My Makeup Audit

Time flies. You grow. You change and your preferences evolve with you in a steady but also stealthy way. One day you realize you want other things than you used to. Before.

That gradual shift over time adds up to a sudden need for drastic change. Personally, a lot have changed this past year and I with it. I moved to a new home on a new coast, started a new job and in many ways, starting anew all together. A natural progression of all this change is to evaluate how I want to live my life and what I want in it moving forward, including physical possessions. Once in a while a little audit is in order…

I own quite a bit of makeup. For a few years I was in full collectors mode, especially when it came to eyeshadows and nail polish. Even though those years were a lot of fun, and I have no regrets, the times have indeed changed. Nowadays I find more joy in using makeup than in buying it (even though I do find exciting new items from time to time) and doing my makeup in the morning is a holy moment. My makeup arsenal is lovely but a bit too vast, and with that a bit too hard to overview for my liking. Therefore I want to do an audit of my makeup and nail polish related items with the following goals;

  • throw away items that have gone off or are way too old
  • get rid of poor performers
  • remind myself of what I have. It’s so easy to forget to use items due to overabundance, missing the point of owning them in the first place.
  • basically evaluate all products with the intent to only keep items I love and want to use.

Since I enjoy to do things thoroughly I have envisioned this little project that will be fun to execute and give my arsenal a proper run down. An homage to what once was, the items once chosen, and a fresh new start with items I still love.

The audit will be divided into the following main categories;

  • lip products
  • eye products
  • light and shade cheek products
  • colour cheek products
  • nail polish
  • miscellaneous items

Each month, starting October, I will choose a number of items from each category and create a kit that will be used and evaluated during that month, the monthly arsenal. Some categories will be treated a bit differently as you will notice after I’ve given you a quick run down of my method and reasoning;

My lipstick drawer in all its glory
My second drawer for lip products

Lip products is the easiest category for me because many of my lipsticks are old. Since cream products have a shorter life span a quick whiff and ocular inspection will tell all the tales needed on a product’s future. I will start by discarding the nasties and then evaluate the rest over time. I will not limit myself to a specific number of shades to use during a certain month, it will defeat the purpose of how I choose and wear lipstick, but I will keep score of which ones I use and make sure they all get wear time as the months progress.

The vast majority of my eyeshadow palettes
Single shadows in drawers
Glittery shadows
Some of my many loose shadows from Meow Cosmetics

Eye products is by far my biggest category and consists of powder shadows (single and palettes), pencils/liners, loose pigments and cream/liquid formulas. Eyeshadow is my favorite makeup item to purchase and use, but I’m so OVER collecting them which means I can evaluate each one on performance and try not to keep too many similar shades that do the same job. The audit of specifically shadows will be done in two rounds. Round 1 is wearing each shade and evaluating it on it’s own. Round 2 will be comparing similar items and will be executed when and where needed. Palettes will also be judged on its composition and overall function. I will pick a selection of shadows (palettes, singles, loose pigments) for the monthly arsenal, but all of my pencils/liners and liquid products will be available to use every month.

Light and shade cheek products are cream and powder contour shades, highlighters and and warming shaders. Not a big category for me but it still needs to be audited, especially my cream products. I will pick a few items to evaluate for my monthly arsenal.

Colour cheek products consists of powder blushes, cream blushes and cream pigments. I love a good blush and enjoy using a variety of shades. The cream products need to be audited badly but I also have a few very vibrant powder shades that are basically untouched. If I do not use them I should not keep them, but they might have a life as an eyeshadow, who knows? A nice variety will be picked for the monthly arsenal. I will probably do Round 1 and 2 for blushes as well.

Three of my six drawers of nail polish

Nail polish is another big category for me. We are talking hundreds. I have some solid favorites that are worn frequently and those will not be included in the audit at first. They will skip the first round so to speak and go straight to the finale. The “others” will be audited in batches of twelve, two bottles from each drawer (who are divided by colour) at the time and each shade must be worn and evaluated. When all twelve have been used I will pick the next team. Worn shades will be divided into “hell yes”, “maybe” and “hell no”. Round 2 is definitely needed. Shades that are a no-go on the nail will be considered for nail art before being removed from my life.

Miscellaneous items are foundation, concealer, primers, brow products, mascara, brushes and other tools. They are not big enough categories to audit but I will wear what I have and discard any products not up to par.

The main mission with the audit is not necessarily to make my arsenal smaller, even though it might be a nice side effect. It’s to enjoy what I have and only keep the really good bits. Makeup is fun and I don’t want to feel overwhelmed when I look at my products. I want to keep things with intent.

The monthly arsenal and daily looks resulting from those products will be posted on Instagram @herroyalnerdness. Audit reports for each category and for each monthly arsenal will be posted here on the blog. This project will go on until my mission is accomplished. It might take a while….

Let the games begin!


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