What types of products would you buy fewer of if you started your collection over?

Foundation, mascara, and bronzer. I’d rather just have a few foundations I love than a lot of opened ones in general (I’d just be better about returning shades/formulas that didn’t work for my skin tone/type). I’d also just buy less mascara, use some up, then replace (either with the same thing or something new). I so rarely wear bronzer that I am definitely someone who could just have a few (like a matte, satin, and maybe a deeper/redder one).

— Christine

73 Comments

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Pearl Avatar

Lipsticks and blushes – I always buy them based on a face chart, and after a while I ended up with a lot of blushes or lipsticks in the same color family, just maybe the finish is different or it’s a little deeper or lighter, but all very similar. I think I could get away with having a lot less of each just by varying my application techniques.

I think I would still have the same amount of eyeshadow though -? I just love eyeshadow. ?

Alecto Avatar

Fewer lipticks, most certainly. I like the ones I have, but my favorite looks all involve going bold on the eyes and cheeks and bare on the lips — not nude-colored lipstick, bare. In fact, while you could argue that having the lipsticks forces me to branch out and be more creative, there are days when I’d much rather declare a signature look and be done with it. If it wouldn’t make me feel terribly guilty for discarding perfectly good lipsticks that I actually use, I’d narrow them down to one or two good reds, a berry, a MLBB plum, a warm mauve or light greyed plum, and possibly a near-nude.

Lauren Avatar

I don’t even know how I ended up with so many lipsticks! I recently went through and swatched all of my lip products up and down my arms and gave away or got rid of any that were too similar to one another.

Nancy T Avatar

MLBB and nude lipsticks. I have WAY too many, and while all my MLBB type shades have worked out pretty darn good, no one needs THIS many! Plus, quite a many a failed attempt to wear a ‘true’ nude lip before realizing that I just don’t do corpse lips well at all. If I were to be honest, I’d have to say I have too many lipsticks, period. Because lipsticks eventually turn, whereas powder products really never do.

Katherine T. Avatar

Probably red lipsticks/glosses — I didn’t realize how many I had until about a year ago, when I re-organized my lipsticks by color. Now I have no buy or low buy on that. And I’ve stopped buying black eye liners, way too many already (either bought, came in value kits, or GWP), and black can look too harsh, prefer dark brown. Otherwise, it’s a great collection, although kind of big. But part of the reason why it’s so big is that I’ve had to try many products (ie hair oils, skin creams, face oils, exfoliators, etc) before finding the best products for me.

SummerFabulous Avatar

It’s the same for me! ? Even though I love to buy the drugstore ones I always go back to my high end ones more often than not.

L.Brown Avatar

I purchased way too many foundations when I first began buying makeup a few years ago. I bought too many foundations without being properly matched, which led to me buying a ton of product that was either too dark or too red for my skin tone. If I could do it over, I would avoid doing that. I would also avoid buying so many eyeshadow palettes. I would buy them due to hype and they would end up collecting dust.

Livia Avatar

It would definitely have to be eyeshadows for me. I have far too many, and I only realistically wear neutral shades, in bursts of one to two at a time for everyday use.

lindsay Avatar

Less eyeshadow for sure, especially anything super shimmery or frosty. I prefer mattes more than anything and my eyes can definitely be sensitive to shimmer.

I would stick to my all time favorite mascaras, L’oreal Voluminous and MAC Extended Play, with regular and waterproof formulations.

Lip products are my favorite, but I would definitely be choosier with formulation. More satins and creams, less super matte(sorry Ruby Woo) and high shine products (feathering!). Also, I’d try to avoid anything frosty or glittery bc of how it enhances lip lines. Cream finish or just slightly shimmery!

I’ve been trying to edit my collection for a year or so now and this is definitely inspiring another culling! Thanks! ?

Sarah Avatar

Lip gloss. I enjoyed it in middle school, but I really dislike the tackiness/stickiness of it now. I think I only have one lip gloss left, but it’s one more than I want in my collection lol.

Also, eyeshadow. I use most of what I have, but I wouldn’t mind going back and not buying some of the green/blue shades I own. But at least they were mostly indie samples, so they were pretty inexpensive lol.

Ginn Avatar

Definitely foundation! Also not being afraid to return foundations that just don’t work for me (that’s why they make receipts!)

Nancy Avatar

I would have bought fewer eyeshadow palettes, and just stuck with my daily go-to neutrals. It’s easy to get caught up in the palette of the moment and buy it on impulse.

Anne Avatar

EYESHADOW: My current eyeshadow collection is tiny. I really have limited myself in the past 10 years to buying less and less of it — no matter what the brand or color or latest trend. I haven’t bought a palette in what seems like forever — 15 years? Not even a single Viseart palette, because each includes too many shades I would never, ever wear. I hate, hate, hate fall out. I hate the look of frosty lid colors bleeding into my matte crease color after application. I hate eyeshadow that doesn’t blend easily. I hate eyeshadow that just blends away into nothingness or muddiness. I hate eyeshadow that creases (even with primer). I hate any shade of brown eyeshadow. (I do love those lid colors that stay put and aren’t drying, regardless of the finish, and they’re extremely hard to find — like needle-in-the-haystack rare. But, the new all-matte, cool-toned MUFE palette — to my utter shock — might just find its way home with me, ‘might’ being the operative word.)

Julia Avatar

I feel like I should say eye shadow palettes, but even though I have way more than I would ever need (don’t we all?) I really enjoy most of them and I don’t really regret any of them. I got super-enthusiastic about Meteorites Perles for a little while and I don’t use them much now, so those were probably not the best choice – they are very pretty but impractical, and quite subtle when compared to the other bajillion shimmering/ highlighting powders I’ve bought. And definitely eyeliners – I was buying them up like crazy for a while and that’s probably one of the more neglected areas in my stash. I have a whole rainbow of colors buy usually reach for brown or black.

Lisa Avatar

Eyeshadows hands down. I work in an environment (hot kitchen) where minimal makeup is preferable, mainly for comfort. I don’t get much opportunity to get to play with eyeshadow, plus I just get too excited at all the new shades and palettes that I now realize I really don’t go through them, if at all.

I wouldn’t necessarily buy less foundations or base makeup, because I’m always in search of the perfection foundation. I have to remind myself to take time to sample the foundation to make sure it suits my skin for the season I’ve meant to use it for and do more research before purchasing online.

Jillian Avatar

Eyeshadows, definitely. Mostly because I wasn’t discerning with respect to the quality (this was an era before I became a loyal Temptalia fan, maybe 8-ish years ago!). I got sucked in by pretty colours in the pan, and didn’t think about the quality of the product itself.

Sarah Avatar

You’re right on the money with mascara, Christine! I literally only use one now and it’s the Ulta Twisted Volume. I have no need for the others expiring in my collection.

I’d say that I would buy less blush, simply because my cheeks are already red with scars and premature rosacea. Owning thirty blushes that all end up looking the same? Kind of useless. I would also stop buying so many freaking eyeliners. I went through a colored eyeliner phase and bought a few Ulta automatic ones. Most of them had disappointing pigmentation but I kept trying to make them work. At this point, I would just go for the Sephora ones.

Ria Avatar

Eyeshadow palettes. I had (and still have, to a degree) a bad problem with palettes. I even have palettes I’ve only used once, never at all! I rushed to buy the Lorac Mega Pro 2 christmases ago when it came out, then after oohing and aahing over it, placed it back in the box untouched. There it still sits in my drawer! I don’t wear eyeshadow every day, so there is no need for me to have 12+ palettes. I could have saved that money for something else.

Andy Avatar

Foundations. I have both yellow and red undertones, so I’m hard to match. But I keep trying. Also, eye shadow quads. They’re too expensive and I end up using only two or three colors. I have landed on two drug store shadows that I’m sticking to from now on. Dirt cheap, very flattering, and cruelty free. (Bella sand by Milani, and Noisette by Wet and Wild.)

Flaky Avatar

I’d agree on highlighters. They tend to all look nearly the same on my skin tone. I have more than a dozen total & there’s just no way I could use them all in a lifetime. One good go-to is fine & I agree with you that a shimmer shadow works great. I often do that when traveling rather than bring another compact.

Naomi Avatar

definitely lipsticks! I continuously have been recently going through and purging my collection; getting rid of the things that I’ll never use or that don’t make me happy, and so far I’ve gotten rid of quite a lot of lipsticks, passing them on to my siblings who will use them more than I ever could! also maybe blushes, I find it hard to get rid of my precious blushes tho! blushes are my weakness for sure!

Diana Avatar

If I could flush it all down the toilet and start anew, I would take a great girlfriend along who would say, “No, you can’t buy that. You already have two in that shade. Put it down.” Or, ” I don’t care if you think it’s pretty, it looks hideous on you. Put it back.” Or, “remember that selfie you hated? You were wearing that shade of lipstick. You should throw that shirt away, too.”
Wrong shade of foundations, wrong shades of lipsticks to match, and HORRIBLE lighting in department store makeup areas that compound the problem! I would have Georgio Armani foundation, as ultimately that worked on my aging skin the best. I would buy only MAC lipsticks, and only about 7, because I feel they have great staying power and are at a great price point. No more Tom Ford for me. What a disappointment that was!
I think I’m finally done with shadow palettes. There’s only about 6 colors that I really would ever use, and I need to hand select those for my brown eyes. And I have WAY too many lip liners. What was I thinking?
Plus, as one ages, cosmetics are less forgiving ( as is everything else!) so choosing carefully is more important. What I WILL NOT skimp on is exceptional skin care for my still pretty 62 year old skin.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

Lips products, nail products (none work for me) fewer foundation products from moisturizer to powder and everything in between. As Christine said, returns are a great idea. I need a receipt drawer. Mascara. Highlighters and browsers. Blush. Insane numbers of brushes and eye products.
It’s a disease. I’m giving so much away.

LindaP Avatar

My name is Linda and I am a lipstick-aholic. Honestly, the perfect color is just NOT out there. Plus, if I found it, I’d get bored with it anyway.

I really try to be selective with what I purchase. I’m picky, and most often test things before buying. I mostly really like what I buy, and often use things to the bottom. I don’t have a gazillion of anything, except lipsticks. Seriously, I have to pull that waaaaay down.

Jenny G Avatar

Since the beginning of the year I’m dedicated to narrow down my collection, so I´m using up the the powders, foundations, mascaras and things like that. Though I love to have many eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks. But the thing it is hard for me to use up and I have more the 30 in my colection is blush! Gosh 3 would be great but I don´t understand how I accumulate so many! kkkk

Donya Avatar

Concealers! Too many vloggers praising this one or that one. I get sucked in thinking this will be the one! I would get too excited and just buy what a mua put on me and when it didn’t hold up, feel too badly to return. I have at least $250 worth of concealer that will not cover my dark circles with my super pale skin. I am content with the two It Cosmetics items I have and have purge planned for the near future. Imust say I still think the NARS creamy js the best formula, but still required a corrector under.

Erin Avatar

Lippies (over 100 when I probably wear around 10 max).. eyeshadows (I Love eyeshadows, but I don’t need 30 pallettes).. Contour Kits (8?), when all I need is a true deep brown bronzer and a slightly lighter concealer).. recently though (past 2 mos) over bought about 100 nail polishes.. love them though!

Debbie Avatar

For me it would be a tie between eye shadows and lip colors. I have an overflowing collection of lip colors and eye shadows, many of which I bought because they looked pretty at the store. I never really liked to swatch, but have learned how necessary it is to avoid disastrous purchases. Right now I am trying to reach pan on at least five shadows at a time before I touch any others, and to use up as many of my lip colors.

Lea Avatar

Honestly, I think my weakness is back-ups. I’ve had so many favorites get discontinued and with the LE trend, I buy back-up versions of things I falling love with. The problem becomes when you fall in love with something new!

Bonnie Avatar

Me too. Not so bad when I do this with makeup, but I do it with fragrance. And because I jump around, sometimes when I finally do open a backup of a fragrance I loved, my taste may have changed, and I don’t think it’s so amazing anymore.

RMW (Rose) Avatar

Eyeshadows, eyeliners, and definitely lipsticks and glosses!! Major league over did on those departments! I have 3 foundations, 3 pressed powders and 3 loose powders. I have one contour, one, primers, 2 concealer, one mist n set. A few mascara’s, afew lip liners.

Kim Avatar

Lipsticks for SURE. I recently went through my entire stash and actually threw away at least a third of all my lipsticks! What was I thinking when I bought these???? I don’t even LIKE the colors?

Shara Avatar

Hi Everyone….I have been reading comments for over 2 years and this is my first comment. It’s funny…I feel like I know some of you in a sense after reading all your comments:)! As far as the question…Now that a lot of cosmetic companies put together kits, I would buy kits. I would only purchase items If the kits lacked anything I would need or found a special purchase (i.e. sale or rare).

Peta Avatar

Foundation. I have had to dispose of a few high end ones recently. I still am searching for the perfect one. Oh and concealer so I have ones from overseas I haven’t even opened. Once again search for perfection

BonnieJ Avatar

Funny, this question showed up today! Cleaning out TONS of old makeup and samples in my bathroom! You’d think I was a hoarder (just for beauty products not the rest of the house).
I would not purchase palettes anymore unless they were the refillable type. I find only certain colors end up being used while others are wasted.

Natalia Avatar

I can’t help buying lipsticks 🙁 I don’t need that many, but I keep buying them cause I like the color/texture or they are new release with some inventive touch. This has to stop.

Eyeshadows. I’m such a lamer when it comes to matching them, so I keep buying them in hope that this will go well with that, etc. Should be more selective/remember what I already have more, especially considering that I’m always drawn to similar shades.

Cat Avatar

Knowing what I know now…

Brushes! I didn’t know of a brand of quality brushes, so I kept buying and kept being disappointed. I’ve given many to my daughters and still have a lot stashed away in a box. I keep them in case a situation arises where I can use one.

Eyeliner is another I’d have less of. I own 44 but really only wear seven.

Also, the number of nail polishes I own is “too damn high!” Before I started organizing my polish, I stored it in two or three containers along with other nail-related items. After I purchased the three-tiered, scrollwork, metal rack, I discovered I had accumulated over seventy bottles of polish! I’ve thrown some away and given some to my daughters, yet still need to store some separately.

Audrey Avatar

I would get less face powders if I had to start over my collection because I only like 2 of mine, so I would only buy these 🙂

Brenda Lee Avatar

My first thought was eyeshadows. I have so many palettes that I now make myself rotate using them. Honestly no clue why I purchased Kat Von D Shade n light. Yes it’s all matte and yes they blend like a dream for matte but I have 2 other neutral palettes I like more.
Blush and highlighters are another that I have too many of. I rotate only my favorites in this group. There are several of both I never touch.
I’ve gotten much better at returning products and giving away the ones I don’t use to keep my collection to a manageable size. I’m not rushing to buy the latest and greatest product after several expensive purchases I later regretted.

Erin Avatar

Eyeliners. I always get sucked in by holidays sets with a bunch of colors thinking they are such a good deal. I really only use black and dark brown though.

Bonnie Avatar

If I had actually bought all my mascara, I would agree with you on that one, but many of us here have noticed how many we get in subscription boxes. I wouldn’t buy so many different types of eyeliners, because now I know what I like, and just buy those types in every color. But…had I not bought so many in the first place, I wouldn’t know what I like.

Silvia Avatar

Defínetely lipgloss never been too crazy on gooey, glowy sticky stuff. Also love both eyeshadows and lipsticks! I love to change colors daily and get excited trying all the new things. Lol! Have never really agreed that green is correct for my hazel eyes but tried the Comfort Zone from WetnWild and really am loving it! The shades are not just plain greens they have a golden tone background. I’m very fair but i think it would look outstanding on darker skin also. Lately I’m into the dewy/highlighters thing. Just nuts about it all so beautiful why cant help it falling for it. Also have purchased all the WnW matte colors and they do not bleed at all. Love corals, berrys, plums, reds. I find nudes make me too washed out although Just peachy, Bare it all and Rose bud are beautiful. I like them all. ?

Bon Bon Avatar

Lip sticks, stains and gloss. I can order four or five different colors of one brand in one sitting on line. I haven’t fiund the one to die for yet so I keep looking. This girl really needs to make a trip to Sophora and Ukta and sample some. Lol

Anime Avatar

Loose eyeshadows and pigments in EVERY SINGLE COLOR. I am grateful for them because I use them to press custom highlighters and mix into liquid lipsticks, but I could definitely have put that money toward something else.

Carrie Avatar

Concealers! I have at least ten, most of them have only been used once or twice. My many concealers were purchased without doing any research on choosing a concealer. Mostly I went on customer reviews/rating, without ever considering my own needs in a concealer. After finally doing some research via YouTube , I have a much better idea on the best concealer for me and my dark circles!

Nikki J. Avatar

Lipsticks! Honestly, I didn’t even like lipstick until recently, when I finally found a formula that agrees with my lips. I prefer lipgloss, so the only reason I even ventured into buying lipstick was because I couldn’t find any opaque, long-lasting glosses that I loved at the time. I own many different brands and finishes of lipstick now and only like one brand from my entire collection. The rest are sitting in a bin along with all my other unused products! If only I’d try the one I like sooner…

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