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A Time To Cull

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I have this dreadful habit and hope my admitting it will mean you won’t judge me too harshly. When I am depressed (that being clinically depressed, as opposed to just feeling really sad), I am seized by the desire to buy lots of pretty things. Topping that list would be lipgloss.

It’s easier not to feel quite so guilty about splurging on bath products because they do get used up. I’ll have bath fizzes, solid bubble bath bars, and powders in sachets stashed in my beloved bath box, threatening to spill over, but in a month or two they’re gone. That’s fine — at least that which is bought is consumed rather than wasted.

Alas, not so with lipgloss, or even eyeshadow. In some ways, I wish I could be a bit more like my mother. She will actually finish lipstick tubes and has only five or so that are used regularly and used evenly. Then, when one is finished, she’ll go out and repurchase the same shade.

In my personal opinion, wearing the same colour palette for the last twenty or so years is not always flattering and she would do well to consider different colours for various types of light (daytime or nighttime), and occasions — but that’s another issue to be discussed later. At least she is making very good use of what she has.

I need to start doing the same. Either I can choose to have a lot of lipgloss, and use it more often, or cut down on buying the damn stuff. I’ve chosen to do the latter. So, I’ve devised some guidelines to help me get rid of items that haven’t even been used, and banish those I no longer use.

I regret that moment when I jokingly adopted the following phrase throughout some of my worst depressive episodes: “A girl (or girl at heart, regardless of age or gender, let’s be inclusive, shall we?) can never have too much lipgloss.”

Um, yes, she can. It pains me to admit it, but it’s true. Onto the guidelines for culling the lipgloss and eyeshadow collection.

1. Does the colour suit me?

Yeah, it looked hot on your friend Gwendolynne or on that sexy glam rock god in that new band, but are my skintone, hair, and eye colour anything like theirs? Sadly no. So, if it makes me look like I’ve been painted for my casket viewing, it’s very likely I’ll end up neglecting it (unless I happen to need that particular look, and I seriously doubt that will be the case, especially as I plan to be cremated). No usage = not necessary to own.

Unless it looks awful but I plan to wear it anyway, it can go.

2. Is it similar to anything I already have?

I’ll illustrate with an example. I have three MAC lipglosses, all limited edition (MAC is extraordinarily fond of making items limited edition so the masses run out to acquire them like some bloodthirsty horde).

Their names are Bare Fetish, a milk chocolate colour, translucent with slight shimmer; Sable, as above, but with enough mauve and a hint of green pearlescence to make this significantly different to the aforementioned; and Taupe Notch, smack-bang in the middle colour-wise between the previous two. Taupe Notch, you’re fired!

3. How often am I likely to use it?

Lately, my mental health has been very good. The best it’s been in the last four years, in fact. I mention this because when I’m happy, I’m much more likely to want to make effort with my appearance and enjoy the effort needed to do so. It might not make sense, but I feel more worthy of wearing makeup. Odd, but that's how it works.

So, my little Urban Decay Hotpants lip gunk, this means you’ll be getting some serious usage this (Southern Hemisphere) spring! As will any lip product that resembles my lip colour (it helps to deter me from biting my lips). It’s also going to be fun wearing flirty teal green eyeshadows on lids. However, six such eyeshadows (admittedly of varying textures, but come on, that’s just an excuse!)??? Oh, come on now, that’s just ridiculous! Perhaps two are worth holding onto but four have to go.

I have a fairly big pile of things whose fate is undecided. At the beginning of last week, I took four brand new things from this pile and they were the beginning of a ‘for sale’ pile. Later, a few more additions — three for the ‘maybe’ pile and one for the sale pile, then another two for the maybes.

So far, I’ve decided to keep two items. It’s going to take a really long time to get through this pile of cosmetic treasures, but I will not be swayed from the path! I may even consent to having a friend or two help me be brutal in my cull. Wish me luck; I’m really going to need it.

It would also be great to hear of anyone who has been able to cull their own collections. Is it possible? If you think so, then feel free to share your story or confess that you have a similar problem! I'm sure there must be some people out there who can identify with my weakness. 

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  • Nomes

    Ok, so I am not commenting because you mentioned that nobody else did, I am commenting because I am totally with you on this one. I have so much makeup that I rarely use and I wanna sell off most of it actually but I can’t seem to part with it all. Everytime I try to come up with a sell list my eyes begin to water up, how did you get the strength to do this???

  • Kitty

    I have the exact same problem! I really need to get rid of the stuff I’m not using, but throwing it away or attempting to sell it and that not working out seems like a bigger waste. I wish I could give my barely used, unwise MAC purchases to Goodwill.. That’d make for a hell of a tax deduction!

  • laura

    I just did a nmassive carboot sale, I sold lost of things and everything I didn’t I recycled or gave to charity and it felt good, as I am such a hoarder and struggle to throw things away!