Easy Decluttering: The Makeup Bag


OK, true confessions:  I once sold Mary Kay.  Stop laughing.

Although I’m no drama queen, I’ve always enjoyed playing with makeup.  I like the way it feels and the way it makes me feel.  I like feeling as though I’m dressing up for the day.  It enhances my mood as well.  I used to subscribe and actually be entertained by Allure magazine, which is largely a makeup application and style magazine.  There are also plenty of days, however, where I wear no makeup at all.

But even without the massive amount of inventory that many Mary Kay representatives end up with after they inevitably fall away from selling the product, I’ve always been drawn to the glittery, the creamy and the smeary stuff.  Add to this fascination the fact that I rarely use most of it, and you have instant clutter!  As I’m trying to declutter the house anyway and I’ve been fascinated by a new book I got with gift cards called Parisian Chic, the makeup bag seemed the perfect place to freshen things up and get rid of stale products.

Actually, make that two makeup bags and a china ice cream dish of product…

Hey, it’s better than the three makeup bags, medicine cabinet shelf, and ginormous kit hidden away in the basement that I used to have.

I pared it down to these basics:

  • good brushes  I’ve found that the right equipment for application makes a huge difference.  I invested in some brushes.
  • tinted moisturizer  Most days this is all I wear.  As I get older, I apparently get more washed out looking, hence the tint.
  • liquid foundation  Some days I’m not only washed out, I’m frail looking!  I don’t use much liquid foundation, but the Clinique tube I have does the job when the tinted moisturizer fails.  (And no, I don’t look like a member of the Jersey Shore…lol.)
  • bronzer  I like bronzer, but I have to use it very sparingly.  I use it primarily in the summer, as otherwise it just seems to look out of place.  My bronzer is from Mary Kay; it’s one of the best blends I’ve found, and yep — it’s about 7 years old!
  • blush  I have a blush from Chanel that I dearly love and use very sparingly, as a little goes a long way.
  • mascara  I have a small tube from Lancome that I use periodically.
  • lip balm  I have several of these, so I scatter them throughout my various bags.  I use these all the time.  My favorite is Burt’s Bees.
  • one lip gloss A bright red color for special events.  It’s virtually unused.  :-/
  • one shade of lipstick  The one I know I’m guaranteed to wear all the time.  I have three tubes of this lipstick — two that I’m using and one in a box in case I run out (I haven’t run out in the past 7 years).  I’m keeping the box at home, taking one tube to work and putting the other in my purse.  If it’s not gone by the end of the year, I’m tossing it out!

What I don’t have in my gear right now is any eyeshadow.  They were all exceptionally old and/or a bit too dramatic for the way I live my life now.  Eyeshadow is a cheap indulgence compared to other cosmetics and creams, so I’m going to wait to plan this event for a time when I can savor it and be happy I’m not spending much money!

I got rid of all makeup bags and am down to the lovely ice cream dish full of what I actually use.  Decluttering doesn’t have to make that much of a visible difference in order to feel good.  I got the same charge out of cleaning out the makeup as I did from rehauling my entire closet.  In fact, the makeup bags weren’t even in sight before I started.  But it’s the same principle that applies to decluttering overall — pared down to what you actually use, there is not only less waste, less space being taken up, but more room for something other than rummaging around in your stuff.  I don’t have to consult the makeup bags, which were pointless anyway.  Everything I really use is right there in the ice cream dish.

There you have it!  It’s not necessarily minimalist, but it’s definitely realistic!


2 responses »

  1. May Kay! What a hoot. 😀 My mother used to sell Avon. Same story: when you give it up you inherit a gigantic stock of sample cosmetics. Some of that stuff was still lingering around the house ten years later, after she died.

    Mary Kay Ash herself was one of the most amazing entrepreneurs around. I interviewed her once…interesting experience.

    My makeup kit is pretty minimalist, too, tho’ I need some kind of foundation now in my rickety old age. Discovered that L’Oreal’s powder mineral makeup covers almost all the age spots. They make a matching powder coverup that seriously DOES cover. Mineral makeup in the powder form is a little messy to apply (it gets all over the bathroom sink!), but it seems to work best on the mature complexion.

  2. Mary Kay’s story is incredible. Her motivation and drive made me tired just reading about it. The problem with that scheme is that the market is very saturated and unless you’re in a bigger city, it’s tough to drum up enough clientele. The big money is made on recruiting new saleswomen, as the company gives you a check based on their sales that month (not cut from their profits). It encourages a pyramid scheme. Very few women make a lot of money strictly selling Mary Kay cosmetics. Most of the well paid ones make their money through “dividend” checks off their recruits. Most of the time you’re left sitting with around $200 worth of inventory in mostly shades you cannot wear. Sigh.

    I’ve always wondered about mineral makeup! Something I’ve been meaning to try.

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