Makeup Declutter

Makeup Declutter

Decluttering is by far my favourite content to watch on YouTube, and it’s easily the thing I have the most time for. If someone I’m subscribed to uploads a 45 minute decluttering video I’m there in a heartbeat. I’ve recently pulled a few things out of my collection that were old, or that I knew weren’t getting enough love and I wanted to share what I’m getting rid of on here because I’m a firm believer in creating content that you would like to see, and I always like seeing a good declutter! 

Makeup Declutter  |  LITTLE HENRY LEE
Makeup Declutter  |  LITTLE HENRY LEE

Expired or Old

As we all know, it takes absolutely forever to finish up makeup (except mascara), and as much as I like to rotate through everything I have, eventually something here and there will reach its expiry, and when that happens it’s time to go. The vast majority of makeup products have a little symbol somewhere on their packaging that looks like an open jar with a number in it. This indicates how many months you can expect the product to last after you’ve opened it. As a general rule, when it comes to makeup (not skincare!) I don’t think these numbers are super strict – most products will last well beyond that number and you won’t have any issue with them. After all, we’re not talking about milk here, and even though we’re given these numbers, occasionally a product might even turn bad before it’s supposed to.

When including this symbol on their packaging, it's sensible for brands to be pretty conservative with that number so they don't get sued by someone who has a reaction to a product they've had hanging around for 10 years, so I just see that number as a guideline and not a rule to live by. In general, I trust that my products are going to indicate when it’s time to go through a change in smell, colour or texture. So until that happens, I’m not worried about using makeup I might have had for a few years (or more if it’s a powder product). In saying that, some of my products did end up changing on me, which is why I’ve decluttered them.

I really enjoyed the Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer (AU), and I got over halfway through the tube but eventually I noticed it had started to smell funny. It has solid medium coverage, isn’t drying and works both on the under-eye area as well as around the face. I would consider repurchasing this in the future, but for now I’ve got enough concealers to get through that I don’t need to be buying more. Another one that I decided to part with is the Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer, which I've had for about as long as the Estee Lauder one (over 3 years). Because it's in a more hygienic tube packaging it hadn't started to smell, but it's such a huge tube (15ml) and I just knew I was never going to get through it. They also reformulated it a while back so this version of the product isn't even available anymore. 

Another thing that I’ve had for too long is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation (AU). As I said, I’m not super strict about expiry dates, but this is as old as those concealers, and I just don’t think it’s working for me anymore. Although it still smells the same, I tried using it back in autumn and it looked really dry and cakey on my skin. I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this, sometimes it looked great and sometimes it really didn’t. The tube contains 50ml of product (most foundations contain 30ml) and I still had quite a bit left, but I knew I was never going to get through it and it was time to part ways.

Makeup Declutter  |  LITTLE HENRY LEE

Two more products that have bitten the dust are a couple of minis from Stila – the Liquid Lipstick in Beso (AU) and the Liquid Eyeliner (AU). Both of these dried up on me, and I have to say although the liquid lipstick lasted for a few years, the liquid liner was only in my collection for a few months, which was disappointing. I think the Stila Liquid Lipstick formula is one of the best on the market and would definitely consider picking another one up at some point, but for now I still have other bright red liquid lipsticks in my stash, so I don’t really need to buy any more. The eyeliner on the other hand, isn’t the best I’ve tried and I’m perfectly happy to keep using my favourite drugstore options rather than buying this. I’ve always found felt-tip liners to dry up a lot more quickly than other formats of liquid liner, which I think is probably because the tip collects eyeshadow as you apply it which makes it dry out faster. If don’t find that I have that issue with brush tip liners which is one of the reasons I prefer them over felt tips.

The last product that had reached the end of its life is the Buxom Full On Lip Cream in Berry Blast (mini - not avialable AU). I’m not much of a gloss person but I did enjoy using this on days when I just wanted a sheer wash of bright colour on my lips. The formula of these is pretty long-lasting for a gloss, but it’s definitely on the thick and sticky side. It’s also quite minty and it tingles your lips, but when I wore it recently and it no longer smelled minty I knew it was time to go.

Makeup Declutter  |  LITTLE HENRY LEE


After receiving a trio of mini Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows (AU) for Christmas I’ve realised that I no longer need the Australis Metallix Shadows in my collection. The two products give a very similar effect, but the introduction of the doe-foot applicator from Stila has made them a far better product in my eyes. Although the Australis ones are still great, especially if you’re on a budget, I always had trouble getting the product to stick to a brush, but applying it with a finger isn’t very precise, especially around the inner corner of the eye. The new format of the Stila shadows has fixed all those issues, and because it’s a looser (liquid) formula it spreads across the lid much more easily as well, so I just don’t have a need for the Australis shadows anymore.

Another product I’m parting with is a total throwback that was super hyped up in the early days of beauty blogging. The Balm’s Mary Lou-Manizer (AU) was the first highlighter I ever bought, and while it’s been in my collection for several years now, it still performs beautifully and there’s nothing wrong with it at all. The truth is that I just don’t wear a tonne of highlighter, and I know there’s no way I would ever finish one in my lifetime, so frankly I just don’t need to own very many of them. Plus if I’m honest, the packaging no longer appeals to me in the way it once did, so I’m going to pass this on to a friend who’ll be able to appreciate it more.

The last dupe is something I wasn’t even thinking of when I bought it, but after picking up Tom Ford’s Lips & Boys Lipstick in Nicholas (AU), I realised it’s very similar to MAC’s Diva (AU). The difference in the shades is pretty slight, but Nicholas is slightly more warm-toned, which means it leans a little more red and doesn't wash me out the way I always thought Diva did. I don’t wear super dark lipsticks like this all that often, and because I prefer both the shade and the formula of the Tom Ford, I knew that Diva would sit in my drawer unloved, so I’ll either give it to a friend or put it aside to Back 2 MAC it.

Makeup Declutter  |  LITTLE HENRY LEE

Didn’t Work Out

After hearing a few people rave about the Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation, I thought I’d give it a try since I now had access to a brand that isn’t available in Australia, plus it didn’t hurt that it was under $10. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for me and my oily skin. While it doesn’t look cakey or heavy, and it isn’t particularly bad, it just can’t hold back my oils and isn’t very long-wearing, so this one is a pass from me. Another one that I thought I would like more than I did is the NARS Multiple in Orgasm (mini) (AU) which came in a Mecca Beauty Loop Box a while back. I’d used it a few times here and there, but after using it again recently in different lighting than my normal setup I realised it’s super shimmery, and I typically prefer matte or satin blushes rather shimmery ones, so I’m passing this one on.

I've also got a few lip products that didn't work out for me. One liquid lipstick that I found way too drying is the Kylie Lip Kit In Mary Jo K – I'm glad I didn't buy this for myself (it was a Christmas gift) because I found the formula really hard to work with. I don't know if some shades perform better than others, or if people just really love the Kardashians that much, but the formula on this is alright when first applied, but you can't re-apply it without it getting horribly dry, cakey and crumbly. It's probably one of the worst formulas I've ever encountered, to the point where I even googled to make sure the person who bought this for me didn't accidentally buy a fake because it was that bad - but this is the real deal!

I also, disappointingly, didn't get on with Anastasia Beverly Hill Liquid Lipstick (AU) formula, which makes me so sad because Serafine is a beautiful blood red. It was just super drying and if something isn't comfortable to wear then I'm probably not going to reach for it, so this could go to a better home. The last one isn't a formula issue, but I realised the shade of MAC's Faux (AU) isn't for me. I have a few nudes from MAC, and after a bit of experimenting I realised that cool-toned nudes like this one really wash me out and never look very good on me. I much prefer the warmer nudes in their line, like Mehr, Brave and Twig so there’s no point in me hanging on to this.

Makeup Declutter  |  LITTLE HENRY LEE

Not Feeling It Anymore

Now, I realise the whole idea of “decluttering” is great because it encourages us to buy and own less, but it’s a bit problematic in the sense that it’s a huge privilege to be in a position where I can say I’m just “over” something and don’t want it anymore. Not everyone has the luxury of deciding they don’t want a high end palette anymore, so I wanted to acknowledge that I’m aware of that. However, hanging on to expensive items out of feelings of guilt isn’t going to do anything constructive either, and these items would be better off in the hands of someone who will love and appreciate them, so I’m going to pass these two onto friends.

I know these are going to be controversial decisions, but I’m getting rid of my Urban Decay Naked Palette (AU) as well as the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette (AU). I’ve mentioned before that I got into the online beauty scene around 2013, a little after it started to take off. The first Naked Palette to launch while I was actually paying attention was the Naked 3, so I’ve never had the same level of attachment to the original Naked palette that some people do. There have definitely been times when I’ve really enjoyed the palette and have gotten into using it regularly, but the bottom line is that I’m more excited about matte shadows, and I use way more matte shadows each day than I do shimmers. Typically, the kind of eyeshadow looks that I do will involve 3-5 mattes and one shimmery shadow, so when I’m faced with a palette that has 2 matte shades and 10 shimmers, it just doesn’t feel well-rounded to me. I prefer being able to reach for one palette to fulfill all my needs for that day, so when I have to supplement this palette with something else it just tells me that it doesn’t really suit my needs, and I think it’s time to let it go.

As for the Chocolate Bar palette, I was really surprised when I first realised that I didn’t love it anymore. In the past I had really strong feelings about this palette, and I know I’ve said before that it’s one of my absolute favourites. But I think it’s part of the way my relationship with makeup has changed, which I discussed in-depth in a recent blog post. I feel like as I’ve developed my makeup style and have a stronger idea of the kinds of looks I like to do, I have a much better idea of what suits my needs than I did in the past. When I look at this palette, the first thing I do is mentally blank out the baby pink and shimmery purple shades as they’re not something I ever reach for. What I’m left with is quite a lot of deep shades, and very few lighter/medium matte shades, which are my comfort zone.

Makeup Declutter  |  LITTLE HENRY LEE

When I really break it down, in my eyes there’s only 1-2 shades in each row that I like, which leaves a LOT of leftover shades that aren’t really my thing. It's so easy to look at a palette overall and think that it's beautiful, but when you honestly look at which shades fall into your definition of "wearable" and count them up, that's what will tell you whether you’re going to end up reaching for it or not. I still think this is a great palette in terms of quality, but it’s probably better suited to people who prefer darker looks, or who have a deeper skin tone than me, so I’m passing it on.

The last two products I have to mention are both cheek products. I got a mini of the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (AU) a while ago and because I don’t use bronzer I kept this to use as an eyeshadow. It’s a great warm matte brown and it worked well for that purpose, but if I’m honest with myself I never really reach for matte single shadows because I’d rather reach for a palette with a range of options all in the one place, so someone else would probably enjoy using this for its intended purpose. The last thing is the NARS Blush in Liberte (AU). The NARS blushes are some of my favourites on the market, and I have four others still in my stash, but I knew that if I was honest with myself, I never really reached for this shade. It’s a beautiful burnt orange colour (they call it burnished apricot) but in reality it’s probably a bit deep for me. I made it work by only using a light hand when I applied it, but since I tend to prefer more neutral blushes these days, this is another one that someone else would probably enjoy more than me.