Sunday, April 9, 2017

Thoughts on decluttering, reusing makeup containers, and *actually* using samples


Hello friends! I have talked about my decluttering / simplifying / no-buy journey several times on my blog (see here, here, and here), but today I want to share how it's going and talk about finding creative ways to use what you have.

First up: an update on my decluttering progress & no buy. I pretty much stopped decluttering / simplifying my collection within the last three months because I was satisfied with the state of my collection. Everything I own is something I use and enjoy. Some items only come out to play  seasonally or in certain moods, but that's a-okay by me.

I went about a year-ish on a very minimal purchase streak (an informal no-buy if you will) but I feel like that phase is also over. I no longer think about trying to force myself not to buy or limiting my urge to purchase, I am more naturally skeptical and inclined to ask myself if I *really* *actually* want it. I have purchased a few things lately that I have loved - a sunscreen replacement, a few eyeshadow singles from Essence, a new mascara - but nothing over the top.

I'm on my second year of not making Sephora VIB or Ulta platinum - it felt nice to pass the anniversary of not making the cut. I have also been continuing to reform my social media habits - I don't follow any beauty related stuff on snapchat, pretty much quit instagram, and have continued reforming my youtube subscriptions. I am down to two nail polishes plus a top coat, my favorite red and my favorite nude, which is a HUGE improvement from my previous collection of ~25 polishes. I have also been nurturing my reading and baking habits. I am pleased to announce my currant almond scone habit is still going strong :)


Let's talk about reusing what you have - quite a few of my everyday favorites are items with recycled packaging. If you love a product's packaging, keep on using it, even if you declutter the product inside. Some examples:

- I finally used up my Chanel loose powder. I absolutely love the jar and didn't want to toss it, so instead I filled it up with another powder. My favorite pressed translucent powder is the Essence All About Matt, but they tend to break around the edge when there is pan showing in the middle. I smashed up the powder ring around the edge of the compact and now am finishing it up as a loose powder.

- My tiny Laura Mercier translucent loose powder sample was hard to get face brush in, so it is being used up in my empty Urban Decay loose finishing powder container.

- I used up an Anastasia Beverly Hills clear brow gel (which is fantastic!), and I kept the brush out. I washed off the residue with Dr. Bronner's liquid soap, and it is now my brow spoolie brush.

- Instead of buying a lash comb, I use old mascara wands. My current favorites are the discontinued Maybelline One By One brush and a L'Oreal wand (voluminous million lashes if I remember correctly?). I didn't like either mascara formula, but I kept the brushes to use for separating my lashes and combing out clumps.


- When I depotted my Bare Minerals eyeshadow quad, I only kept two of the shades. I kept the compact and covered the inside in magnetic tape. It now lives on as my travel compact - currently it has a franken-powder creation (pressed remnants of a L'Oreal True Match powder mixed with a Bare Minerals powder). I have also used it for traveling with blush, most often my Benefit Sugarbomb or Inglot #20, neither of which have a compact.


Finally, let's talk about how to actually use samples. We all get samples and minis, but it is so easy to let them sit for eternity in a drawer instead of getting used up. My tips:

- Put samples in a cute container that lives on your vanity. I bought this cute ceramic box on clearance at J Crew ($5!) because I loved the cheerful yellow. Look around your house for a tray, basket, box, or something that would draw your attention sitting on your vanity.

- Curate a selection. If you jam a container full of things, you won't be able to see what it inside at a glance. I also don't keep only one type of sample in my box at a time.

- Rotate through different options. I like rotating samples in and out, depending on what I want to use. If I get bored with a perfume, I replace it with another mini. I wasn't impressed with the Tarte tartiest birthday lip mini from the Sephora birthday gift upon first impress, but I want to try it a few more times before getting rid of it.

I hope this was helpful! If you have any tips for recycling makeup packaging & using up samples, please leave a comment down below :)

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