Run palettes. It was good, healthy mental exercise for me!
With lip products, only buy shades that I know I will get lots of use from, because those will turn rancid YEARS before any powder product ever will! Besides, having upwards of 200 lipsticks is overwhelming and now feels like a stressor.
Plainly put; I don’t need “all the things”.

Excellent question. I’d do it in stages, and I’d initially limit myself to the things I know will end up giving me the most flexibility, then add to that as time went on. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t end up with more than about a dozen lipsticks, since I’ve tried so many and now have favorites in each color category. You didn’t necessarily ask for specifics, but here they are (where I talk about lipstick below, I *never* mean liquid — solid lipsticks can be conveniently blended to make new shades, and they can be easily mixed with balms to make stains or sheer versions):

Stage 1 (generic “look awake and alive” makeup): I’d start by reacquiring the foundation and other base products that I currently have. For color … I would start with MAC Groundwork Paint Pot for my eyes (if I never bought any other eyeshadow again, that would allow me to “do” my eyes in a satisfying way); CP brow liners in Blondie and Honey Blonde; a duochrome-y indie eyeshadow that looks nude until the light hits it just right (like Aromaleigh’s Yael or Notoriously Morbid’s Lizard Man); also, one brown and one blue mascara. For cheeks I’d likely get the Fenty Matchstix in Chili Mango, and a single warm pinkish loose powder blush from one of my favorite indie companies, as well as a neutral-ish (meaning gold-toned) highlighter from the same indie. I’d get one powder that works as a contour, but can double as an eyeshadow. For lips, a matte balm. Done. In theory, I could stop here (but realistically, I wouldn’t).

Stage 2 (“less natural” makeup): Juvia’s Place eyeshadow palette in Warrior; some eyeshadow singles in mid-toned to light neutrals, from peachy to yellow (Shiro “Count to Ten”); a rich, warm, brown eyeliner, and a mid-to-light warm taupe-y eyeliner that work on my waterline. A slightly subdued matte berry or red lipstick that would look good worn very lightly in a more stain-like way (like Besame 1935, CP Bichette, or UD Jilted). I would also get a bright, clear, matte red lipstick, and a strong matte plum lipstick.

Stage 3 (“indulgent” makeup): Back to my favorite indies to get two or three highlighting blushes in orange, violet, and red tones (extra points if they have a duochrome-y quality). At least a half-dozen duochrome (ideally) or shimmer loose eyeshadows that span the color spectrum in mid-toned shades — also indie. A gold-based, close-to-skin-color lipstick, like MAC Naturally Transformed; one gloss with color-shifting potential that blots down well (like Bite Oyster Pearl)

Stage 4 (“I’m back”): Viseart Dark Mattes palette; eyeliners that work on my waterlne in deep blue, brighter teal blue, dark green, dark plum, rust, and red; “red” mascara; a half-dozen more duochrome or shimmery loose eyeshadows that span the color spectrum in dark to deep shades (indie). A smooth, beautiful, pale blue or duochrome-y blue highlighter. One really good matte black lipstick; one eye-searing lipstick (like UD’s Anarchy, but I’d prefer matte).

Stage 5 (“now this is just getting ridiculous”): At least a half-dozen cream shadows in strong base colors (ColourPop). Cream blushes — one red, one purple, one wine-dark, one straight-up orange; a green-reflect highlighter. A lovely, deep, inky blue lipstick; same with green (best if they’re matte); at least one good “dead girl” cool greige lipstick. Some opaque glosses — preferably strong or unusual colors with duochrome, but actual sparkles is a possibility — that blot down well.

If I went through my stash and reduced it to what’s on this list, I could donate my rolling drawer makeup organizer and fit it all in an oversized countertop display.

Started over?! Like if there was a fire? Or if I used a time machine? BC I’m currently using things that aren’t available right now.

So if money were no object and given what’s available today, I’d immediately start with my no makeup makeup: toofaced primer, milk makeup + bareminerals foundations, IT concealers, graftobian correctors, Japanese drugstore eyeliner & mascara, and NYX brow pencil. A beauty blender plus a few good quality brushes for eyes and cheeks. I use elf and artstore brushes for concealing.

For blush I’d get a smattering of pinks, corals, peaches and plums from MJB, NARS, MAC, and MUFE. Eyes would be UD Naked Basics and Viseart cashmere theory. If I were in the mood for more after suddenly accumulating a lot of basics all at once, I’d go to colour pop for powder shadows, lip gloss, and jelly shadows. Oh and lipstick from Nars Audacious, Guerlain Rouge G and Shiseido.

For me, now that I’ve moved out of the beauty industry, it would be more or less realizing what I actually use. For example, working in an office I wear my Face & Body ten times more than I did when I was working at Sephora. I rarely if ever do a full face anymore, and it’s not worth it.

I’d also probably ease up on limited edition stuff. I find myself trying to covet it, and then buying things that aren’t LE and then using those. For example, I got the NARS x Erdem Loves Me Not blush and I find myself holding back from using it or traveling with it because I would be hard pressed to lose it. It’s very hard. I’d also probably ease up on buying based on first impressions from influencers. For example, I find myself buying things lately based on recommendations from influencers like Alanna Davison, who uses products over and over again and it makes me buy stuff (ie that Erdem one lol).

Very hard question. I would begin with skin care and primer, advance to foundation and finishing powder if needed. Next, I would add color products. I think blush would be easier than other products but could be wrong. I would certainly work on eye color and lip color as they make a big impact. Brows and mascara are very individual.

I recently did start over, I took a break from makeup for longer than I want to admit. All I wore was eyeliner, mascara, and a bit of undereye concealer for YEARS so I didn’t own anything.

My first stop was seeing what new products were out there and learning how to use them. I was looking for easy office-appropriate looks so that ruled out most of youtube–but I still find some of the instructional videos helpful. I was able to figure out which products I needed and which I could pass on. I’m still using the same mascara I’ve used since the late 80s (it’s Clinique, it still performs the way I like it and I’ve tried SO MANY new ones and I just don’t like the falsies look on me) but everything else is new for me. Thanks to youtube I discovered that I LOVE cream eyeshadow and blush and with a few traditional shadow palettes I have what I need. I still don’t need foundation. Skincare above everything else really, for me anyway.

I’ve been giving this some thought since the question was posed and in all honesty, I don’t think I would change much at all. Okay, maybe I wouldn’t buy MAC Twig lipstick or the one Viva Glam one I have (III, maybe) that is matte and I’d have returned MAC Studio Sculpt concealer while it was still possible and I’d have scooped up 3 or more backups for Cargo’s Blu-Ray concealer. But that’s pretty much it….not too many regrets and even some of those have kinda fond memories attached to them (sounds a bit daft, I’m sure, but I bet many here can also relate….MAC’s She Who Dares – think I’ve worn it 3 times since buying it but I still like looking at it and remembering practically getting whiplash when I was walking by the MAC counter and saw it!)

We are assuming that I know all my skincare basics, etc. right?

If so, then I would definitely NOT be lured into buying on the whim this cute highlighter that everybody is raving about to have 10 to choose from and regularly use 5 max. Same goes for the blushes.

That said, I am at the point, where I do know what products work for me and I would start building my collection by pruchasing them (one or max two for each category).

I’d replace my dailies right away — face & eye primer, foundation, setting powder, mascara, contour, etc. I’d get a good mixed finish neutral eyeshadow palette, a few good blushes, and some basic lip colors. I’d go from there, moving into more colorful stuff. I’d have a better idea of what works on me and what brands I like, so I wouldn’t try to replace everything that I own. I’d be more aware of dupes, and buy less, and with more thought.

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