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What types of beauty products do you feel it's unnecessary to own more than a few of?

There are actually so many that one doesn’t NEED to have tons of variations of. First and foremost, any type of product that isn’t something I’d reach for in every other look can get redundant. I also think that owning a few shades that cover a spectrum of finishes, undertones, and light-to-dark can then be layered and mixed to get all of the shades in-between. Here are a few that came to mind, for me: most body/hair products (I just work through whatever I’m using), lip balm, mascara, and eyeshadow primer. I think highlighters can often be an area where even noticeable differences can get lost once applied to the skin, especially if you tend to layer over a blush or bronzer, though I can’t resist a good highlighter…

— Christine


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Kat Avatar

Yeah, I can’t resist highlighter either… I’d definitely agree on mascara (one of each color you use I think is enough), brow products, foundations (I like to have a sheer, a light, a medium, and a full coverage in my collection but no more than that), concealer, powder… Mostly just complexion products for me.

MacKenzie G. Avatar

Foundation/concealer, mascara, bronzer, face powder, eyeshadow primer, body/hair care. These are all things that’s I own maybe one or two of once I’ve found my ideal product, and I don’t see a lot of need to have more than that. I also agree with you on highlighters, Christine. Differences aren’t huge once they’re on the face, but man oh man are they hard to resist!

Nancy T Avatar

Oooh, I’ve got a list! Which was never even really an intentional list, but here goes: lip primer, lip balm, foundation (regular, not bb or cc), brow filler or powder, brow gel (if one uses it), skin primer, eyeshadow primer, setting powder, finishing powder, mascara, basic skincare and haircare items, a good black waterproof eyeliner! Did I miss anything? ?

Linda Avatar

Love this question.

For me, I only use one mascara at a time because they have the shortest shelf life, and I tend to stick to my favorite for a long time (currently Rollerlash).

All other beauty products, even skin and hair care, I have many to rotate through because I get bored easily and I seem to like different stuff for different occasions.

Tracey E. Avatar

Honestly, most everything in beauty could fall into this category. There was a time when I had 1 bottle of foundation, a concealer, a pressed powder, approx 3-6 lipsticks, 2-3 blushes, a mascara, and an Aveda compact that held 10-14 small magnetic eyeshadow singles that I used everyday (and hit pan often because they were small, yet practical). These were the items I used everyday.

Today, it’s easy to own too much of everything. I keep a close watch on items that can turn or dry out if not used frequently: gel eyeliners, foundations, certain lipsticks, mascara. I’m really good at finishing items before replacing, like shampoo, foundation, corrector/concealer, most skincare and haircare products, even lipstick shades are overly represented in my collection. Eyeshadows and highlighters are getting extra scrutiny this year as I don’t care to have too many duplicates.

lisebeth Avatar

Foundation, concealer, mascara, setting powder and lip balm… I usually wait until I finish those kind of products before buying a new one. I don’t need more than my shade with foundations, concealers and setting powders and I only use one mascara that I change every three months because that product do not stay good longer. I tend to buy more different products of colors as blushes, eyeshadows, lipsticks… to make different looks 🙂

Erica Avatar

Foundation, mascara, concealer, primer, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, bodywash… products I use daily and go through frequently. I like to keep that stash minimal and not so over grown esp something like mascara or foundation that go bad if I have too many jars/tubes open. I’m currently on a no buy specifically bc I did let these products get out of hand and I just cannot have that. I’m using two mascaras at once so I can use them up and get my collection under control lol!

Danielle Sharkster Avatar

For me, it is foundation and concealers. I don’t wear foundation a lot and I find one or two options work best due to the fact that they have an expiration date that usually doesn’t exceed a year in terms of liquid and cream formulas. I have roughly 3 options for concealer in my collection that cover different needs (under eye area coverage and a few for covering blemishes) and I find that this works for me the best. I go all out when it comes to eye shadows, blushes and highlighters because powder has a longer life span and those are the products that I love and reach for daily.

Debbie Avatar

Mascara since it goes bad quickly, so one and one on back up.
Foundation…I only use one brand and color and once it is used up I just replace.
Face Primer and Eye primers are use and replace items.
Eyebrow products are another group where it is one and one on deck.

When it comes to hair, body and skin products I just work through it and when it is almost done get a replacement.
Lip pencils I only have three or four at a time.

AB Avatar

LOL — so many things, for me. I probably don’t need to own multiple versions of: mascara, foundation, blush (I find I only need 2-3 to get all looks), concealer, eyebrow products; I don’t really use highlighter but if I did I bet I’d also need not many versions.

Julia Avatar

Any base make up (foundation, powder, concealer, etc), since the purpose of all of them is to be the same color of your skin anyway! And mascara, I don’t think there’s really a reason for more than maybe 2 if you like to have one more natural and one more dramatic.

Anne Avatar

More than a decade ago, I had too much of everything except foundation. It was all senseless spending, because I had to throw away the vast majority of it. It was so easy to get carried away, but having to toss out thousands and thousands of dollars in makeup and skincare made me promise to myself that I would never do it again. Now, my collection is quite small. I don’t own a single eyeshadow palette. I used to own several dozen. I now have about a dozen lipsticks. I used to own a couple hundred (counting the gift-with-purchase, it wasn’t hard to collect this many). Those days are long gone for me. I’m a super selective consumer today. Sometimes, I still think I have too much, especially when I realize I haven’t used a particular product in three months or so. If I don’t use it, why did I buy it? Didn’t I think I loved it when I bought it? It’s a reminder to keep my collection manageable. If I can’t see what I own, I have too much. If I don’t use what I own, I own too much. Around three years ago, I went crazy on a Chanel collection guilt free because I knew exactly what I owned and what I didn’t.

I don’t use giving away an unwanted item as an excuse to buy more. I don’t pounce on the greatest new thing. I return products that don’t perform. The last time I bought a LE product that I just had to have without so much as a swatch to go by was the Dior Glowing Gardens highlighter in pink. That’s almost a year ago. Two to three years ago, I bought quite a few natural hair brushes, the last being a LE release by Wayne Goss two years ago. None since. I have enough. When I buy, I’m always looking for a HG, but I don’t keep buying something else if it’s not. And, I don’t buy to just try.

Mixing products is fun and creative. It also saves a lot of money. And, I mix a lot these days, particularly blushes, foundations and lipsticks. For anyone who hasn’t mixed products before, I would suggest trying it with your lipsticks first. Beyond that, certain eyeshadows can be used as cheek highlighters, blushes, contour or bronzer colors. And, visa versa. If you require different shades of foundation throughout the year, I highly recommend The Body Shop’s lightening and darkening drops. If you need a slightly cooler or warmer shade, trying mixing it with a little color corrector. And, of course, try mixing foundations for different colors or coverages. If your moisturizer needs to be amped up, try adding drug store products like pure glycerin. Health food stores and on-line specialty stores offer many low-cost, mixable ingredients to add to your skin care as well. And, on and on it goes. One of these day, I hope Christine asks us for our latest concoction success, so we could get a few ideas to try from each other.

Didn’t mean to write a book, lol. I just really liked this question.

Ashleigh Avatar

It used to use 1 of everything back in the day and I think most people do, it’s just us beauty addicts that feel compelled to have options! The only things I had multiples of that I can think of were nail polish and eyeshadow. I never wore lipstick before 2013 and now I have an abysmal collection. 🙂

Samira Avatar

I agree with your list Christine, and would add eyebrow products (you can have multiple different formulas but once you’ve found the right color and products for you, I don’t see why you’d need a lot of them) and sculpting powder. I always think it’s odd that sculpting palettes with colors “for all skin tones” do so well – only makeup artists need colors that work on all skintones! There are at best only a few sculpting tones that will work well for your skincolor, and once you have those you don’t need anything else.

I also only have a few bronzers but that’s because I’m super pale so there are only a few that work for me to begin with.

Anna Avatar

I think I saw a youtube video about it, and a blogger said she would use some shade for setting powder, other shade for highlight, another one for brows… etc

Mariella Avatar

This is a tough one since (like the majority here, I’d guess), I own so much of EVERYTHING and covet SO MUCH of EVERYTHING. But realistically, for my own needs, I’d say bronzer (I rarely use it either to bronze or contour and I have found one that I think is perfect for me…of course, it’s LE), brow “stuff” (I rarely “do” my brows and in a pinch, a brown eyeshadow could work) and setting powders (I have probably half a dozen or more but any one of them would be sufficient). And I agree about highlighters but, again, that doesn’t stop me wanting and far too often buying another new, shiny pretty!

Eileen Avatar

I don’t think there’s a need to own more than a few variations of anything that is used on a regular basis to provide the base for my looks. In my case, that’s foundation, setting powder, highlighter, mascara, brow pencil, and black eyeliner. When it comes to color, that’s where the fun begins. Eyeshadows, blushers, lipsticks and glosses–there’s no such thing as too many! LOL

MoMerrell Avatar

oh man:

Highlighters – they are getting pretty ridic with these blue and rainbow colors. Idk who they think is walking outside like that but come on now! lol If I own one for $28 you bet your bottom dollar I’m not buying another one until that one is all gone.

Mascara – I keep two and rotate them in use or sometimes I only use one on my upper and the other on my bottom lash

BB & CC creams
Powder – you get so much in one why have more than one
Eye primer – my sigma one lasts me a year…a YEAR of every day use. Why even have more than one LOL
Lip Primer – I till don’t understand it’s purpose
Contour Kits – If they all do the same thing, why have so many different kits of the same
Shampoo – I have short hair, 1 bottle will last me a year (6 months on conditioner)
Moisturizers – two is ideal in my mind
Setting Spray
Brow creams/wizards, etc.

In all honesty, I don’t need 100+ lipsticks either but It’s a must so. lol

Anne Avatar

I think it depends on the person. Like, I probably have more foundations than I should as I am the same ghost-pale shade all year round, but for people who tan and then fade throughout the seasons etc, it makes sense to own more foundations as you may have multiple shades. Same goes for concealer. I also think if you find one contour powder (and maybe one cream) that works for you then you’re set.

A lot of basics, like lip balm, make no sense to own more than maybe two kinds to me (like maybe one that’s more hydrating and thick for overnight and an everyday one). I agree with you Christine on eyeshadow primer, as if you have one that works for you then I think you’re good to go. For mascara, having a few kinds (waterproof, more volume, more length, etc) would make sense except for the fact that they’ll dry out quickly and you won’t get to use much of any of them.

Alicia Avatar

My list is pretty simple. Mascara, skincare (I have a good routine of products, don’t need variety), brow products, and bronzer. Those things are always the same for me. I *need* variety in everything else!

Cheryl Avatar

I only have one foundation and when it’s gone, I replace. Don’t use highlighters but have way too many eyeshadows and lipliners and eyeliner’s!

Glenda Avatar

Skin cleanser (I love Elemis Cleansing Balm), mascara (because you can’t have too much), lipsticks (because it’s lipstick!) and concealer because dark circles!!!

Janine Avatar

Every time I look into my makeup collection I think I don’t need anything else, but there are so many new beautiful launches that I just can’t resist…

Mallory Avatar

Mascara, Foundation, Eye Shadow Primer, Concealer, Eye brow pencil/pomade, and setting powder.

You’re technically right about highlighter…you don’t NEED more than one but that didn’t stop me from owning 10 different ones in varying textures (liquid to cream to powder) and slightly different shades…

Lea Avatar

I’m with many here in saying anything base related – foundation, powder, bronzer and for me even blush. I focus more on skincare options and lip and eye options. I think that eyes and lips can change up your look the most; though what I need versus what I have is a big leap!

Alexandra Avatar

I don’t believe it necessary to own more then say two Foundations: one full coverage and one sheer/medium. That being said, I own about 20 because I just can’t find the right one. I also don’t think you need multiple mascaras, I would ideally have 4: one black, one brown, one blue, and one purple. Other than that, I do consider myself a collector so I don’t mind having excessive amounts of most products.

Shannon. N Avatar

The first things that popped into my mind are: mascara, foundation (I currently have FIVE open. *hangs head in shame*) brow gel, brow powder, matte bronzer.

I also think it depends on your makeup style, and your skin tone! Like, I know my dark skinned best friend needs lots of browny/nude for her lip liners because most lipsticks look chalky on her rich, brown skin!

And I know for my light skin,I only need one matte bronzer, because I rarely use it!

Jasmine Avatar

I feel like more is more, and so I own several of everything. Even a highlighter can have different applications and uses, like Watts Up vs. a baked highlighter (I like Makeup Revolution), and beyond that you have decide if you like a silver or gold highlight.

What do I only need one of? Lip balm, but my boyfriend likes it when I have different flavors. Dry shampoo, but I do have one tinted and one without color.

Maybe primer? But I have eyelash primer, eye primer, moisturizing primers, and blurring primers.

I even have multiple setting powders because they are all milled differently so I use different ones on certain parts of my skin to reduce the appearance of lines.

I’m basically a lost cause.

Aimee Avatar

Haha I’m a lost cause too! You are not alone. I have multiples of everything, I mean everything. I’m a shameless collector. But I need very little, really. I just love makeup. But I’m downsizing (trying anyway) and I’m on a no buy for the year. I’ve got so much product it’s ridiculous. 🙂

Donna E. Avatar

Mascara, concealer. foundation, primers for eyes and face, bronzer, contour, blush, highlighter. These items I have very few of and don’t feel the need for more. Though I’ve still got the urge to try out other foundations. I keep on coming back to my tried and true MAC Waterweight!

Tatiana Avatar

Let’s be realistic and honest here, it’s unnecessary to own more than a few of anything when it comes to makeup. That doesn’t mean I don’t love all those eyeshadow colors! But for the average consumer who is not blogging how many red lipsticks or blushes or palettes do you really need or use on a regular basis. I will guiltily admit I have more makeup than I could possible wear in several lifetimes.

Brenda Avatar

I like many of you only need 1 foundation, eye & face primer, concealer, setting powder (not finishing powders since I have 2 hourglass palettes and BB finishing powder. Plus I’m lusting over Givenchy Prisme liber loose powder), brow pencil, hair care and skin care – although I currently have 4 mask that do 4 different things in my bathroom. I do find that once I find my HG for that particular item I don’t deviate and am totally faithful.

However I cannot resist eyeshadows (just bought 12 colourpop singles), eye liners, lipsticks (u can never have too many red, pink or nude lipsticks in all their different and wonderful finishes and formulas) blush & highlighters because they need to coordinate with my eye look. I do keep a spare mascara on hand because I hate to run out!

Violet Avatar

eyebrow products ( i have 1 eyebrow powder and pencil ), mascara , eyeshadow primer ( i have 3 though ), lip balm ( strangely, i have a few lip balms laying around everywhere ), and face powder. For complexion products like foundation, concealer and even face primer, I like to have a few for different purposes.

Kayle Avatar

Primers, brow products, foundation/concealer, and mascara come to mind for me. I personally don’t see why I should need more than one blush or highlighter but I can see why people would want to have options so I don’t think rhey necessarily apply

K.T. Avatar

First thing I think of would be foundation. There’s only so many finishes and in my experiences, most can be customized to your liking with powders, primers, mixing in other products etc. Then there’s mascara. I usually own only 1 tube at a time. If I want something other than black, I can use bodypaint or liquid liner. Owning 3 tubes of Perversion or BTS just isn’t sustainable for me and I’d rather spend the money on something a little more colorful.

Jessika Avatar

Primer and Highlighters! Once you find a primer that works for all of your foundations and skin type, stick with it! Why try and purchase so many? I don’t get it. And everyone is coming out with Highlighters nowadays! It’s driving me crazy! They all look alike after awhile, especially on brown/dark skin. What’s the point? Find one or two that makes you glow like nobody’s business and that’s it! It’s too much.

Keila Avatar

Mascara for sure!! I can’t see how some have 20+ unless you use one for each different lash :D!! Honestly the only time I have more than one is when I am trying a new one out. I just think most of them dry out too quickly, so I see it as a waste and I want to use my $$ on ANOTHER highlighter 😉

Emilie Avatar

Foundation (liquid and powder), concealer, contour powder, mascara, lip balm (I own so many lol), shampoos and conditioners, brow products, primers… I personally don’t tend to spend a lot on a variety of pencil liners either (warm brown, cool brown, purple, green, black. One of each, and in cheap travel sizes) but if I had enough money I might.

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