Back in February, I threw out an enormous box of old makeup and documented the process via Instagram. Having to go through that process means I have learned some valuable lessons on the art of makeup buying. Heed these warnings!

Yes, I do have a remarkably large collection that the average woman does not have (although with everyone – and their mother- being a beauty blogger these days, I would not be so sure). But having tried (and disposed of) so many products gives me an insight on the few the more realistic and budget concious of makeup lover should really have.

Be realistic about your lifestyle when buying makeup products

That will really determine how much you’ll end up using that those products. Unless you are Kim Kardashian and need to be at countless red carpet events, that contour kit is going to sit in a drawer for a long time. Context and time are important when deciding to buy products. Think about, for example, how much time you have in the morning every day to get ready. Never underestimate the time required to put on makeup. If you don’t have that luxury, why make it more difficult? 

No more room in my dresser for cosmetics. I guess it's time for a #makeupcleanup This is "before"

A photo posted by pacampo17 (@pacampo17) on


Some products just don’t last that long

And even within the acceptable timeframe for cosmetics viability, lipgloss, for instance, becomes extra gunky and funky tasting after a while. Same goes for mascara (I hope you are not tasting it, though). Those liquid or cream products that are more exposed to air (think more open packaging, like a MAC paint pot, for example), are particularly succeptible. All in all, rule of thumb is, if you don’t remember when you bought, it’s probably time to throw it out. (Fake lashes are good though. Which is good because I have too many I never wear!)


Highlighter will always seem like a good idea, but it’s not

This one was a painful one to accept. Easily, a couple hundred euros in the trash. I personally seem to be hard-wired for shimmer and sparkle, therefore seeing some makeup trends like “strobing” on social media, makes me want to get all highlighters I can get my hands on. But the truth is, there are not enough days in the year to ever run out of highlighter (and if you run out, you are either a makeup artist or you are putting on too much!). Stick with just one, maybe two and stop!


Buy a good pencil eyeliner. Even if you have to pay a little extra for it

It seems eyeliner pencils are one of those products most people would not spend too much money on because, well, they’re pencils. But after throwing out a staggering amount of crappy little pencils that looked good and were cheap enough, I figured they were not so cheap after all. Finding an eyeliner pencil that glides on when applying, delivers an intense shade, and stays in place for hours and hours is an absolute delight! And usually those products tend not to be in the makeup aisle at a drugstore. Spend a little bit more on higher quality brands, and you might even save money.


Of all the things to test before purchasing, concealer is a must

It is absolutely necessary to try on and really “walk it around”. Sure foundation is a biggie as well, but it is easier to fix an unsuitable foundation (well, most times), than to fix bad concealer. If it covers and stays well without creasing or caking, you are good (and for the love of god, get one in the same shade as your skin, not lighter!). I only have 3 concealers and one of them is a palette, which is why you get a picture of my foundation collection below instead of blank space!


Makeup doesn’t last a lifetime, but you can extend it with proper care

Some products can last a pretty decent amount of time. But you know what will make their lifespan even longer? Sanitizing your cosmetics. You heard that right. On top of products available to clean your brushes, there are awesome sprays and wipes to actually clean up your powder and cream products. Great investment! Probably the least exciting part of my makeup collection, but oh so very worthy!


Life is too short to have just one lipstick

I’ve been a huge fan of berry/plum lipstick shades for a long time, but it had never been so evident as when I cleaned up my stash. Life is too short for just one shade of lipstick, so check before you buy “could it be possible I already have 20 iterations of that same shade?” When you are more sensible about the amount of makeup you own, think about that one you tend to gravitate to and maybe go one shade darker or one shade lighter to start with.

What’s on your makeup wishlist these days?