I’m in the middle of moving. Boxes and small piles of stuff are strewn around my apartment that I still need to sort, then either pack up or part with. What I have realized through it all, though, is how moving provides the perfect opportunity to do an audit—and subsequent edit—of your belongings. As you pack, you get reacquainted with every single item in your possession, what better time to ask if it still sparks joy? While I try to lead a minimalist life, I definitely have some hoarding tendencies, especially when it comes to beauty products.
Even since committing to a skincare diet and paring down my routine, I’ve had trouble letting go of my overzealous lineup of products. With makeup, I usually keep it simple unless I’m going out, and since turning 30, those kind of nights are few and far between. Still, I somehow own a towering stack of eyeshadow palettes, foundations in various shades, and lipstick in every Pantone hue.
I certainly don’t wish to streamline my makeup bag down to the basics only. It’s fun having playful beauty options on hand, even if they only make an appearance on rare occasions. Where I do want to cut down is on products I simply never use or the redundant beauty buys taking up valuable shelf space. As I’ve gotten older, my beauty preferences have also changed, so my edit (and future purchases) should reflect this, even though I habitually add old favorites to my cart. So without further ado (because I still have some packing to do), here are the beauty products I’m over—and what I’m investing in instead.
What I'm over: Lid and lip primers
What I'm investing in instead: Priming moisturizers
I honestly couldn’t tell you how I’ve acquired such an extensive assemblage of primers for every part of my face. What I can tell you is I never use them. Perhaps they work miracles for makeup artists or other such people more adept at applying makeup than I, but for my daily (and even going-out) looks, I’m satisfied with an all-over face primer topped off with a setting spray. Since my skin has been drier since moving back to the northeast, I find that sometimes even a good base of moisturizer does the trick. So instead of stocking up on any more location-specific primers, I’m investing in priming moisturizers.
What I'm over: Lip gloss
What I'm investing in instead: Glossy lip balm
I don't have anything against lip gloss, I just don't find myself ever wearing it. Yet I've still accumulated a collection. For starters, I’m much more into the look of a matte or satin-finish lip and know I can’t beat the pigment of a lipstick. More practically, my lips are way too prone to chapping to be able to withstand anything as sticky as a gloss. Still, I'm open to playing with the glossy look of this new release from the makers of my go-to lip balm. I swear by Laneige's Lip Sleeping Mask to hydrate my lips overnight, so I'm looking forward to trying this moisture-coating lip balm—that gives the look of gloss—to touch up with moisture and shine throughout the day.
What I'm over: Drying lipsticks
What I'm investing in instead: Conditioning lip formulas
In the same vein, I’ve learned that only a small handful of lipstick brands really work for my perpetually dry lips. Ilia is one of them. Its lineup of tinted lip conditioners and satin cream lip crayons have been a godsend. Instead of mindlessly snapping up trendy, punchy hues from brands that could be hit-or-miss on the drying scale, I'm going to hone in on refining my collection of everyday shades I actually wear from brands that have proven to play nicely with my lips.
What I'm over: Full-size mascara
What I'm investing in instead: Sample-size mascara
I might still continue buying the full-size version of my ride-or-die Dior Diorshow Mascara ($30), but I will scoop up sample sizes whenever I have the chance. I’ve been privy to this beauty trick for a while, so in case you haven’t heard: sample size mascaras are superior to the real deal. Their small size allows their texture to be much more consistent (read: perfect) throughout their lifespan. Unlike so many full-size iterations, they don’t start as an overly liquid mess that briefly hit their peak dryness ratio before drying out as fast as the evanescent ripeness of an avocado.
What I'm over: Expensive cleansers
What I'm investing in instead: Serums and moisturizers
I’m not hating on cleansers that are expensive. So many brands I love and trust boast superb offerings in this category. But my face fares well with Cetaphil, and I'd rather be putting my money into products that don't wash off. Basically, it’s a category I’m pulling back from (for now). Instead, when I splurge, it's on skincare products that soak in for several minutes or hours. I like knowing the high-powered ingredients I'm paying a premium for are actually making their way into my skin.
Looking to fine-tune your collection? Here are the best investment beauty products.