In the first part of my lipstick audit I let go of a total of 27 products. Most of them had expired but a some were let go because they did not tickle my fancy anymore. Part 2 took place only a few weeks later in the end of October 2019, a lot sooner than I had initially anticipated. Somehow the audit mentality took over and I started evaluating the products I wore and owned with new eyes.
None of these shades had gone off at the time but they were older, many of them as much as 5-6 years old. I bit too much age for a lipstick. Let’s have a look at the discards…
Revlon – Candy Apple
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple (035) was nice but I did not gravitate towards the glossy finish anymore. It always felt like I had too much texture on my lips.
Revlon – Romantic
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic (045) is a similar situation as with Candy Apple. I’ve worn it a lot over the years but I was simply not attracted to the formula anymore.
Revlon – Crush
Another Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, this time in Crush (005). Another one I never reached for anymore.
Revlon – Rasberry Pie
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Rasberry Pie (010) is a shade I would have preferred to be matte.
MAC – Red Balloon
This Amplified lipstick in Red Balloon was from the 2014 Playland Collection by MAC. Pretty shade but I rarely reached for it. Not sure why.
MAC – Heavenly Hybrid
MAC Lustre lipstick in Heavenly Hybrid was part of the Fantasy of Flowers collection in 2014. Pretty shade but I never reached for it.
MAC – Après Chic
MAC Cremesheen lipstick in Après Chic is one of those shades I wish I could replace. Not sure I have the right to complain though, because I never did use it as much as it deserved to be used. I simply had too many lipsticks and it got lost in the masses. But this was an amazing shade on me and I wish I still had it. But it was from 2012, so…
MAC – Eden Rouge
Eden Rouge is in the Mattene formula (MAC) and this specific shade has been worn a LOT. Bought in 2012 and served as my go-to red for many years. Looking at it now I feel it is a bit too shiny for my liking but the shade is lovely.
MAC – Charmed I’m Sure
Charmed I’m Sure is in the Matte formula by MAC, from the 2012 Marilyn Monroe collection. A stunning pink red that should have been used more than I did.
MAC – Love Goddess
From the same Marilyn Monroe collection we have Love Goddess, a satin lipstick. This hot pink is very flattering but a tad too glossy for my current liking.
MAC – All Out Gorgeous
Sorry for the blurry photo, but it will have to do. All Out Gorgeous is in the Mineralize Rich formula and it’s also too shiny for me. Another shade I would much prefer as a matte.
MAC – Absolute Power
Absolute Power is a matte shade from the 2013 Strength Collection by MAC. A beautiful muted red.
MAC – Pure Heroine
Pure Heroine was a collaboration between the singer Lorde and MAC in 2014. It’s a dramatic dark purple in the amplified formula. It was not a wise purchase for sure. It is one of those shades where I have very limited use of it and it tends to be forgotten altogether.
After settling on these older lipsticks I decided to go through some of the less old lip items I never or hardly wear for one reason or another. Since I have no feelings for them whatsoever I went for simple arm swatches.
The chosen ones were three lip liners by MAC (Embrace, Ablaze and Heroine) and six of the Sephora Cream Lip Stains I had inherited by a friend (21, 23, 24, 26, 25 and 18). So to conclude the second and final part of my lipstick audit a total of 13 lipsticks, three lip liners and six liquid lipsticks exited my life.
I started the audit with 84 lip colour products in October 2019 and ended up with with a total collection of 34 items a month later. 13 lipsticks, five lip crayons, seven liquid lipsticks and nine lip pencils.
Below you can see a note I made including paper swatches of what I ended up with after the audit. It gave me a nice overview of the shades compared to each other and how the total shade range looks.
One of the largest categories remaining were what I called neutral shades including fleshy pinks and browns. This type of lipstick gets a lot of wear time so I do not mind having this many options.
The reds were suddenly a small part of my collection and lacking I might add. I love red lipsticks and going into December (partaking in #redlipsdecember on Instagram) with only three red lipsticks and three red lip liners was interesting. But it was a fun experiment to only use this lot for a while to see how I fared. I knew I wanted to add some new red shades to my collection but I was not about to purchase anything new this early on in my auditing project.
Rusty shades was a lovely little bunch that I looked forward to using a lot. They sort of compensated for the fact that I suddenly had so few true reds.
Bright pinks, berries and plums were put in the same category even though they vary so vastly in shade and potential. I use berry and plum shades more often than bright pinks but I’m making an effort to choose those bright shades more often.
Finally we have the category that I want to keep this small moving forward. The fun and a bit weird shades that I enjoy but only wear on certain occasions or with very specific looks. These three liquid lip shades are just that, fun. I enjoy them and see no point in discarding them until they go off, but I will refrain from buying any additions to this category until they do.
So the products in the paper swatches are the shades I’ve worn since November 2019 up until May 2020 when I finally added some new shades. But that is a story for another day…
Thank you for reading!
This is not my first major clear-out of lip products. A few years back I got rid of quite a lot of lip products, mainly items that were poor purchases and a few expired ones. So when I started my audit I felt I had a reasonable amount. If you call 84 lip items reasonable. But the majority were of old age (hey there MAC lipsticks) and many had gone off so it was definitely time to do a serious clear-out. I went on and completed an initial cull of my lip products at the same time as I started my audit process in October 2019. This post, albeit being quite tardy, will be a retelling of what my thoughts were then and they are accompanied by some more recent pictures.
The lineup at the start of this lip audit consisted of 50 lipsticks and crayons, 17 liquid lipsticks, 12 lip pencils and three lip glosses. If I just look at the number itself it feels like a staggering amount. But I will refrain from having a specific number in mind for my future lipstick collection, after the audit is over. I want to own a variety of colours and finishes that are fun to wear. Using them is key.
I must confess – over the years I’ve been a moderate lipstick wearer. In my mind anyway. Eyeshadow is my main beauty passion and even though I love a nice lip, most days I forget to put anything on. A more edited shade range will most likely suit me better.
The audit consisted of two steps. Firstly, I picked out products that had gone off and secondly I took out additional items that I do not currently enjoy wearing for one reason or another. This first round cleared out a total of 27 products. Four liquid lipsticks, 21 lipsticks/crayons, all of my three lip glosses and two lip liners. Let’s have a closer look at the items that are exiting my collection (all but the lip liners). Lets start with the items that have expired.
MAC – Glamourdaze
Glamourdaze is an amazing shade that I wish I could replace but can’t because it was limited edition (damn you MAC and your LE shades!). Truth be told I did not wear it too often because I had other shades doing the same job and the lipstick got lost in the masses. Something to have in mind for the future.
Illamasqua – Magnestism
Magnetism is a nice shade but the formula is too dry for me. I’ve almost never worn it and have no feelings for it at all. So letting it go was easy.
Illamasqua – Vampette
Vampette was part of a bundle of products I purchased on a whim a while back. I have no relation to this product either and it has gone off without being used at all really. Glad to see it go.
MAC – Mystical
Mystical is a product I’m really sad to let go. It has been used a lot, the packaging was stunning (google Alluring Aquatics if you’re interested) and my sister even wore it to her wedding. I love this shade on me and enjoyed this specific formula (Cremesheen by MAC) and would definitely buy it again if I could. But this is yet another limited edition shade and I’m not happy about it. I’m starting to have an aversion against limited edition products in general and one thing I’ve realized during this process is that I want to stay clear from purchasing limited edition cream products in the future. The longevity is limited and If I enjoy (love) a shade, like Mystical, I would want to have the ability to repurchase when the product runs out or goes off.
MAC – Lush Life
I would have loved to keep on using Lush Life since I really like the shade but I’m no overly keen on the glossy formula (Mineralize Rich by MAC). If I will replace this shade’s function in my lipstick wardrobe I will look for a similar shade in another finish.
MAC – Firm Form
I remember being really excited to own Firm Form – a very rare shade at the time. As one might guess, I’ve not worn it much. A few times here and there. Moving forward, special shades like this are not banned in any way but I will keep them to a minimum.
MAC – Runaway Red
MAC – Russian Red
MAC – Ruby Woo
I’ve really enjoyed wearing Runaway Red, Russian Red and Ruby Woo, they have served me well. Losing them has made a big dent in my red lipstick arsenal.
MAC – Dramatic Encounter
Dramatic Encounter is another stunning shade and I enjoy having something like it in my collection. Yet another limited edition shade I wish I could replace.
MAC – Diva
Same with Diva as with Dramatic Encounter, but this shade is a permanent shade so I could replace this. I will consider it or a similar shade from another brand in the future.
So that was all the lip products that had expired, eleven in total, and many of them I regret having to let go of. Moving on to the products that I feel ready to part with for one reason or another…
Charlotte Tilbury – Blondie
First up we have a lip gloss by Charlotte Tilbury, Blondie. I was swept away at the CT store and purchased it against my better judgement, partly because the MUA insisted it was perfect for me. It would look great on my thinner lips, she said. In my soul I was not convinced but I bought it anyway. Swept away, remember? But to be honest, I do not care for this pale shimmering gloss. It’s not a look I enjoy and I could not care less if it makes my lips look less thin. Besides the shade the gloss has a nice and balmy texture, a discrete smell and the packaging is lovely.
Fenty Beauty – Fenty Glow
The gloss bomb in Fenty Glow is a really lovely colour but there are several factors that keeps me from using it. For one, I do not enjoy the scent. The applicator is too large for me and it always distributes too much product on my lips. I’ve worn it on enough occasions to be very clear in my opinion that I do not want to keep it.
H&M Beauty – Pink Sugar
This holo lip loss by H&M was a poorly executed purchase on my part. I thought it looked fun in the tube and since it was a limited edition item I bought it. I do not even like lip gloss all that much, so my reasoning is very questionable. I’ve worn it once as an effect topper but disliked the strong pink effect and the prominent shimmer particles.
Revlon – Peach Parfait
The Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters were a firm favourite for a few years and I used to stock up on varying shades when visiting the US. Peach Parfait was one of my most used shades and I believe that this is my second one. But I do not enjoy wearing it anymore. The gold shimmer looks weird and of course the lipstick itself is old.
H&M Beauty – Saudade
Saudade is a lip crayon dubbed Lip Colour-to-go by H&M and is a more recent purchase. I bought three shades maybe a year ago (but who really knows when?) and this specific shade has been worn the least. It looks fine in this picture but I do not enjoy this cool mauve on me. It’s a quite glossy crayon and the result is too shiny on the lips for me feel comfortable in it.
Revlon – Lollipop
Lollipop is another Revlon lip butter and I think it’s too bright and too glossy for my liking.
MAC – Peach Blossom
Peach Blossom is in the Cremesheen formula by MAC and at some point I enjoyed having this. But I must confess that light beige pinks are not my jam, if it ever was, so this has to go.
MAC – Dish It Up
I quite enjoy Dish It Up but it is too similar to another lipstick I have from MAC, Heavenly Hybrid , and that shade suits me even better.
Revlon – Enticing
Enticing is a Colorburst Laquer Balm and I have worn this quite a lot over the years. But I feel that I am a bit over the laquer look and its tiny glitter particles. I love the colour but the finish is not exciting enough to keep anymore.
MAC – Everyday Diva
Everyday Diva is a Mineralize Rich lipstick by MAC. A nice shade but I do not enjoy this perky red in this specific formula. It’s too shiny and slippy.
Chanel – La Raffinée
La Raffinée is in the Rouge Allure Velvet formula and in this picture it looks great. But whenever I wear it it’s just a bit too pink in a way I do not enjoy. It has a whiter base than I prefer.
KvD – Outlaw
Outlaw by KvD is a pretty bright red liquid lipstick but I already have another shade from another brand (Sephora) that I use more often, and their function occupy the same space.
Sephora – 01
Sephora Cream Lip Stain is a product I own quite a few shades from. I inherited a bunch of unused shades from a friend and some I’ve bought. This shade is 01 and it’s a lovely bright red. This particular product is a mini and I do not need it since I own the full size product in the same shade.
Sephora – 35
This purple shade is another Sephora Creme Lip Stain. It’s fun but not a wearable shade for me and I think it’s time to let it go. I cannot even remember wearing it.
MAC – Dance With Me
Dance With Me is another liquid lipstick, a retro Matte Liquid Lipcolor by MAC. I received this as a gift with purchase once and I’ve worn it once or twice. The colour is nice but the coverage is patchy and I just never reach for it.
Some final thoughts after completing this first lipstick audit. I’m glad to be getting rid of this many products, even if some were by force. I think it’s the end result on the horizon that excites me. A future, more edited, collection curated by me. A fresh start. But I shall not forget that I also enjoy variety. A staple lipstick wardrobe is a nice thought but it does not have to be small. My aim is to use each shade regularly and for them to be cherished. Special occasion and weird shades are ok to have but not too many (like a dark blue lipstick and the like).
The next part of my lip audit is already completed as I write this post, a further culling after wearing my remaining lip products for a while and evaluating them in action. I’ve also decided to refrain from purchasing any new shades until I’m further into my audit. But that will be a post for another day!
Thanks for reading!